NYS Senator Monica Martinez introduces legislation to support residents during pandemic

BRENTWOOD, NY (OnSachem.com / OnTownMedia.com) — New York State Senator Monica R. Martinez (D-Brentwood) has authored and/or co-sponsored 10 pieces of legislation to assist New Yorkers across the state during the COVID-19 pandemic. Martinez's 3rd Senate District includes a large portion of the Sachem area. 

“As lawmakers, it is our responsibility to find solutions which will ease the burdens many of our communities are facing," Martinez said. "The COVID crisis has stricken New York State and the residents of the Third Senatorial District in ways no one could have foreseen. I have listened to the pleas for help and these pieces of legislation will bring results."

Martinez introduced the following legislation:    

S.8117 - “Unsung Heroes Act of 2020” allows guaranteed sick leave, coverage of medical expenses, and job protection for "essential employees" as defined under Executive Order if they are stricken with COVID-19. It would also allow death benefits to the family if an individual dies of the virus. For this legislation, essential employees are those on the front line such as child protective services workers, grocery store clerks, delivery workers, postal service employees, first responders, health professionals, sanitation workers, and law enforcement officers.

S.8138 - Allows municipalities to defer scheduled payment or installment of taxes during a state of emergency until the emergency is lifted.

S.8177 - Allows towns in Suffolk to divide the spring property tax payment into installment payments - one in May and one in August. 

S.8235 - Designates public safety dispatchers, emergency responders, emergency operators, emergency complaint operators, and emergency service dispatchers as "certified first responders."

S.8275 - Increases access to unemployment benefits by allowing the commissioner of the Department of Labor to suspend the enactment of forfeit days during a state of emergency. 

S.8262 - Protect jobs and ensures the availability of bus service by requiring school districts to make payments honoring school transportation contracts during a state of emergency. 

Martinez co-sponsored the following legislation:    

S.8243 - Prohibits residential mortgage lenders from requesting a lump-sum payment due to COVID 19 forbearance. 

S.7932 - Prohibits price gouging of medical supplies during a public health emergency.

S.8120 - Creates a vote-by-mail system during a state of emergency to ensure vulnerable populations are protected (spurring the Governor to enact Executive Oder 202.23).

S.8041A - Extend existing benefits for volunteer firefighters and ambulance workers to include exposure to COVID-19 during a state of emergency.

Each piece of legislation is in committee presently. To become law, each bill needs to advance through the following steps: (1) Senate Floor Calendar, (2) approval by the Senate as well as approval of the companion bill by the Assembly, and (3) delivery to the Governor for signature or veto.

Martinez's 3rd Senate District spans the south shore from Brentwood to Mastic Beach. In the Sachem area, the district includes large portions of Farmingville, Holbrook, Holtsville and Lake Ronkonkoma.

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