Elmira, N.Y., June 23—State Senator Tom O’Mara (R,C,I-Big Flats) released the following statement after today’s announcement that the COVID-19 State of Emergency in New York State will expire on Thursday:
“The end of the State of Emergency is what we all have been waiting, working, and sacrificing toward. It has been clear throughout the past fifteen months that communities here in the Southern Tier and Finger Lakes regions, and across New York State, could not have kept moving forward throughout this pandemic without the perseverance, sacrifice, and undeniable strength of frontline workers, essential employees and volunteers in health care, agriculture, businesses large and small, law enforcement and public safety, education, community and social services, and so many other fields.
“Our gratitude to frontline heroes cannot be measured and their example will continue to show the way to a better and stronger future. We have demonstrated that by working together, pulling for each other, and staying informed, our communities will always be resilient and, in the face of whatever comes our way, never lose hope in recovering.
“That will be the case here. The work of rebuilding and getting our communities back on solid ground again begin in earnest now. Most importantly, it needs to be delivered through local decision-making. One of the key lessons learned from the COVID-19 emergency is that state and local decision-making cannot be left indefinitely in the hands of one branch of government that will impose a one-size-fits-all, across-the-board response.
“I truly hope that the State Legislature reengages in its constitutional role of checks and balances on the Executive. Governor Cuomo's unilateral, dictatorial emergency powers continued for far too long unfettered by legislative approvals or oversight. His abuse of these emergency powers devastated our Upstate economy and, in fact, New York State now languishes behind every other state in the nation on economic recovery since the pandemic. Further, New York continues to lead the country in unemployment. The Governor and the legislature's Democrat Majorities that allowed his unilateral powers to remain in place for far too long are largely to blame for New York's floundering economy. Much work needs to be done, and quickly, to kick-start the state's economy and get people back to work.
“The Legislature must return from its recess to immediately take up a pro-jobs and pro-business package to get the state’s economy on its feet.”