The New York state Senate has passed a bill that will repeal emergency powers granted to Gov. Andrew CuomoAndrew CuomoWill media portrayals of Rittenhouse lead to another day in court? NY Assembly report corroborates Cuomo harassment claims The real 'threat to democracy'? Pols who polarize us with their opinions MORE (D) at the start of the coronavirus 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,” the New York State Senate said in a press release.
The push to strip Cuomo of his emergency powers comes as he faces two controversies, one over allegations from several different women of improper conduct and sexual harassment and another over the counting of deaths from the pandemic at nursing homes in the state.
“I think everyone understands where we were back in March and where we are now. We certainly see the need for a quick response but also want to move toward a system of increased oversight and review. The public deserves to have checks and balances,” Senate Majority Leader Andrea Stewart-Cousins said.
All Democrats voted for the bill, but the 20 Republicans in the Senate voted against the measure because they didn’t believe it went fair enough to restrict Cuomo’s powers given the accusations he faces, CNN reported.
The State Assembly is expecting to pass a similar bill Friday and then the legislation would go to Cuomo’s desk. Democrats in the Senate have the supermajority needed to get the bill passed if Cuomo tries to veto it.
The bill requires Cuomo to give notice to the Legislature to extend or change current directives and requires Cuomo to respond to any questions from the Legislature if a directive is extended.
Along with that, the governor will be required to make a database to track the directives still in place and the Senate could use a concurrent resolution to end a state emergency disaster.
Calls for Cuomo to resign have grown, but the governor said he will not step down.
The Hill has reached out to Cuomo’s office for comment.