In a crisis, it is often critical for the executive branch of state government to exercise its emergency powers in order to protect citizens and property. Over the years, we have seen such necessary action to respond to natural disasters, severe weather and even terrorist attacks. Recently, such power was exercised to respond to the COVID-19 pandemic.
But this extraordinary authority was always intended to be temporary and was not designed to dismiss the role of the Legislature as a co-equal branch of state government.
For more than 100 days, the governor has unilaterally controlled New York state government by issuing dozens of executive orders and mandates, without input from duly elected members of the Senate and Assembly.
It is time for the Legislature to reassert itself in the decision-making process. I call on my colleagues to demand the restoration of the constitutionally intended system of checks and balances and, further, that the governor work with us in the best interest of the residents we were all elected to represent.
State Sen. Patrick Gallivan
State Sen. Patrick Gallivan represents the 59th State Senate District.