Assemblyman Phil Palmesano (R,C,I-Corning) once again joined his Minority Conference colleagues to push back on the governor extending mandates and curfews on bars and restaurants. Every member of the Minority Conference wrote to Majority member leadership demanding answers as to why the 11 p.m. curfew will continue into May. Minority Conference members are looking for written justification as to why the curfews will continue when they have been lifted for other social venues such as billiard halls, casinos, movie theaters, fitness centers and bowling alleys. As of March 5, the governor must provide legislative leaders and committee chairs a written justification as to why any orders related to the pandemic have been either altered or extended.
“The governor’s decision to keep these mandates on restaurants and bars is not based on science. His own numbers from a December presentation show that COVID-19 transmission could be traced back to restaurants and bars in only 1.43% of instances. Our restaurants and bars have spent the last year working hard to make the necessary investments and accommodations to meet arbitrary and constantly changing Executive Orders and directives coming from the governor.
“I have said from the start that COVID-19 is not just a public health crisis, but it’s also an economic crisis. Mandatory lockdowns, curfews and overregulation have crushed our local businesses, workers and families. The Southern Tier has proven to be a leader in New York state, keeping COVID-19 transmission rates down. Our region continues to have a 7-day rolling average of under 1% in positive tests.
“These low transmission rates should be met with continued reopening. It is well past time we open and allow our small businesses to get back to making the living they have missed out on for over a year. I urge my colleagues in the Majority to swiftly give us documentation from the administration that gives justification for the extension of curfews and other arbitrary mandates, like requiring a food purchase with a drink order, on our bars and restaurants,” said Palmesano.