Bradley Stein, DCNF
Leaders from both parties in the New York State Legislature reached an agreement on Tuesday to rescind Democratic Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s COVID-19 emergency powers.
Legislators from both the New York assembly and state senate agreed to limit Cuomo’s authority to issue COVID-19 related executive orders and restore the ability of local municipalities and county governments to issue public health orders, according to NBC 4 New York.
#BREAKING Legislators from New York's Assembly and state Senate struck a deal Tuesday to strip Gov. Andrew Cuomo of his pandemic-linked emergency powers and return matters like lockdowns to local controlhttps://t.co/0unBllM8I2
— NBC New York (@NBCNewYork) March 2, 2021
“We certainly see the need for a quick response but also want to move toward a system of increased oversight, and review,” state Senate Majority Leader Andrea Stewart-Cousins said in a statement to NBC. “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.
Under the deal, local municipalities would have more authority to set their own indoor dining rules and lockdown orders without Cuomo’s consent. The deal also mandates that Cuomo must “provide online reporting on all executive orders, providing transparency for all,” according to a series of tweets from Democratic Assemblywoman Carrie Woerner.
Woerner said in a tweet that she anticipated a full vote to revoke Cuomo’s emergency powers to take place as early as Friday.
Republican Assemblyman Kieran Lalor, whose online petition to impeach Cuomo went viral in February, expressed skepticism of the deal in a private message to the Daily Caller News Foundation.
“It is not a clean repeal bill which it should have been. Many of Cuomo’s directives are going to remain in effect,” Lalor said. “Legislative leaders supporting this deal are still defending the decision a year ago to cede Cuomo power that belongs to the legislative branch of state government. They are saying the last year of essentially one person rule worked out well. The body count and economic devastation in New York say otherwise,” Lalor said in a message to the DCNF.
“In this case, something is better than nothing but it is still a huge missed opportunity to restore actual checks and balances to the state and stand up for the principles of checks and balances,” Lalor said.