Monday, March 1st, marked a full year since the first confirmed coronavirus infection in New York State. It has been a tough year like no other for our communities, our state, and our nation. To date, we have lost over 38,500 New Yorkers to the virus, over 2,000 of whom were residents of Westchester, and over 500,000 Americans nationwide. So many of us, including the majority of my staff members and I, have been touched by the loss of a family member, spouse, or a friend. There is no easy way to grieve, and my thoughts are with all of those who have lost loved ones. Our hopes continue to lie with a growing vaccine distribution plan that can meet local demand for the vaccine. The most recent updates about vaccine distribution and information is included below.
On Wednesday, March 3rd, the mass vaccination site at the National Guard Armory in Yonkers began accepting appointments from all eligible Westchester residents. To make an appointment, visit the state's Am I Eligible website or call the New York State COVID-19 Vaccination Hotline at 1-833-NYS-4-VAX (1-833-697-4829).
This weekend, a second former aide to Governor Andrew Cuomo stepped forward with allegations of sexual harassment. The allegations are deeply troubling. Although Gov. Cuomo led New York through the coronavirus crisis with much to praise, it does not reduce the obligation to provide a workplace that is free of harassment and intimidation. I am pleased to see that Attorney General Letitia James will appoint an independent counsel with full subpoena powers to lead the investigation. Sexual harassment claims must always be taken seriously and investigated fully. I also commend legislation by Senators Todd Kaminsky and Andrew Gounardes to overcome the conflicts of interest that are inherent in this case. Click here to read my full statement.
On Tuesday, March 2nd, the Senate Education Committee, which I chair, advanced legislation which I am sponsoring to secure free high-quality broadband for every child and school in New York State for the duration of the coronavirus pandemic through the E-LEARN Act; and to allow special act schools and private special education schools, which serve some of our most vulnerable students, additional fiscal management tools by authorizing reserve funds. Read more about these bills in the section below.
As always, if there is anything my office can assist you with, please don't hesitate to email me at email@example.com or call (914) 934-5250.
Shelley B. Mayer