Senator Anthony Palumbo (R,C-New Suffolk) and Assemblywoman Jodi Giglio (R,C-2nd District) today called on the Legislative Democrat Leaders in their respective Houses to fulfil their constitutional duties and fill two long-vacant appointments on the State’s Joint Commission on Public Ethics (JCOPE).
The new appointments would allow the State Legislature to achieve oversight originally intended by the law. The 14-member commission has two legislative appointments that have been vacant for well over a year. The six bi-partisan members from the Legislature and six from the Governor’s office continue to deadlock at six to six votes, preventing many actions that the Executive views unfavorably. The lawmakers argue that the current makeup of JCOPE, and Legislative Democrats' inaction, has resulted in gridlock and has allowed the Governor’s office to run roughshod over the commission.
“The State Legislature needs to reassert its Legislative prerogative at the State Capitol. It is time to end the Governor’s emergency powers and increase Legislative oversight on the State’s Joint Commission on Public Ethics,” said Senator Palumbo. “We are a co-equal branch of State Government and we need to break up the monopoly of power that currently rests in the hands of the governor.”
“The Governor failed at keeping our residents in nursing homes safe, he failed at rolling out the vaccination, and he failed at protecting our residents,” said Assemblywoman Jodi Giglio. “It is clear that the time has come to end the Governor's emergency powers, and to restore and enhance Legislative oversight in Albany.”
Assemblywoman Giglio would also like to see the appointment of more Republican members to the commission in order to foster great bi-partisanship and ensure that the membership better reflects the make-up of the state legislature.
“One of the State Legislature’s duties is to act as a check on the Governor’s powers,” Palumbo concluded. “Enhancing Legislative oversight on JCOPE and ending the governor’s emergency powers will bring much needed balance to Albany and give New Yorkers a louder voice in their state government.”