Weekly Dispatch: July 8, 2021

July 8, 2021

News

Conn.: Gov. Lamont launches cannabis website

Gov. Ned Lamont announced on Monday that his administration has launched a new website that is intended to provide Connecticut residents with up-to-date information about recreational adult-use cannabis, which became legal last Thursday. Even though the law permits residents to possess and consume cannabis, many components of the law do not go into effect for another one or two years. Residents can access the new website to find the latest updates on these new developments.

N.J.: Gov. Murphy highlights legislation terminating public health emergency

Gov. Phil Murphy’s office issued a press release last Friday that highlights several aspects of the legislation that allows for the termination of the public health emergency, which ended on July 4. According to the press release, masking, social distancing, and other health and safety protocols set forth in Executive Order 192 (2020) no longer are mandatory in businesses and facilities, even if they are open to the public. However, employers and entities overseeing worksites and other facilities still may require masking and social distancing. And, per Centers for Disease Control and Prevention guidelines, masks still are required on planes, buses, trains and other forms of public transportation traveling into, within or out of the U.S., and in airports, train stations, bus stations, etc. Mask requirements remain in effect in certain state-regulated settings, including child care facilities, camps, long-term care facilities, health care facilities, homeless shelters and prisons. To keep you updated on the latest COVID-19-related news, see the PIANJ COVID-19 resource page and be sure to read your PIA Northeast publications.

N.Y.: DFS issues new guidance to prevent ransomware attacks

Superintendent Linda A. Lacewell announced last week that the New York State Department of Financial Services has issued new guidance on preventing ransomware attacks. Per the guidance, the DFS urges regulated entities to prepare for ransomware attacks by implementing several different measures that will protect them from these attacks. Protecting your clients’ private information is vital. Is your agency prepared in the event of a ransomware attack? There are myriad cyber security regulations with which your agency must comply if it does business in New York state, and PIANY expects that there will be updates made to 23 NYCRR 500. PIA Northeast members have access to the cybersecurity regulation tool kit, which is part of PIA’s Privacy Compliance Central. Let us help you today.

Vt.: DFR receives national accreditation renewals

Commissioner of Financial Regulation Michael Pieciak announced Tuesday that the Vermont Department of Financial Regulation’s Banking, Insurance and Captive Insurance divisions have each received another five-year accreditation from their national regulatory associations. According to the press release, each accreditation team included experienced, former state regulators who conducted in-depth reviews of each division’s policies, procedures and operations to ensure that they met best standards that fellow regulators across the country have established. The teams found that the DFR met or exceeded the accreditation standards and did not have any recommendations for improvement.

Compliance

Is your agency ADA compliant?

PIA Northeast has been made aware that a law firm has been targeting insurance agencies alleging that their websites are not Americans with Disabilities Act-compliant. The ADA requires that public accommodations—including websites—are accessible to individuals with disabilities. However, it can be challenging to achieve compliance because there is a lack of federal standards regarding website accessibility. While it is difficult to ensure that websites are ADA compliant, it is important that your agency is in compliance with the ADA.

Advocacy

PIA asks for more funding for flood-risk mapping

PIA announced on Tuesday that it sent letters to appropriators of the U.S. House of Representatives and U.S. Senate that advocate for more funding for the Federal Emergency Management Agency’s flood-risk mapping program for Fiscal Year 2022. FEMA’s flood-risk mapping program is designed to show whether an area may flood. Currently, it receives $260 million of government funding annually, which is too low of an investment in this program.

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