Members of the New York State Assembly are strongly considering rescinding Democratic New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s emergency powers, previously granted last March due to the COVID-19 pandemic, according to Newsweek.
14 Democratic state senators have now joined a chorus of Republican lawmakers in their calls to repeal the expansion of the governor’s powers, following a closed virtual press conference Friday morning. These powers, which are set to expire on April 30, have allowed Cuomo to “suspend specific provisions of any statute, local law, ordinance, or orders, rules or regulations of any agency,” circumventing the ordinary legislative process, at his own discretion.
“Without exception, the New York State Constitution calls for the Legislature to govern as a co-equal branch of government,” the senators’ joint statement read. “While COVID-19 has tested the limits of our people and state –– and, early during the pandemic, required the government to restructure decision making to render rapid, necessary public health judgments –– it is clear that the expanded emergency powers granted to the Governor are no longer appropriate.”
“While the executive’s authority to issue directives is due to expire on April 30, we urge the Senate to advance and adopt a repeal as expeditiously as possible,” the statement concluded.
As @NYSA_Majority meets to discuss rescinding @NYGovCuomo emergency powers to manage the pandemic, sources say @NYSenDems met earlier this week in conference and held the same discussion. They are leaning toward revoking them, and will meet again later today.
— Zack Fink (@ZackFinkNews) February 12, 2021
This statement by Democrat lawmakers comes in the wake of a New York Post report alleging that Cuomo’s administration withheld the actual number of COVID-19 nursing home deaths, fearing a federal investigation by former President Trump’s Department of Justice.
Republican lawmakers on both the state and federal levels have called for the Governor’s ouster, the former pushing for an investigation and removal from office. (RELATED: Rep. Stefanik Demands Cuomo Be Prosecuted After Report Says His Administration Hid Nursing Home Deaths)
Earlier this week, prior to the bombshell allegation, New York City Democratic Mayor Bill de Blasio made clear that he would also support the New York State Assembly revoking the Governor’s emergency powers.
The 14 Democratic lawmakers that issued the statement include Alessandra Biaggi, Jabari Brisport, Samra Brouk, Jeremy Cooney, Andrew Gounardes, Robert Jackson, John C. Liu, John Mannion, Rachel May, Elijah Reichlin-Melnick, Gustavo Rivera, Julia Salazar, James Sanders, and James Skoufis.
In order for the emergency powers to be rescinded, the Legislature would require 76 members to sign on, with 32 members in the Senate, according to the Daily Mail.