Gov. Cuomo scored a dramatic expansion of his emergency powers that left even top Democrats wary thanks to provisions tucked inside of a hastily drafted $40 million spending bill to fight the COVID-19 coronavirus.
The legislation expanded Cuomo’s powers to declare an emergency and even suspend laws state or local laws in their entirety, with little oversight from lawmakers.
“What it does do is give the governor very extensive, and almost unlimited, affirmative legislative power to not only waive existing laws and provisions of existing laws,” said longtime Assemblyman Richard Gottfried (D-Manhattan), “but it also empowers him to essentially issue new legislation.”
“I’ve never seen any governor or health commissioner ask for this kind of expansion of power,” added the Assembly health committee chairman, who was first elected 1970.
Gottfried’s counterpart in the upper chamber, state Sen. Gustavo Rivera (D-The Bronx), also voted no.
“I cannot vote in good conscience to give the governor what are in essence, dictatorial powers when he and the health commissioner already have sufficient power to deal with coronavirus,” said Assemblyman Phil Steck (D-Schenectady), ahead of his nay vote Monday night.
However, those concerns did not stop the Assembly and state Senate from overwhelmingly passing the legislation, which sets an April 2021 expiration date for Cuomo’s new authority.
New York’s jailbirds are helping to combat the coronavirus.
Gov. Andrew Cuomo on Monday unveiled what he called the state’s weapon against despicable price-gougers taking advantage of coronavirus fears — a new hand sanitizer produced by New York prison inmates.
Cuomo said the “superior product” is not only cheaper than brands made by greedy commercial businesses but will be readily available to New York governments, the MTA, schools and even the prisons where it’s being made.
“It’s much cheaper for us to make it ourselves than to buy it on the open market,” said Cuomo, adding that a gallon jug of the state-produced product costs $6 to make.
It has a “floral bouquet,” the governor added.
Corcraft, the state Corrections Department’s manufacturing service fueled by inmate workers, is manufacturing the sanitizer, Cuomo said.
What a fortunate development. Too bad herr governor pissed away all those subsidies for a shitty movie studio the state wound up selling for a buck when that could have went to a company that manufactures hand sanitizer that would have created jobs that paid $15 an hour.