ALBANY, N.Y. (WSYR-TV) — Governor Andrew Cuomo signed off on a bill that limits his emergency pandemic powers Monday morning.
This process means Governor Cuomo can no longer sign new mandates on his own, like when he reduced capacity in restaurants, without approval from the state legislature. But there is a caveat. The governor is able to extend already existing directives like the mask mandate. Those powers will expire automatically once the state of emergency expires in April, or sooner if the legislature chooses to do so.
Some Republicans have criticized this bill for still allowing Cuomo to extend previous mandates.
“I think it was appropriate to scale back the ones that we gave him, the extraordinary powers that we gave him because we’re in a different phase of the pandemic,” said Senator Rachel May. “We’re at a point where local governments, county governments have the tools to deal with a lot of things that come at them, even if it comes at them pretty fast.”
Now, all of this comes after dual investigations into Cuomo and his administration.
At this point, at least five women have come forward accusing the governor of sexual misconduct or harassment.
Plus an FBI investigation is looking into his handling of nursing homes during the pandemic. A New York Times report last week claimed the administration altered that data.
More Democratic leaders are stepping up and calling for Governor Cuomo to step down. Senate Majority Leader Andrea Stewart-Cousins leading the charge Sunday, saying it’s getting hard to govern without daily distraction.
May, who is Chair of the Committee of Aging, added, “Given the increasing number of allegations, the recent expose on potential alteration of nursing home data, and now serious questions on the viability of a major infrastructure project, we have reached that point. For the good of the people, we must be able to do our jobs and serve the public without constant distraction.”
The call for resignation continues to garner bipartisan support with Republican members of the assembly taking it a step further.
“I’ve always been calling for an impeachment commission to be formed based on the nursing home coverup but we feel very strongly that it should be expanded to these sexual harassment claims,” said William Barclay.
The governor made it clear on a call with reporters Sunday that he will not be resigning despite the calls for him to step down. He said in light of the allegations it would be anti-democratic since due process is part of our democracy. He’s asking for people to wait for the results of the Attorney General’s investigation saying he was elected by the people of New York and he will continue to answer and to serve them.