New York State News

New York State News

New York State News
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Proposed Legislation Would Extend Moratorium on Commercial Evictions Until May 1, 2021

January 11, 2021 – The Governor will advance legislation to codify an existing Executive Order to extend a statewide moratorium on commercial evictions until May 1, 2021 for tenants who have endured COVID-related hardship. Landlords can evict tenants who are creating safety or health hazards.  

The Governor will codify and extend existing Executive Orders to ban late payments or fees for missed rent payments during the pandemic. It will also allow renters facing financial hardship due to COVID-19 to use their security deposit as payment and repay their security deposit over time.  Read more…


Legislation (S.6829/A.8829-A) Prohibits the Use of TCE as a Vapor Degreaser, Refrigerant, Cleaning Product and Other Uses

December 28, 2020 – Governor Cuomo today signed legislation (S.6829/A.8829-A) banning the most harmful uses of trichloroethylene, or TCE, a toxic chemical used in industrial and commercial processes. The legislation bans TCE’s use as a vapor degreaser, an intermediate chemical in the production of other chemicals, a refrigerant, an extraction solvent or in any other manufacturing or industrial cleaning process or use.

TCE is typically used as an industrial cleaning and degreasing agent in manufacturing processes. It can enter the body through water, air, food and soil. It easily evaporates into the atmosphere and enters groundwater.  Read more…



Sales Tax Deadline for Restaurants Extended Until March 2021

December 22, 2020 – A three-month extension to the deadline for restaurants in orange zones, including New York City, to turn over sales taxes to the state has been implemented. Restaurants in impacted areas were required to suspend indoor dining temporarily. Extending the sales tax deadline for payment of taxes due on December 21 to March 2021 will ease tax burdens for restaurants and bars in communities where COVID-19 metrics necessitated additional restrictions. Affected restaurants should follow guidance from the Tax Department to request this relief.



Legislation Designates a Scheme to Defraud by Disposal of Solid Waste; Imposes Stiffer Penalties on Offenders

Governor Andrew M. Cuomo today signed legislation (S6758-B/A10803a) to strengthen penalties against the illegal disposal of construction debris, demolition debris, and other hazardous substances. The legislation also designates fraudulent schemes involving the disposal of solid waste as a new crime. These strengthened penalties will provide strong new tools for law enforcement to use as they work to stop unlawful waste dumping activities. Read more…


Professional | Business Directory


December 14, 2020- The retail sector, one of New York City’s biggest employers, is having an uneven recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic, with “non-essential” retailers struggling but online sellers booming, according to a report released today by State Comptroller Thomas P. DiNapoli. Read more…


Continuing Temporary Suspension and Modification of Laws Relating to the Disaster Emergency; Extension of Commercial Evictions Ban Until January 31, 2021

December 11, 2020 – According to Executive Order 202.81, The directive contained in Executive Order 202.48, which modified the directive in Executive Order in 202.28, as continued by Executive Order 202.75 that prohibited the initiation of a proceeding or enforcement of an eviction of any commercial tenant for nonpayment of rent or a foreclosure of any commercial mortgage for nonpayment is hereby continued until January 31, 2021. Read more… 


New E-Commerce Opportunities Available for Restaurants and Food Service Establishments Affected by COVID-19 | Ritual and PayPal Commit $1 Million Towards Discounted Purchases for Customers of Participating New York Businesses on Ritual ONE

December 11, 2020 – Governor Andrew M. Cuomo today announced the second phase of New York’s Empire State Digital initiative to support the state’s restaurants and food service industry affected by COVID-19 has launched. Beginning today and extending through April 2021, e-commerce company Ritual will offer its commission-free digital ordering platform Ritual ONE to New York’s restaurants and food service businesses at no cost, for pickup and delivery. Additionally, PayPal has committed $1 million towards discounted purchases for customers of participating businesses on Ritual ONE in February 2021, at no expense to the businesses. This follows the Governor’s extension of the moratorium on commercial evictions to support restaurants and small businesses. Read more...


