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New York Capital Brief: July 16, 2020

New Mandatory Reporting for Travelers from High-Risk States

On Monday, July 13th, Governor Cuomo announced a new mandated form that requires travelers entering NY from restricted states to disclose their travel plans.

The mandate is part of the state’s effort to enforce its 14-day quarantine requirements for travelers from states that are under a travel advisory because of rising numbers of people testing positive for COVID in those states.

Lawmakers Warn Against Cuts to Addiction Programs

Treatment programs for people with drug or alcohol abuse disorders are facing major cuts due to New York state’s multi-billion-dollar budget shortfall. Last week, the State quietly informed nonprofit providers that it was reducing funding sent to localities to support their work by 31%, at a time when drug overdoses are on the rise across the country.

This latest news comes as the Cuomo administration has already put significant amounts of State funding on pause. In addition to other freezes on aid to localities, state agencies are also delaying to nonprofit contractors and are suspending the approval of new contracts.

NY Legislature to Hold Hearings on COVID-19 & Nursing Homes

Leadership from both the Senate and Assembly announced that both houses will hold two joint hearings next month on the effect COVID-19 had on New York’s long term care providers. The hearings are, in part, in response to the release of Dept. of Health’s report that seeks to refute the criticism of the Governor’s COVID-19 nursing home policies during the pandemic. It is expected the hearing will address COVID’s impact on nursing homes, adult care facilities, assisted living residences, and home care providers.

Cuomo Unveils Plans for Reopening Schools

Earlier this week, Governor Cuomo released the plan for reopening schools around the State. Schools will reopen if the region is in Phase IV of the State’s reopening and if the daily infection rate remains below 5 percent over a 14-day average by the first week of August. Schools will close if the regional infection rate is greater than 9 percent during a seven-day average.

NY’s Legislature will Return to Albany Next Week

After a week of back-to-back, virtually held, committee meetings, the Senate and Assembly are expected to return to Albany next week to take up a wide-ranging agenda of bills, which includes COVID-relief measures and the usual “end of session” local bills.

Primary Election Update

Democratic Socialist Marcela Mitaynes won the District 51 state Assembly seat after raking in more absentee votes than 26-year incumbent Félix Ortiz — making her the presumptive Assemblywoman elect of the majority-Democratic district.  Hodes & Landy wishes to extend our deepest gratitude and appreciation to the Assemblyman for his partnership, commitment, and dedication to all New Yorkers.

COVID Update

On June 25th, Governor Cuomo, along with CT Governor Lamont and NJ Governor Murphy, implemented a tri-state travel advisory which requires anyone who is returning from a “restricted state” to voluntarily quarantine for 14 days. This week, Minnesota, New Mexico, Ohio and Wisconsin were added to the list, bringing the total to 22 states.