Senate and Assembly Majorities Announce Joint Legislative Hearings on Impact of COVID-19

Senate Majority Leader Andrea Stewart-Cousins and Assembly Speaker Carl Heastie today announced a series of joint legislative hearings to be convened over the coming weeks. The hearings will examine how the COVID-19 pandemic impacted New York State with specific focuses on higher education, residential health care facilities, hospitals, the primary elections, workers, veterans and the Metropolitan Transportation Authority (MTA). Each of the hearings will be livestreamed on the Senate and Assembly websites.

“The coronavirus pandemic has disrupted nearly every aspect of our lives,” Senate Majority Leader Stewart-Cousins said. “This past May, we held two joint hearings and passed dozens of bills to support New Yorkers as we slowly recover from the health and economic impacts caused by COVID-19. These hearings will help build on that progress and guide our actions as we continue taking steps to move New York State forward. I thank my partner in legislative leadership, Speaker Carl Heastie, and my Senate Democratic Majority colleagues for organizing these hearings and taking action on these important issues.”

“This spring, we passed a package of legislation to help New Yorkers get through the worst of the COVID-19 pandemic in our state,” Speaker Heastie said. “The pandemic has impacted every part of our lives, from work and worship to how we learn and socialize. Working together with our partners in the Senate, these hearings will help the Assembly Majority evaluate the impact the pandemic continues to have on our state, and what we can do to help families, businesses and our academic and governmental institutions recover and move forward.”

The joint legislative hearings include:

  • July 28 – How COVID-19 Has Impacted Higher Education: This hearing will examine how COVID-19 affected higher education institutions, students and faculty in the 2020 Spring semester and the impact it will have on the upcoming 2020-21 academic year.
  • August 3 & August 10 – Residential Health Care Facilities and COVID-19: These hearings will review New York State’s rate of infection and mortality due to COVID-19 in residential health care facilities.
  • August 11 – Elections in a Pandemic: A Review of the 2020 Primaries: This hearing will review the turnout and systemic voting issues in the 2020 primary elections and evaluate how well New York handled voting during a pandemic.
  • August 12 – Hospitals and COVID-19: This hearing will review New York State’s rate of infection and mortality due to COVID-19 in hospitals.
  • August 13 – Impact of COVID-19 on Workers: This hearing will explore the impacts of COVID-19 from a worker's perspective, including unemployment insurance receipts, workplace safety standards and the impact of the federal Payroll Protection Program on maintaining employment.
  • August 14 – How COVID-19 Impacts New York’s Veteran Community: This hearing will examine how COVID-19 affected veterans.
  • August 25 – COVID-19 and the MTA: This hearing will evaluate the financial and operational impacts of COVID-19 on the MTA.