As COVID-19 threat subsides, Assembly Minority calls on legislature to vote to end executive’s emergency powers

ALBANY, NY — Today, members of the Assembly Minority Conference urged their legislative colleagues in the Assembly and Senate to take immediate action to end the expanded powers Gov. Cuomo took on after declaring a state of emergency more than three months ago.

In a letter to Conference leaders Assembly Speaker Carl Heastie, Senate Majority Leader Andrea Stewart-Cousins and Senate Minority Leader John Flanagan, members of the Assembly Minority called for the Legislature to reconvene and curtail the emergency authorities provided to the governor in response to the COVID-19 pandemic.

The letter states: “The COVID-19 virus continues to retreat – infections, hospitalizations, and fatalities have been in steady decline for weeks, with numbers falling below levels that were seen during the early days of the declaration. All regions of New York have started phased re-openings. Slowly but surely, restrictions are being lifted and our constituents can finally experience some level of normalcy in their daily lives. With that in mind, the time has come for state government to return to its normal operations. New York state simply does not require additional time under one-person rule.”

On March 7, Gov. Cuomo declared a state of emergency in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. Since that time, he has issued 42 Executive Orders, with directives ranging from business closures,  to shutting down all schools in the state, restrictions on social gatherings and changes to election processes and protocols.

The number of New York’s COVID-related hospitalizations and fatalities has reached its lowest levels since March 20 – when the governor issued statewide lockdown restrictions through his “New York on PAUSE” order. In addition, all 10 regions of the state have reached the specific public health benchmarks necessary for phased-in reopening.

A copy of the letter is available here.