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New York State Government

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Local coverage of what's going on in New York state government, where Gov. Andrew Cuomo and the state Legislature — dominated by Democrats following the 2018 midterms — are pursuing a legislative agenda in open defiance of federal policy under President Donald Trump. (Includes links to state legislators and legislation, as well as relevant agencies, organizations, people, primary sources and public events.)

Local coverage of what's going on in New York state government, where Gov. Andrew Cuomo and the state Legislature — dominated by Democrats following the 2018 midterms — are pursuing a legislative agenda in open defiance of federal policy under President Donald Trump. (Includes links to state legislators and legislation, as well as relevant agencies, organizations, people, primary sources and public events.)
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NewsPlexus Media June 1, 2020

Two NY regions expected to join five others in 2nd phase of reopening this week
Western New York is expected to enter phase two of the state’s reopening process Tuesday and the Capital Region is expected to enter phase two of reopening on Wednesday, allowing professional services; finance and insurance; retail; administrative support; and real estate, rental and leasing businesses to reopen in those regions. New York City is expected to begin phase one next week.
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NewsPlexus Media June 1, 2020

NYC under curfew as state looks into protests incited by death of George Floyd
NYC is under curfew tonight as the state looks into violent protests that have erupted in the wake of the killing of George Floyd by Minneapolis police. The governor, in response to national upheaval, has denounced systemic racism and called for reforms to police oversight policies even as he has stepped up state police presence and informed municipalities that the National Guard is on standby.
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NewsPlexus Media May 31, 2020

New law provides death benefits for families of deceased frontline COVID workers
On Saturday, the governor signed into law a new measure providing death benefits to the families of frontline workers who lost their lives fighting the COVID-19 pandemic in New York. The bill establishes a COVID-19 death benefit for the families of state and local government employees who have been on the front lines of response to this public health emergency.
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NewsPlexus Media May 29, 2020

NY teams up with Chris Rock, Rosie Perez to inform public about pandemic safety
The governor issued an executive order on Thursday authorizing businesses to deny entry to anyone not wearing a mask as the state begins the process of reopening, and announced a partnership with entertainers Rosie Perez and Chris Rock to communicate the importance of continuing to wear a mask, getting tested and maintaining social distancing practices to prevent the rate of infection from rising again.
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NewsPlexus Media May 28, 2020

State lawmakers return to Albany this week to pass raft of pandemic-related laws
The state Legislature passed a host of coronavirus-related legislation when members came back to session this week, following an extended break due to the ongoing pandemic.
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NewsPlexus Media May 28, 2020

Gov calls on US Senate to pass relief bill supporting state & local governments
While in Washington, D.C. meeting with President Donald Trump to urge support for New York City infrastructure projects he says will “supercharge” the recovering state economy, the governor reiterated his call for the repeal of SALT limitations and for Congress to pass legislation supporting states and limiting corporate bailouts.
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NewsPlexus Media May 27, 2020

Poll: NY fears health risk of reopening too soon over economic risk of waiting
According to a recent Siena College poll, three-quarters of registered New York voters believe we will face another COVID-19 outbreak in the fall, while two-thirds think schools will likely still open in September. More than half say that there will be time for the state Legislature to conduct business after the pandemic has subsided, but almost 40 percent believe session should resume as soon as possible. And, while the governor’s approval ratings remain high, they have fallen from record highs and a small plurality has given him a negative rating on his handling of nursing homes during the coronavirus crisis.
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NewsPlexus Media May 27, 2020

NYCLU urges lawmakers to pass post-pandemic reforms that remedy systemic racism
Among those who contributed testimony during a lengthy hearing on the disproportionate impact of COVID-19 on minority communities was the New York Civil Liberties Union, which argued that communities of color are at higher risk due to public policies that perpetuate systemic racism — resulting in socioeconomic and environmental conditions that adversely affect minority health outcomes.
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NewsPlexus Media May 26, 2020

8th region able to reopen as COVID-19 deaths hit lowest number since March
The Mid-Hudson Valley region joins the Capital Region, Western New York, Central New York, North Country, Finger Lakes, Southern Tier and Mohawk Valley regions in satisfying all seven metrics required to begin phase one of the state’s reopening plan; and Long Island is still on track to begin reopening tomorrow — leaving only New York City, where the state is directing resources to the most impacted communities. The governor will meet with the president Wednesday to discuss infrastructure projects in New York City, two of which the state is planning to fast-track to help jump start the re-emerging economy.
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NewsPlexus Media May 26, 2020

NY Stock Exchange opens trading floor for first time since March
On Tuesday, the governor rang the opening bell at the New York Stock Exchange for the first time since the floor was closed to traders more than two months ago in response to the ongoing coronavirus pandemic.
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NewsPlexus Media May 25, 2020

