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Issues for Schools and Municipalities

August 3, 2020

We have created this page in order to provide instant access to the latest news and updates in this area. Please continue also to visit our Coronavirus Resource Center and CARES Act page for news relating to additional topics that may be of interest.

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  • Update on CARES Act Emergency Financial Aid Grants to Higher Education Students July 31, 2020

    ​​​​​​​COVID-19 higher education grants under the CARES Act Various provisions of the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (“CARES”) Act permit higher education institutions to use certain funds allocated by the Department of Education to support students with expenses and financial needs related to the Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic. This includes a Higher Education Emergency Relief Fund (“HEERF”) that provides more than $14 billion in emergency funding to higher education. Click on the title to read the full alert.
  • Employment Related Pandemic Legal Actions on the Rise July 14, 2020

    Employment related legal actions (including federal and state lawsuits and administrative claims) are on the rise during the coronavirus pandemic. These cases arise in all business sectors, from colleges and universities to medical offices to heavy manufacturing. These can include (but are certainly not limited to) claims related to discrimination/harassment, wage and hour, refusal to pay sick and family leave benefits, and the WARN Act, and are being brought on both an individual and a class basis.

  • COVID-19 Response Update for Industrial Development Agencies June 9, 2020
    In light of the public health threat from the spread of the novel coronavirus that causes COVID-19, on March 3, 2020, the New York State Legislature overwhelmingly approved legislation expanding the emergency powers of the Governor and expanding the definition of disaster under Article 2-B of the Executive Law. Since its enactment in March, the Governor has issued 39 executive orders pursuant to the legislation. Click on the title to read the full alert.​​​​​
  • Governor Cuomo’s Latest Executive Order Extends Deadlines to Submit Absentee Ballots for School Vote June 8, 2020
    Earlier today, June 8, 2020, Governor Cuomo issued Executive Order 202.39, which again revises the procedure that must be followed by voters and school districts relative to the annual school budget vote and board election.  Specifically, although voters must personally deliver their ballots to the Office of the District Clerk, by hand or via drop box, by 5:00 p.m. on June 9, 2020, the EO extended the deadline by which voters must return their absentee ballots to school districts by mail until no later than 5:00 p.m. on June 16, 2020. Click on the title to read the full alert.​​​​​ 
  • In Person Special Education Services and Instruction May Be Provided During Summer Term June 6, 2020
    Late on June 5, 2020, New York State Governor Andrew Cuomo signed a new Executive Order (EO 202.37) that permits public school districts to provide in person special education instruction and services for the 2020 summer term. Click on the title to read the full alert.​​​​​
  • Guidance on Upcoming Budget Vote and Board Member Election June 5, 2020
    Our school attorneys have received numerous questions from Superintendents, district clerks, and other school officials seeking clarification about the election process amid complications due to COVID-19. This alert will provide you with our guidance to the most frequently asked questions we have received recently. Click on the title to read the full alert.​​​​​

  • New York Executive Order Modifies Real Property Tax Deadlines May 5, 2020
    On May 1, many towns published their tentative assessment roll as required by the Real Property Tax Law. However, the Governor of New York issued Executive Order 202.22 which granted an extension of time for municipalities to publish their assessment rolls. Click on the title to read the full alert.

  • School Votes Set for June 9 Under Substantially Revamped Procedures May 2, 2020

    Late Friday afternoon, Governor Cuomo issued a long-awaited Executive Order (No. 202.26) establishing the date and associated procedures for the 2020 school district budget vote and board election (the “school vote”). Click on the title to read the full alert.

  • Proposed Legislation to Aid Local Governments and Schools in the Wake of COVID-19 April 27, 2020
    It is without question that the impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic are being felt worldwide. Although not on the frontlines of battling the COVID-19 pandemic, Hodgson Russ lawyers are seeing firsthand the fiscal impact it is having on our clients, and we are quickly mobilizing to anticipate and minimize the effects and plan for the post-pandemic future. Click on the title to read the full alert.
  • $500 Billion in Direct Federal Loans Available for Local Governments April 13, 2020
    This alert describes a newly-announced Federal Reserve program to support the municipal bond market and the flow of credit and liquidity to state and local governments. Up to $500 billion in direct federal short-term lending will be made available to help these governments manage cash flow disruptions arising out of the pandemic. These loans can be directly accessed by the largest state, county and city borrowers, and indirectly accessed by smaller governmental issuers (including smaller counties and cities, as well as towns, villages and school districts), once the program is fully in place. Click on the title to read the full alert.
  • The CARES Act and Public Finance April 1, 2020
    The Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security, or “CARES Act” was signed into law on Friday, March 27, 2020. The CARES Act was enacted to provide approximately $2.2 trillion of relief to Americans and the U.S. economy in connection with the COVID-19 pandemic. Click on the title to read the full alert.
  • Three Ways School Districts are Affected by Cuomo’s New Executive Order 202.13 March 31, 2020
    Early on Monday, March 30, 2020, Governor Cuomo issued Executive Order 202.13 (the “Order”), which impacts schools in several ways. Click on the title to read the full alert.
  • New York Exempts School Construction Work from Shut Down Order, But Calls For Schools to Postpone Non-Essential Work March 30, 2020
    The Empire State Development Corporation (“ESDC”) issued guidance over the weekend clarifying the status of school district construction work. This followed from the uncertainty created Friday, March 28, 2020 with the issuance of a directive from the ESDC shutting down all non-essential construction in New York State, which did not clarify whether school district construction was covered. Click on the title to read the full alert.
  • New York State Exempts Municipal Construction From Blanket Ban, But Calls For Avoidance of Non-Essential Projects March 30, 2020
    The Empire State Development Corporation (“ESDC”) issued guidance over the weekend clarifying the status of local government construction work, including municipalities and school districts. This followed from the uncertainty created Friday, March 28, 2020 with the issuance of a directive from the ESDC shutting down all non-essential construction in New York State, which did not clarify whether non-utility municipal construction was or was not essential. Click on the title to read the full alert.
  • Education Practice COVID-19 Update and FAQ March 23, 2020 (originally published March 17, 2020)
    As school district leaders continue to work through the unprecedented and ever-evolving impact of the Covid-19 pandemic, Hodgson Russ is dedicated to providing you with the most up-to-date legal analysis and practical guidance to assist you in making critical decisions for your school community. This document discusses, in question/answer format, some of the issues that have arisen over the past few days, with analysis that we hope will be useful to you. We will continue to add to this document and share information as it becomes available. Click on the title to read the full alert.
  • The Implications of the Governor’s 3/17/2020 Executive Order for School Districts, March 17, 2020
    In a continuing effort to support the school district community during this unprecedented time, the Hodgson Russ Education Law Practice wanted to share its initial analysis of the Executive Order issued by Governor Cuomo late yesterday (Executive Order 202.4). Click on the title to read the full alert.
  • The Implications of the Governor’s 3/17/2020 Executive Order for Municipalities March 17, 2020
    In a continuing effort to support municipalities during this unprecedented time, the Hodgson Russ Municipal Practice wanted to share its initial analysis of the Executive Order issued by Governor Cuomo late yesterday (Executive Order 202.4).
  • Coronavirus, the Open Meetings Law, and Emergency Powers: A Brief Guide for Municipal Officials March 16, 2020
    In light of the public health threat from the spread of the novel coronavirus that causes COVID-19, municipal officials are contemplating delaying or cancelling board meetings, including zoning boards of appeals, planning boards, advisory boards, many of which include previously scheduled public hearings. They are also reviewing their local emergency powers as they contemplate responses to the pandemic, particularly in an effort to limit large gatherings.  Click on the title to read the full alert.