April 15, 2020 Executive Order 202.15
KEEPING YOU INFORMED…
On April 9, 2020, Governor Cuomo issued Executive Order 202.15 as part of the State’s ongoing efforts to combat the effects of COVID-19. The Order’s relevant provisions are explained below.
- Temporary Authorization to Hold Public Hearings Remotely or Otherwise Postponing Public Hearings Scheduled for April and May 2020
Any state or local government body, including a school district, that is required to hold a public hearing in April or May 2020 must either conduct the hearing through the use of telephonic or video conferencing or postpone that hearing until at least June 1, 2020.
Please let us know if you need assistance with the procedures for conducting a public hearing remotely including the hearing notice and resolution to do so, or the procedures for postponing a hearing until June.
- Modification of the Election Law Provisions Applying to Absentee Ballots
Executive Order 202.15 temporarily suspends and modifies the provisions of Election Law § 8-400 to permit absentee ballots to be more broadly used in upcoming state and local elections, including the June 23 primary. Please note, however, that these modifications do not apply to the issuance of absentee ballots for school district elections, which are governed by Education Law § 2018-A.
Specifically, Executive Order 202.15 modifies § 8-400 to allow anyone wishing to vote by absentee ballot “in any election” to be held on or before June 23, 2020, including the June 23 primary or scheduled village elections, to do so based solely on the risk associated with voting in-person during the current health crisis. Absentee ballots are to be issued to voters based on the potential for contracting the COVID-19 virus. In addition, the Order permits absentee ballot applications to be submitted electronically for any election held on or before June 23, 2020; i.e., an in-person signature or appearance is unnecessary. Together, these provisions ensure that all individuals will be able to apply for and vote by absentee ballot in these state and local elections (though not school district elections) from the safety of their homes.
- Extension of the Deadline to File Requests with School Districts for Transportation to Nonpublic Schools, Charter Schools and Before/After-School Child-Care Locations
Requests for transportation to nonpublic schools, charter schools and before/after-school child-care locations for an upcoming school year must be submitted on or before April 1 of the preceding year, absent a “reasonable explanation” for failing to meet the deadline. On March 30, 2020, the New York State Education Department issued guidance directing “all public school districts to accept all parental requests for transportation to nonpublic, charter schools and before/after-school child-care locations submitted on or before April 15, 2020.” Executive Order 202.15, which remains in effect through May 9, 2020, provides that to aid in coping with the COVID-19 crisis, this deadline may be delayed “to the extent necessary.” It does not specify a new deadline for the submission of transportation forms.
If you have any questions regarding the implementation of the above-outlined provisions of Executive Order 202.15, please contact Mara Harvey, Joshua Sprague or one of our other attorneys by calling (631) 694-2300.
THIS MEMORANDUM IS MEANT TO ASSIST IN GENERAL UNDERSTANDING OF THE CURRENT LAW. IT IS NOT TO BE REGARDED AS LEGAL ADVICE. THOSE WITH PARTICULAR QUESTIONS SHOULD SEEK THE ADVICE OF COUNSEL.
© Lamb & Barnosky, LLP 2020