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Senate & Assembly Republicans: 'End the disaster emergency declaration'

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Tue, Jun 8th 2021 10:25 am

Concurrent resolution introduced would end emergency declaration, remove governor’s authority

New York State Senate Republican Leader Rob Ortt, Assembly Republican Leader Will Barclay and members of their respective conferences on Monday announced the introduction of a concurrent resolution that would terminate the state disaster emergency declared by Gov. Cuomo on March 7, 2020, under executive order 202 and revoke his decision-making authority.

“We are in the last week of the legislative session, and the majorities in the Legislature are content to leave Albany and let the scandal-engulfed governor have total control over every aspect of New Yorkers’ lives,” Ortt said. “We have repeatedly advanced an amendment to strip the governor of his emergency powers and the Democrats unanimously reject it, despite it being clear that their sham repeal bill passed in March did nothing. Today, we have joined the Assembly to introduce a concurrent resolution that would terminate the state disaster emergency and remove the governor’s unilateral control once and for all.”

Barclay said, “We are in a state of recovery – not emergency – and it’s time New Yorkers are able to return to their daily routines and a sense of normalcy. The process has been long. Many lessons have been painful; but it’s time to finally move forward. Fortunately, the state’s COVID infection rate is reaching its lowest levels while the number of vaccinations steadily increases. The virus is no longer stressing the limits of our health care system. We’ve made great progress fighting back against the virus, and restrictions have been loosening for months. While there is still work to do and goals to achieve, New York state doesn't need to operate under a state of emergency to get there.”

At the onset of the coronavirus pandemic, under the emergency declaration, Cuomo was given broad emergency powers to issue directives and suspend and modify statutes, local laws, ordinances rules and regulations in order to handle the state’s pandemic response.

While the original order was set to expire on April 30 this year, Ortt’s team said legislative Democrats effectively extended it indefinitely under legislation – negotiated with the governor – that they claimed would rescind Cuomo’s powers, but instead actually extended them until the end of the declared disaster emergency.

Most other states have ended, or have a plan to end, their state’s declared disaster emergencies.

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