Professional | Business Directory


Public-Private Partnership Between Empire State Development, Start Small Think Big and the New York State Bar Association Will Provide Small Businesses and Landlords with Pro Bono Legal Assistance to Renegotiate Lease Terms in Wake of COVID-19

December 10, 2020 – Governor Andrew M. Cuomo today announced the launch of the New York Forward Small Business Lease Assistance Partnership. Recognizing the economic impact of COVID-19, this program will provide small businesses and their landlords with informational resources and pro bono assistance to help both parties reach mutually-beneficial lease workout agreements. This service is available to all New York State small businesses and landlords, and participation is voluntary. Over the next year, the partnership has the capacity to serve thousands of small businesses statewide. Read more…



December 9, 2020 – New York State Comptroller Thomas P. DiNapoli announced today that the New York State Common Retirement Fund (Fund), valued at an estimated $226 billion, has adopted a goal to transition its portfolio to net zero greenhouse gas emissions by 2040. This process will include completion within four years of a review of investments in energy sector companies, using minimum standards to assess transition readiness and climate-related investment risk, with, where consistent with fiduciary duty, divestment of companies that fail to meet minimum standards. Read more…


Going Into Winter Season, Highly Destructive SLF Pest Confirmed on Staten Island, Areas in the Hudson Valley, and in the Southern Tier; Monitoring Ongoing and Public Urged to Continue to Report Findings of Insects and Egg Masses Through the Colder Months

November 24, 2020 – The New York State Department of Agriculture and Markets today urged the public to stay vigilant and report live Spotted Lanternfly (SLF) or overwintering egg masses, following additional confirmed finds of the invasive species in areas of the Hudson Valley and the Southern Tier. SLF, an invasive pest from Asia, was first confirmed in the State on Staten Island in August. Adult SLF and egg masses have since been found in Port Jervis, Sloatsburg, Orangeburg, and Ithaca. The destructive insect feeds on more than 70 plant species, including tree-of-heaven, and plants and crops that are critical to New York’s agricultural economy, such as maple trees. Read more…


Unemployed and Underemployed New Yorkers Can Access Nearly 4,000 Online Free Courses And Certificate Programs On Coursera

November 17, 2020 – Governor Andrew M. Cuomo today announced the launch of a new online training platform which will enable unemployed and underemployed New Yorkers weathering the COVID-19 pandemic to learn new skills, earn certificates, and advance their careers at no cost. The new tool will provide access to nearly 4,000 online programs taught by leading professors and industry professionals on Coursera, with a focus on high-growth and in-demand sectors like advanced manufacturing, technology, and health care, among others.  Read more…


November 12, 2020 – As policymakers consider possible expansion of revenue streams from gaming, New York State Comptroller Thomas P. DiNapoli released a report today on the industry in the state that calls for improvements in finding an appropriate balance between reliance on revenue generated from gaming activities and problem gambling. Read more…


$11 Million in Volkswagen Settlement Funds to Expand Electric Vehicle Fast Charging Stations in New York

November 12, 2020 – Governor Andrew M. Cuomo today announced the availability of $11 million to build out the state’s network of fast charging stations to support wider adoption of electric vehicles. The Direct Current Fast Charger program will be administered by the New York State Energy Research and Development Authority to scale up electric vehicle infrastructure in areas of the state where access to fast charging stations is limited, and will also prioritize improving the availability of charging infrastructure in disadvantaged communities. Applications for the first round are being accepted through February 18, 2021. Read more…



Cashless Tolling to Go Live Overnight on NYS Thruway’s Ticketed System Beginning Friday, November 13, More Than a Month Ahead of Schedule

