NYS Government and Legislative Update – 7.13.20

The Senate and Assembly announced that they would be returning to session the week of July 20.  For now, the announced scheduled is that both houses will be in session Monday, July 20 – Thursday, July 23.  This week, the Assembly will begin the committee meeting process to advance bills that will be considered during next week’s session.  From the agendas that have been released to this point, it is clear the agendas will focus on a host of legislation, much of which is focused on local or COVID-19 issues. 

As a reminder, per the Senate rules, that house is now in the “Rules” period.  This means that all legislation in the Senate goes through the Rules Committee, so there will be no regular committee meetings in the Senate in advance of next week’s session.  The Rules Committee will likely meet each day next week to advance legislation that will become the Calendar for the Senate that day.

We also wanted to share two Coronavirus updates that came from a press briefing held by the Governor today.  First, the Governor announced that a formula has been developed to determine IF schools can reopen.  The first week of August, the state will look at schools by region, and if a region has a 5% or lower infection rate over a 14-day average, and is in Phase 4, then schools in that region can reopen.  The specific details on reopening will be made by the school districts, which will have to follow the health guidelines developed by the state and any guidelines developed by the State Education Department (SED).  SED met today and released these guidelines.  The Governor stated that the state health guidelines for schools will be released today.  The Governor also outlined the safety valve for what will require schools to close after reopening has been approved.  The reopening formula will be applied the first week of August.  Once given the green light to reopen, the schools in a region will have to close if the region’s infection rate is greater than 9% using a 7-day average after August 1. 

Second, the Governor announced that the state will be issuing an emergency health order requiring any traveler coming from (or returning from) one of the travel advisory states to New York to provide a location form with contact information.  This information will be given to local health departments and travelers cannot leave the airport without completing the form.  If they do, the traveler will get a summons with a $2,000 fine and can be brought to a hearing and ordered to complete a mandatory quarantine.  We haven’t seen the order yet, but we are assuming that essential workers will continue to be exempt from the quarantine order as they have been in the past.  Here is a link to the current travel restriction requirements.

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:

Amy J. Kellogg
John M. Jennings

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