The New York State Assembly and Senate were in session this week to pass a criminal justice reform agenda in response to the killing of George Floyd in Minneapolis. All told, ten bills on that topic were passed including a bill to allow for the release of disciplinary records of police officers, requiring state police to wear body cameras, and creating a special investigative office in the Attorney General’s office to investigate any incident in which the death of a person was caused by an act or omission of a police officer. In addition to the criminal justice reform bills, a host of other bills were passed that dealt with local issues such as residency requirements for local employees and local property tax exemption applications. Both houses are now adjourned at the call of their respective leaders.
We anticipate that they will not be back until later this summer after the June primaries though that could change if action is needed in other areas or if immediate decisions need to be made to address the budget deficit in New York. As you may recall, New York is currently facing a $13 billion budget deficit, and without funding from the federal government for state and local governments, there is the potential for across the board budget cuts up to 20%.
Starting tomorrow, five upstate regions (Finger Lakes, Mohawk Valley, Southern Tier, North Country and Central New York) will enter Phase 3, which allows for in-restaurant dining and personal care services. The Capitol Region and Western New York will enter Phase 3 next week with the Mid-Hudson and Long Island regions entering Phase 3 the following week and New York City entering Phase 2 around June 22.
If you have additional questions about this update or any other developments that are happening as New York continues to Un-PAUSE, please reach out to a member of our Government Affairs practice group for assistance: