Today, Assembly Minority Leader Will Barclay and Senate Minority Leader Rob Ortt blasted the proposal advanced by the Majorities in the Legislature to supposedly revoke Gov. Cuomo’s emergency powers. The leaders, joined by members of their respective Conferences, repeated their calls for a straight repeal of the governor’s emergency powers instead of this bogus backroom deal.
“Now that we’ve seen the details of what Majority Conference members proposed, we can more fully appreciate it for the failure it is. Make no mistake: This is not what ‘repeal’ looks like. This is not what ending emergency powers looks like. But it IS what a three-way agreement looks like. A year ago today, the governor signed the bill that expanded his authorities. In the past 12 months we’ve seen lockdowns, business closures, jobs lost, schools in chaos, a nursing home cover-up and now criminal investigations and sexual harassment allegations. Somehow, Majority members still can’t seem to bring themselves to govern independently of Andrew Cuomo,” said Leader Barclay.
“Senate Minority members advanced the first proposal to end Gov. Cuomo’s emergency powers 280 days ago today. The sham that the Majority members are putting forward after getting the governor’s stamp of approval is a complete insult to New Yorkers. The bill does nothing except expand the authority of the governor, who has covered up 15,000 nursing home deaths and is currently involved in sexual harassment scandals, both of which are under investigation by the FBI and state attorney general,” said Leader Ortt.
Instead of immediately revoking the governor’s emergency powers, as Minority members of the Assembly and Senate have repeatedly called for, this bill - which has been given the governor’s stamp of approval - would:
- Remove the current expiration date of the governor’s emergency powers, currently set to expire on April 30, 2021 -- instead, that expiration date is now gone;
- And allow the governor to extend or modify the nearly 100 Executive Orders he has instituted since the start of the pandemic, as long as certain Majority members are allowed to review and comment. This proposal allows him to do so with little more than a courtesy call to the Legislature because those comments will be accepted even after an order takes effect.
Minority members in the Assembly and Senate have advanced legislation multiple times to fully repeal the governor’s authority, return New York to a representative democracy and restore the Legislature as a co-equal branch of government. The bill that’s been proposed is barely a fraction of what’s necessary.
“Minority members in the Assembly and Senate have repeatedly called for a return to representative democracy, where the livelihoods and daily routines of 19.5 million New Yorkers are not left to the whim of one man. That’s not how our government was ever intended to operate. The legislation presented by Majority Conference members preserves far too much authority of an embattled governor and comes nowhere near what this state needs or deserves,” concluded Leader Barclay.
“Majority members in both houses should be ashamed of themselves. New Yorkers know what needs to be done. And that is why I stand before you today along with Leader Barclay to tell you that we will continue to fight tooth and nail to bring justice to the millions of families who lost loved ones in nursing homes, to fight for those who have been mistreated by the governor and to restore New Yorkers’ trust back in their government,” concluded Leader Ortt.