Cuomo signs real estate anti-discrimination legislation
ALBANY, NY — Gov. Andrew Cuomo recently signed legislation explicitly granting the Department of State the authority to …
ALBANY, NY — Gov. Andrew Cuomo recently signed legislation explicitly granting the Department of State the authority to discipline real estate professionals found to have violated provisions of the state’s human rights law by revoking or suspending their license.
The bill was passed in an effort to combat housing discrimination and strengthen the abilities of the Secretary of State to discipline licensed professionals for discriminatory behavior. The new law also complements the department’s existing regulations, which authorize the secretary to discipline licensed agents and brokers that have engaged in any unlawful discriminatory practice.
HARRISBURG, PA — The PA Interscholastic Athletic Association (PIAA) has approved the commencement of fall sports this year. However, competitions like football games and tennis matches will be done without spectators. This ruling could possibly change by the PIAA’s next board meeting on August 26, but officials expect the rule to stay the same.
Rep. Aaron Bernstine (PA-10) has urged the PIAA to reconsider: “This blanket decision by the board of directors will have negative impacts on our student-athletes’ well-being and self-esteem that will carry on through academics and adulthood.”
HARRISBURG, PA — Gov. Tom Wolf recently announced that the Department of Health has launched a violence data dashboard to collect data on the scope, frequency, geography and populations affected by violence in Pennsylvania. The creation of the dashboard was a mandate in the governor’s 2019 executive order to reduce gun violence. More than 1,600 individuals lost their lives to a firearm in Pennsylvania in 2018.
The violence data dashboard includes data looking at death cause and hospital discharge summary statistics. Hospital discharge data is from the Pennsylvania Health Care Cost Containment Council (PHC4). Data is also available by gender, race/ethnicity, age group and geography.
WASHINGTON, D.C. — Last Wednesday, the U.S. House of Representatives voted to pass bipartisan legislation to require the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers to determine if there is any PFAS contamination on any of their facilities or operating sites. This legislation was included in the bipartisan Water Resources Development Act, annual legislation authorizing funding for water infrastructure projects.
The legislation requires the Army Corps of Engineers to identify the contaminants and their plan to clean up contaminated sites. The Corps has played a “major role” in developing cleanup technologies for toxic and hazardous waste in military and civilian sites through the Hazardous Waste Research Center. This bill would ensure the Corps is involved in the federal regulatory processes regarding PFAS and will provide Americans with more definitive information as to where PFAS contamination exists across the country.
LIBERTY, NY — A Sullivan County day camp called Camp Bnos has shut down its first summer session early after confirming two cases of COVID-19. Sullivan County Public Health Services did not release much information in a statement: “After investigation, because those cases had no known community exposures, we did not do a public notification... We are not releasing any further information.”
The camp had to close until at least August 3; neither camp nor local health officials have commented if the camp will reopen this summer.
REGION — Rep. Matt Cartwright (PA-08) recently voted yes on the House of Representatives’ second fiscal year 2021 “minibus” appropriations package. Among the items included in the legislation, Cartwright advocated to include $61 billion to expand the availability of broadband to rural and underserved areas and $371.6 million to implement new broadband mapping initiatives. At the New York State level, Sen. Jen Metzger’s bill “addressing deficiencies in rural broadband service across New York State” recently passed in the Senate.
MONTICELLO, NY — A public hearing on a new human rights law that would reshape the Sullivan County Human Rights Commission has been rescheduled to Thursday, August 20 at 10:40 a.m.
“I implore everyone that is concerned about human rights and how we go forward with human rights to come to this meeting” said legislature chair Rob Doherty.
The first public hearing was scheduled for July 16 but was overshadowed by a three-hour hearing on the proposed sale of the Care Center at Sunset Lake.
MONTICELLO, NY — The Resort World Catskills casino recently tried proving to state health officials that it was ready for reopening. The casino announced a long list of new social distancing procedures and thermal technology tools, in an effort to plead its case that it can safely welcome visitors back indoors for the first time since March 16.
But Gov. Andrew Cuomo has since responded that casinos shouldn’t hold their breath. The governor said that his decision is based on “density, the likelihood of compliance,” and the fact that “you don’t need a casino to maintain survival.”
MONTICELLO, NY — Sullivan County District 6 Legislator Luis Alvarez has been named to a number of committees of the National Association of Counties (NACo).
In a July 20 letter from NACo President Gary W. Moore, Alvarez was notified of his appointment to the national advocacy organization’s Health Steering Subcommittee, Healthy Counties Initiative Advisory Board, Large Urban County Caucus Steering Committee, Programs and Services Standing Committee, Rural Action Caucus Steering Committee, Veterans and Military Services Committee and Immigration Reform Task Force.
“You were chosen because my goal is to build a talented and committed leadership team for NACo,” wrote Moore to Alvarez. “Now is a critical time for our nation’s counties, and your leadership in this committee is a serious commitment and responsibility."