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Two bills would provide pandemic-related benefits

Two bills would provide financial benefits to those affected by the COVID-19 pandemic.

A.11136, introduced by Assemblyman Nick Perry, D-Brooklyn, would amend the state Civil Service Law to provide state healthcare workers who served as first responders additional five days of time off that could be taken in 2021 and 2022. The additional time off could be claimed by any certified first responder who performed regular services as a health care worker in a region or county during Phase 1 or Phase 2 of the state’s business reopening plans.

“The state of New York owes these dedicated workers a debt of gratitude for going above and beyond the call of service,” Perry wrote in his legislative justification. “Our resiliency in combating the virus has occurred in no small measure because of their efforts. Although we can never adequately thank them for the courage and selflessness they showed, this legislation does provide a measure of gratitude for their life-saving efforts in battling COVID-19.”

There would be no financial implications for the state, but there likely would be financial implications for state and local governments who would have to fill the additional shifts for workers taking the additional time off.

Assemblyman Michael Reilly, R-Staten Island, has introduced A.11111 to amend the state Tax Law to provide an additional $500 tax credit for taxpayers who received unemployment benefits during the COVID-19 pandemic. The tax credit could be claimed by more than a million New Yorkers who were laid off during the state’s shutdown of non-essential businesses during the pandemic.

“This legislation would entitle New Yorkers who collected Unemployment Insurance benefits as a result of the shutdown, beginning March 20, 2020, to a $500 tax credit, which would offset the total amount of taxes that were removed from individual benefit payments,” Reilly wrote in his legislative justification.

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