The Senate Democratic Majority today advanced legislation repealing the temporary emergency powers that the legislature granted to the Governor last year at the start of the COVID-19 pandemic.
The legislation revokes the Governor’s authority to issue new directives while allowing those that are now enforced and that pertain to preserving public health to continue under significantly greater legislative oversight.
This system restores the pre-existing balance of power, ensures genuine checks and balances even during a state of emergency, and mandates a better flow of information between the Governor, the Legislature, and the State’s localities for the remainder of the pandemic.
This legislation, S.5357, passed by the Senate Majority will establish new checks by the Legislature on the authority of the Governor during the pandemic by:
- Revoking the Governor’s authority to issue any new directives.
- Authorizing the Governor to extend or modify directives that are currently in effect to respond to the ongoing pandemic, but requires five days’ notice to the Legislature or to local elected officials before that extension or modification goes into effect.
- Requiring the Governor to respond publicly to any comments they received from the Legislature or from local leaders if a directive is extended.
- Requiring the Governor to create a searchable database of all executive actions that remain in force to inform lawmakers and the public with the current state of the law.
- Allowing the Legislature to terminate a state disaster emergency by concurrent resolution.
PLUS COVID GROWTH CONTINUES AT 4OO NEW CASES A DAY
STEPHEN ROLANDI ON THE ROAD AHEAD AS CUOMO CRISIS FREEZES LEGISLATURE AND MORE!
WPCNR ALBANY ROUNDS. News and Comment. By Stephen J. Rolandi. March 4, 2021:
(Professor Rolandi served in the administrations of Governors David Paterson and Andrew Cuomo from 2008-13 as Deputy Commissioner, New York State Division of Human Rights. A political scientist, he is an Adjunct Professor of Public Administration at Pace University and John Jay College of Criminal Justice, City University of New York. His views are his own and do not necessarily reflect those of his current/former employers).
Governor Cuomo continues to be under fire, despite his seemingly contrite appearance in yesterday afternoon’s press conference. He faces serious allegations on three fronts – sexual harassment of young women in his circles; verbal threats/harassment against other state officials; and Federal investigation into alleged mishandling of the reporting of COVID-19 data in nursing homes.
The crisis has raised a number of legal, political, administrative and constitutional issues. It comes at a time when the state faces a $ 15 billion budget gap next year (the fiscal year begins on 4/1/21); a severe economic and budgetary situation in New York City; 2022 redistricting; police reform; continuing efforts to deal with the COVID-19 pandemic, etc.
The decision to begin an independent legal investigation by the State Attorney General was prudent, given that the state ethics board (JCOPE) and the legislature would be conflicted to launch their own investigation. Also conflicted would have been a new investigatory Moreland Commission (which only the Governor can initiate).
It is interesting to note that many establishment Democratic elected officials in New York have declined to call for his resignation. Indeed, most governors in the National Governors Association (NGA) have also declined to call on Cuomo to step down as NGA Chairman.
If Governor Cuomo is forced to resign, which in my view does not appear imminent unless there are new allegations, accusations, etc., he would be succeeded by the current Lt. Governor, Kathy C. Hochul.
Ms. Hochul previously served in the U.S. House of Representatives and was County Clerk of Erie County (Buffalo, NY); earlier in her career, she served as a legislative aide to the late U.S. Senator Daniel Patrick Moynihan (note: the State Constitution permits the Lt. Governor to serve as “acting governor” if the Governor is disabled or is away during a prolonged absence from the state).
If she becomes Governor, I believe she would be permitted to appoint a new Lt. Governor, as did Governor David Paterson in 2009 when he appointed Richard Ravitch as Lt. Governor. This action was upheld by the NYS Court of Appeals in the 2009 case of Paterson v. Skelos.
Governor Cuomo has generally compiled a strong record of accomplishments since taking office in 2011. Whatever the outcome of the pending investigations and legal processes, I believe that he will ultimately not seek a fourth term next year, thus setting up what is likely to be a wide-open contest in both parties for the statehouse. Time will tell.
WPCNR GOVERNOR ANDREW CUOMO CORONAVIRUS REPORT. MARCH 3, 2021:
New Yorkers have done a tremendous job working to stop the spread of COVID, and we are gradually able to expand reopening while protecting the public health.
