ALBANY, NY – Governor Hochul announced today that she is not extending her COVID Emergency Powers.
NewsChannel 34’s Amal Tlaige has reaction from lawmakers.
“Now we’ve reached the point where it makes absolutely, positively no sense to extend them and she knows it’s an embarrassment to have those queen-like powers.”
Emergency powers give the Governor authority to declare a state of emergency. This was done when former Governor Andrew Cuomo was in office during the pandemic, and has been used continuously since Governor Hochul has taken that same seat.
“Given that we are in a different place now even making announcements about taking masks off on public transportation we have a new booster shot as a few days ago so we’re watching the numbers right now we’re feeling comfortable that we can suspend them, we haven’t following the normal procurement rules for some time, but this allowed us some extraordinary measures that we won’t need right now.”
Governor Hochul says her administration has been studying the number of COVID cases especially when school started last week, with those numbers being stable Hochul says she now feels comfortable relinquishing those powers which will expire by midnight tonight.
Republicans lawmakers have consistently criticized the Governor and democrats for extending those powers saying it defeats the purpose of having elected officials. Senator Jim Tedisco says the change is welcomed, but it’s too little, too late.
“It’s already impacted hundreds and thousands, millions of our young children they’re behind by years five, ten, 15 some say 30 years behind in their educational structure because of something that actually didn’t work.”
Senator Tedisco says even with these powers expiring the Republicans party is concerned moving forward.
“Many times during the course of this COVID virus we had the ability to come back, take control and make some decisions. Our colleagues in the majority at any point, at just a suggestion she wants them back will just hand them over to her.”
Governor Hochul says if circumstances change with COVID the state has all the necessary resources to protect respond to any outbreaks. Reporting in Albany, Amal Tlaige.