Assemblywoman Judy Griffin (D-Rockville Centre) announced that she helped pass a legislative package providing relief and enhancing protections for Long Island families and businesses facing unprecedented challenges caused by the ongoing public health crisis. Griffin has been working hard to help those who are struggling during the COVID-19 pandemic, as well as supporting health care professionals and essential workers.
The COVID-19 pandemic has taken a significant toll on families and workers on Long Island and across the state, and its more important than ever to support those who are struggling in these trying times, Griffin said. I helped pass several measures to help ease the financial stress that residents and small businesses are facing as we carefully start the reopening process. Homeowners and renters shouldnt have to worry about foreclosure or eviction, and we must do what we can to assist community institutions efforts to reopen safely. Ill continue fighting to help families, friends and neighbors throughout and after this public health crisis.
To help kickstart local economies, Griffin supported a bill that allows industrial development agencies (IDAs) to provide loans to small businesses and not-for-profit organizations, as well as offers these establishments grants to purchase personal protective equipment (A.10294-A). While most companies acted responsibility throughout this crisis, some bad actors have tried to take advantage of the situation. To this end, she supported legislation that prohibits price gouging of medical supplies and services and any other essential goods and services needed for the health or welfare of consumers (A.10270).
Griffin also helped passed several bills aimed at offering financial relief for homeowners, including measures to:
- authorize local governments and school districts to defer taxpayers scheduled property tax payments or create installment payments during a declared state of emergency (A.10252-A);
- prevent utility companies from terminating services for New Yorkers who are unable to work or have had their wages reduced due to a state of emergency (A.10521); and
- require state-regulated mortgage lenders to provide a six-month forbearance period with the option to extend it another 180 days to any mortgage payer who certifies that they lost income during the COVID-19 crisis (A.10351-B).
Griffin also supported legislation that extends, by one year, the length of time available for civil claims related to child sexual abuse to be initiated and revived by the Child Victims Act (A.9036). The small window that had been provided became even smaller after the public crisis took hold, so this extension allows more people to utilize the Child Victims Act.
Everyone should have the opportunity to hold their abusers accountable in a court of law, said Griffin. Despite our court system being placed on hold, we will not allow the COVID-19 pandemic to stand in the way of justice for these survivors.
Additional measures Griffin passed to help Long Island community members include legislation:
- allowing volunteer firefighters and emergency responders to earn points for service award programs during a state disaster emergency (A.10438-A);
- extending library project deadlines by 12 months for libraries that received library construction grant funds in the last three fiscal years and are unable to complete the project during the proscribed period due to COVID-19 shutdowns (A.10465); and
- ensuring the schools that closed due to COVID-19 without the presence of a state or local state of emergency will not have any state aid withheld (A.10189-A).