Proposal to remove Governor’s emergency powers may be taken up in near future

NY Capitol News

ALBANY, N.Y. (NEWS10) — Following reports that the FBI and federal prosecutors are initiating an investigation into the Cuomo Administration’s handling of nursing homes and data, political leaders are speaking out on what to do about the Governor’s emergency powers. 

For months, there have been concerns by Republican lawmakers and some Democrats about Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s emergency powers. Now, with growing support amongst Democrats for the removal of them, it may happen in the near future. 

The New York Times first reported Wednesday night that the New York State Senate could vote on rolling back the Governor’s emergency powers “as soon as next week.”

In a statement Senate Majority Leader Andrea Stewart-Cousins said:

“… 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.” She noted while her conference sees “the need for a quick response,” they also “want to move toward a system of increased oversight, and review.”

While Senate Republicans have advanced an amendment several times to remove the Governor’s emergency powers, Democrats control what legislation gets to the floor. In addition to passing in the Senate, a “same-as” proposal would also need to pass through the Assembly.

A spokesperson for Speaker Carl Heastie’s office said members “will be conferencing what to do with the Governor’s powers in the very near future.”

Senator Sue Serino spoke on behalf of Senate Republican Leader Rob Ortt Thursday, who has long called for the removal of the Governor’s emergency powers and an investigation. 

“We just need the investigation. And, let’s just get it done, find out what went wrong so we can go further and just make sure that everything doesn’t happen again like this,” Serino said.

State lawmakers are scheduled to be back in session Monday through Wednesday next week.

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