Welcome to the weekend, and another e-mail alert about another Executive Order. Given that this Executive Order is brief, I am also including some important milestones coming up this week and later in the month for your information and knowledge.
Friday evening, Governor Andrew Cuomo issued his thirty-eighth Executive Order during this state of emergency. Executive Order 202.37 issues a single directive to address matters related to the COVID-19 crisis, in this case summer school for special education students. This Executive Order is effective from June 5, 2020 through July 5, 2020. The copy of Executive Order 202.37 is here.
NEW DIRECTIVE – Summer School
- Under prior executive orders, Governor Cuomo ordered the closure of New York schools, which resulted in remote learning for New York school-age children. This closure also appeared to effect summer learning. In fact, Governor Cuomo announced a couple of weeks ago that summer school would be conducted remotely, citing risks to students in the classrooms. Yesterday afternoon, however, Governor Cuomo reversed this position as it pertains to students with special education needs.
- Pursuant to Executive Order 202.37, notwithstanding any prior Executive Order to the contrary, special education services and instruction required under Federal, state or local laws, rules, or regulations, may be provided in-person for the summer term in school districts. Any district providing such services in person must follow State and Federal guidance. It is important to note that Executive Order 202.37 lacks specifics on where this in-person instruction would take place or what safety protocols would be implemented to protect students, teachers and parents. One should expect the State Education Department and/or Health Department to issue some guidance Executive Order 202.37 does not provide any clarity or timing as to when it will be provided.
Important Upcoming Milestones
- New York City is on target for a Phase One reopening on Monday, June 8, 2020. Phase One reopening consists of businesses in the following industries: Construction, Manufacturing, Wholesale Trade, Agriculture, Forestry, Fishing and Hunting, and Retail Trade (but limited to curbside or in-store pickup or drop off). Guidance on how to reopen Phase One businesses can be found here.
- The Mid-Hudson Region (Dutchess, Orange, Ulster, Putnam, Rockland and Westchester Counties) and Long Island (Nassau and Suffolk Counties) are on track to begin a Phase Two reopening on June 9, 2020 and June 10, 2020, respectively. Phase Two permits businesses in the following industries to reopen in accordance with certain guidelines: Professional Offices, Retail Stores (in-store operations), Real Estate, Vehicle Sales, Leases and Rentals, Retail Rental, Repair and Cleaning, Commercial Building Management, Hair Salons and Barber Shops, and Outdoor Dining. Guidance on how to reopen Phase Two businesses can be found here.
- The New York State Legislature is expected to go back into session this coming week to address certain criminal justice and policing policies in the wake of the murder of George Floyd. The legislature is expected to take up Governor Cuomo’s “Say Your Name” reform plan which would the following:
- Allow for transparency of prior disciplinary records of law enforcement officers by reforming 50-a of the civil rights law;
- Banning chokeholds by law enforcement officers;
- Prohibiting false race-based 911 reports and making them a crime; and
- Designating the Attorney General as an independent prosecutor for matters relating to the deaths of unarmed civilians caused by law enforcement.
The State Senate and Assembly may consider additional pieces of legislation that address other policing matters that are separate and apart from Governor Cuomo’s Say Your Name Plan. It is unclear what bills will be considered and whether Governor Cuomo will end up supporting legislation beyond his Say You Name Plan.
- Finally, Governor Cuomo announced earlier this week that New York day camps can open on June 29, 2020. Day camps will be required to follow the protocols established by the CDC and the New York State Department of Health as well as local health departments. No decision has been announced by Governor Cuomo regarding New York State sleepaway camps.