ALBANY, NY – Senator Daphne Jordan, Senate Republican Leader Rob Ortt, and members of the Senate Republican Conference today called for an end to unconstitutional mandates promulgated by Governor Kathy Hochul and her Department of Health. The Republicans announced they would force a vote on the New York Senate floor today to end the mandates.
This vote comes in the wake of the so-called vax or mask business mandate being lifted, but with the mask mandate in schools and childcare centers remaining in place. Children are the least vulnerable individuals with regard to COVID-19, but the most susceptible to psychological damage due to their lives being upended for the past two years.
“School children and toddlers are suffering emotionally. Parents and families are at their wit’s end. New Yorkers are just sick and tired of these one-size-fits-all Albany mandates. I vowed to my constituents that I would fight these unconstitutional mandates until every single one is lifted. I intend to keep that promise, and I am proud to stand alongside my fellow Republicans today to force our Democrat colleagues to explain where they stand. It’s time to end the mandates now,” said Leader Ortt.
“It’s well past time for Governor Hochul to finally end her mask mandate for school children. Families are fed up, frustrated, and want the Governor’s mask mandate removed – and we want New York State to start putting our kids first. While neighboring states including Massachusetts, Pennsylvania, New Jersey, and Connecticut all have mask mandate off-ramps, Governor Hochul's indecision and delay are keeping our kids on a road to nowhere, with no end in sight to her oppressive mask mandates that are doing real harm mentally, emotionally, developmentally, and educationally. The people are speaking — and the Governor needs to start listening,” said Senator Daphne Jordan (R,C,I-Halfmoon).
Senate Republicans have been a steadfast voice calling for more checks and balances in state government, and putting an end to the Cuomo-Hochul era of governance by mandates. Last month, the conference called on Governor Hochul to end her one-size-fits-all Albany mandates and return to fact-based, collaborative governing. Additionally, Leader Ortt has called on the Governor multiple times to unmask our kids.
Last week, Leader Ortt and Senate Republicans penned a letter to the Governor blasting the decision to keep kids masked & calling for metrics for an off-ramp. A representative from the Department of Health later confirmed that they have no “data targets” for ending school masking. On Saturday, Leader Ortt stood with educators and parents to reiterate his calls for an end to the child mask mandate.
A key plan in the Senate Republicans' “Take Back New York” 2022 agenda – which the Conference has been unveiling since January – is restoring accountability to state government. One of the policies within the plan is to restore checks and balances to the state government.
The amendment will be presented, debated, and voted on in today’s Senate Session.