In a typical year, New York state lawmakers would be entering the last few weeks of the legislative session — with the state budget already finished but the so-called “big ugly” still looming. This year has been anything but typical. But one New York state senator said he expects to be back in Albany in the next week or two, though there has been no formal announcement. WAMC’s Hudson Valley Bureau Chief Allison Dunne spoke with first-term state Senator Pete Harckham about this and other COVID impacts.
Harckham represents the 40th District, which includes parts of Westchester, Putnam and Dutchess Counties.
Meantime, Assembly Speaker Carl Heastie and Senate Majority Leader Andrea Stewart-Cousins on Friday announced the legislature will soon hold two public hearings to address the impacts of COVID-19. The hearings will be conducted virtually and additional details will be released at a later date. One hearing will evaluate the current and future economic impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on small businesses, including farms; whether the federal response is sufficient in relation to the impact on the state; and if efforts to help small businesses have been effective in targeting the businesses most in need. A second hearing will examine the adverse impacts of COVID-19 on minority communities.