ALBANY – New York State Senator George Borrello says New York’s legislation that aims to combat the Coronavirus excessively expands the powers of the Governor.
Borrello, speaking to other lawmakers in the state capital, says the “power grab” is strategically tied to $40 million in funding for coronavirus preparations.
“While I fully supported the funding appropriation, I could not support handing the Governor the power to act unilaterally during any event he deems an ‘emergency.’ The bill would have given him sweeping and sole authority to suspend and alter any state or local law or rule and issue directives,” explained Borrello. “It unnecessarily added language to allow the Governor to declare a wide spectrum of events as ‘disasters’ – even blight — giving him ultimate authority.”
Borrello says during his time as County Executive, he had several crises arise that required quick action by the county legislature to approve emergency appropriations, not the executive office.
“Those occasions were never used as opportunities to expand the power of the executive and diminish the role of lawmakers,” said Borrello. “Had I attempted such a move, my colleagues would have voted “no” and rightly so. Many of my fellow legislators in both the Senate and Assembly, and from both sides of the aisle, expressed serious concerns with the overreach in this bill. That is why I could not, in good conscious, vote in favor of this measure.”