Topic: New York State

The Wrap Up – June 1, 2020

Region Reopening Progress

Currently the regions in Phase Two of the reopening process are the Finger Lakes (including Rochester), Mohawk Valley (including Utica), Central New York (including Syracuse), Southern Tier and North Country. Governor Cuomo announced today that the Western Region (including Buffalo) is expected to join them in Phase Two tomorrow, with the Capital Region to join Phase Two on Wednesday.

Protests

The Governor, acknowledging the protests around the State over the weekend, commended the State Police on their work in helping to deal with them in many upstate regions but remained worried as to what the ramifications of the mass gatherings could mean for the State’s COVID-19 infection rates.

In response to the ongoing unrest, Governor Cuomo proposed a Positive Reform Agenda to begin to help resolve the issues at hand, including:

  • National ban on excessive force and choke-holds
  • Independent investigations of police abuse, suggested AG investigate
  • Disciplinary records disclosed of police officers being investigated
  • Education equity
  • Anti-poverty agenda
  • A real national affordable housing plan

New York City Curfew Tonight

Governor Cuomo and Mayor de Blasio have imposed a curfew in New York City beginning tonight at 11 PM running until 5 AM tomorrow morning, at which time they will reevaluate the situation.  

Upcoming Legislative Session

Today, Senate Majority Leader Andrea Stewart-Cousins and Assembly Speaker Carl Heastie released the following statement in regard to the recent protests across the state.

“Today the Senate and Assembly had productive majority conferences to discuss the issues occurring in our communities that have caused so much unrest over the last several days. Members have bills on many topics related to these issues and we will be developing a legislative package based on the ideas put forward. We intend to act on them next week.”

 New York State COVID-19 Numbers

Thankfully, we are now firmly on the far side of the COVID-19 plateau in New York State. That said, the number of deaths in the State has increased by 54 since yesterday.

The Wrap Up – May 30, 2020

Death Benefits for Families of COVID-19 Frontline Workers

Governor Cuomo today signed into law legislation (S.8427/A.10528) providing death benefits to the families of State and local government employees who lost their lives fighting the COVID-19 pandemic on the front lines in New York State.

Preparations for New York City Phase 1 Reopening on June 8th

The Governor today reiterated that New York City is on track to begin Phase 1 of the State’s reopening process on June 8th.   In preparation for this, the State today is adding ten more diagnostic testing sites in predominately low-income and minority communities in the City where new COVID-19 cases remain high.

Brooklyn Protests Aftermath

The Governor today called for New York State Attorney General Letitia James to conduct an independent review of actions and procedures used by law enforcement during Friday evening protests in Brooklyn and other areas of New York City.  The protests, over the death of George Floyd in Minneapolis, included the pepper spraying of two NYS legislators (Sen. Zellnor Myrie and Assemblywoman Diana Richardson) and the handcuffing of Sen. Myrie. 

New York State COVID-19 Numbers

Thankfully, we are now firmly on the far side of the COVID-19 plateau in New York State. That said, the number of deaths in the State has increased by 67 since yesterday.

The Wrap Up – May 29, 2020

Five Regions Now Entering Phase 2 of Economic Reopening

Governor Cuomo today announced that five upstate regions – the North Country, Finger Lakes, Central New York, Mohawk Valley, and the Southern Tier – have satisfied the required statistical benchmarks to begin Phase 2 of New York State’s reopening process.  Phase 2 guidelines can be found here

Non-essential businesses that now can reopen in these regions include:

  • Office-Based Jobs: including professional services, administrative support, and information technology
  • Real Estate Services: including building and property management; and leasing, rental, and sales services
  • Retail: including in-store shopping; motor vehicle leasing, rental, and sales; barbershops and hair salons (for limited services); and retail rental, repair and cleaning

Businesses that remain closed include:

  • Malls
  • Dine-in and on-premise restaurant or bar service
  • Large gathering/event venues
  • Gyms, fitness centers, and exercise classes (except for remote or streaming services)
  • Video lottery and casino gaming facilities
  • Movie theaters (except drive-ins)
  • Places of public amusement

Additionally, the Governor announced a new early warning dashboard that aggregates the State’s COVID-19 data collection efforts for New Yorkers, government officials and experts to monitor and review how the virus is being contained on an ongoing basis. The early warning system dashboard, developed in consultation with internationally-known experts, can be found here.

