Emmy winner Andrew Cuomo has let his emergency powers go to his head. Last March, New York lawmakers passed a coronavirus relief bill that granted the governor the authority to "suspend [specific provisions of] any statute, local law, ordinance, or orders, rules or regulations, of any agency." He's taken advantage of that power, signing over 70 executive orders.
"Since being granted emergency powers last spring, the governor has used that authority to enact or change hundreds of laws without any input from or votes in the state body," New York State Senator Pam Helming warned as she rose in the chamber this week.
She presented an amendment that could bring Cuomo back down to Earth just a bit.
"This amendment would restore the rightful power of the state legislature, which under our state constitution, cannot delegate its legislative authority to any other entity, including but not excluding, the governor or the Executive Branch," Helming explained.
"We must restore legislative oversight to our state government," she added.
Helming argued that she and her colleagues have "abdicated their responsibilities." She also noted that her amendment would not prevent the governor from making important health-related decisions. It would only make sure that he doesn't make those decisions alone.
?? VIDEO THREAD ??@SenatorHelming today rose on the #NYSenate floor to make an impassioned plea for the repeal of @NYGovCuomo's emergency powers.— NYS Senate Republicans (@nysenategop) January 12, 2021
Unfortunately, not a single member of @NYSenDems voted in favor of the amendment.
PART 1/3 pic.twitter.com/NMk5PFTAx3
Helming shared a few examples of the governor failing to properly lead during the pandemic. The vaccine rollout, for instance, was "fumbled on the first play." When Cuomo finally got around to opening vaccinations to more seniors, the applicants found the process to be lengthy and confusing. Meanwhile, he unnecessarily threatened hospitals with fines if they didn't distribute their vaccine vials.
Instead of going through the motions of a normal opening day session, Helming suggested that since we're in a pandemic, perhaps the chamber should discuss more health concerns, such as the need for more state funding free testing sites.
PART 2/3 pic.twitter.com/qOxC0SF6t4— NYS Senate Republicans (@nysenategop) January 12, 2021
Helming finished by urging the restoration of the state legislature as a co-equal branch of government, as it was created.
Not one Democrat supported her effort to reel in the governor.
New Yorkers are still waiting for the actual number of COVID-related nursing home deaths since the state did not include the senior citizens who died from COVID after being sent to hospitals. The state continues to conceal that record.