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COVID-19 Update: May 2

Updated: May 31


School Closures


Governor Cuomo announced yesterday that all schools statewide will remain closed for the remainder of the academic year.


The Governor will make a decision regarding summer school by the end of May.


Read more here.





School Board, School Budget and Village Elections Delayed


Governor Cuomo issued anexecutive orderdelaying school board elections and budget votes statewide until June 9, 2020. The school board elections and budget votes will all be conducted by mail and all qualified voters will be sent an absentee ballot with return postage paid. The Executive Order also delays local special district and village elections until September 15, 2020.





Capital Region Scam Alert


Attorney General James has issued a warning to people in the Capital Region about new, recently reported scams targeting residents which involve scam artists impersonating Albany and Troy police officers.

There have been  reports of scammers calling residents in the Capital Region claiming to be officers from the Albany and Troy Police Departments and asking for either financial information to resolve fake debts or money in the form of gift cards to avoid arrest on non-existent charges. These scammers have utilized caller ID spoofing, which deceptively makes it appear that the call is coming from the local police department, and they have been using the real names of police officers in the area.


Read the AG’sfull press release herefor tips on how to protect yourself


You can report a scam to the AG’s officehereor call 1-800-771-7755.







NYS Canal System Letter


I, along with several of my colleagues,sent a letterto the New York State Power Authority to express our concerns regarding the opening of the Navigation System throughout the New York State Canals.


While a delay in opening is understandable, we are confident that with the proper protections in place this highly skilled and experienced workforce can quickly and effectively open the Canal System for full navigational use in a timely fashion.


As we work together to emerge from these difficult times and make our future brighter, it is worth reminding ourselves that we have great strengths and resources and the Canal System is one of them.






Crisis Text Line for Frontline Healthcare Workers


Governor Cuomo announcedthe state is partnering with the Kate Spade New York Foundation and Crisis Text Line to provide a 24/7 emotional support service for frontline health care workers. Those workers can text NYFRONTLINE to 741-741 to access these emotional support services.






Legal Aid Society of Northeastern NY Virtual Town Hall: COVID-19 and Money


The Legal Aid Society of Northeastern NY will be hosting a virtual Town Hall on Monday, May 04, 2020 at 2:00 PM. Learn more about COVID-19 Unemployment Benefits and how receiving those benefits may affect other public assistance programs.


Register hereand submit your questions here:townhall@lasnny.org






Virtual Tulip Fest


The City of Albany announced they will be holding a virtual Tulip Festival celebration on Saturday, May 9th. The virtual event will feature musical performances, Tulip garden tours, local business take out specials, prizes and more.






Cohoes Artist Showcase Goes Virtual


With the current pause in New York, Choose Cohoes for Art is unable to host their traditional Cohoes Artist Showcase. For the first time in their 10-year history, the Cohoes Artist Showcase will be virtual. This event is open to visual artists from Albany, Rensselaer, Saratoga and Schenectady Counties and it is free.


Information on how to participate in the event is at http://www.choosecohoesforart.org/VirtualCAS/CAS-TOC.html.






Local Restaurants


Remember to support local restaurants and order delivery or take-out from your favorite local spot!


For a comprehensive list of businesses located in the 108th Assembly District who are currently still offering take out or delivery options see below:


City of Albany:

City of Cohoes

Green Island

North Greenbush

Troy

Rensselaer

Also, continue to check out theRensselaer County Chamber Facebook Pageand theRensselaer County Tourism Facebook Pagefor daily updates!

Waterford 

Watervliet





Helpful Reminders

  • Unemployment Insurance - The one-week waiting period for Unemployment Insurance claims for workers directly affected by COVID-19 has been eliminated. The Department has also announced that they are changing the unemployment insurance job search requirement that is currently in place. No work search activities will be required during the COVID-19 pandemic. For more information check out the DOL page here: https://labor.ny.gov/unemploymentassistance.shtm

  • Those in need can call 2-1-1 from any phone for a free, confidential referral to resources providing food, shelter, rent assistance, childcare options and other essential services. The helpline is also able to answer questions and provide referrals for COVID-19 related concerns. Simply dial 2-1-1 or visit 211neny.org

  • If you believe your business is an essential service but has not been included on ESD’s list, you can apply for ‘essential service status’ at this link: https://esd.ny.gov/sites/default/files/Request%20for%20Designation%20Form_0.pdf

  • Evictions and other nonessential housing court proceedings are suspended until further notice. For more information you can contact the NYS Courts System at question@nycourts.gov or 1-800-268-7869

  • OAG will halt the collection of medical and student debt owed to the State of New York and referred to the OAG for collection from March 17, 2020 through April 16, 2020. After this 30-day period, the OAG will reassess the needs of state residents for a possible extension.  

  • Charter will be providing free Spectrum broadband and Wi-Fi access for 60 days to households with K-12 and/or college students who do not already have a Spectrum broadband subscription (where service is available), at any service level up to 100 Mbps, as well as opening up Charter WiFi Hotspots across our footprint for public use. For more information or to enroll in the program please contact 1-844-488-8395.

  • The Capital District YMCA will provide childcare for emergency personnel who do not have the option to work from home, as defined by The New York State Education Department. For more information visit: https://cdymca.org/emergencychildcare/.

John McDonald

- NYS ASSEMBLY -

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McDonald for Assembly
P.O. Box 7208

Albany, NY 12224

Albany • Cohoes • Green Island • North Greenbush • Rensselaer • Troy • Waterford • Watervliet