The State Senate Democrats finally returned to Albany this week. Unfortunately, they failed to address several of the key issues facing New Yorkers right now:
- They failed to curb the Governor’s powers and restore some semblance of checks and balances to our State Government;
- They failed to address the safety of senior citizens and employees in nursing homes; and
- They failed to help struggling small businesses that have been devastated by the COVID-19 shutdown.
In contrast, my Senate Republican colleagues and I joined together in proposing three much-needed amendments:
First, we advanced a common sense proposal designed to rein-in the Governor’s emergency powers, and restore our state government’s constitutionally-sound system of legislative oversight, input and collaboration. After 89 days, it’s clearly time for checks and balances to be restored here in New York State.
We also advanced a proposal that would help to address the tragedy that has unfolded in nursing homes across the state. Our plan would provide no less than $100 million in immediate funding for increased testing, PPE, and staff -- all of which will help save lives and keep our seniors safe. I share the outrage felt by many New Yorkers about the Governor and State Health Department's failure to adequately protect our nursing home residents and staff, and I believe we can and must do better.
In addition, we advanced a measure designed to help small businesses across the state that have been devastated by the COVID-19 shutdown. Our proposal would ensure that these businesses will not see their Unemployment Insurance costs skyrocket in the days ahead as a result of layoffs caused through no fault of their own. Many of these crucial employers have been struggling to survive, and this will help them get through the challenging times that lie ahead.
Although the Senate Democrats failed to support these measures, you may rest assured that my colleagues and I in the Senate Republican Conference will continue to keep the pressure on in the coming days and weeks.