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A08053 Summary:

BILL NOA08053B
 
SAME ASSAME AS S08168-A
 
SPONSORGonzalez-Rojas
 
COSPNSRPaulin, Hevesi, Levenberg, Simon, Davila, Sillitti, Jensen, Maher, Brown K, Kim, Gallagher, Weprin, Brabenec, Raga, Epstein, Shrestha, Forrest, Simone
 
MLTSPNSR
 
Amd §2180, add §2184, Pub Health L
 
Establishes the COVID-19 pandemic response study commission to conduct a study of the state's response to the COVID-19 pandemic; provides for the repeal of such commission upon the completion of the commission's final report.
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A08053 Actions:

BILL NOA08053B
 
09/27/2023referred to governmental operations
01/03/2024referred to governmental operations
01/17/2024amend and recommit to governmental operations
01/17/2024print number 8053a
06/04/2024amend (t) and recommit to governmental operations
06/04/2024print number 8053b
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A08053 Memo:

NEW YORK STATE ASSEMBLY
MEMORANDUM IN SUPPORT OF LEGISLATION
submitted in accordance with Assembly Rule III, Sec 1(f)
 
BILL NUMBER: A8053B
 
SPONSOR: Gonzalez-Rojas
  TITLE OF BILL: An act to amend the public health law, in relation to establishing a COVID-19 pandemic response study commission; and providing for the repeal of such provisions upon expiration thereof   PURPOSE OR GENERAL IDEA OF BILL: Establishes a COVID-19 pandemic response study commission.   SUMMARY OF PROVISIONS: Section 1 establishes definitions of "COVID-19 pandemic" and "commis- sion" in public health law section 2180. Section 2 amends public health law by adding a new section 2184. It recognizes that COVID-19 hit New York particularly hard by claiming more 75,000 lives, and that the state has a duty to create a commission to carefully review the events of the coronavirus pandemic. It establishes a pandemic response study commission that will have sixteen voting members: * three each appointed by Assembly speaker and Senate majority leader; * one each appointed by Assembly and Senate minority leaders; * eight members, including the chair, appointed by the governor, includ- ing one of whom shall be designated by the governor as the chair of the commission The commissioners of the Department of Health and the Department of Homeland Security and Emergency Services (or their designees) would sit as non-voting, ex officio members. Appointees will be selected based on their expertise or experience in relevant fields, including health care, public health, emergency procurement, emergency management, labor and business and at least one member will have particular expertise or experience in addressing the healthcare needs of the vulnerable communities who were hit hardest by COVID-19. The commission's proceedings and operations will be subject to the Open Meetings and Freedom of Information laws. The commission will have a mandate to: * Hold initial hearings throughout the state with invited experts and participants, as well as at least one hearing open to general public comment; * Investigate all aspects of the state's pandemic response; * Issue a draft report of its findings; * Hold hearings on the draft report; and * Publish a final report, including factual findings. The commission will have authority to: * Hire employees and execute contracts; * Access state records and documents, including confidential materials; * Interview witnesses and, where necessary, issue subpoenas; * Conduct or solicit scientific research. The legislation calls for issuance of its draft report within one year and publication of its final findings within 18 months. Section 3 sets the effective date.   JUSTIFICATION: The COVID-19 pandemic has undeniably been one of the greatest crises to impact New Yorkers in a generation. To date, almost 80,000 New Yorkers have lost their lives to the pandemic making it the deadliest disaster in state history. Given the massive loss of life, the state has an obli- gation to have an independent commission review what went wrong and why. The historic moment demands something more - the establishing of a special commission of outside experts with subpoena powers and independ- ence, a composition including a broad segment of stakeholders with public hearings and a requirement to report its findings. This will allow the commission to be given full access to data and testimony, free rein to follow the evidence, and a mandate for a report with full factu- al findings.   PRIOR LEGISLATIVE HISTORY: 2023 - Introduced and reported to Government Operations Committee   FISCAL IMPLICATIONS FOR STATE AND LOCAL GOVERNMENTS: None determined.   EFFECTIVE DATE: This act shall take effect immediately and shall expire and be deemed repealed upon the issuance of the commission's final report as required pursuant to subdivision 3 of section 2184 of the public health law, as added by section two of this act; provided, however, that the commis- sioner of health or the commissioner of the division of homeland 18 security and emergency services shall notify the legislative bill draft- ing commission upon the occurrence of the delivery of the report or the continuance of such commission provided for in subdivision 3 of section 2184 of the public health law as added by section two of this act in order that the commission may maintain an accurate and timely effective data base of the official text of the laws of the state of New York in furtherance of effectuating the provisions of section 44 of the legisla- tive law and section 70-b of the public officers law.
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A08053 Text:



