I hope you had a nice Labor Day weekend. Right before Labor Day weekend, Governor Andrew Cuomo posted his sixty-second Executive Order during this state of emergency. Executive Order 202.60, issued on September 4, 2020, continues the declaration of the State Disaster Emergency, effective March 7, 2020, as set forth in Executive Order 202, through October 4, 2004. Executive Order 202.60 also continues the suspensions and modifications of law, and any directives, not superseded by subsequent directives, made by Executive Orders 202 up to and including 202.21, and 202.27, 202.28, 202.29, 202.30, 202.38, 202.39, 202.40, 202.48, 202.49, 202.50, as extended, and Executive Order 202.55 and 202.55.1 for another thirty days through October 4, 2020. In addition, Executive Order 202.60 modifies and suspends certain laws as well as sets forth directives, all of which are designed to address matters related to the COVID-19 crisis. Executive Order 202.60 is effective from September 4, 2020 through October 4, 2020. A copy of Executive Order 202.60 can be found here.
Schools are open for in-person instruction … for now.
- Labor Day has come and gone, and that means school is open. Executive Order 202.60 modifies the directive contained in Executive Order 202.45, as extended, requiring closure of all schools statewide to in-person instruction, only insofar as to authorize schools statewide to be open for instruction, effective September 1, 2020, subject to adherence to Department of Health issued guidance and directives. Moreover, school districts must continue plans to ensure the availability of meals, and the availability of child care for health care and emergency response workers, for any school district that is conducting its operations remotely and provided further that for any district which closes to in-person instruction, a contingency plan to immediately provide such services must be maintained.
Starting September 9, 2020, New York State casinos and New York City malls are open too!
- Executive Order 202.60 modifies the directive contained in Executive Order 202.3, as extended, which required closure to the public of any facility authorized to conduct video lottery gaming or casino gaming, to allow such facilities to open beginning on or after September 9, 2020, subject to adherence to Department of Health guidance.
- In addition, Executive Order 202.60 amends the directive contained in Executive Order 202.50, as amended by Executive Order 202.53, that allowed indoor common portions of retail shopping malls to open in regions of the state that are in Phase Four of the state’s reopening, provided that such malls continue to be closed in the New York City region, to allow such malls to open in the New York City region, so long as such malls adhere to Department of Health issued guidance on and after September 9, 2020.
Additional tax relief for Nassau County residents.
- Executive Order 202.60 also suspends the deadline to pay 2019-2020 second half general taxes appearing on the Nassau County tax roll without interest or penalties from August 10, 2020 to August 31, 2020 for residential property that was owned in whole or in part at the time of their death by healthcare workers and first responders in Nassau County who passed away after contracting the novel coronavirus and which is now owned by immediate family members or their estates.
- Moreover, Executive Order 202.60 provides to all Nassau County Residents a discount of one percent on payments of second half 2020-2021 school district taxes which are made on or before December 10, 2020. It is important to note that Nassau County Administrative Code § 5-16.0(b) provides a discount for taxes paid on or before November 10, 2020, deadline to pay second half 2020-2021 school taxes. As a result of the COVID-19 crisis, the deadline to pay second half school taxes was extended to December 10, 2020. Accordingly, the 1 percent discount deadline was also extended to the December 10, 2020 date.
Testing for COVID-19 and Influenza in dead persons.
- Finally, Executive Order 202.60 directs that whenever a coroner or medical examiner has a reasonable suspicion that COVID-19 or influenza was a cause of death, but no such tests were performed within 14 days prior to death in a nursing home or hospital, or by the hospice agency, the coroner or medical examiner shall administer both a COVID-19 and influenza test within 48 hours after death, whenever the body is received within 48 hours after death, in accordance with regulations promulgated by the Department of Health. The coroner or medical examiner shall report the death to the Department of Health immediately after and only upon receipt of both such test results through a means determined by the Department of Health. The State Department of Health shall provide assistance for any requesting coroner or medical examiner.
SUSPENDED OR MODIFIED LAWS, REGULATIONS OR CODES
As with many of prior issued executive orders, Executive Order 202.60 also suspends or modifies certain laws, codes, rules and regulations to aid in New York’s efforts to combat the COVID-19 crisis, this time through October 4, 2020. Executive Order 202.60, by modifying or suspending the applicable laws, codes, rules and regulations, to the extent necessary:
- Permits public authorities to receive comments concerning a proposed toll adjustment through public hearings held remotely, use of telephone conference, video conference, and/or other means of transmission, including acceptance of public comments electronically or by mail, and to permit all required documentation and records to be available in an electronic format on the internet and upon request;
- Provides that in addition to any travel to a country for which the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has a level two or three travel health notice, an employee shall not be eligible for paid sick leave benefits or any other paid benefits pursuant to chapter 25 of the laws of 2020 if such employee voluntarily travels to a state with a positive test rate higher than 10 per 100,000 residents, or higher than a 10% test positivity rate, over a seven day rolling average, and which the State Health Commissioner has designated as meeting these conditions as outlined in the advisory issued pursuant to Executive Order 205, and the employee did not begin travel to such state before the commissioner of the department of health designated such state, and the travel was not taken as part of the employee’s employment or at the direction of the employee’s employer;
- Continues and modifies the suspension contained in Executive Order 202.8, as continued and modified most recently in Executive Order 202.48 and 202.55 and 202.55.1, and amends such order to provide that the tolling of civil statutes of limitation shall be lifted as it relates to any action to challenge the approval by any municipal government or public authority of a construction project that includes either affordable housing or space for use by not-for-profit organizations;
- Eliminates the minimum in-person quorum requirements set forth in Rural Electric Cooperatives Law Section 17(d);
- Suspends Title 5 of Article 11 of the Real Property Tax Law with respect to the ability of a municipality to sell liens; and
- Modifies the suspension of Section 30.30 of the Criminal Procedure Law to require that speedy trial time limitations remain suspended in a jurisdiction until such time as petit criminal juries are reconvened in that jurisdiction;
RESTORATION OF LAWS, CODES AND REGULATIONS
Executive Order 202.60 discontinues the suspension and modification of Criminal Procedure Law 170.70 which has occurred in prior issued Executive Orders. Notwithstanding the restoration of Criminal Procedure Law 170.70, Executive Order 202.60 directs that any appearance which has been required to be in-person may continue to be conducted virtually with the consent of the parties.