Feb. 17, 2021
ABLANY — New York Senate Democrats are moving to strip Governor Andrew Cuomo of his emergency COVID powers.
The New York Times reports that Senate leaders now intend to pass a bill that would limit the governor’s ability to supersede state laws to combat the pandemic and would instead establish a instead 10-person commission to evaluate any future pandemic-related directives by Mr. Cuomo, as well as suspensions of laws.
The news comes on the heals of reports that the FBI and the U.S. attorney’s office in Brooklyn have launched an investigation that is examining, at least in part, the actions of Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo’s coronavirus task force in its handling of nursing homes and other long-term care facilities during the pandemic, the Times Union reports.
It is still unclear if the Democrat-dominated State Assembly will follow the Senate’s lead; members from both parties have introduced bills that would give the Legislature different degrees of oversight over the governor’s decisions. Plus, any bill passed would need to be signed by the governor himself, though with supermajorities in both chambers, Democrats could override any veto. Republicans in the minority have also called for the governor’s powers to be revoked.