Memorial Day 2020: NY provides benefits to frontline workers dead from COVID-19
State and local governments will provide death benefits for frontline workers who died from COVID-19 during this emergency, said Gov. Andrew Cuomo on Monday, while renewing his call for the federal government to provide hazard pay for essential public workers on the front lines.
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NewsPlexus Media May 25, 2020

DEC to NY: Get outside safely, responsibly, and locally during COVID-19 pandemic
The New York State Department of Environmental Conservation is encouraging New Yorkers to engage in responsible outdoor recreation close to home during the continuing coronavirus pandemic.
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NewsPlexus Media May 24, 2020

New York professional sports leagues may now begin training camps
The governor announced on Sunday that professional sports leagues will be able to begin training camps this week. He also said that campgrounds and RV parks will open on Monday and veterinarians statewide will be able to open on Tuesday. Two more regions, including Long Island, are still on track to reopen this week as well.
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NewsPlexus Media May 24, 2020

Mid-Hudson Valley and Long Island on track to begin reopening next week
New York’s Mid-Hudson Valley region is on track to meet all seven metrics required to begin phase one of the state's regional phased reopening plan starting Tuesday, May 26, joining the Capital District, Western New York, Central New York, North Country, Finger Lakes, Southern Tier and Mohawk Valley regions. Long Island may become eligible by the following day.
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NewsPlexus Media May 24, 2020

$100M New York Forward Loan Fund to help small businesses
The governor announced on Friday the launch of a $100 million New York Forward Loan Fund to provide flexible and affordable loans to help small businesses, with a focus on minority and women owned small businesses that did not receive federal COVID-19 assistance.
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NewsPlexus Media May 23, 2020

More than $10B in unemployment paid to more than 2M New Yorkers during pandemic
The New York State Department of Labor announced this week that the backlog of pending unemployment benefit applications has been reduced to 7,580 — representing major progress since an unprecedented crush of applications related to the COVID-19 pandemic flooded the department's systems in March. Unprocessed applications include those that are missing critical information and cannot be processed, duplicates, and abandoned claims.
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NewsPlexus Media May 20, 2020

NYCLU: Bill Gates Shouldn't be the One 'Reimagining' NY's Public Education
The governor has announced partnerships with a number of wealthy business leaders to lead economic, technological and educational recovery efforts in New York — and civil rights advocates and educators are not happy. NYCLU's Johann Miller has called on Cuomo to pass reforms that address racial inequities in New York's K-12 schools.
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NewsPlexus Media May 19, 2020

7 of 10 NY regions now eligible to implement phase 1 of statewide reopening plan
Western New York and the Capital Region have joined five other New York regions eligible to implement phase one of NY Forward Reopening Plan. The state is also pilot testing a hospital visitation program, allowing Memorial Day ceremonies with 10 or less people and calling on the FDA to ensure immediate access to any COVID-19 vaccines.
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NewsPlexus Media May 19, 2020

Analysis: Per case, NY is receiving least federal economic support in the nation
With another COVID-19 stimulus bill being negotiated by Congress, data analysis from the Rockefeller Institute of Government shows that federal funds have not been going to the states most in need. New York state and local governments rank last in relief received from the federal government — $169,000 per COVID-19 patient, compared to $21,551,724 per patient for top-ranked South Dakota. The Legislature held a virtual public hearing this month to discuss the impact of federal relief on the state economy.
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NewsPlexus Media May 19, 2020

NYCLU to NYSED: NY must ensure better access to education during pandemic
The New York Civil Liberties Union has warned New York state that it has a legal obligation to provide all students equal access to an adequate education — even during a pandemic.
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NewsPlexus Media May 18, 2020

New York has established criteria for COVID-related illness in children
The governor has announced that New York state has issued first-in-the-nation criteria to healthcare professionals establishing an interim case definition for COVID-related inflammatory illness in children. The criteria establishes a new name for the syndrome — pediatric multi-system inflammatory syndrome — and a definition of what symptoms healthcare providers should look for.
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NewsPlexus Media May 18, 2020

Report from state comptroller shows New York lost multiple billions in April
The state has already lost billions in revenue as a result of the coronavirus pandemic and the three month extension of the state income tax filing deadline, according to the monthly cash report released last week by the state comptroller's office.
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NewsPlexus Media May 17, 2020

NY doubles COVID testing capacity, increases test sites and launches new website
New York has doubled coronavirus diagnostic testing capacity, launched a new tracking website, increased the number of testing sites and expanded the list of those who are eligible for testing.
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NewsPlexus Media May 17, 2020

