New York Capital Brief:

Governor Announces Booster Mandate for Healthcare Workers

 Governor Hochul announced a COVID booster mandate for health care workers. Employees will need to receive a booster shot within two weeks of being eligible for one. There will be no exemptions nor a test-out option.

DOH Commissioner Mary Bassett will recommend the mandate to the Department of Health’s Public Health and Health Planning Council, who will hold a special meeting on Tuesday to weigh in.

The mandate takes effect immediately, and guidelines will be forthcoming from the Health Department.


Hochul Delivers First State of the State Address

On Wednesday, Governor Hochul became the first female Governor in State history to address the Legislature with a State of the State address. This speech, which kicks off the Legislative Session, is traditionally delivered in front of a large and energetic crowd of legislators, statewide and local elected officials, staffers, and other citizens. While Governor Hochul returned the Address to its traditional Assembly Chamber setting,  due to COVID concerns attendance was  limited to the Lt. Governor, Attorney General, Comptroller, Senate Majority and Deputy Majority Leader, Assembly Majority Leader and a handful of legislators and was webcast to the public. Just minutes before the speech began, Assembly Speaker Carl Heastie tweeted that he would not be in attendance after two rapid COVID tests produced inconclusive results that morning.

What’s next? The Governor will reveal greater details in her Executive Budget, which is due to be released before January 18th.  Please be aware that not all of the State of the State proposals will be included in her Executive Budget language.  The Senate and Assembly will review the Executive Budget independently, and release their one-house budgets shortly after.  The Governor and Legislature will continue negotiations through March and is expected to reach an agreement by the fiscal deadline, April 1.


AG James and Governor Hochul Continue Efforts to Repeal SALT Deduction

According to the press release, New York Attorney General Letitia James and Governor Kathy Hochul announced that New York, Connecticut, Maryland, and New Jersey filed a petition for certiorari to the U.S. Supreme Court to continue their lawsuit against the federal government for its unlawful and unprecedented cap on the deduction for state and local taxes, known as SALT. The petition asks the Supreme Court to review an October 2021 ruling by the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit that upheld the district court’s rejection of the states’ suit, which argues that the SALT cap was a politically motivated bid by the former federal administration to interfere with the policy choices of predominantly Democratic states.

“The SALT deduction cap is nothing less than double taxation on New Yorkers,” Governor Hochul said. “Repealing the SALT cap would not only put more money into the pockets of New York families, it would deliver a much-needed boost to New York’s economy. I am proud we are taking this issue to the Supreme Court to continue to fight on behalf of New York taxpayers.”