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New York Senate introduces COVID-19-related bills

A number of COVID-19-related bills were introduced in the New York State Senate this week. Some bills related to education, others to general law changes during an emergency, while some bills would address the concerns of business owners and individuals who are affected by the coronavirus. These bills include the following:

Mortgages and loans. S.8109, sponsored by Sen. James Sanders Jr., D-10, would suspend mortgages and loans from state-chartered banks and state-chartered credit unions for small businesses and restaurants that have closed, or reduced services, due to the coronavirus disease (COVID-19). According to the bill, such suspensions would be lifted, and payments would resume 30 days after the small business or restaurant has reopened or returned to normal services. Such small business or restaurant would not be required to pay any mortgage or loan payment waived during such time period to a state-chartered bank or state-chartered credit union.

Containment assistance program. S.8110, sponsored by Sen. Shelley B. Mayer, D-37, would establish the small-business containment assistance program, and make a monetary appropriation for it. The bill would add a new section to the economic development law (139-a), and would provide grants to small businesses with 10 or fewer employees to help the employees pay for rent and other operating expenses, including payroll—due to the effect of the designated containment area as a response to the novel coronavirus, COVID-19. It also appropriates $1 million to the New York Department of State to award grants to affected small businesses.

Credit reporting. S.8118/A.10183, sponsored by Sen. Kevin Thomas, D-6, would prohibit negative credit reporting on consumers who have suffered financial harm as a result of the declared state of emergency relating to the coronavirus. The bill would prohibit creditors from reporting new adverse information on individuals affected by COVID-19 to credit reporting agencies. According to the bill, to be affected by COVID-19, an individual must have suffered a financial harm due to missed work related to the declared state emergency.

PIANY is helping you stay updated on all things COVID-19. We have a webpage dedicated to the latest news and are constantly updating our Ask PIA and QuickSource libraries as information comes out from the state and federal governments.