FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: March 7, 2021
CONTACT: Peter Giunta, 347.621.8031
The following statement is from Assemblymember Michael Reilly (R-Staten Island) on the remarks made earlier today by Governor Andrew Cuomo:
“Governor Cuomo has been relentless in his efforts to try and distract New Yorkers from the very serious concerns expressed by members of the State Legislature, and even the media, regarding a myriad of scandals surrounding him and his administration. His remarks at today’s press briefing made that clear.
What I find unfortunate is that there are New Yorkers who continue to fall for these antics, some of who are even members of the State Legislature. That’s why, on Friday, Democrats in the Assembly and Senate were successful in pushing through legislation that effectively extends the Governor’s emergency powers indefinitely. Albany Democrats sold it as a “repeal” of the Governor’s emergency powers – the reinstatement of legislative authority – but, either intentionally or unintentionally, Governor Cuomo later confirmed something that we knew all along. Their legislation was not about accountability, nor was it about transparency; it was, in fact, about giving Albany Democrats more access to the Governor and his administration’s decision-making process. We knew this already because Democrats in the Assembly voted against several amendments proposed by the Assembly Republican Conference over the last several weeks that would have restored legislative authority and scaled back some of the Governor’s onerous pandemic restrictions.
I believe my point is best exemplified by the fact that, after the legislature passed this bill, it was sent to the Governor for his signature. As you heard today, the Governor plans to sign the bill, but that it would be contingent on the State Legislature’s passage of an additional measure. The perception given by the Governor’s words, as well as the State Legislature’s actions, is that this was a negotiation in which the Governor played Assembly and Senate Democrats like a fiddle for an indefinite extension on his emergency powers.
To use a phrase that Governor Cuomo may be familiar with, it seems that the only void we have is a void in the will of Albany Democrats to truly restore the State Legislature’s place as a co-equal branch of government.
As Governor Cuomo and his administration become further embroiled in scandal, it has become clear to me that he is no longer able to serve effectively without distraction. States throughout the country are reopening and New York must soon follow, beginning a new chapter of the post-pandemic recovery that will undoubtedly require the full attention of not just our legislative leaders, but of the Governor as well. Governor Cuomo’s thinly veiled threats against sitting elected officials, as well as his repeated denial of misconduct in regard to several scandals, will only distract from our state’s recovery. At this time, I believe it is in the best interest of all New Yorkers for Andrew Cuomo to resign the office of Governor.”