THE TANK BILL, A1451-A (SANTABARARA), WAS REPORTED TO THE FLOOR FROM THE CODES COMMITTEE WITH THE MINORITY IN THE NEGATIVE. Now on third reading, it is eligible for a vote on Monday, March 15.
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Both houses rescinded the emergency powers granted to the governor to aid his dealing with the Covid -19 pandemic. The bill was sent to the governor for his signature.
|A05967||Provides that the legislature may terminate by concurrent resolution a state disaster emergency issued under section 28 of the executive law; authorizes any directive issued pursuant to chapter 23 of the laws of 2020, in effect at the time of the repeal of such chapter shall be permitted to continue for 30 days from the date of such repeal, subject to certain provisions; makes related provisions.|
The swords are out for Governor Cuomo, now in the focus of legislators and state attorney general, who issued a damning report, for his failure to accurately report deaths of elderly patients with Covid infections ordered, by him, from hospitals to nursing homes where many perished. Mr. Cuomo may also be the target of the US Attorney’s Office. His attempts to explain his concealment of the discrepancies in the number of additional deaths is muddled, blaming the federal government, CDC and, of course, Mr. Trump. But the difference in reported and actual deaths is far too large for a facile explanation.
Mr. Cuomo is also under scrutiny for his alleged, improper overtures of a sexual nature toward several staff members and now may have to deal with calls for impeachment. His reputation for intensity witnessed and attested to by many and characterized as thuggish and even cruel has encouraged more women to go public with their stories of his offensive behavior. Almost completely absent from this farrago of accusations are the usual caveats to which anyone is entitled – impartial evaluation of facts – due process.
The political class favors disparagement and demonization of the other party, Mr. Cuomo being one of the most practiced at the art. Review of the tabloids and even reputable media is available to all seeking more information and perhaps a clear definition of sexuality, through the ages an elusive concept. Even more remote is why this event and not his obvious personality excesses, expressed in exaggerated pretensions of goodness and whined regularly at Trump, the gun lobby, the CDC, the rich and those whose insufficiently compassionate views do not meet his standards, has now produced a lynching party. Mr. Cuomo was elected to office by the people of the state and entitled a deliberate, orderly process of law. Of course an impeachment process is a political and not “legal” one.
It is doubtful that he will resign – preferred by the political class but perhaps not by all politicians who fear democrats may be smeared in the process and lose some seats. One of the few calm, cogent voices is that of Speaker Carl Heastie recently echoed by Assembly Majority Leader People-Stokes. Neither has called for his resignation, but support the start of an impeachment inquiry, a long, uncertain process that may expose some members to revelations best avoided. Under such an investigative cloud during budget negotiations, the governor who usually has a wide range of powers may have to acquiesce to large tax increases that will push the budget over $200B for the first time. Heretofore, the governor has been a force for restraint in spending.