NBC New York:
The deal would roll back broad powers granted to the governor in the early days of the coronavirus pandemic
Legislators from New York’s Assembly and state Senate struck a deal Tuesday to strip Gov. Andrew Cuomo of his pandemic-linked emergency powers and return matters like lockdowns to local control.
The deal would reverse emergency powers granted to Cuomo exactly a year ago, in the early days of the COVID pandemic, that gave him free rein to order measures like quarantines.
“I think everyone understands where we were back in March and where we are now. We certainly see the need for a quick response but also want to move toward a system of increased oversight, and review. The public deserves to have checks and balances. Our proposal would create a system with increased input while at the same time ensuring New Yorkers continue to be protected,” Senate Majority Leader Andrea Stewart-Cousins said in a statement.
Assemblymember Carrie Woerner tweeted the outlines of the widely reported deal Tuesday afternoon, saying it would:
- “repeal the extraordinary powers granted to the Governor last year”
- “provide for an orderly transition through the end of the disaster period”
- “Limit any further modifications to directives to that which is necessary to reduce the spread or increase vaccinations”
- “Restore the right of counties and municipalities to issue executive orders without seeking state approval”
- “Require the Governor to provide online reporting on all executive orders, providing transparency for all”
Woerner said she understood a bill would be passed as early as this Friday.
While the deal leaves Cuomo with the authority to extend some existing measures, even there he will have to notify various legislative leaders and accept public comment for or against his actions. Legislators will also have the power to repeal a gubernatorial declaration of a state of emergency.