Assembly Minority Leader William A. Barclay is calling for a return to regular state government operations and an end to Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo’s expanded emergency powers in light of declining COVID-19 cases across the state.
Are you surprised the north country does not yet meet Gov. Cuomo's criteria to begin reopening?
In his May 9 statement, Mr. Barclay noted that the emergency powers were always intended to be temporary and that the time has now come for state government to return to its basic principle of representative democracy.
“The decisions we face in the coming weeks will impact New Yorkers for years to come,” he said in the statement. “When are regions opening up? How do we fix a $13 billion budget hole? What are we doing to help people and businesses fully recover? Answers to these questions need to be developed through a legislative process and in a manner that gives a voice to every New Yorker. One-party rule is rife with issues.”
Since assuming widespread authority after declaring a state of emergency on March 7 and later extending the order to June 6, Gov. Cuomo has issued 29 executive orders and changed more than 250 laws in response to the COVID-19 crisis, according to Mr. Barclay’s release.
On April 20, the Assembly Minority called for a plan to regionally reopen businesses in regions where COVID-19 was less prevalent. While Gov. Cuomo presented a framework for reopening areas meeting certain conditions, as of this week, no regions in New York State have met the governor’s criteria, according to the release.
During his Sunday press conference, the governor said some regions of New York can start reopening Friday, but would not say which regions are eligible to reopen under the state’s four-phase reopening plan he outlined May 4.
“Fortunately, we have seen improvements in COVID-19 numbers and I hope that trend continues,” Mr. Barclay said. “With critical decisions and budget activity directly in front of us, it is essential that our branches of government function as co-equal partners and in a manner where 19.5 million New Yorkers are properly represented.”