Beginning April 2, event, arts and entertainment venues can reopen at 33 percent capacity, up to 100 people indoors and up to 200 people outdoors. If all attendees present proof of a negative test prior to entry, capacity can increase up to 150 people indoors and up to 500 people outdoors.
Social distancing and face coverings will be required for all attendees, as well as strict adherence to all applicable Department of Health guidance.
We are in an urgent race against the virus and we need to continue the trend of the infection rate moving down and the vaccination rate going up. New Yorkers will get through this as long as we stay tough and keep this momentum heading in the right direction.
Photo of the Day: The State-FEMA mass vaccination site in Rochester began administering vaccines today (Photo by Mike Groll) Here’s what else you need to know tonight:
1. COVID hospitalizations dropped slightly to 5,323. Of the 218,069 tests reported yesterday, 7,704, or 3.53 percent, were positive. There were 1,047 patients in ICU yesterday, down 29 from the previous day. Of them, 735 are intubated. Sadly, we lost 75 New Yorkers to the virus.
2. As of 11am Wednesday, 95 percent of first doses allocated to the state have been administered. This represents 3,125,025 first doses administered of the 3,290,980 first dose allocations received from the federal government. So far, 4,819,412 total doses have been administered out of the 5,372,605 total doses received. See data by region and county on the State’s Vaccine Tracker: ny.gov/vaccinetracker.
3. Eligible New Yorkers in Buffalo, Rochester, the Albany area and Yonkers area can make appointments at the State-FEMA mass vaccination sites. Vaccine appointments are available to eligible New Yorkers within the host county of each site, with the exception of the Albany site, which also serves residents from Rensselaer and Schenectady Counties. If you are eligible and live in any of these four areas, schedule an appointment through the State’s Am I Eligible Tool or by calling the NYS COVID Vaccine Hotline at 1-833-NYS-4-VAX (1-833-697-4829).
4. New York is expanding gathering capacity limitations starting March 22. Residential gatherings of up to 25 people can be held outdoors. Indoor residential gatherings remain capped at 10 people to reduce the continued risk of spread, which is more likely in indoor settings. Additionally, non-residential social gatherings of us to 100 people can occur indoors and up to 200 people can occur outdoors.
Ever Upward, Governor Andrew M. Cuomo
Greetings from the White Plains Republican City Committee,
The following positions for elected office will be filled by the voters in November of 2021: County Executive; County Clerk; County Legislator for Districts 5 and 8; City of White Plains Mayor; and three (3) seats on the Common Council of the City of White Plains.
We strive to be the party of inclusion. We embrace the participation of all individuals who share our core beliefs of self-determination, limited government intrusion in our lives, lower taxes, and the creation of economic and social advancement for every member of our community.
All are welcome to join us this election cycle as a candidate for office or as a member of our campaign organization.
It does not matter who you are, what you look like, your level of education, your age, your current party affiliation, background, or your level of involvement in public life. The White Plains Republican Party is your party of opportunity and an alternative voice, and we welcome your participation.
If you are interested in running for public office in November or if you want to join our team, please contact us at the above phone number or any of the below emails and a member of our screening committee will contact you.
Anthony Pilla: firstname.lastname@example.org;
Brian Peroni: email@example.com; or
Peter Sverd: firstname.lastname@example.org.
The petition process begins on March 2, 2021 and ends on March 25, 2021.
Join us on Sunday, March 21, 3:00 – 4:00 p.m. for a conversation with Mara Gay, a New York Times Editorial Board member who writes about politics and New York. She’s also an MSNBC political analyst, appearing regularly to discuss national politics. Mara’s journalism career began at White Plains High School, where she served as editor-in-chief for The Orange.
Mara will be interviewed by Bill Falk, editor-in-chief of The Week, a weekly news magazine with editions in the United Kingdom and United States. Previously he worked at Newsday, where he was part of two reporting teams that won Pulitzer Prizes. Bill has been a resident of White Plains since 1992.
He’ll be talking with Mara Gay about what it’s like working as a journalist today including topics such as reporting during a pandemic, fake news, and sharing opinions in a polarized political climate.
This program is sponsored by the White Plains Library Foundation.