Gov. Hochul assembles legislators to consider extending eviction moratorium

Coronavirus

ALBANY, N.Y. (WROC) — Governor Kathy Hochul announced she would call legislators back to the state capital to discuss lengthening the state eviction moratorium to mid-January.

“It is my goal to expand the eviction moratorium, to expand rental assistance programs from today to January 15,” the New York governor said Tuesday evening. “We also know that landlords are struggling, and we need to protect small businesses as well.”

According to the governor, they’ll also chat about a few key issues, including appointments to the newly-created state cannabis board, as well as changes to the open meetings law the governor says will help them continue virtually.

The moratorium was set to expire midnight Tuesday.

“We are less than sixteen hours from when we’re supposed to debate on this bill, and we have not seen bill language yet,” said Assemblyman Josh Jensen, who will be on his way back to the Capital Region early Wednesday morning, from the northwest of Monroe County.

Jensen told News 8 he wants to see the specific language of the eviction bill. He says the past plan got it wrong, making to process to get relief for landlords too complicated.

“I think if the bill is fundamentally the same as what we passed earlier this year, I don’t think it will be effective,” Jensen said.

Sen. Jeremey Cooney headed to Albany for the special session Tuesday. He said his office has heard a lot of concerns from both landlords and tenants.

“I think the key message here is the system is not working and that we have an obligation as state lawmakers to go back to work to make sure that for the rest of the pandemic, folks are taking care of,” Cooney said.

Sen. Cooney also said not enough of the state’s $2.7 billion in funds to help renters, has been given out.

“The state put away 2.7 billion dollars in rent relief, about $200 million has gone out the door, that’s unacceptable. That is not good program management.”

The legislature is set to vote on the moratorium extension on Wednesday.

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