Speaker Heastie Statement on Assembly Majority's Passage of Critical COVID-19 Legislation

Across the state, New Yorkers are facing unprecedented challenges as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. This week, my colleagues in the Assembly Majority and I convened session to pass a comprehensive package of legislation to address these challenges.

Here in the People’s House, we work tirelessly to protect the rights of New Yorkers. This week we passed legislation to make requesting an absentee ballot faster and easier, ensure victims of childhood sexual abuse do not miss their window for justice and address the issue of price gouging for medical supplies and services.

The Assembly Majority has long been committed to ensuring New Yorkers have access to safe, affordable housing. The economic impact of this global pandemic has left many struggling to pay their rent or mortgage payments. This week, we voted to strengthen protections to keep families and individuals in their homes during this difficult time.

The closure of many businesses across the state has caused unemployment to skyrocket and has financially crippled countless small businesses. Legislation we passed will better allow us to aid workers and businesses, and ensures that the families of public employees who lost their lives to this pandemic while serving are given the benefits and respect they deserve.

The COVID-19 pandemic has also exposed some of the weaknesses that exist in our healthcare system. This week’s legislation has addressed some of these shortcomings, including telehealth and telemedicine reimbursement, as well as pandemic emergency planning requirements for nursing homes.

I am incredibly proud of the countless ways in which members of the Assembly Majority have been serving their communities. They have been delivering food to essential workers and constituents, advocating tirelessly for more testing sites, calling and checking up on neighbors, distributing masks and hand sanitizer, and helping constituents with unemployment applications and other government issues. I know they are eager to get back to their communities at this critical time.

As always, our work in the People’s House is never done. We will return to session to address ongoing concerns related to the COVID-19 pandemic and other issues at the call of the speaker.