Thanks to legal action taken by Timothy Clune from Disability Rights New York, the governor's daily coronavirus briefing will finally feature a sign-language interpreter. It took long enough for Cuomo to do more than offer only an accessible online feed of the briefings – especially given every other governor in the country already had managed to make accommodations. His team initially argued that including the interpreter would be difficult to do because of the need to maintain physical distance, though that hasn't stopped Cuomo's daughters from making appearances.
This week's biggest Winners & Losers
This week's biggest Winners & Losers
Gov. Andrew Cuomo may not like them, but there’s a benefit to third parties: Lose one party line, and you might still be on the ballot! For example, AOC lost the WFP line, but she’s still running for reelection as a Democrat. Of course, some candidates that try to get multiple lines still fall short – like progressive council candidate Sandy Nurse and, temporarily, Assemblywoman Rebecca Seawright. Here at City & State, we get to decide who’s on our own Winners & Losers ballot each week – but at least the voting is nonpartisan.
New York City Council members Mark Gjonaj and Francisco Moya have been trying to crack down on delivery apps since before the city had a full-blown pandemic on its hands, but their legislation to limit fees charged by those apps finally passed in the Council this week. Calling attention to the plight of struggling restaurants, their bills limit delivery fees the apps charge to businesses and eliminate other charges some apps have levied on restaurants. But the new limits only apply during and 90 days after declared states of emergency that prohibit dining in restaurants. If Gjonaj and Moya want to extend it beyond the coronavirus pandemic, they’ll have to introduce new legislation when the state of emergency is lifted – whenever that is.
The Manhattan Democrats won a partial victory this week when the Cuomo administration agreed to extend the lookback window for the Child Victims Act, which Hoylman and Rosenthal sponsored in Albany. This will give victims making allegations of past abuse until January 2021 to sue without worrying about the statute of limitations. And things just got better as the week went on, with a state judge ruling this week that the 2019 law is constitutional after all. Those court shutdowns? They’re ending too!
Whoever is out to hurt New York City’s health commissioner sure timed their stinger right. Because just days after New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio seemed to snub Barbot – and help out an influential labor leader – by letting the semi-independent Health + Hospitals run coronavirus contact tracing instead of the Department of Health, somebody leaked the weeks-old Barbot bombshell that she said she didn’t “give two rats’ asses” about NYPD cops getting masks. Cue the outrage. Cue petty pandemic palace intrigue.
The governor has been facing ongoing criticism due to his mismanagement of the state’s nursing homes, where 5,300 individuals succumbed to COVID-19, threatening his nationwide reputation as one of the nation’s best leaders amid the coronavirus crisis. Plus, a new state law that was included into this year’s state budget includes extra protections for nursing home operators, making it more difficult for unhappy residents and their families to sue. If that isn’t enough, on Monday, a federal judge ordered Cuomo to include a sign-language interpreter at his televised briefing. How do you say “sad” in sign language?
It seems like just yesterday that New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio was being called anti-Semitic for cracking down on a group of Hasidic Jews for failing to social distance at a large funeral. Well, would an anti-Semite actively help to slow a probe into yeshivas at the behest of leaders in the Orthodox Jewish community? De Blasio has once again found himself in hot water as more damning evidence emerged about his involvement in the botched investigation. And he drew even more ire this week for his decision to shift contact tracing away from the Department of Health and Mental Hygiene, with which he’s been feuding.