Assemblyman Cliff Crouch (R-Bainbridge) joined his colleagues in the Assembly Minority today introducing legislation that would limit the governors executive powers during a state of emergency and make it so states of emergency would be declared on a county-by-county basis. The legislation was created to restore checks and balances for emergency declarations in the state exceeding 45 days. Under current state law, the governor has the ability to issue executive orders to suspend laws and regulations during a state of emergency.
The legislation includes but is not limited to:
- All future state of emergency declarations would be done on a county-by-county basis, with specific examples and reasons for the counties state of emergency declaration;
- All emergency declarations would be for a period of 30 days, which could be extended by 15 days by the governor. Any further extension would require legislative approval;
- County executives, county board of supervisors chairpersons, or the mayor of New York City could request the state of emergency be lifted from their county. If the governor refuses, he would have to provide reasons why; and
- All future executive orders that limit freedom of speech, assembly, worship, the loss of liberty or property, or any fundamental constitutional right would be subject to judicial review.
Over three months ago the governor declared a state of emergency due to the COVID-19 outbreak, said Crouch. He has since imposed 33 executive orders without any say from the Legislature. His executive powers were designed to be temporary, and we believe it is time that he relinquishes some of his powers to restore checks and balance to our government. Its time the Legislature had a say in how our state moves forward out of the COVID-19 pandemic.