June 9, 2020
More on Police Reform in Congress
According to House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer, House Democrats are looking to vote on their just-released police reform legislation by the week of June 22. House Judiciary is set to hold a markup next week.
Meanwhile, Senate Republicans are contemplating their own version of a reform bill. As we noted yesterday, the likelihood that the House bill passes both chambers in its current form is extremely unlikely. Nevertheless, some Senate Republicans have shown a willingness to find common ground, and one, Senator Lindsay Graham, voiced his support for at least one provision of the House bill – a ban on police chokeholds.
Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell established a group of Republican Senators to work on a GOP proposal to address police reform with Senator Tim Scott, the only black Republican in the Senate, tapped to lead it.
New York State Regions Continue Reopening Progress
The Mid-Hudson region moves ahead to phase two of reopening today, Tuesday, June 9th. And Long Island has been cleared to proceed with phase two of reopening beginning tomorrow, June 10th. New York Forward guidance for phase two reopening can be found here.
In a news release today, Governor Andrew M. Cuomo said: "As more regions across the state continue with the reopening process, New Yorkers should remember it was because of their hard work that we have been able to bend the curve and reopen this quickly, and all individuals should continue to follow the necessary guidelines and precautions to help prevent a renewed increase in the spread of the virus."
Recognizing the hardships many families and businesses continue to face as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, Governor Cuomo signed legislation (S.8122-B/ A.10241-A) yesterday authorizing local governments to extend the deadline for filing property tax abatements to July 15, 2020.
In partnership with Northwell Health and SOMOS Community Care, Governor Cuomo also announced the state is opening 14 new temporary testing sites at churches located in hot-spot neighborhoods most impacted by the COVID-19 virus. There are now more than 240 testing sites in New York City. To learn how to get tested for COVID-19 visit https://coronavirus.health.ny.gov.
New York State Legislature Takes Up “Policing Reform” bills
The New York State legislature continued to consider policing reforms in Albany and via virtual session today. The NYS Senate and NYS Assembly are taking up eleven bills this week, among which include: “The Eric Garner Anti-Chokehold Act,” civil penalties for biased misuse of emergency services by calling 9-1-1, repealing section 50-a which was created to keep law enforcement’s personal information private during investigation, and creating an Office of Special Investigation under the Attorney General which will investigate officer related deaths.
The Governor called upon lawmakers to support these bills, part of his so-called “Say Their Name” reform agenda. Before their scheduled departure on Wednesday, the state legislature plans to adopt these measures, and seven others, all of which the Governor has indicated he would sign into law.
Today Governor Murphy signed two Executive Orders. The first is to lift the stay-at-home order effectively immediately. The order was initially enacted on March 21.
The second Executive Order allows for indoor events up to 25% of capacity, or 50 persons, with social distancing standards and face coverings. Houses of worship and other First Amendment-protected activities will have certain exceptions, including outdoor events. In addition, the EO will increase outdoor gatherings from 25 to 100 people with an increase to 250 on June 22 and 500 on July 3.
The Governor was joined today by EDA CEO, Tim Sullivan who gave updates about the small and micro-business grant funding from the federal CARES Act