Assemblywoman Buttenschon: Legislative Package Offers Relief to New Yorkers Amid COVID-19

Assemblywoman Marianne Buttenschon (D-Utica/Rome) announced that she helped pass a legislative package to ensure vital services for New Yorkers remain intact during the ongoing public health crisis.

“The unprecedented challenges brought on by COVID-19 have left families, businesses and communities across the state looking toward an uncertain future,” said Buttenschon. “The social and economic fallout from this public health emergency is immense and has made it clear that more needs to be done to ensure we all get through these difficult times safely. The legislation we passed will help guarantee all New Yorkers have the resources they need, as well as guide us toward a stronger, more secure future.”

Buttenschon helped pass a host of COVID-19-related legislation, including measures to:

  • ensure schools that have closed due to COVID-19 without the presence of a state or local state of emergency will not have state aid withheld (A.10189-A);
  • extend price gouging regulations during a state of emergency to include medical supplies and services, as well as other essential goods and services needed for the health, safety and welfare of consumers (A.10270);
  • allow industrial development agencies (IDAs) to implement a state disaster emergency loan program that provides up to $25,000 loans to small businesses and not-for-profit organizations (A.10294-A);
  • require residential health care facilities to submit an annual pandemic emergency plan to the Department of Health (DOH) commissioner, who is responsible for conducting annual audits (A.10394-A); and
  • extend library project deadlines by 12 months for libraries that received library construction grant funds in the last three fiscal years and are unable to complete the project during the proscribed period due to COVID-19 shutdowns (A.10465).

Buttenschon also authored and is fighting for a bill that would place limits on the governor’s disaster declaration and subsequent executive orders (A.10502). Specifically, the bill would impose a maximum of 30 days for a disaster declaration and require that any continuation of the declaration and the suspension of laws have legislative approval. Considering the potential for a second wave of the COVID-19 pandemic, this bill would allow residents a greater degree of democratic participation in the process of how to close and reopen our economy, noted Buttenschon.