LEGALcurrents®

The Senate and Assembly returned to session this week to address legislation specifically related to the COVID-19 pandemic.  Committee meetings were held remotely in both houses on Tuesday, and then session was held on Wednesday and Thursday.  In the end, both houses passed 31 bills that covered a broad range of issues from passing an emergency rent relief act, to passing a pension benefit for families of public employees who die due to workplace exposure to COVID-19, to allowing businesses, nonprofits and religious institutions to conduct board meetings through electronic means.

These bills will now go to the Governor for his review.  It is unclear if the Governor will sign the full package of legislation or the timing on when this legislation will be sent for his consideration. 

As you may recall, the regularly scheduled session was set to run through next Tuesday, June 2.  The pandemic has prevented the two houses from being in Albany since early April, and both the Senate and Assembly made clear this week that they would return to session as needed to address further COVID-19 issues as well as to address other legislation that has not yet been considered because the regular session was interrupted by the pandemic.  There is no word on timing right now, but we are anticipating that the next return will likely be after the June 23 primary elections.

Today marked the two-week mark of when the first five regions of the state began their Phase 1 reopening.  During his press briefing today, the Governor announced that after a thorough review of the data, the five regions were authorized to begin Phase 2 reopening this afternoon.  In addition, he announced that the New York City region, the only region that has not begun reopening, will enter Phase 1 on June 8. 

Overnight, Empire State Development began to release guidelines and guidance for Phase 2 businesses that must be followed as the authorized businesses begin to reopen.  Information for Phase 2 businesses can be found here.  Phase 2 businesses include offices, real estate, in-store retail, vehicles sales, leases and rentals, retail rental, repair and cleaning, commercial building management, and hair salons and barbershops with limited services.  If you are uncertain if your business can reopen at this point, you can use this tool to check the status of your industry.

As a reminder, regardless of what phase a business can engage in reopening, all businesses must have a Business Safety Plan in place for their business.  A template for the Business Safety Plan can be found here.

If you have additional questions or want to discuss the re-opening plan, please reach out to a member of our Government Affairs practice group for assistance:

Amy J. Kellogg
John M. Jennings
Donald S. Mazzullo


Attorney Advertising. Prior results do not guarantee a similar outcome. This publication is provided as a service to clients and friends of Harter Secrest & Emery LLP. It is intended for general information purposes only and should not be considered as legal advice. The contents are neither an exhaustive discussion nor do they purport to cover all developments in the area. The reader should consult with legal counsel to determine how applicable laws relate to specific situations. ©2020 Harter Secrest & Emery LLP

Disclaimer

This website presents only general information not intended as legal advice. Although we encourage calls, letters and emails from prospective clients, please keep in mind that merely contacting Harter Secrest & Emery LLP (HSE) does not establish an attorney-client relationship between us. Confidential information should not be sent to HSE until you have been notified in writing by HSE that a formal attorney-client relationship has been established. Information sent to us before then may not be treated as confidential by HSE or the court.

I have read this and agree     Cancel

Our website uses cookies. By continuing to use our site, you agree to our use of cookies in accordance with our Privacy Policy.