State, and local entities are working diligently together to share information and prevent the spread of the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) here in New York State. I have been in touch with the State Health Department, County health departments, the Office of Emergency Management, and the State Education Department about best practices and strategies. As we continue to coordinate efforts, it's important that community members remain calm and follow guidance from the New York State Health Department.
At the legislative level, I am working hard to keep New Yorker's safe, protect workers rights, ensure the safety of our children, and reduce the financial impact of the coronavirus.
Fighting For More State & Private Labs to be Approved For Testing
New York made it known to the federal government that there must be more coronavirus testing and that the Federal Drug Administration (FDA) must fast track approval of more private and government labs in the State. The more positive tests, the better we can control and contain the virus.
Ensuring Paid Sick Leave
Senator Carlucci is standing up for workers by fully supporting Paid Sick Leave legislation to protect people who stay home from work because they are being isolated or quarantined as a result of the coronavirus.
Senator Carlucci co-sponsors The Healthy Terminals Act (S.6266C) to protect our airport workers on the front lines, who may not be earning enough to pay for health insurance. This legislation will provide a $4.54 per hour benefits supplements that airport workers can use to purchase health insurance.
Senator Carlucci sponsors legislation (S.7989), requiring insurance providers cover an immediate additional thirty-day supply of a prescription drug, during a State of Emergency.
Senator Carlucci has called on the State Education Department to work with the State Department of Health to issue directives to schools with students, teachers or staff who test positive for the coronavirus. On Monday, the State Education Department said if a school has a positive coronavirus case, it will close for a 24-hour period, allowing the school to be disinfected and giving the State time to do an assessment and make a decision on the school district's further course of action. Further guidelines for schools can be found here.
To help fight price gouging, Senator Carlucci supports the State's plan to provide hand sanitizer free of charge to residents in the most impacted and high risk communities, including the New Rochelle, and state agencies like the MTA.
Senator Carlucci sponsors legislation (S.141) to prevent excessive and unjustifiable price increases on prescription medications. If pharmaceutical companies increase prices unjustifiably, New York's Attorney General can seek a civil penalty of up to $1,000,000 and damages for the impacted consumer.
Senator Carlucci also supports legislation (S.7932) to crack down on price gouging during a public health emergency by strengthening New York’s existing price gouging statute to create a presumption that any price increase of greater than 10% during a public health emergency is illicit price gouging. The New York Attorney General would be able to enforce a civil penalty of up to $25,000 for anyone proven to have participated in price gouging.
The State will be collecting a tremendous amount of data in the wake of the coronavirus, which is why Senator Carlucci is calling for legislation (s.6822) to establish a New York National Guard cyber security go team to thwart cyber attacks by malicious actors, seeking to target local or State government entities through hacking, phishing or malware attacks.
Senator Carlucci introduced emergency legislation (S.7996) to ensure if New York’s schools close due to the coronavirus that their State funding is not impacted. Under current State Education Department guidance, if a school district must close due to the coronavirus, it is not entirely clear if they will be financially impacted. If a school does not stay open for 180 school days, it is in jeopardy of losing funding.