New York Capital Brief:

Mail-in Voting Impact on NYS

The stakes remain high for both Democrats and Republicans in NYS legislative races, as the Democrats look to gain a supermajority in the State Senate and expand their party’s influence in the State Assembly.  Although many candidates hold generous leads after the conclusion of early and in-person voting, the final tabulation of mail-in-ballots will determine the results in several too-close-to-call races.

Note: All absentee ballots must be postmarked by November 3rd and received by the Board of Elections by November 10th to be counted. With a historic number of absentee ballots to count, final results could take weeks.

Senior Salons Re-Open

After shuttering in-house salon services in mid-March, the DOH announced today that senior Adult Care Facilities, Assisted Living Residences, and Nursing Homes may resume these services beginning tomorrow, November 6th.

Communities must adhere to guidelines and requirements set forth by the Department of Health including health screening and COVID testing of beauticians and barbers, use of hand sanitizer and PPE including masks, face shields, and gowns, and practice social distancing as appropriate.

Cuomo: Marijuana a Likely 2021 Priority

On Thursday morning, Governor Cuomo was a guest on local WAMC’s The Roundtable with Alan Chartock where he said that New York’s growing budget deficit will likely re-spark the conversations around legalizing adult-use recreational marijuana in 2021.

“I think this year it is ripe because the state is going to be desperate for funding. Even with Biden, even with the stimulus, we’re still going to need funding,” Cuomo said. “I think we’re going to get there this year.”

NY’s Travel Advisory Changes

Over the weekend, Governor Cuomo announced an EO that eliminated the NY travel advisory quarantine list, and shifted to a testing requirement for those entering NY from other states.

According to Cuomo, instead of a mandatory 14-day quarantine, all people* entering NY will have to bring proof of a negative COVID test. That test must be 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.

*These new rules do not apply to PA, NJ, VA, MA, or CT, although non-essential travel is highly discouraged.  Essential workers will continue to be exempt from this mandate.