Friend: State Must Allow Businesses to Open to Help State Revenue Problems

Statement from Assemblyman Christopher S. Friend (R,C,I-Big Flats)

“We’re already seeing the negative impact the pandemic has had on our state’s economy and revenue. However, proposals put forward by the governor and state Majority will not make the matter any better.

“New York must allow businesses to open back up to get people back to work and generate badly-needed state revenue. How can we ask for more federal aid before New York takes every action it can to get our finances and economy in order? The Southern Tier is safe and has been ready to fully open. When the Legislature reconvenes, we must seriously consider placing emergency powers with counties rather than unilaterally in the governor’s hands, because so far it is not working for our state.”

Editor’s Note: Friend sponsors legislation reinforcing local authority in times of emergency, such as pandemics (A.10546):

  • Allow County-by-County Declarations – States of emergency would be declared county by county, with an explanation to justify the declaration based on facts and specific circumstances of the county;
  • Limit Duration – Emergency declarations would expire within 30 days but may be extended by the governor by an additional 15 days. Any additional extensions would have to be authorized by the state Legislature;
  • Reinforce Local Authority – Each county executive, chair of a county board of supervisors or the NYC mayor would be given authority to request that the governor terminate any state of emergency. The governor must provide a specific reason for denying the request; and
  • Protects Due Process - Any curtailment or impairment of the following will be subject to independent judicial review:
    • Freedom of assembly;
    • Freedom of speech;
    • Freedom of worship;
    • The equal protection of the law;
    • Liberty or property; or
    • Other fundamental constitutional rights.