Governor Hochul is done waiting for the federal government. In response to the “heartless” actions of the Supreme Court, who on August 27 moved to block President Biden’s plan to extend a moratorium on evictions nationwide, Hochul has called an emergency session of the New York State Legislature. As the legislature reconvenes, New York’s representatives will work to address the rent and eviction crisis facing the empire state, begin shaping the state’s legal marijuana policy, and amend New York’s open meetings’ law in the hope of making the state government more responsive and accessible to citizens. Hochul has also announced that New York will unilaterally extend the freeze on home evictions until January 15, 2022.
“The pandemic has created unimaginable stress and anxiety for tenants and landlords who are struggling through no fault of their own. Many of them lost jobs, lost the ability to pay their bills, and now the debt has been mounting – and the fact is that we are not out of the pandemic yet as much as we had hoped months ago when the numbers were trending in a different direction,” stated Hochul. “We are not going to abandon our neighbors in need, especially since the State of New York failed in its responsibility to get the money that was allocated by Congress out to the people in need earlier this summer.”
Hochul has also prioritized forward progress on New York’s cannabis laws, calling the process “long overdue.
“There is no reason why simple announcements of who the executive director is and who the chair person is were not done in time, but I’m going to make up for that lost time and I want those decisions made,” said Hochul.
Lastly, the governor and the legislators will use this extra time to make the state government more accessible to New Yorkers. Hochul has called on every level of government in New York to continue providing virtual accesses to their regular meetings, a process that took off during the pandemic. Hochul called this alternative “more safe” than in-person meetings at a time when the coronavirus is still spreading across the country.
“I know it’s a tall and extraordinary session. It is indeed extraordinary but we’ve gone through extraordinary times and we need to take steps now to protect the people of the State of New York, and I want to let them know that we are going to continue fighting for them in partnership with our legislative leaders, and again, I thank them for their willingness to come back during this time and to be willing to roll up their sleeves and get the job done for the people the State of New York. That is something I promised, and it’s a promise I intend to keep,” stated Hochul.