Republican leaders call upon governor & Democrat ‘one-party rule’ to end ‘one-size-fits-all’ Albany mandates & return to ‘fact-based, collaborative governing’
The New York State Senate Republican Conference on Wednesday called upon Gov. Kathy Hochul and Democrats to end what they called “one-size-fits-all Albany mandates, and return to a system of governance based on facts, collaborative decision making, and guidance.”
Senate Republican Leader Rob Ortt said, “Nearly two years ago, New York became the epicenter of the COVID-19 pandemic. Our state was shut down, our schools were closed, and our economy was decimated. Nearly 700 days later, the results speak for themselves. One-size-fits-all Albany mandates didn’t work under Gov. Cuomo; they don’t work under Gov. Hochul; and New Yorkers are fed up. It’s past time to return to a system of governance based on facts and collaboration – not politics and dictation.”
Specifically, Senate Republicans are calling for an end to statewide school mandates and health care/workforce mandates, among others, and to instead shift to recommendations and guidance. Additionally, local control over public health response(s) would be restored, as decisions on mandates would be left to acts of local governing bodies, under one Senate Republican proposal.
The GOP said challenges presented by some of the statewide mandates include what they called:
√ Massive health care staffing shortages, based on the original vaccination mandate and upcoming booster mandate – impacting regions of the state differently;
√ Cancellation of “elective” surgeries based on state definition of capacity;
√ Numerous school and child care closures, which have resulted in even more learning loss and mental health decline among schoolchildren;
√ Children 12 years and older kept out of extracurricular activities if not boosted when there is a coronavirus exposure, yet still able to attend school and travel on the bus;
√ To qualify for the oral antiviral medications, priority eligibility is given based on race and ethnicity; and
√ A potential vaccine mandate for school children.
This announcement follows Senate Republicans’ unveiling of their “Take Back New York” 2022 agenda, and is the first part in a multipronged plan they said would “restore accountability to the state government in the aftermath of disgraced ex-Gov. Cuomo’s rampant abuses of power.”
Last year, Senate Republicans led the charge to Cuomo’s emergency powers.
“Constantly changing guidelines have harmed our students educationally and socially, and parents are exhausted and confused by week-to-week changes in schooling,” Deputy Senate Republican Leader Andrew Lanza said. “Big government mandates have negatively affected our children the most, and it is time we put our kids first again. For the sake of their well-being, let’s put an end to these politically driven mandates and strive toward common-sense governing.”
New York State Sen. Pam Helming said, “Crisis. Overwhelmed. Dire. Crippling. These are just a few of the words used in headlines over the last several months to describe the situation in our local hospitals. Despite the concerns, we continue to hear from hospital and nursing home administrators, nurses and staff, New York state issues yet another mandate that could further impact staffing in our health care facilities and jeopardize their ability to safely care for the people of our communities. We need to give our small businesses, schools and health care facilities the support they need to succeed. Not crush them with more mandates. The state should get out of their way and let them do their jobs.”
New York State Sen. Mario Mattera said, “A few months ago, our health care and frontline workers were ‘heroes.’ Now they are zeroes thanks to Albany mandates that have led to thousands leaving their professions. Staffing shortages, cancellation of ‘elective surgeries,’ and race-based medical treatment – enough of the politics. This is unacceptable, which is why I am proud to join my Senate Republican colleagues in calling for an end to the one-party restrictions today. Together, we can go back to our normal lives and take our state into the right direction.”