Governor Oversight Committee proposed

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ALBANY, NY – Efforts to give state lawmakers more say regarding the Governor’s emergency directives are in the works.

Cuomo’s emergency powers granted by the legislature in March of last year are due to expire April 30th.

NewsChannel 34’s Corina Cappabianca has more on a Senate proposal that could be taken up next week.

The expiration date on the Governor’s emergency powers is coming up, and state lawmakers are looking to reassert the legislature into the process.

((Michael Gianaris, NYS Senate Deputy Majority Leader))
I understand a year ago when we set up this unique situation there was a pandemic that was brand new, we were still trying to figure out how to deal with it. Government was required to act very quickly and nimbly and flexibly.

But, New York State Senate Deputy Majority Leader Mike Gianaris says his conference has come up with a way to make sure the legislature has more of a say in policy, while also having a structure where it can move quickly, without being bogged down by the legislative committee process in cases of emergency.

((Michael Gianaris, NYS Senate Deputy Majority Leader))
we are proposing that there be a committee of legislators who would be required to approve any directives before they take effect, which is a lot better than what we have now, which is that these directives happen absence some kind of override at a later date.

The current law says that “The legislature may terminate by concurrent resolution executive orders… at any time.”

The Governor has said the legislature can reverse any action that he takes.

((Andrew Cuomo, Governor))
Not even by a bill, just by passing 50% of the Assembly and the Senate. They have never reversed a single action.

But, Gianaris says there have been a number of decisions made where the legislature has felt left out.

((Michael Gianaris, NYS Senate Deputy Majority Leader))
Nursing home decisions going back a year was certainly one of them, but the decisions around business closures, restrictions, the vaccine rollout all these things were happening without adequate consultation, without transparency which is something we learned in the last couple weeks.

The Senate proposal would also need to be agreed on by the Assembly.

((Michael Gianaris, NYS Senate Deputy Majority Leader))
I know that the Assembly has been briefed on what we’re suggesting, and I think they’re considering it and are going to be discussing it themselves when we’re back in session.

Yesterday a spokesperson for Assembly Speaker Carl Heastie’s Office told us members “will be conferencing what to do with the Governor’s powers in the very near future.”

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