 
                STATE OF NEW YORK
        ________________________________________________________________________
 
                                         8053--B
 
                               2023-2024 Regular Sessions
 
                   IN ASSEMBLY
 
                                   September 27, 2023
                                       ___________
 
        Introduced by M. of A. GONZALEZ-ROJAS, PAULIN, HEVESI, LEVENBERG, SIMON,
          DAVILA,  SILLITTI,  JENSEN,  MAHER,  K. BROWN, KIM, GALLAGHER, WEPRIN,
          BRABENEC, RAGA, EPSTEIN, SHRESTHA, FORREST, SIMONE --  read  once  and
          referred to the Committee on Governmental Operations -- recommitted to
          the  Committee  on Governmental Operations in accordance with Assembly
          Rule  3,  sec.  2  --  committee  discharged,  bill  amended,  ordered
          reprinted  as  amended  and  recommitted  to  said  committee -- again
          reported from said committee with  amendments,  ordered  reprinted  as
          amended and recommitted to said committee
 
        AN  ACT  to  amend  the public health law, in relation to establishing a
          COVID-19 pandemic response study commission;  and  providing  for  the
          repeal of such provisions upon expiration thereof
 
          The  People of the State of New York, represented in Senate and Assem-
        bly, do enact as follows:
 
     1    Section 1. Section 2180 of the public health law is amended by  adding
     2  two new subdivisions 14 and 15 to read as follows:
     3    14. "COVID-19 pandemic" means the pandemic of COVID-19 beginning in or
     4  about February, two thousand twenty.
     5    15. "Commission" means the COVID-19 pandemic response study commission
     6  established  pursuant  to section twenty-one hundred eighty-four of this
     7  title.
     8    § 2. The public health law is amended by adding a new section 2184  to
     9  read as follows:
    10    §  2184.  COVID-19 pandemic response study commission. 1. (a) There is
    11  hereby established in the department a COVID-19 pandemic response  study
    12  commission to study the state's response to the COVID-19 pandemic.
    13    (b) The commission shall consist of sixteen voting members as follows,
    14  after  receiving the recommendations received by the commissioner pursu-
    15  ant to paragraph (c) of this subdivision: eight shall  be  appointed  by
    16  the  governor,  one  of  whom shall be designated by the governor as the
    17  chair of the commission; three shall be appointed by the temporary pres-
 
         EXPLANATION--Matter in italics (underscored) is new; matter in brackets
                              [ ] is old law to be omitted.
                                                                   LBD13153-07-4

