As part of my community engagement platform, I promised to provide a regular weekly update on what’s happening up in Albany. This is an update from week seventeen.

You can always email me directly at gounardes@nysenate.gov if you have any other questions, ideas, or want more information about what’s happening in Albany or the district.

*Session Week 17*

Committee Meetings

This was an exciting and busy week, as I had meetings for five of the six committees I am a member of!

Insurance

In the Insurance committee we passed 4 bills including:

  • S5760 creates “catastrophic business disruption insurance” which is a new type of disability-related business insurance.

Consumer Protection

In the Consumer Protection committee we passed 5 bills including:

  • S1383 requires new private one- and two-family homeowners to be provided with a cost estimate for a fire sprinkler system.
  • S6108A requires the Department of Financial Services to provide a comprehensive list of all COVID-19 related programs and resources implemented at the state level on a single webpage.

Cities 1

In the Cities 1 committee we passed 6 bills including one of my own:

  • S641 makes public utility companies responsible for repair and replacement of residential lateral sewer and water pipes they have damaged rather than homeowners.
  • S1548 exempts certain small businesses in Manhattan from the City’s Commercial Rent Tax during the COVID-19 state disaster emergency.
  • S5536 requires NYC agencies to establish a telecommuting policy.

Labor

In the Labor committee we passed 7 bills including:

  • S975 allows high school students to collect unemployment insurance.
  • S6196 allows the NYS Insurance Fund to provide workers compensation benefits for out-of-state work.

Judiciary

In the Judiciary committee we passed 5 bills including 1 of my own.

  • S700 repeals the section of law that states that attorneys must reside or have an office in the state to practice in the state.
  • S997 forbids venue limitations in contracts for the adjudication or arbitration of disputes related to consumer goods.

Session

Remember that you can watch sessions live on the NYS Senate website and follow along with session proceedings on the official NY Senate Twitter.

This week we passed 3 resolutions repealing some of the Executive Orders passed by the Governor in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. I am hopeful that repealing these orders will help our neighborhoods, and especially our small businesses, begin to build back up.

  • B674 terminates the need for the purchase of food items to be accompanied for any purchase of an alcoholic beverage.
  • B675 terminates the demand for vaccines to be administered within one week of receipt of facilities or else face penalties and the requirement to verify vaccine eligibility by priority groups.

We also passed 42 bills, including two of my own, some of which are highlighted below:

Access to Information

  • S5490A requires the Department of Labor to notify individuals receiving unemployment benefits of rental, mortgage, food, and utility assistance programs.
  • S3946 provides employers with the opportunity to register for emergency alerts from the state of New York public safety alert mass notification system

The Environment

  • S6191 combats the biodiversity and climate crisis by making it policy of the state to support and contribute to national efforts to conserve at least 30% of the land by 2030.
  • S4095B prohibits the use and sale of pavement products which contain coal tar which is toxic to the environment.
  • S1421 prohibits the lease of state forests, wildlife management and unique areas for the purpose of gas production.

Other Noteworthy Bills

  • S6204 requires residential health care facilities to document the reason for an individual requesting a voluntary transfer or discharge.

You can see all the bills the Senate has passed so far this year here.

Thanks for reading! As always, you can email me directly at gounardes@nysenate.gov or call my office as 718–238–6044.

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