Assemblymember Diana C. Richardson (D, WFP-Brooklyn) announced that she authored and passed legislation to extend and expand the utility shutoff moratorium across the state (A.6255-A).
“We are now over a year out from the declaration of the COVID-19 state of emergency, and many New Yorkers are still unable to work or earn sufficient wages because of this public health crisis,” said Richardson. “Maintaining and expanding the existing utility shutoff moratorium is essential to help New Yorkers begin to recover and remain in their homes.”
The legislation would extend the moratorium until December 31, 2021, unless the state of emergency is lifted prior, and for an additional 180 days after to allow customers still facing financial hardships to enter into a payment agreement to avoid shutoffs. The moratorium would apply to services provided by utility corporations, municipalities, telephone corporations, cable companies, broadband providers, and water authorities terminating or disconnecting the services of residential customers.
“My bill incorporates many of the lessons that we have learned in the last year into the existing utility shutoff moratorium, such as the importance of broadband and cable services during the pandemic, as well as the need to provide this relief to small-business owners,” said Richardson.
In addition, the bill would expand the moratorium to include certain small businesses with 25 or fewer employees. The COVID-19 pandemic has devastated so many of our small businesses, and we must do all that we can to help them, noted Richardson.