Democratic State Senator Gustavo Rivera speaks out against Cuomo

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BRONX NY (PIX) – The tide is turning against Governor Cuomo for his handling of nursing home deaths during the pandemic AND the way he’s pushed back against his fellow state lawmakers.

Both State Assembly and Senate appear to be on the verge of stripping away at least some of Cuomo’s emergency powers to handle the pandemic.

And as PIX 11’s Henry Rosoff heard firsthand today— lawmakers are starting to be less and less afraid to speak out against the most powerful figure in the state.

Make no mistake about it, even during the height of praise being heaped on the Governor for calmly handling the pandemic, criticism was bubbling under the surface.

Well now it’s boiling over.

The Governor is accused of not being transparent about nursing home deaths— and handling it by threatening an assembly member.

We heard to today threats are a go-to tactic to Cuomo.

Bronx State Senator Gustavo Rivera started the off the cuff conversation just before a Zoom press conference about prison reform.

With more than a dozen state lawmakers on the call– Rivera unloaded on the Governor— who’s been accused of berating Queens Assemblyman Ron Kim for being critical of Cuomo’s handling of the nursing homes during the pandemic.

Cuomo denies the allegation.

Another lawmaker off camera reveals a nickname among state leaders for Cuomo.

Rivera says there are real consequences to crossing Cuomo and he wishes more lawmakers would stand up to him.

“He can still take your bill out of a pile and veto them because he loathes you that happens it happens to me, he does all sorts of things so I can’t hold my tongue for this guy,” says Rivera.

And the dissent appears to be growing.

Leadership in the Assembly says there will be a conference about stripping Cuomo’s emergency pandemic powers in the quote—  “very near future.”

Senate leadership according to multiple sources may move on this as early as next week— creating a commission to review anything pandemic related Cuomo does.

Senate leader Andrea Stewart Cousins says quote:

“We certainly see the need for quick response… Our proposal would create a system with increased input while at the same time ensuring New Yorkers continue to be protected.”

But perhaps it was Assemblyman Harvey Epstein who put the situation best— if not eloquently.

Assemblyman Epstein joins: We’re all stepping in a bucket of BLEEP right now.

Reporter Henry Rosoff followed up with State Senator Rivera who made clear he himself has only been threatened by Cuomo’s staff not him personally— but still insists Cuomo has done the threatening personally to many lawmakers.

He also reached out to the Governor’s office for comment… TBD

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