Last week two COVID deaths were reported in Tompkins bringing the county’s total to 62. According to the Ithaca Voice, these were the first COVID deaths locally since late March. COVID-19 has been on the upswing with hospitalization numbers in the double digits for the first time since January. The county no longer publishes active case numbers, but currently has a community transmission rate of about 464 cases per 100,000 people.
On Wednesday the Ithaca Common Council passed pay transparency legislation. According to the Ithaca Voice, the ordinance will require companies based in Ithaca with at least four employees to provide pay ranges or minimum and maximum hourly pay for job listings. The measure was passed by a vote of 9-1 with 3rd Ward Councilor Jeffrey Barken voting no. Barken also opposed the measure when it was in the city administration committee questioning its effectiveness and whether the Government should be regulating the hiring practices of private businesses.
On Friday, New York Senator Kirsten Gillibrand announced $700,000 in federal funds to complete the Dryden Rail Trail Bridge Project. According to the Ithaca Voice, the bridge will connect Dryden and the City of Ithaca. The project was initially announced in June of last year, but stalled due to a lack of money. Gillibrand said the measure will also assist with sustainability efforts, and will help with a shift away from cars and fossil fuels.
On Saturday, New York State Attorney General Letitia James called for a state constitutional amendment establishing the right to abortion. According to WGRZ, James said New York must be a “safe haven for anyone seeking an abortion.” Roe v. Wade was codified by New York State in 2019. A draft decision from the Supreme Court was revealed last week that would overturn Roe v. Wade and Planned Parenthood v. Casey. After the leak James also revealed her own experience with abortion saying she received an abortion in the early 2000s. Governor Hochul has also called for the state to further codify Roe v. Wade.