(The Center Square) – Nearly 4 months since New York entered a state of emergency and the Legislature handed Gov. Cuomo the reins to curb the pandemic, GOP Chairman Nick Langworthy says it’s time to take back their power.
“We already knew Andrew Cuomo was a power-obsessed dictator, and now, thanks to Senate Majority Leader [Andrea] Stewart-Cousins and Speaker [Carl] Heastie, we’ve seen the depths in which he will try to control fully and dictate orders to the people of the state of New York,” Langworthy said at a recent news conference.
Cuomo’s critics feel like he has held onto his expansive emergency power for too long, but Cuomo fired back at Langworthy in a recent WAMC radio interview.
“The Legislature has met and has passed dozens of bills since I’ve had the emergency power, and I’ve signed many of those bills,” Cuomo said. “He’s a mouthpiece for Trump. What they are saying is: 'Stop emergency powers that the governor has because there is no emergency.’”
New York had approximately 458 new coronavirus cases Tuesday. While reopening is largely continuing as planned across the state, New York City recently postponed indoor dining as several states reported a record number of new coronavirus cases.
Mike Murphy, spokesman for the Senate majority leader, also pushed back against Langworthy’s criticism.
“We aren't going to take advice on how to fight the [COVID-19] pandemic from the party that voted against providing funding to fight the pandemic, actively encourages people to not wear masks, promotes wild conspiracy theories, and blindly follows the extremist views of Trump,” Murphy told The Times Union of Albany.
Langworthy argued that while the emergency powers may have been justified, that was no longer the case.
“We’ve now gotten into a different period,” he said. “This should not exist for a calendar year, I’ll tell you that. That is not democracy.”