Last Spring, our state and nation faced an unprecedented public health crisis, and decisive action was necessary to preserve the health and lives of New Yorkers.
In the intervening year, we have navigated some of the toughest days in the history of our state, and have begun to distribute the vaccine which will bring a return to normalcy.
The legislation announced today by Speaker Carl Heastie to revoke the Governor’s extraordinary emergency powers recognizes how far we have come from the darkest days of 2020. We have taken a careful and nuanced approach to restoring the balance of power that gives due consideration to the ongoing needs of the people of this state as we mount our final assault on this deadly disease. We are narrowly tailoring our approach to those policies which remain vital to the continued success of our vaccine rollout to ensure we do not lose the ground we’ve fought so hard to gain.
I am proud to support the introduction of this legislation, and I will cast a vote in favor of it. I am disappointed in several of my colleagues in the minority who chose to politicize public health, rather than productively contribute to the next step in our COVID recovery. In their zeal to score points against the Governor they attempted to force through a dangerous and ill-thought plan that puts the health and safety of our people at risk. Their silence as former President Trump’s wanton disregard and political gamesmanship contributed to the deaths of hundreds of thousands of Americans was deafening, and should never be forgotten. I applaud the patience and restraint the Speaker and my colleagues in the majority showed to craft smart legislation that keeps us on a path towards victory against COVID-19 rather than bowing to outside pressure to simply reflexively revoke the Governor’s powers.