        A. 8053--B                          2
 
     1  ident of the senate; three shall be appointed  by  the  speaker  of  the
     2  assembly;  one shall be appointed by the senate minority leader; and one
     3  shall be appointed by the assembly minority leader. At least half of the
     4  appointees  of  each  appointing  officer, respectively, shall be chosen
     5  from the recommendations of the commissioner pursuant to  paragraph  (c)
     6  of  this subdivision. The commissioner and the commissioner of the divi-
     7  sion of homeland security and emergency services,  or  their  respective
     8  designees,  shall be ex officio non-voting members of the commission. If
     9  a vacancy occurs in the membership of the commission, it shall be filled
    10  by appointment by the respective appointing officer.
    11    (c) The commissioner shall consult with the commissioner of the  divi-
    12  sion  of  homeland  security  and  emergency services, the county health
    13  commissioners, the New York  city  commissioner  of  health  and  mental
    14  hygiene,  the  local  health  officers,  and the deans of the schools of
    15  public health in  the  state,  to  solicit  recommendations  (which  may
    16  include  themselves) for appointment to the commission. The commissioner
    17  shall advise the governor, the temporary president of  the  senate,  the
    18  speaker  of  the  assembly,  the senate minority leader and the assembly
    19  minority leader of the recommendations the commissioner receives  pursu-
    20  ant to this paragraph.
    21    (d)  A  majority  of  the  members  appointed  to the commission shall
    22  constitute a quorum to hold a meeting and to conduct official  business.
    23  The  commission  shall act by the majority vote of the members appointed
    24  to the commission.
    25    (e) All members of the commission shall be selected by the  appointing
    26  officials  based  on  the  member's expertise and experience in relevant
    27  fields such as health care, public health, emergency procurement,  emer-
    28  gency  management,  labor  and  business. At least one member shall have
    29  expertise or experience in addressing the health care  needs  of  under-
    30  served communities disproportionately affected by COVID-19.
    31    (f)  Members of the commission shall receive no compensation for their
    32  services, but shall be  allowed  their  actual  and  necessary  expenses
    33  incurred  in the performance of their duties under this section. Members
    34  of the commission shall not be precluded from  holding  other  state  or
    35  local government office or employment.
    36    (g) The commission may request and shall receive the assistance of any
    37  federal,  state  or  local government official or entity in carrying out
    38  its functions. The commission may receive financial support for carrying
    39  out its functions from any federal, state or non-profit entity.
    40    2. (a) The commission shall study the response to the COVID-19 pandem-
    41  ic by state and local governments, public entities, health  care  insti-
    42  tutions  and providers, educational institutions, other institutions and
    43  entities, and the public, including,  but  not  limited  to:  hospitals,
    44  nursing  homes,  jails,  prisons,  other  secure  facilities,  and other
    45  congregate care settings; the shutdown and  re-openings  of  educational
    46  institutions;  policies  and  practices relating to employers, employees
    47  and consumers; relationships among state, federal and  local  government
    48  officials  and entities; and effective communication and sharing of data
    49  with the public.
    50    (b) The commission shall conduct appropriate studies and public  hear-
    51  ings,  including  one  or  more  hearings  on  its preliminary report or
    52  reports.
    53    (c) The commission shall issue one or more preliminary reports of  its
    54  findings. The commission shall issue the first preliminary report within
    55  one  year  after  its initial meeting. The preliminary report or reports
    56  shall be posted on the department's website.

        A. 8053--B                          3
 
     1    (d) The commission shall publish a final report of its findings within
     2  eighteen months of its initial meeting, which shall be published on  the
     3  department's website.
     4    (e)  The commission's proceedings shall be subject to articles six and
     5  seven of the public officers law.
     6    (f) The commission shall have the  authority  to  hire  employees  and
     7  execute contracts in exercising its functions.
     8    (g) The commission may conduct and solicit research and data-gathering
     9  as it deems necessary, consistent with applicable law.
    10    (h)  For the accomplishment of its purposes, the commission shall have
    11  access to state records and documents, including confidential materials,
    12  and shall be able to interview witnesses,  and  issue  subpoenas.    The
    13  commission  shall  protect  the  confidentiality  of  individual patient
    14  information.
    15    3. The commission shall expire and be deemed repealed sixty days after
    16  it issues its final report, provided that  the  governor,  by  executive
    17  order,  may  continue  the existence of the commission and its functions
    18  for one or more fixed periods. If the governor continues  the  existence
    19  of the commission, the commission may issue additional reports.
    20    §  3.  This  act shall take effect immediately and shall expire and be
    21  deemed repealed upon the issuance of the commission's  final  report  as
    22  required  pursuant to subdivision 3 of section 2184 of the public health
    23  law, as added by section two of this act; provided,  however,  that  the
    24  commissioner  of  health or the commissioner of the division of homeland
    25  security and emergency services shall notify the legislative bill draft-
    26  ing commission upon the occurrence of the delivery of the report or  the
    27  continuance  of such commission provided for in subdivision 3 of section
    28  2184 of the public health law as added by section two  of  this  act  in
    29  order  that the commission may maintain an accurate and timely effective
    30  data base of the official text of the laws of the state of New  York  in
    31  furtherance of effectuating the provisions of section 44 of the legisla-
    32  tive law and section 70-b of the public officers law.
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