November 11, 2020 – Cashless tolling will go live on the New York State Thruway’s ticketed system – more than a month ahead of schedule – during the overnight hours of Friday, November 13, into Saturday, November 14. The historic conversion will take place simultaneously at 58 tolling locations across the Thruway’s 450-mile ticketed system. Read more…


New Law Deters Abusive “Strategic Lawsuits Against Public Participation” – Known as SLAPP Lawsuits; Requires Costs and Attorney’s Fees to be Recovered Regarding SLAPP lawsuits

November 10, 2020 – Governor Andrew M. Cuomo today signed legislation that protects citizens’ rights to free speech and petition by deterring abusive “strategic lawsuits against public participation,” known as SLAPPs. SLAPP lawsuits are frivolous litigation brought by affluent plaintiffs who have the ability to spend large sums of money by using expensive and time-consuming litigation to obstruct those exercising their right to free speech. The legislation amends the Civil Rights Law to require costs and attorney’s fees to be recovered regarding these frivolous lawsuits, which will deter plaintiffs from bringing such lawsuits in the first place. Read more…


October 28, 2020 – Sales tax revenue for local governments in New York state dropped 9.5 percent in the third quarter compared to the same period last year, according to State Comptroller Thomas P. DiNapoli. Sales tax collections from July to September totaled $4.3 billion, or $452 million less than last year. Read more…


Department of Health’s Cannabinoid Hemp Program Will License Processors and Retailers and Set Quality Control Standards

October 28, 2020 – The New York State Department of Health has filed proposed regulations to regulate cannabinoid hemp products in New York State. In accordance with legislation signed earlier this year, the Department is creating a Cannabinoid Hemp Program. The Program will license both cannabinoid hemp processors and retailers and set quality control standards that all cannabinoid hemp products must meet. Read more…


New York Extends Moratorium On COVID-Related Commercial Evictions Through January 1

October 20, 2020 – Governor Andrew M. Cuomo today signed an Executive Order extending the state’s moratorium on COVID-related commercial evictions and foreclosures through January 1. This measure extends protections already in place for commercial tenants and mortgagors in recognition of the financial toll the pandemic has taken on business owners, including retail establishments and restaurants. The extension of this protection gives commercial tenants and mortgagors additional time to get back on their feet and catch up on rent or their mortgage, or to renegotiate their lease terms to avoid foreclosure moving forward.   Read the Executive Order here.

Department of Financial Services Calls for Regulation of Social Media Giants After Twitter Hack Investigation

October 14, 2020 – The New York State Department of Financial Services (DFS) released a report on the Department’s investigation into the July 15, 2020 hack into the Twitter accounts of cryptocurrency firms and well-known public figures. Among DFS’ findings: the global social media platform lacked adequate cybersecurity protections and, at the time of the attack, did not have a chief information security officer. The report recommends a new cybersecurity  regulatory framework for giant social media companies. Read the DFS Report here.


October 13, 2020 – The Metropolitan Transportation Authority (MTA) is facing the greatest crisis in its long history, with few viable options without federal funding to avoid cuts in service and staff, additional fare hikes and long-lasting damage that could impair regional transit for decades, according to New York State Comptroller Thomas P. DiNapoli’s annual report on the MTA’s finances. Read more…


DFS Issues Guidance to Insurance Industry Clarifying Coverage for PrEP and Related Services

October 8, 2020 – New guidance prohibits cost-sharing for PrEP and related services for consumers. The Department of Financial Services has issued a Circular Letter to New York-regulated health insurers, clarifying coverage for pre-exposure prophylaxis, known as PrEP, for the prevention of HIV infection and related services. Read more… 


Suspension of State Debt Collection Renewed for Seventh Time

October 5, 2020 – The state has renewed, for the seventh time, an order to halt the collection of medical and student debt owed to the state of New York that has been specifically referred to the Office of the Attorney General (OAG) for collection for an additional 30-day period. Read more…