New York City on Track to Begin Phase 1 Reopening on June 8th

The Governor and New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio said that the City is on track to start Phase 1 of the State’s reopening process on June 8th.   The Governor stated that for NYC to begin Phase 1, which would allow 400,000 workers to return to work, it must work on the following:

  • Hospital capacity must reach 70 percent
  • Establish a sufficient PPE (personal protective equipment) stockpile
  • Satisfy benchmarks for testing/contact tracing
  • MTA preparations
  • Focusing on COVID hotspots, which have already been identified by ZIP code

As part of its preparations for Phase 1 reopening, Mayor de Blasio announced that next week the City will provide small business owners with free facial coverings and create a hotline for business owners who have questions.

Legislative Session

Concluding work early this morning, the NYS Senate and Assembly passed a legislative package to help support New Yorkers during the COVID-19 pandemic and prepare the State for future emergencies. The joint press release issued by the Senate and Assembly majority conferences, which also summarizes the bills passed by both houses, can be found here.

New York State COVID-19 Numbers

Thankfully, we are now firmly on the far side of the COVID-19 plateau in New York State. That said, the number of deaths in the State has increased by 67 since yesterday.

The Wrap Up – May 28, 2020

New Executive Order

Governor Cuomo announced that a new Executive Order will be signed and published today that would allow all private business owners to require masks be worn while on their businesses premise. Additionally, the Governor introduced to the dais comedian Chris Rock and actress Rosie Perez and announced a new State advertising campaign with their assistance to help communicate the importance of wearing masks and using proper PPE as part of the people of New York City’s social responsibility. 


The Reopening of New York City

When asked about the status of the reopening of New York City, Governor Cuomo stated that the same rules apply to the City as the rest of the state, the metrics don’t change by region. The City is still three categories away from being able to reopen but they are expected to have one of those categories fulfilled soon by identifying the proper number tracers, leaving them still two categories short. The City now sits at 26% share of the needed available hospital beds and 29% share of the needed ICU beds available and both must reach 30% before it can begin to reopen. 

Legislative Session

Today both the Senate and the Assembly had a legislative session day and worked through a number of COVID-related bills. Negotiations over a few final bills remain ongoing, including legislation to grant death benefits to state and local employees who passed as a result of COVID-19 and a measure to allow NYC to borrow money to cover operating expenses in the short term.  

New York State COVID-19 Numbers

Thankfully, we are now firmly on the far side of the New York State COVID-19 plateau. That said, the number of deaths in the State has increased by 74 again since yesterday.

The Wrap Up – May 27, 2020

Push for Infrastructure Projects

Governed Cuomo met with President Trump earlier today in Washington D.C. for the purpose of discussing ways to supercharge the State’s economy during the reopening process through investments in large scale infrastructure projects. The Governor focused on three projects: the Gateway Tunnel in NYC that would transport commuter and freight under the Hudson River, the Second Avenue Subway, and the AirTrain LaGuardia project that would create a direct rail system from LaGuardia Airport into Manhattan. The Governor said he anticipates that President Trump would follow up with him “next week” on these issues.

Continued Push for Federal Funds

Following the meeting with the President, Governor Cuomo provided his daily briefing at the National Press Club where he continued his pressure on Congress to provide federal assistance to state and local governments in the next version of any federal economic relief bill. He cited an article from the Wall Street Journal that indicated that state and local government economic recovery can lag for years if not provided federal assistance. He noted the prolonged recovery from the 2007-09 recession as a sign of the importance for this funding.

State Legislature Back in Session

Both Houses of the State Legislature are back in Albany this week as they convened for the first time since the passage of the State budget on April 1st. There were a number of COVID-related bills that were passed and both houses are back in session tomorrow. 

New York City

Mayor de Blasio today forecast the City’s deficit over the next 2 fiscal years (remainder of FY20 and all of FY21) could reach $9 billion if the federal government does not provide stimulus funding.  In the midst of uncertainty related to federal funding, Mayor de Blasio has asked the State to authorize the City to borrow money to balance the budget if needed.  On Monday, the State Senate introduced a bill that would allow the city to borrow up to $7 billion by authorizing the Transitional Finance Authority to issue debt to make up for potential losses in 2021.

New York State COVID-19 Numbers

Thankfully, we are now firmly on the far side of the New York State COVID-19 plateau. That said, the number of deaths in the State has increased by 74 since yesterday.