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: 1942469

Reported Deaths: 50977
CountyCasesDeaths
Kings2563999824
Queens2561569457
Suffolk1888053289
Nassau1732163085
Bronx1707686325
New York1284834268
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Erie781931671
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Onondaga35149658
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Oneida21095497
Niagara17405331
Broome16957347
Saratoga13944158
Ulster12588240
Schenectady12128189
Rensselaer10359135
Putnam993891
Chautauqua8123131
Chemung6979133
Oswego680590
Ontario661191
Steuben6119141
St. Lawrence607494
Sullivan586468
Cayuga574590
Jefferson534563
Wayne505566
Cattaraugus496679
Genesee4945121
Herkimer4836107
Clinton439131
Madison420185
Tompkins398049
Fulton391085
Livingston389058
Columbia376299
Montgomery3749114
Cortland348260
Warren328855
Tioga327058
Wyoming317450
Allegany310782
Otsego306746
Greene303774
Chenango295672
Washington277955
Orleans267383
Lewis239133
Franklin235112
Delaware206935
Seneca182456
Schoharie147815
Essex147626
Yates108326
Schuyler96913
Hamilton2942
Unassigned17396
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