Legislative Democrats, GOP put different spin on bill impacting Cuomo’s emergency powers

Cuomo Under Fire

ALBANY, N.Y. (WIVB) – State legislators are expected to vote Friday on a bill that would impact Governor Andrew Cuomo’s emergency powers, which were granted to him last year at the beginning of the coronavirus crisis and set to expire on April 30th. But the two sides of the legislative aisle have different spin on what the bill actually does.

For instance, New York State Republican chairman Nick Langworthy says, “Make no mistake. This deal does not strip the governor’s emergency powers.”

Here’s what Democrats in the legislature say the bill does: it would prevent Cuomo from issuing any new directives. Any standing directives expire after 30 days. However, the governor can extend or modify COVID-related directives after informing lawmakers. The legislature can repeal any order with a majority vote.

While unveiling the legislation Tuesday, Democrats said it repealed the governor’s emergency powers. But speaking on Wednesday, Cuomo said, “The COVID emergency powers continue past April 30th.”

“I think the governor misrepresented the legislation,” said Democratic Assemblywoman Monica Wallace in response Thursday. “The legislation revokes his emergency powers.”

“The idea that is being put out there by the GOP, and to some extent the governor, that this is just extending his powers, is absolutely not true,” she added.

That’s just what Langworthy claimed as he spoke in front of the State Capitol on Thursday.

“I’d rather have an expiration date on all of this nonsense and go back to living in a democracy rather than a dictatorship,” he said.

Cuomo also claimed Wednesday that there was an agreement between the executive and legislative branches on this bill. That prompted Assembly Speaker Carl Heastie to respond, “We did not negotiate this bill with the Governor.”

“One of the two is lying,” Langworthy said. “But the legislation is still pitiful.”

Chris Horvatits is an award-winning anchor and reporter who has been part of the News 4 team since 2017. See more of his work here.

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