This coming Monday, I will support two important pieces of legislation that are expected to be up for a vote before the full legislature. One bill will require utilities and other entities that dig up county roads to install or repair gas, electric and other lines to fully restore the road upon the completion of the project. Too often work of this type leaves the roads in worse shape than before the work commenced. The measure will allow Nassau County to bill the utility for the full cost to fix the road should any restoration they facilitate be deemed unsatisfactory to the Commissioner of Public Works.
The second bill I will be supporting, will create a new school bus camera program that will impose fines on drivers who illegally go around or pass a school bus while it’s stop sign is out and the lights are flashing. These cameras will help to make sure our students are safe when boarding and exiting buses by hopefully prompting more drivers to obey the law and stop behind a school bus that is in the process of letting children in or out of it. Passing a school bus under these conditions is illegal and dangerous. The law should be obeyed and that should be the end of it.
On the COVID-19 front, two significant developments occurred this week. Starting on Wednesday, New York State began adopting the CDC’s new guidance on mask wearing and social distancing for fully vaccinated people. The new guidance means that vaccinated people no longer need to wear masks or social distance outside OR inside in most places. However, businesses can tailor these rules as they wish. I have attached a flyer below that explains the options businesses now have with regard to mask-wearing. Masks will still be required in some settings, including schools, mass transit, health care facilities and nursing homes.
Unvaccinated and immunocompromised people must continue to wear a mask and maintain at least 6 feet of social distancing, but people who have waited two weeks after completing their inoculation series no longer are required to do either. The state is leaving it up to businesses and venues to decide how to check someone’s vaccination status by deciding if they want to use the honor system or require individuals to provide proof.
In addition, as of this past Wednesday, restaurants, stores, gyms, houses of worship and many other businesses are allowed to go back to 100% capacity in New York if they check vaccination cards or apps for proof that all patrons have been inoculated.
Connecticut has also adopted the CDC’s new mask and social distancing guidance for vaccinated people, while New Jersey has not lifted its indoor mask mandate yet.
While these latest changes are great news and will begin to bring back some sense of normalcy, the rules can cause some confusion. For more information about the CDC guidelines that New York State is now following, please CLICK HERE.
As always, please feel free to contact me with any thoughts and ideas you may have with respect to the County or on any particular issue that you think I may be able to assist you with. You may contact me at (516) 571-6214 or by email at LSchaefer@NassauCountyNY.gov .
Have a great weekend everyone! 😊
Laura M. Schaefer
Legislator, District 14