New York State Senate passes bill to repeal Cuomo's emergency executive powers

Associated Press Photo

The New York State Senate passed a bill to repeal Gov. Andrew Cuomo's expanded emergency executive powers Friday.

Posted: Mar 5, 2021 4:42 PM
Updated: Mar 5, 2021 4:48 PM

The New York State Senate passed a bill to repeal Gov. Andrew Cuomo's expanded emergency executive powers Friday.

The vote split straight down the party lines, with all 20 Republican senators saying the bill does not go far enough to curtail Cuomo's power and voting against it.

"Today, under this new legislation the governor will no longer be able to issue any new directives, period," said Senate Majority Leader Andrea Stewart-Cousins. "In light of recent events, however, it is clear that we need to move toward a system of increased oversight, review and verification between the Legislature and the executive branch, and also limit the powers granted to the governor."

The legislation limits Cuomo's executive powers 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.

The State Assembly is still in session and is expected to pass the same bill later Friday.

It will be sent to the Cuomo's desk immediately after it passes both houses, according to a legislative source.

Democrats have a veto-proof majority should Cuomo try to nix it, but the governor said Wednesday during a news conference that he supported the bill.

Sen. Mike Gianaris, who argued the bill as the sponsor on the floor Friday, said Cuomo had lied in his characterization of the bill in the news conference.

"I heard the governor's press conference and to be clear, the governor lied. There was no agreement between the House and the Legislature and the governor on this bill. It may surprise my colleagues or not that this governor might tell a lie, but that's in fact what happened. Why would he agree to sign it? I can speculate. I can speculate that he didn't want to be embarrassed by the fact that the Legislature was repealing his emergency powers and is trying to pretend that he had something to do with it," Gianaris said.

CNN has reached out to the governor's office for comment on the passage of the bill.

The Senate and Assembly leaders issued a joint statement Tuesday announcing that they'd reached an agreement on how to curtail the governor's expanded executive powers they gave him at the beginning of the coronavirus pandemic.

The law, originally passed last spring, gave Cuomo the power to issue unilateral directives for the pandemic emergency and was scheduled to expire next month.

Controversy over COVID-19 fatalities of New York long-term care residents prompted increasing calls to repeal Cuomo's expanded executive powers from both sides of the aisle last mon

New York Coronavirus Cases

County data is updated nightly.

Cases: 2796990

Reported Deaths: 57880
CountyCasesDeaths
Kings35476411002
Queens33149310435
Suffolk2618833704
Nassau2312823342
Bronx2155886818
New York1795964670
Westchester1503482358
Erie1302212100
Monroe1014341267
Richmond943901978
Orange63761945
Onondaga61679829
Rockland56262783
Dutchess38898514
Albany35586421
Oneida34426660
Niagara30089428
Broome29230441
Saratoga26027234
Schenectady20033252
Ulster19676295
Rensselaer18229199
Chautauqua15775197
Oswego14855138
St. Lawrence13495148
Putnam13437101
Chemung13381179
Steuben13175195
Ontario12310121
Jefferson11931108
Wayne10862107
Cattaraugus10460166
Cayuga10104115
Sullivan1001290
Genesee9064147
Herkimer8743147
Clinton846950
Fulton8157115
Tompkins774161
Warren773199
Madison7721110
Livingston756879
Montgomery7519165
Washington713484
Tioga664474
Allegany6326124
Cortland628089
Columbia5970115
Chenango584498
Orleans582497
Franklin574627
Otsego570468
Wyoming558370
Greene514391
Delaware471953
Lewis436940
Seneca345670
Essex311940
Schoharie290426
Yates209434
Schuyler204820
Hamilton5313
Unassigned1472
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