Disabled New Yorkers being overlooked by state in COVID-19 response, says NYCLU
The New York Civil Liberties Union published criticism on Friday of the way the state has prioritized financial aid during the continuing coronavirus pandemic — in particular, the handling of the more than 130,000 New Yorkers with intellectual and developmental disabilities currently living in group homes.
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NewsPlexus Media May 16, 2020

As five NY regions begin reopening, beaches and racetracks to follow
Five New York economic development regions were cleared to begin reopening specified businesses Friday, some with additional guidelines. The state has also announced that beaches will open in time for Memorial Day, with certain restrictions, and that horse racing tracks will be allowed to open on June 1 — without fans in attendance.
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NewsPlexus Media May 15, 2020

CBC Blog: Cut state aid to wealthiest school districts to balance budget
Dave Friedfel of the New York state government watchdog group, Citizens Budget Commission, published a piece on Tuesday calling for the Division of the Budget to cut funding to wealthy school districts to cover budgetary deficits caused by the coronavirus pandemic.
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NewsPlexus Media May 13, 2020

4 NY regions eligible to re-open Friday, 47 counties may resume elective surgery
New York’s North Country joins the Finger Lakes, Southern Tier and Mohawk Valley regions in meeting seven metrics required to begin reopening after NYS on PAUSE orders expire on May 15, and 12 more counties have been cleared to resume elective outpatient treatments. The state has also announced the results of antibody testing among members of the state police force and those who work for the Department of Corrections.
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NewsPlexus Media May 13, 2020

New York prioritizes COVID-19 testing for children
The governor has directed New York hospitals to prioritize COVID-19 testing for children displaying symptoms similar to an atypical Kawasaki disease and toxic shock syndrome. The state is currently investigating approximately 100 reported cases statewide.
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NewsPlexus Media May 13, 2020

NY delegation proposes law limiting corporate bailouts following COVID-19 crisis
NY Reps introduce federal legislation making corporations ineligible for funding if they do not re-hire the same number of employees that were let go due to COVID-19, while the National Governors Association renews call for unrestricted federal support to states in the next relief bill.
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NewsPlexus Media May 12, 2020

3 New York economic regions ready to reopen on May 15, 2 more close behind
The Finger Lakes, Southern Tier and Mohawk Valley Economic Regions have met the seven metrics required to begin Phase One of New York state’s reopening plan, which includes construction, manufacturing, retail for curbside pickup agriculture, forestry and fishing businesses. The North Country and Central New York have met all but one. Statewide, certain low-risk business and recreational activities — including landscaping, gardening, tennis & drive-in movie theaters — will also be able to reopen on May 15.
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NewsPlexus Media May 11, 2020

Senate GOP calls on Gov to address issues with New York’s unemployment system
Members of the New York State Senate Republican Conference have called on the governor to fix the state’s unemployment system, proposing a series of recommendations to remedy perceived issues at the Department of Labor in a video released Saturday.
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NewsPlexus Media May 10, 2020

Republican leadership balks as Gov extends expanded executive authority
The governor signed an executive order Saturday extending the COVID-19 state of emergency to June 7, continuing the executive's expanded legal authority to address the ongoing crisis. The administration said, however, that regions of the state could still begin to loosen current PAUSE restrictions after May 15 — if they are able to meet certain criteria. At least one Republican leader has called on the executive to return normal powers to the state Legislature.
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NewsPlexus Media May 9, 2020

NY has reported 73 cases of COVID-related illness in children, and 3 deaths
New York hospitals have reported 73 cases of COVID-related illness in children with symptoms similar to Kawasaki disease or toxic shock syndrome. The illness has taken the lives of three young New Yorkers. The state is also working to establish temporary testing sites in predominantly minority communities.
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NewsPlexus Media May 8, 2020

After 5-year-old NYC boy dies from COVID-related complications, DOH investigates
The state Department of Health is investigating evidence that COVID-19 can cause severe illness in children and has issued an advisory to inform health care providers, along with a list of symptoms for which parents should seek immediate medical care.
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NewsPlexus Media May 8, 2020

NY extends moratorium on evictions, bans late payments/fees for missed rent
The governor announced this week that New York's moratorium on COVID-related residential or commercial evictions will be extended for an additional 60 days until August 20th. He also said the state is banning late payments or fees for missed rent payments during the eviction moratorium, and allowing renters facing financial hardship due to COVID-19 to use their security deposit as payment and repay their security deposit over time.
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NewsPlexus Media May 8, 2020

Environmental advocates respond to New York's proposed climate fund regulations
Late last month, the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation released proposed regulations governing the state’s participation in the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative, prompting responses from local environmental advocacy groups.
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NewsPlexus Media May 6, 2020