October 5, 2020 – New York’s municipalities collected nearly $17 billion in sales tax revenue in 2019, representing 9.7 percent of all local government revenue, according to a comprehensive report on local sales tax released today by State Comptroller DiNapoli. Every county and city in the state, along with many towns and villages, depend on these funds to pay for essential services and operations, revealing the statewide impact of the revenue losses from the pandemic. Read more…


Final Regulations Requiring Insurers to Provide Fair Coverage for Mental Health & Substance Use Disorders Issued

October 1, 2020 – Governor Andrew M. Cuomo today announced final regulations requiring insurers to put into place policies and procedures that will ensure that they are providing comparable coverage for mental health and substance use disorders. A full copy of the DFS regulations can be found on the DFS website. Regulations will go into effect on December 29, 2020. Read more…


“Empire State Digital” with Global E-Commerce Companies to Accelerate New York’s Small Businesses’ Ability to Compete in the Digital Economy Launched

October 1, 2020 – Governor Andrew M. Cuomo today announced Empire State Digital, a new initiative accelerating New York State-based small businesses’ ability to grow their online presence through a first-in-the-nation program with leading global e-commerce enablers, including Shopify, Square, Clearbanc, and Etsy.  Options can be reviewed on Empire State Digital’s website which includes additional services available to small businesses. Read more…


Thruway Authority to Hold Virtual Public Hearings on Road Toll Adjustments

September 30, 2020 – The New York State Thruway Authority will hold three virtual public hearings in October 2020 for members of the public to comment on a proposal to adjust tolls on the Thruway beginning January 1, 2021. The meetings will be streamed online at thruway.ny.gov.  Virtual public hearings will be held the following dates and times: Tuesday, October 13 from 2-4pm; Wednesday, October 14 from 4-6pm; and Thursday, October 15 from 6-8pm. Information about the toll adjustment proposal can be found on the Thruway Authority’s website.


$18 Million Initiative to Train Workers and Support Entrepreneurs During and After the COVID-19 Pandemic Announced

September 30, 2020 – New York State has been awarded an $18 million federal grant to fund educational opportunities that train New Yorkers for in-demand jobs, support entrepreneurs, and help small businesses recover from the coronavirus pandemic. Read more…


Governor Cuomo Reminds New Yorkers “Pink Tax” Ban Goes into Effect Today

September 30, 2020 – New reforms go into effect today prohibiting businesses from charging a “pink tax,” otherwise known as the practice of charging different prices for “substantially similar” consumer goods or services that are marketed to different genders. The new measure also requires certain service providers provide price lists for standard services upon request and notifies them that gender-based price discrimination is prohibited under State law. Read more…


Initiative to Train Over 1,000 Workers to Install Green Building Technologies to Combat Climate Change Announced

September 29, 2020 – The Career Pathway Training Partnerships program in high efficiency heating, ventilation and air conditioning, and electric heat pump technologies will help prepare New Yorkers for the growing number of job opportunities in the clean energy industry. The partnerships will target training over 1,000 workers and prioritize the state’s most underserved populations, including low-income New Yorkers and those residing in environmental justice communities, helping support the state’s economic recovery. Read more…


Moratorium on COVID-Related Residential Evictions Extended Until January 1, 2021

September 28, 2020 – Governor Andrew M. Cuomo today announced the State’s Tenant Safe Harbor Act will be expanded until January 1, 2021 to protect additional residential tenants from eviction if they are suffering financial hardship during the COVID-19 public health emergency. The State’s moratorium on COVID-related commercial evictions and foreclosures was extended until October 20th. Read more… 


Moratorium On COVID-Related Commercial Evictions Until October 20

September 21, 2020 – Governor Andrew M. Cuomo extended the state’s moratorium on COVID-related commercial evictions and foreclosures an additional month, until October 20th.  The extension gives commercial tenants and mortgagors additional time to get back on their feet and catch up on rent or their mortgage, or to renegotiate their lease terms to avoid foreclosure moving forward. Read more…