ALBANY, NY – With the state’s flip flopping on its decision on mask requirements in New York schools causing chaos for families and school communities across the state, Senator Sue Serino today joined members of the Senate and the Assembly at a press conference at the Capitol to call for an immediate, full repeal of the Governor’s Emergency Pandemic Powers.
“My office has been inundated with calls and emails from parents and school officials who are beside themselves trying to keep track of the Governor’s arbitrary and changing rules regarding masks in schools,” said Senator Serino. “The Governor and the Health Commissioner have caused absolute chaos, with their indecisiveness even forcing some districts to go remote today with little notice given to parents, many of whom are just getting back to the workplace. Their flip-flopping on such a critical decision is truly absurd. It is far past time to fully strip the Governor of his emergency powers, restore local control, and get our kids safely back in school without these needless interruptions.”
Serino and her colleagues introduced a concurrent resolution that would terminate the state disaster emergency declared by Governor Cuomo in March of 2020 under Executive Order 202 and put an end to his unilateral authority. While the Governor’s enhanced emergency powers were set to expire on April 30, 2021, the Legislature’s Supermajority effectively extended the Governor’s authority indefinitely under legislation - supposedly negotiated in consultation with the Governor - that they argued would rescind these wide-reaching powers, but instead actually extended them indefinitely.
Serino and her colleagues have advanced a number of similar resolutions and amendments since last year, each of which has been rejected outright by the Supermajority, despite a large number of lawmakers actively calling for the scandal-scarred Governor’s resignation.
“To end this Legislative Session without fully repealing the Governor’s Emergency Pandemic Powers would do an incredible disservice to the residents we serve,” Serino continued. “These powers were implemented to prevent chaotic decision making in an unprecedented time. As evidenced by the absolute turmoil we saw today, it could not be clearer that they have far outlived their usefulness. The Supermajority cannot continue to avoid responsibility for these arbitrary and out of touch decisions by simply leaving them in the Governor’s hands. Enough is enough.”