Legislation (A.25/S.3275) Exempts Certain Utility and Other Workers from Travel Bans Declared during Emergencies
Legislation (A.1905/S.1086) Requires a Plan for the Delivery of Medicine and Medical Supplies to Pharmacies, Hospitals, and Nursing Homes during Declared Disasters Automatic Production Line
Legislation (A.3217A/S.931A) Assures that Individuals Who Use Certain Medical Devices Have Access to Electricity during Emergencies
Legislation (A.3318C/S.926C) Requires Electric Companies Restoring Services to Police Departments, Fire Departments, and Ambulance Services To Notify Local County Offices of Emergency Management within 24 Hours if the Company Cannot Restore Electric Power
Governor Hochul today signed a legislative package to improve disaster preparedness efforts across New York State.
"In New York State, we don't wait for disaster to strike - we stay steps ahead and ready to deploy emergency resources in times of crisis," Governor Hochul said. "We are continuing to bolster our emergency preparedness efforts across New York State, ensuring access to medical services, utilities, and other vital resources during dire times. My administration will stay laser focused on strengthening the state's emergency planning and response capabilities to make sure that New York is ready for any disaster."
Legislation (A.25/S.3275) exempts certain utility and other workers from travel bans during declared emergencies. The role of utility and other workers is a critical component to emergency preparedness and response. Some communities have experienced long-term power and communications outages during recent storms in no small part because utility personnel were barred from physically accessing the electric and communications infrastructure that needed repair. This new law will add statewide clarity, uniformity, and general permission for utility and other workers to travel to and from disaster areas in order to restore power and communications and provide maintenance services.
State Senator Kevin Parker said, "In an era of increasingly dangerous weather patterns, it is important that we take every step to be prepared in the face of disaster. Too often, communities go through long-term energy, power, and utility outages due to faulty infrastructure protocols during emergencies, as we saw in Superstorm Sandy. I was proud to sponsor these two pieces of legislation, which will help improve our infrastructure and meet New Yorkers' needs in the face of disaster. Thank you Governor Hochul for signing these bills to take steps toward bolstering our emergency preparedness."
Assemblymember Kevin Cahill said, "When the ice storm hit Ulster County last winter, Governor Kathy Hochul was the first person on the ground here. She knows how important access is to responsible parties. When essential utility and communication services are down, those services must be restored as soon as possible. This measure (A.25) is designed to clear legal roadblocks standing in the way of that restoration. It makes uniform statewide what was a patchwork of state and local laws governing the movement of essential work crews during travel bans associated with emergency events. The enactment of this common-sense law ensures that work crews can legally travel the roads of our state to restore power, communications and other essential services to New Yorkers in the aftermath of a natural or man-made catastrophic event."
Legislation (A.1905/S.1086) requires the State to make a plan for the delivery of medicine and medical supplies to pharmacies, hospitals, and nursing homes during declared disasters. It is critical that New Yorkers have access to medical care during a declared state of emergency. This legislation will require that the state preparedness plan includes actions to help pharmacies, hospitals, and nursing homes provide important health care services within a disaster area.
State Senator Jim Gaughran said, "I want to thank Governor Hochul for signing this bill that we know will save lives the next time we have a serious storm with major damage and power loss to the community."
Assemblymember Jeffrey Dinowitz said, "Particularly as we adjust to a rapidly changing climate where natural disasters are more frequent and more intense, it is imperative that New York is as prepared as possible to maintain healthcare access for those in need. Thank you to Governor Hochul and her team for rolling their sleeves up to work through previous concerns about this legislation, and to State Senator Gaughren for his partnership in the other chamber."
Legislation (A.3217A/S.931A) assures that individuals who use certain medical devices have access to electricity during emergencies. This legislation defines what types of medical devices or equipment would qualify individuals for essential electricity in emergencies. As seen in recent disasters, many individuals who need access to electricity for medical reasons have been left without access during emergencies. This legislation seeks to protect all individuals whose loss of power to their medical equipment or other equipment would be devastating or life-threatening. From a newborn who needs an apnea monitor to someone with debilitating asthma triggered by heat and humidity, this legislation will save countless lives by connecting people to critical services.
Legislation (A.3318C/S.926C) requires electric companies restoring services to police departments, fire departments, and ambulance services to notify local county offices of emergency management within 24 hours during emergencies if the company cannot restore electric power. Saving services such as police, fire, and ambulance services play a critical role in saving citizens lives, particularly during disaster. This new law would help ensure that all police, fire, and ambulance can maintain adequate electricity to operate all life safety systems, as well as their basic operations.
State Senator Anna M. Kaplan said, "It just makes sense that first responders and people with serious medical conditions should be first in line to get their power turned back on following a big storm, but in the wake of Sandy and Isaias, we saw far too many vulnerable Long Islanders, firehouses, and police stations that were left in the dark for far too long. We need to look out for our first responders and our most vulnerable neighbors during emergencies, and my legislation will ensure that they're given priority and treated with care. These are common-sense reforms and I'm grateful for Governor Hochul signing them into law."
Assemblymember Nader J. Sayegh said, "As we continue to cope with widespread storm-related power outages in the future, my legislative bills prioritize restoration to support our police, fire, and ambulance services and require certain service providers to have outreach plans to assist customers who need electricity to keep life-sustaining medical equipment operating. It's common sense that our emergency responders and those with life-saving medical equipment need power. I'm pleased to learn that my legislation addressing this important issue passed with wide bipartisan support in both houses of the legislature. I thank Governor Kathy Hochul for signing these bills which will protect all New Yorkers into law."
Pat Guidice, Chair of the IBEW Utility Labor Council and Business Manager of IBEW Local 1049, said, "Access to essential utility services is of vital importance to consumers in New York State. In times of crisis, particularly storm events, restoration of service is vital to not only drive the economic engine of our Great State but also to bring comfort and safety to our communities. During a catastrophe, utility workers across New York State are among the most essential personnel to restore vital service. Power outages can cost lives so quick and uninterrupted deployment must be ensured. Today, we thank NY Governor Kathy Hochul for signing into law Bill A.25/S.3275 exempting certain utility and other workers from travel bans during declared emergencies." James Shillitto, President, Local 1-2, New York, Utility Workers Union of America, AFL-CIO said, "On behalf of all my members, and utility workers across the state, we thank Gov. Hochul for giving us the ability to react rapidly when weather events or other dangers restrict travel. This holiday weekend's dire weather forecast might put us to the test. Now, we can respond, like all essential workers, when the public needs us most."
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