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Lawmakers expected to reduce Cuomo’s emergency powers by Friday

Lawmakers plan to reduce the powers held by Gov. Andrew Cuomo since the coronavirus pandemic began last March.

“I think everyone understands where we were back in March and where we are now,” said Senate Majority Leader Andrea Stewart-Cousins in a statement. “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. Our proposal would create a system with increased input while at the same time ensuring New Yorkers continue to be protected.”

It comes as Gov. Cuomo faces additional accusations of sexual harassment and scrutiny over handling of the nursing homes.

His future is admittedly uncertain at this point in time.

The legislation would bar the governor from issuing new statewide directives, with the aim of restoring local control.

“Tonight there are reports that Senate Democrats have tentatively agreed on a bill to end the Governor’s emergency powers. Although the exact text of the bill has not been published, this is the most encouraging sign to date that the Majority is willing to do the responsible thing and restore the lawful role of the State Legislature as a co-equal branch of government,” Sen. Pam Helming said late-Tuesday. Today on the Senate floor, for the 19th time, Senate Democrats rejected our efforts to end these powers. Now, they will introduce their own bill. It’s unfortunate it took a crisis to get them to act. I look forward to reviewing the Democrats’ proposal and hope it will be the genuine repeal we need to get the Legislature back to doing the work it should be doing on behalf of our constituents.”

The legislation to repeal Gov. Cuomo’s authority is expected to be voted on by the end of the week.