MANH Lawmakers on the Move, Mar. 12, 2020

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Lawmakers Rally to Support Hoylman’s Bill to Crack Down on Health Supply Price Gouging

State Senator Brad Hoylman
State Senator Brad Hoylman

Days after Governor Andrew Cuomo (D) declared a state of emergency in New York due to COVID-19, a large group of lawmakers rallied in Albany in support of a bill to address price gouging of medical supplies.

S.7932, introduced by State Senator Brad Hoylman (D-Chelsea, Midtown), would prohibit retailers from selling medical products at an “unconscionable excessive price” during a health crisis (defined as a price greater than 10 percent higher than before the crisis began).

“Charging $79.99 for a single bottle of hand sanitizer is outrageous,” said Hoylman. “But exploiting New Yorkers’ concern about keeping themselves and their family healthy during the coronavirus outbreak? That’s simply unconscionable. We need to stop virus profiteers in their tracks by sending a strong message with this new bill that makes it clear that price gouging medical supplies during a public health emergency won’t be tolerated. Every New Yorker – no matter their income – deserves the same access to consumer medical supplies that prevent the spread of illnesses like COVID-19.”

Levine Discusses Ripple Effects of Coronavirus on CNBC

Council Member Mark D. Levine
Council Member Mark D. Levine

Yesterday, Council Member Mark Levine (D-Manhattan Valley, Manhattanville) appeared on CNBC’s “Squawk Box” to discuss the ripple effects of the City’s response to the coronavirus.

As of now, there are more than 170 confirmed COVID-19 cases in New York. In the wake of the outbreak, the City has contemplated closing schools and implementing travel restrictions. Levine said that these measures – the former, in particular – will have consequences that we can’t afford to ignore.

“All of these decisions have major costs,” said Levine. If we close the schools, hundreds of thousands of kids will have nowhere to get lunch and breakfast. Parents will be home providing child care, unable to go to work.

“Because every one of these actions has a real cost, it has to be taken by weighing the pros and cons and a real sober assessment of risk.”

Serrano Calls for Passage of MEA

State Senator Jose Serrano
State Senator Jose Serrano

State Senator José Serrano (D-Manhattan, Bronx) hosted a press conference yesterday to call for the passage of the Museum Education Act (MEA).

The MEA would provide grant funding to New York’s top cultural and historical institutions, allowing them to expand their educational programming for students. Serrano, who introduced the bill alongside Assemblymember Patricia Fahy (D-Albany), intends to help students in high-need, low-resource communities connect with their local museums.

“As a longtime advocate for arts education, I’ve seen firsthand the positive effects of exposing students to cultural programming,” said Serrano. “The Museum Education Act connects school districts and museums to provide more educational field trips for our students. For many young people, a school field trip might be their first opportunity to visit a cultural institution. By incorporating experiential learning into school curricula, this bill allows students to relate their classwork to the wider world and provides them greater access to New York’s world-class educational programming. Thank you to Assemblymember Fahy for her commitment to education in our state.