“To say that this has been a trying week in New York state government would be a gross understatement. The circumstances surrounding the governor’s nursing home coverup and revelations from his staff’s closed-door meeting with Majority Conference legislators are unforeseen and unprecedented.
The Legislature was not originally scheduled to reconvene this week. But we need to face reality, this is hardly an appropriate time for a break. I urge Assembly Speaker Carl Heastie and Senate Majority Leader Andrea Stewart-Cousins to call a special session this week so the Legislature can take immediate and decisive actions to address the serious matters at hand.
There is vocal, bipartisan support in both houses to finally end Gov. Cuomo’s emergency powers and restore the Legislature to a co-equal branch of government. Members of the Assembly and Senate Minority Conferences have been calling for this for months. It should not have taken a national scandal to compel Majority colleagues to take this overdue step, but it has never been more obvious that the time has arrived.
In addition, Assembly Minority members formally wrote to their colleagues on the Health, Aging and Investigations committees requesting they sign a petition to begin the process of issuing subpoenas to Cuomo Administration officials and holding legislative hearings. Unfortunately, we have yet to receive a response from those Majority Conference members.
After everything we’ve witnessed in a nursing home crisis that claimed the lives of more than 15,000 senior citizens, the reasons to call a special legislative session are clear. The Legislature has a responsibility to the thousands of families who weren’t afforded a week off from the loss and suffering they experienced. Inaction this week would be inexcusable.”