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OPEN MEETINGS LAW AMENDED TO PERMIT SOME REMOTE ATTENDANCE The Open Meetings Law was recently amended to permit public bodies to use videoconferencing to conduct open meetings under “extraordinary circumstances” without there being a declared state disaster emergency in effect. Public bodies seeking to use remote attendance must adopt a local law or ordinance to…

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SEEDING OPPORTUNITY INITIATIVE:  NYS CANNABIS UPDATE On March 10, 2022, Governor Kathy Hochul announced the first-in-the-nation Seeding Opportunity Initiative, which will position individuals with prior cannabis-related criminal offenses to make the first adult-use cannabis sales of New York-grown products. This farm-to-store initiative makes sales in New York possible before the end of 2022.  This initiative…

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GOVERNOR HOCHUL SIGNS CONDITIONAL ADULT-USE CANNABIS CULTIVATION BILL Continuing the New York State Office of Cannabis Management’s momentum, Governor Kathy Hochul signed legislation creating a new type of adult-use cannabis license, the “Conditional Adult-Use Cannabis Cultivation” license. This license establishes a “fast-track” path for existing NYS hemp farmers to apply for a conditional license to…

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ANOTHER  BUZZKILL:  THE  ENERGY  IMPACT  OF  MARIJUANA  LEGISLATION  IN  NYS Even as Governor Hochul pushes to restart the stalled marijuana legalization momentum in New York State, there’s yet another roadblock to tackle: the growing concern over the environmental impacts of the budding cannabis industry. Tied primarily to indoor facilities, grow lights, fans, and irrigation systems…

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Will the Municipal Opt-Out Kill the MRTA’s Buzz? On March 31, 2021, New York State became the 17th state to legalize adult-use recreational marijuana through the enactment of the Marijuana Regulation and Taxation Act (“MRTA”). Many are taking a budding interest in legalization and are looking to enter the market, whether merely as a consumer…

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NEW LAW PERMITS AUTOMATIC RENEWAL OF SENIOR CITIZEN AND INDIVIDUALS WITH DISABILITES AND LIMITED INCOME REAL PROPERTY TAX EXEMPTIONS  In another response to the Covid crisis, New York State has enacted a law which allows local tax jurisdictions to automatically renew certain real property tax exemptions for 2021. The applicable exemptions are the Real Property…

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MICHELE L. BABCOCK, ESQ. RECOGNIZED BY HUDSON VALLEY MAGAZINE AS WOMEN IN BUSINESS 2020 HONOREE   WALDEN, NY – The law firm of Jacobowitz and Gubits, LLP (J&G) is pleased to announce and congratulate Michele L. Babcock, Managing Partner, for being selected as a 2020 Women in Business honoree by Hudson Valley Magazine.  Michele is…

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  NEW LAW PROTECTION FOR PUBLIC EMPLOYEES IN PUBLIC HEALTH EMERGENCIES In recognition of the essential role of public employees during this pandemic, New York State has adopted legislation requiring public employers to plan for similar emergencies in the future. The New York State Labor Law has been amended by adding a new section (27-c)…

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MAKING ACESSORY DWELLING UNIT’S WORK FOR YOU Granny pods. Elder cottages. ECHO housing. No matter what you call them, there is no question: accessory dwelling units (“ADUs” for short) are a booming trend for affordable senior living (as well as a reliable source of passive income) in the Hudson Valley. These spaces traditionally function as…

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485-b COMMERCIAL REAL PROPERTY TAX EXEMPTION Section 485-b of the New York Real Property Tax Law provides the basis for a 50% reduction of the increase in assessed value due to certain qualifying new construction, alterations, installations or improvements for the purpose of commercial, business or industrial activity, thus reducing real property taxes and some…

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