NYS legislature back in session; passes several COVID-related measures

Local News

ALBANY, N.Y. (NEWS10) — The New York State legislature is back in session this week and is expected to pass through several measures. Most voting is being handled remotely, and lawmakers in the chambers are social distancing and wearing face coverings.

“I want to thank all of my colleagues for coming together in this unprecedented time to take up these measures today,” Senator David Carlucci said on the Senate floor Wednesday.

One bill ensures that schools will not lose their share of funding for not being open for 180 days. 

“We saw that our school districts had to jump into action. Many of them acted before the executive order was put in place, before the state of emergency was put in place, and this legislation is essential to make sure that our school districts get every penny that they’re entitled to,” Senator Carlucci said.

Some measures sponsored by Senator Brad Hoylman further prohibit price gouging, especially when it comes to medical supplies, and allow pharmacists to administer approved COVID-19 vaccines when they become available. Another bill sponsored by Senator Diane Savino bans healthcare employers from “penalizing” workers who report violations. 

Assembly Republicans also have a bill that would limit Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s “expanded powers” during a state of emergency, giving more power to the legislature after 45 days.

There’s also another bill being looked out in both chambers that would provide $100 million towards rent relief. 

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