Malliotakis asks Cuomo to reopen non-essential construction for entire state

April 29, 2020 Jaime DeJesus
Malliotakis asks Cuomo to reopen non-essential construction for entire state
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She wants him to open up.

Assemblymember Nicole Malliotakis sent a letter to Governor Andrew Cuomo on Monday asking that he reconsider which sectors of the workforce can reopen throughout the state in May, beginning with work performed outdoors. This includes construction, home improvement, landscaping, and pool installation and maintenance.

“I have had several calls from roofers, fencing companies, painters and pool maintenance and installation companies, who perform work outdoors and want to reopen their businesses,” Malliotakis wrote. “This type of outdoor work is a good first step to getting our economy off the ground while retaining strict safety guidelines to protect both employees and the community.”

During his conference on Monday, Cuomo said that phase one will include opening construction and manufacturing functions with low risk.

Cuomo described the downstate region as the most problematic.

“We are going to reopen the economy in phases, based on regional and specific industry determinations and CDC guidelines, and in the midst of all this continue to monitor the public health impact because all that progress we made by flattening that curve we could lose in a matter of days if we’re not careful,” he said.

“As we are both aware,” Malliotakis wrote, “the job reports are staggering so it is imperative that we start sending people back to work as soon and safely as possible while maintaining public health as our top priority. If we begin with easing the restrictions on outdoor construction and home improvement work in both upstate and downstate, we can begin the slow economic recovery process.”

She also brought up New Jersey’s current model.

“In his Executive Order 122, Governor Philip D. Murphy of New Jersey allows projects already underway involving single- family homes with a construction crew of 5 or fewer individuals,” Malliotakis wrote. “It also extends to projects already underway involving a residential unit for which a tenant or buyer has already entered into a legally binding agreement to occupy the unit by a certain date and construction is necessary to ensure the availability by that date. Of course, all safety guidelines are being enforced.”

She also requested that Cuomo “review your criteria involving any and all jobs performed completely outdoors for the entire state as long as the proper safety and social distancing guidelines are followed. For example, landscapers are currently only permitted to work for maintenance or pest control but not for cosmetic purposes. That distinction does not make any sense if all precautions are taken. By removing that distinction, we will be allowing more of our workforce to get back to work and earn a living.”

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