New York Capital Brief:

New Siena Poll: Hochul – 54% Zeldin – 37%

With just six weeks until Election Day, a new poll shows Governor Kathy Hochul widening her lead over Republican challenger Congressman Lee Zeldin. Governor Hochul holds a 17-point lead over Zeldin, 54-37%, up slightly from 53-39% in August.

According to Siena College pollster Steven Greenberg , “Hochul continues to hold a strong double-digit lead over Zeldin, holding her base with support from 81% of Democrats the same as in August. Zeldin has support from 77% of Republicans, down from 84%, and continues to lead narrowly with independent voters, 45-42%… Zeldin’s narrow lead among independents is both good – it’s a lead – and bad – it’s narrow. To close or even narrow a 17-point gap, he would need to win a far greater share of independents, solidify Republican support, as well as pick off some more Democrats.”  


NYS Department of Labor to Lower Farm Overtime Threshold

On Friday 9/30, State Department of Labor Commissioner Roberta Reardon made the final decision to accept the phase in of a 40-hour work week for farm laborers by 2032. The plan, which was recommended by the wage board in a 2 to 1 vote, has sparked backlash from farm owners and some upstate Legislators.


Assembly Member Rodneyse Bichotte Hermelyn Re-Elected as Brooklyn Democratic Party Chair

Brooklyn Assemblymember Bichotte Hermelyn secured reelection as Brooklyn Democratic Party Chair with a narrow victory in a closed executive session Monday night, after a day of heated public deliberations. Bichotte Hermelyn, who didn’t attend the meeting at the Marriott Brooklyn Bridge because she’s shortly due to give birth, topped progressive challenger and Assembly Member Maritza Davila 23-12 with six abstentions.

After the final vote, Bichotte Hermelyn told City & State she was glad the meeting had concluded “from here on out, we’ll just move forward and continue to be the beacon of the political universe.”


Health Care Workers Left Out of NYS Bonuses

In the coming weeks, the State will begin distributing the first round of payments under the NYS Health Care Worker Bonus Program.

According to criteria released in August, employers eligible to claim the money on behalf of their employees are limited to hospitals, diagnostic and treatment centers, residential health care facilities, certified home health agencies, long-term home health care programs, hospices, mental hygiene facilities, social services facilities, pharmacies and programs funded by NYS such as OMH, OASAS, Office for the Aging and OPWDD. Those facilities also must participate in Medicaid.

It is estimated that over 500,000 essential workers will be the beneficiaries of bonuses, but guidelines exclude many healthcare workers who provide care to individuals not participating in the Medicaid program such as health care workers employed by private medical offices, private dental offices and the majority of New York’s 552 assisted living providers.