NY Reps call on Washington to provide more recovery support to the MTA
New York Congressmen Thomas Suozzi and Peter King have published a piece in The Hill making the case for federal support for the Metropolitan Transportation Authority, New York’s struggling public transit system.
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NewsPlexus Media May 6, 2020

NY and Gates Foundation to convene experts to consider post-pandemic education
New York state is collaborating with the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation to develop a blueprint to reimagine education in the wake of the coronavirus pandemic; and asking New Yorkers to create and share a video explaining why people should wear a mask in public to be used in a public service announcement.
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NewsPlexus Media May 5, 2020

New York will monitor four core factors to determine if a region may reopen
The state will monitor four core factors to determine if a region may reopen in light of the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic; outlines safety precautions required of reopening businesses; extends health care marketplace special enrollment.
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NewsPlexus Media May 4, 2020

Seven regional states to aggregate demand for PPE, medical equipment, testing
Seven Northeast states have announced a multi-state agreement to develop a regional supply chain for personal protective equipment, other medical equipment and testing to help fight the spread of the COVID-19 virus and any possible resurgences.
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NewsPlexus Media May 3, 2020

COVID-19 responses earn governor record approval ratings in NY, hurt president
New Yorkers are giving the governor his highest job performance and favorability ratings ever, according to a Siena College Research Institute poll of registered New York state voters conducted in April. The same poll found that registered Republicans prefer Cuomo to Trump on reopening the economy; a third of all New Yorkers know someone who has died from COVID-19; two-thirds don’t believe large gatherings will be happening by this summer; and more than half don’t believe that things will return to normal any time soon.
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NewsPlexus Media May 3, 2020

All school board elections, budget votes in NY to be conducted by mail
All school board elections and budget votes in New York have been delayed until June and will be conducted by mail, while local special district and village elections will now be delayed until mid-September.
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NewsPlexus Media May 2, 2020

More than 12% of New York has coronavirus antibodies, concludes statewide survey
More than 12 percent of New York’s population has been shown to have COVID-19 antibodies, according to results of a completed statewide antibody testing study.
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NewsPlexus Media May 2, 2020

New York schools will remain closed for remainder of academic year
All New York K-12 schools and colleges will remain closed for the rest of the academic year, while continuing to provide certain services and creating plans to reopen that must be approved by the state. The state has also launched a new effort to reduce hospitalizations and is making emotional support services available to frontline health care workers.
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NewsPlexus Media May 2, 2020

MTA to disinfect New York City transit system daily to protect essential workers
To protect essential workers commuting to their jobs and slow the spread of the coronavirus contagion, the Metropolitan Transportation Authority will disinfect all NYC transit trains and buses every 24 hours.
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NewsPlexus Media May 1, 2020

Statewide COVID-19 contact tracing program to begin in coming weeks
New York's COVID-19 contact tracing program is expected to Have 6,400 to 17,000 tracers statewide, and the state Department of Health is working to build the “army” of tracers needed to implement what will be the largest contract tracing program in the nation.
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NewsPlexus Media April 30, 2020

To Gov and Legislature: 'Please, no raids on MTA in May budget adjustment'
Transportation advocates urge state leaders to preserve MTA dedicated funding in upcoming state budget adjustment, one of three permitted in the SFY 2020-21 Enacted Budget to respond to financial shortfalls caused by the coronavirus epidemic.
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NewsPlexus Media April 30, 2020

OSC announces $50M for federal COVID small business relief/job retention program
New York State Comptroller Thomas DiNapoli has announced that the New York State Common Retirement Fund is putting $50 million toward the federal Paycheck Protection Program, a component of the latest coronavirus relief package, and said his office will pursue an additional $100 million.
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NewsPlexus Media April 29, 2020

Gov accepts NYS COVID-19 maternity task force recommendations in full
NYS COVID-19 Maternity Task Force recommendations accepted by the governor today include measures to diversify birthing site options and support patient choice; extend period of time a healthy support person can accompany a mother post-delivery; mandate testing of all pregnant New Yorkers; ensure equity in birthing options; create an educational campaign; and review the impact of COVID-19 on pregnancy and newborns, with a special emphasis on reducing racial disparities in maternal mortality.
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NewsPlexus Media April 28, 2020

Phase II results of antibody testing shows 14.9% of NY with COVID-19 antibodies
New York is expanding antibody testing survey to test FDNY and NYPD officers, health care workers and transit workers; opening five new drive-through testing facilities in Monroe, Erie, Broome, Niagara and Oneida counties; providing $25 million for food banks and providers most impacted by COVID-19; launches Nourish New York initiative to purchase food and products from Upstate farms and direct it to food banks.
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