After a top aide to New York Governor Andrew Cuomo admitted to fellow Democrats that his administration intentionally withheld COVID-19 death totals of nursing home patients in order to avoid a Department of Justice investigation, 14 state senators are calling to strip Cuomo's emergency powers. And they're all Democrats.
"Without exception, the New York State Constitution calls for the Legislature to govern as a co-equal branch of government," the legislators said in a joint statement. "While COVID-19 has tested the limits of our people and state-- and, early during the pandemic, required the government to restructure decision making to render rapid, necessary public health judgements-- it is clear that the expanded emergency powers granted to the Governor are no longer appropriate."
The senators acknowledged that Cuomo's powers would expire at the end of April, but requested that the state Senate revoke them now.
Sens. Alessandra Biaggi, Jabari Brisport, Samra Brouk, Jeremy Cooney, Andrew Gounardes, Robert Jackson, John Liu, John Mannion, Rachel May, Elijah Reichlin-Melnick, Gustavo Rivera, Julia Salazar, James Sanders and James Skoufis, all Democrats, co-authored the statement.
Even with Republican support, the Democrat senators' move to strip Cuomo of his emergency powers would require additional Democrat senatorial opposition. As unlikely as that once might have been, following the admission and apology from Secretary to the Governor Melissa DeRosa this week, the odds have improved.