On March 28, 2020, Governor Andrew Cuomo issued Executive Order 202.12 invoking new powers from a law passed to combat the COVID-19 pandemic to temporarily suspend or modify laws necessary to assist or aid in coping with a declared State disaster emergency. On March 3, 2020, the Governor signed into law legislation that expanded his authority to temporarily suspend, modify, or issue directives in response to a declared State disaster emergency. That legislation also accompanied a $40 million appropriation to the Governor to respond to the COVID-19 pandemic.
The Governor modified the election law related to the time to mail the annual check of registrants and notice by mail. The Tax Law was also modified to extend the power of the Tax Commissioner to disregard certain time periods during a declared State disaster emergency.
The Governor issued a directive to postpone and reschedule the presidential primary and special elections originally scheduled for April 28, 2020 to now be held on June 23, 2020.
Finally, the Governor directed hospitals to permit the presence of a support person who does not have a fever in the room when a patient is giving birth.
The Governor announced at a March 29, 2020 press conference that he will be extending the workforce reduction directive until April 15, 2020. At time of writing, the Governor has not issued an Executive Order to this effect.
Under the newly enacted law, the Governor has the power to suspend, modify, or issue directives during a declared emergency for 30 days which may be extended for an unlimited number of 30 day periods with consent of the legislature after each subsequent period. Unless the Governor elects to extend the suspension or directives, they will expire on April 27, 2020.