Senate Democrats today unanimously rejected an amendment brought to the floor by Republican Senator Pam Helming to rescind Governor Cuomo’s expanded powers, which have been used for over 140 days.
This is the second time Democrats have rejected the Senate Republican Conference’s effort to strip broad powers from the Governor, who has issued 54 Executive Orders and changed hundreds of laws since the start of the pandemic.
“The Governor’s continued use of his expanded powers undermines the foundation of democracy. We have a system of checks and balances that must be restored. While Republicans are willing to lead, Democrats continue to take cover and allow the Governor to make choices that should be up to lawmakers. Democrats should not continually come back to session to pass self-serving legislation only to abdicate the rest of their responsibility to the Executive,” said Senator Helming.
The Governor has mocked anyone who questions the need to rescind his ultimate authority as “stupid,” including good government groups which have called to curb his runaway power.
“Governor Cuomo’s use of broadened emergency power to make critical decisions impacting the lives of New Yorkers must end. People elect lawmakers to do their jobs, and Republicans are willing to tackle all of the issues confronting New York. It is shameful that Democrats let this continue,” said Senate Republican Leader Rob Ortt.
“We are approaching five months since the Legislature gave the Governor broad emergency powers, far beyond what is needed, wise or appropriate. It is deeply disappointing that the Senate Majority once again voted to continue ceding all leadership to the Governor, even as our state has moved beyond the ‘emergency’ and now must recover and rebuild. In continuing to allow this, the Senate is being derelict in its duties to function as a separate and co-equal branch of government. It is time to return to our constitutionally mandated responsibilities and do the job our constituents expect and deserve,” said Senator George M. Borrello.