Cuomo’s 2021-2022 Executive Budget
On Tuesday, Governor Cuomo released his Executive Budget to “reimagine, rebuild and renew” New York in the wake of the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. Staying on brand, the Governor said the reality of the State’s budget depends on how much aid NY receives from the federal government, particularly from President Biden’s proposed $1.9 trillion American Rescue Package.
Cuomo’s proposal included two scenarios – the “fair funding” scenario, with New York receiving the requested $15 billion in federal aid and the “worst-case” scenario, where the state receives a conservative estimate of $6 billion in federal aid.
With $15 billion, New York would invest in housing, childcare, healthcare, and provide aid to small businesses.
With $6 billion, the State would need to make up the rest of the $15 billion gap by raising revenues, cutting costs, and significant borrowing. Budget Director Rob Mujica said in his post-budget Q&A that certain temporary spending cuts made last year would be made permanent.
Full Executive Budget Briefing Book Available Here
Cuomo Urges Biden to Boost Vaccine Production
On Wednesday, Governor Cuomo called on the Biden administration to bolster vaccine production, indicating that New York will exhaust its weekly-allotted doses for the foreseeable future.
New York has significantly ramped up vaccine administration in recent weeks, going from 35,000 first doses in week one up to nearly 330,000 first doses in week five. Currently, New York has about 145,000 doses remaining and Governor Cuomo estimates that these doses will be used within the next day or so.
“What is clear now is that we will be going from week to week. You will basically see a constant pattern of running out, waiting for the next week’s allocation, and then starting up again,” Cuomo said.
NY Micro-Cluster Strategy
The Micro-Cluster Strategy identifies clusters and the areas around them and categorizes them into one or more color-coded zones with corresponding levels of restrictions based on severity: Red Zones, Orange Zones, and Yellow Zones. New rules and restrictions directly target areas with the highest rates of case growth and hospital admissions, and factor in a region’s hospital capacity.
Click here to view the restrictions and check your address.
As a reminder, the Presidential proclamation from March 11 and March 14th, 2020 suspends entry into the United States of people who were physically present in any of the 26 countries that make up the Schengen Area within the 14 days preceding their entry or attempted entry into the United States. The Schengen Area consists of Austria, Belgium, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Iceland, Italy, Latvia, Liechtenstein, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden, and Switzerland. As of March 14, this applies to the United Kingdom and Ireland, too.
Travelers entering NY from the United Kingdom must produce a negative test prior to boarding flights on British Airways, Delta Airlines, and Virgin Atlantic.
Under Executive Order, New York has implemented a COVID testing requirement for those entering/re-entering NY from other states and from countries at Level 2 and 3 COVID-risk.
According to the Order, instead of a mandatory 14-day quarantine, all people* entering NY will have to bring proof of a negative COVID test. The results must be from a test taken within three days of coming into NY from a non-contiguous state.** Upon arrival, all travelers must quarantine for three days. On the fourth day, the traveler must get another test. Once the second test comes back negative, the person is no longer required to quarantine.
*Essential workers will continue to be exempt from this mandate.
**These new rules do not apply to PA, NJ, VA, MA, or CT, although non-essential travel is highly discouraged.