Here's How NY Lawmakers Plan Limit Cuomo's Emergency Powers

Posted: May 21, 2020 1:40 PM
Here's How NY Lawmakers Plan Limit Cuomo's Emergency Powers

Source: John Roca/New York Post via AP

New York State Senator Patrick Gallivan is one of several lawmakers seeking to limit Gov. Andrew Cuomo's emergency powers via a new resolution in Albany next week.

The resolution, Gallivan explained, limits the governor's disaster declaration to 30 days. During that 30-day period, the governor must provide weekly reports to the legislature that are subject to review. If the governor wants to extend disaster authority, he or she must go to the legislature to get approval for the extension.

"I think what this helps to ensure is that we have a system of checks and balances in place," Gallivan said. "Our system wasn’t designed for any one person or individual to be in charge for an extended period of time."

Gallivan commended Cuomo for his diligence during the outbreak so far, but suggested that the governor has let the power go to his head.

"I think the question to ask is, 'when does the disaster end and the recovery begin?'" Gallivan stated. "We are now well over two months into this emergency and we've got over two months of an executive in charge of the state absent legislative oversight or absent the checks and balances that are supposed to be in place and supposed to be what this system is."

New Yorkers are fuming over some of the decisions enforced by Gov. Cuomo, most notably his policy mandating that nursing homes accept COVID-positive patients. He's since rescinded the order, which placed the vulnerable elderly in a dangerous position, but it seems that damage has already been done. More than one person has blamed the governor for killing their loved ones. Other New Yorkers have expressed frustration over Cuomo's decision to punt churches to the very last phase of the state reopening plan.

The State Senate is returning to Albany next week to call on leaders to bring up a vote. At least two Democrats, Marianne Buttenschon of Utica and Angelo Santabarbera of Rotterdam, support the legislation. They plan to present a similar bill in the State Assembly.

"I would say that we're beyond the emergency," Gallivan declared.

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