ALBANY, N.Y. (WKBW) — Governor Kathy Hochul announced she is calling lawmakers back to Albany for an "extraordinary" session to address issues such as the eviction moratorium.
"It is indeed extraordinary, but we have gone through extraordinary times and we need to take steps now to protect the people of the state of NY. I want to let them know that we are going to continue fighting for them in partnership with our legislative leaders," said Hochul.
The agenda for the session at 12:00 p.m. Wednesday will be as follows according to the governor:
- Address the rental and eviction crisis. Hochul wants to expand rental assistance programs and extend the eviction moratorium until January 15, 2022. The moratorium is set to expire end of day Tuesday.
- Address the open meetings law to allow for meetings to temporarily be attended remotely. Hochul said this is because the pandemic is not over yet.
- Address the NYS cannabis program to legally produce and distribute cannabis in NYS. Hochul said she will announce her nominations for chairperson and executive director of the program. "There is no reason why simple announcements in terms of who the executive director is and who the chairperson is were not done in time, but I'm going to make up for that lost time," said Hochul.
Thank you to Assembly Speaker Carl Heastie & Senate Majority Leader Andrea Stewart-Cousins for their partnership in getting this done.— Kathy Hochul (@GovKathyHochul) August 31, 2021
We are not going to abandon our neighbors in the State of New York.
Hochul also addressed the Supreme Court's decision to block the Biden administration's eviction plan and called "heartless." Earlier in August the Supreme Court also partially blocked NY's eviction moratorium. The governor continued on to say the state failed to get money allocated by Congress out to the people in need earlier this summer.
The pandemic has created unimaginable stress and anxiety for tenants and landlords who are struggling through no fault of their own. Many of them lost jobs, lost the ability to make their bills, and now the debt has been mounting. The fact is that we are not out of the pandemic yet, as much as we had hoped months ago when the numbers were trending in a different direction. We could not have foreseen that there would be another variant, a deadly variant known as the delta variant, which would also continue to suppress our ability to come back fully. Therefore we still need assistance for our families.
Lisa Damiani, the Executive Director of the Coalition of Western New York Property Owners is for ending the eviction moratorium. She is in favor of using money from the Emergency Rental Assistance Program to get tenants and landlords on the same page.
"There are billions of dollars in rental assistance out there, New York State has been slow to distribute these funds, but those dollars are the key to digging the tenants and landlords out of the hole they are in.”
You can watch Hochul's full announcement below.