Legislature poised to repeal Gov. Cuomo's emergency powers granted at start of pandemic
The state Legislature announced it will pass legislation repealing the temporary emergency powers that were granted to Gov. Andrew Cuomo at the start of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Senate Majority Leader Andrea-Stewart Cousins and Assembly Speaker Carl Heastle made the announcement Tuesday. The legislation will allow current directives pertaining to preserving the public health to continue.
"I think everyone understands where we were back in March and where we are now. We certainly see the need for a quick response but also want to move toward a system of increased oversight, and review. The public deserves to have checks and balances. Our proposal would create a system with increased input while at the same time ensuring New Yorkers continue to be protected," Stewart-Cousins said.
The temporary emergency powers allowed the governor broader powers to issue executive orders. The temporary powers were set to expire on April 30.
"A year into the pandemic, and as New Yorkers receive the vaccine, the temporary emergency powers have served their purpose – it is time for them to be repealed," Heastie said. "These temporary emergency powers were granted as New York was devastated by a virus we knew nothing about. Now it is time for our government to return to regular order."
The legislation will also allow the Legislature to repeal a declared state of emergency by joint resolution, and will keep disease outbreaks in the definition of disaster situation that can be subject to a state of emergency.
Protesters also rallied outside of Cuomo's Manhattan office Tuesday calling for him to resign amid sexual assault allegations and his handling of the COVID-19 nursing home deaths.
News 12 was reaching out to the governor's office for comment.