June 11, 2020
Mnuchin Gives Testimony to Senate Small Business Committee
Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin told Senate lawmakers yesterday during a Senate Small Business Committee hearing that he believes more money will be needed for struggling businesses. The Secretary said that his department supports additional fiscal intervention – a sure sign that the Trump administration itself would like to see another bill designed to bolster the economy, even as the country slowly starts to reopen.
While he did not provide a firm answer on the topic, Secretary Mnuchin told the committee that “one of the things we want to consider” is another round of stimulus checks. He also stated that of all of the businesses and industries currently struggling across the country, assisting travel, leisure, and restaurant businesses is a top priority.
Five NYS Upstate Regions To Enter Phase Three
Five Upstate regions—Central New York, Finger Lakes, Mohawk Valley, North Country and Southern Tier - will enter phase three of reopening tomorrow, June 12th, Governor Andrew M. Cuomo announced today. Phase three permits indoor restaurant and food services and personal care services to resume following safety and social distancing guidelines, which are available here. With the summer months upon us, beginning today New York State is also permitting localities to use their own judgement with respect to opening public pools and playgrounds.
NYS Legislature Passes “Police Reform” Bills
The NYS State Legislature wrapped up a virtual session this week during which they debated and voted on a package of “police reform bills.” The bills included Governor Cuomo’s four “Say Their Name” reform agenda bills. The Governor indicated earlier this week he planned to sign all of the bills into law when they are delivered to his desk.
The bills passed by the NYS Senate and NYS Assembly include:
- Repeal 50A : A10611 O'Donnell / S8496 Bailey -- disclosure of law enforcement disciplinary records.
- Misuse of Emergency Services and 9-1-1: A1531B- Richardson / S8492 Parker – Permits lawsuits over false reports of non-emergency incidents involving a member of a protected a protected class.
- “Eric Garner Anti-Chokehold Act:” A6144B Fernandez / S6670B Bailey - establishes a crime of aggravated strangulation if police officer causes serious injury or death.
- Reporting Discharged Weapons: A10608/Perry /S2575B Bailey - requires law enforcement officers to report incidents of discharging a weapon near where a person could be hit within 6 hours.
- Right to Monitor Act: A1360A Perry / S3253A Parker- permits law enforcement arrest and activity to be recorded so long as person is not in the way.
- AG Office of Independent Prosecutor: A1601C Perry / S2574C Bailey – establishes Office of Special Investigation under the Office of Attorney General to investigate police related deaths.
- Oversight/Misconduct Office: A10002B Taylor / S3595C Parker - establishes the Law Enforcement Misconduct Investigative Office to examine local police department’s policies and practices.
- Duty to Provide Medical Attention: A8226B Fernandez / S6601B Bailey – requires law enforcement officers to provide medical and mental health attention to persons under arrest or in custody amending the Civil Rights law.
- Requires NYS Police to Wear Body Cameras: A8674A Walker / S8493 Parker – Starting next April, NYS Troopers will be required to wear body cameras.
- The Police Statistics and Accountability Act (STAT Act): S1830c Hoylman/A1069 Lentol - - requires law enforcement to disclose data on policing and its effects on communities for all low-level offenses and submit reports to the Department of Criminal Justice Services, Governor and State Legislature.
The two chambers of the Legislature did not agree on language for A4615A Bichotte /S1137A Benjamin, which proposed banning racial and ethnic profiling and provided for complaints to undergo a review process with potential damages if proven.
At today’s press briefing, Gov. Murphy was joined by the Commissioner of the Department of Labor (DOL), Rob Asaro-Angelo. The Commissioner gave updated unemployment statistics and answered questions.
The Governor also defended his reopening strategy and timeline by reviewing data from states seeing increases in COVID-19 cases and transmission rates.
After Governor Murphy publicly violated his own Executive Order, GOP lawmakers have been calling on him to drop the EO violation summonses that residents and businesses previously received. Now, top dems are jumping on board.
Here are some interesting bills to watch:
S2542 Allows municipality to suspend certain zoning requirements during COVID19 emergency.
S2522 Permits certain entertainment and retail activity during current public health emergency and state of emergency.
The Governor also signed these bills into law today:
S1990 / A2963 (Weinberg, Lagana / Johnson, Tully, Swain) - Allows member of Board of Public Utilities to serve in unsalaried State government office.
A4131 / S2479 (Karabinchak, McKnight, Vainieri Huttle / Sweeney) - Requires DOH to establish sanitization guidelines for hotels operating in State.