ALBANY, NY - Senate Democrats today rejected an amendment brought to the floor by Senator Pam Helming to rescind Governor Cuomo’s expanded powers. The Governor has used and extended these extraordinary powers, originally granted in response to the COVID-19 pandemic for over 140 days.
“We can all agree that in times of crisis, decisions must often be made quickly. However, they should not be made in a way that undermines the very foundation of our democracy and our system of checks and balances. No Governor, regardless of political party, should have the ability to make hundreds of unilateral changes to state laws without input from the State Legislature. We have elected a State Legislature for a reason and it’s unconscionable that elected officials would choose to give up their constitutional responsibility and simply hand it over to the Governor,” said Senator Helming.
Since the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic, the Governor has unilaterally enacted or changed hundreds of laws. New Yorkers from across the entire state and specifically, the Wayne Finger Lakes Region, have expressed their concern with this process. They want to know their elected officials have a say & a vote in the decisions being made. Decisions that reflect their priorities, needs and circumstances, and impact themselves and their family members in the most profound way.
“This week, the Senate Majority missed another key opportunity to join together as members of the NYS Senate and take back our authority and be wholly accountable to the people we were elected to represent,” Senator Helming said.
Senator Helming’s remarks can be found HERE.