State Senator Pam Helming and Assemblyman David DiPietro today announced that they are introducing legislation to repeal new powers granted earlier this year to Governor Cuomo. Under S.7919, the Governor of New York was given the power to take virtually any action he deems necessary when there is a declared emergency. This measure gives him the ability to make changes and enact legislation without consulting the state legislature, holding hearings, or providing opportunities for public input. He may declare an emergency in virtually any circumstance. 

Since the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic, in 55 days, the Governor has unilaterally enacted or changed 262 laws. 

“No Governor, Democrat or Republican, should have the ability to make hundreds of unilateral decisions without input from or votes in the state legislature. In times of crisis, decisions must often be made quickly, but they should not be made in a way that undermines the foundation of our democracy and the system of checks and balances. This is something that should concern all of us, regardless of partisan politics. State legislators are elected by their constituents to represent them, people do not solely vote for a governor. The State Legislature and Executive were created to work together for a reason. The State Senate and Assembly cannot abdicate our role in government as legislators and simply leave the difficult decisions to the Governor. I believe that it is our job to listen to our constituents, research the issues, vote and be wholly accountable to the people we represent,” said Senator Helming.  

“Gov. Cuomo has overstepped, superseded and, frankly, taken advantage of his executive authority in the wake of the COVID-19 crisis,” DiPietro said. “We have legislative, executive and judicial branches to balance and check each other. This governor will do anything and everything to extend his power and control over the other branches, which is unjust and simply unamerican. We have to step up and do our duty as legislators to limit this as best we can. We cannot disregard our role and duty to the people of New York.”