New York Governor Signs New Budget While Combating COVID-19

The new budget of New York, of 177,000 million dollars, was signed this Friday by the governor of the state, Andrew Cuomo, in the midst of his fight against the coronavirus, which has approved a measure that lists some hate crimes as acts of domestic terrorism.

"This is a moment in history like no other and the government needs to function and deliver results," he said during the signing of the Cuomo budget project, which faces the most difficult moment of its government administration with the coronavirus pandemic in New York. , epicenter of the virus in the country.


The 2020-2021 budget is made up of nine bills, among them the one that typifies certain hate crimes and that is named after Rabbi Josef Neumann, victim of a machete attack on five Orthodox Jews last December and who died on March 29, at age 72.

The measure, which Cuomo said would be the first such law in the United States, was presented by the governor last January during his speech on the state of affairs, after hate crimes against Jews in the region increased. .

The new law will consider domestic terrorism massive acts of violence motivated by race, color, origin, gender identity or expression, sexual orientation, religion, age or disability. Anyone carrying out a shooting based on these reasons will not be held on bail and faces a life sentence.

"We still treat terrorism as an act committed by foreigners. Now it is a two-front war against terrorism. It is fueled by hatred: from abroad and hatred here at home," he said at the time.

Additionally, the bill would also create a domestic terrorism task force to analyze mass shootings and make security recommendations.


Another measure included in this budget, which divided Democrats in the state legislature and has earned Cuomo criticism, is the new amendment to the bail law, which last year underwent changes to eliminate the requirement to pay bail in cash.

This allowed many defendants, mostly blacks and Latinos, to wait their trial for release, which was criticized by some prosecutors and law enforcement officials, including New York Police Chief Dermot Shea.

But Cuomo has made several changes to bail law, for example, implying that judges will have more discretion to retain people who do not keep court appointments or are charged with new crimes while they are at liberty awaiting trial.


Among those who voiced their voices against the new amendment this Friday is the community organization Make The Road, which it described as "shameful disgrace and a deep betrayal" of blacks and Latinos "who are fighting to free themselves from the scourge of mass incarceration."

He also indicated that in times of the coronavirus crisis, the changes to the bail law will lead them to "face a global pandemic in prisons" where there are already cases of COVID-19.

Last week 35 legislators and more than 200 organizations sent a letter to Cuomo asking that the law remain as it was amended last year, and among those who defended this position is the ombudsman, Jumaane Williams.

The non-profit advocacy group Bronx Defender also criticized the amendments, claiming there will be more incarcerations and unfair convictions "at a time when lawmakers should empty prisons to protect the health and safety of all New Yorkers."

With this new budget, New York has joined other states that allow surrogacy, which has so far forced couples facing infertility problems and same-sex couples to seek help in other states or countries to fulfill their wish. of having children.

The legislation also establishes criteria for surrogacy contracts that provide strong protections across the nation for parents and surrogates, according to the governor.

Paid sick days were also approved for workers across the state. The measure contemplates that companies with between 5 and 99 employees will provide five days of sick leave per year and seven days for those with 100 workers or more.


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