ALBANY, N.Y. (WSYR-TV) — Assembly Minority Leader Will Barclay says the first order of business for New York lawmakers should be to take back some of the emergency powers legislators gave Governor Andrew Cuomo last March at the start of the pandemic. Barclay says those powers were granted to the governor when there was great uncertainty about the pandemic and the legislature’s ability to meet to conduct its business.
Barclay, a Republican from Oswego County, has served 19 years in the Democratic-controlled Assembly. This is his second year as minority leader.
Governor Andrew Cuomo is set to deliver his State of the State speech Monday as the state is facing a more than $15-billion dollar budget shortfall due to the costs of fighting the COVID-19 pandemic and a loss in tax revenues due to business shutdowns.
Barclay hopes the governor will put forward a plan of tax cuts and deregulation that will help small businesses recover from the pandemic, and help revive the state’s economy.
What Barclay hopes not to hear from Cuomo or the Democratic majority in the legislature is a call for an increase in taxes to close the budget gap.
He doesn’t support the idea of jumping into mobile internet sports betting or legalizing recreational use of marijuana, just for their hoped-for revenue-generating prospects. He has reservations about both and believes they should be acted on based on their merits, not just a rush for revenue.
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