The Governor’s decision to end the state of emergency effective today is a positive development for New Yorkers and those doing business here. After 15 months of unprecedented challenges and changes, we are well-past ready to get back to normal – taking the heavy hand of Albany off our backs. I would like to personally thank all the essential workers who sacrificed on our behalf from Day 1 and the local and county governments who navigated this crisis with courage and composure, as well as the everyday heroes and volunteers who stepped up to help when it was needed most.
With that said, it should come as no surprise that the Governor’s decision has left many unprepared. During the state of emergency, he issued countless Executive Orders which now expire. We can mostly disagree with them – those that led to thousands of small businesses closing, tens of thousands of seniors dying in nursing homes, and hundreds of thousands of our neighbors and friends fleeing our state – but some were common sense and should be continued through the proper course of legislative action. Since the Legislature has finally been restored as a coequal branch of government, we should immediately reconvene in a special session to enact into statute those changes that were helpful to the average New Yorker and small businesses, such as take-out and delivery of alcoholic beverages, licensure for out-of-state medical professionals, and eliminating restrictions on the ability of community pharmacies to deliver vaccinations.
I have long called for, and on 47 occasions voted for, rescinding the Governor’s emergency powers. New York is ready to get back to normal, and it is now incumbent upon us to clean up the Governor’s messes.