Assembly Minority Leader Will Barclay Statement on the Coronavirus Appropriations Bill

March 2, 2020

The Assembly Minority Conference stands ready to assist in the prevention and containment of the coronavirus. We have seen the reports. We recognize the threat and the need for action. And as shown by tonight’s vote, we are more than willing to provide the resources necessary to help in this mission.

Amid genuine concerns that Gov. Cuomo has used this opportunity to expand his emergency powers, the Assembly Minority proposed a plan that would require state officials to update the Legislature on the effectiveness and distribution of the $40 million effort we approved tonight. This is not only a reasonable request, but it is how a properly-functioning government actually operates. Unfortunately, members of the Majority rejected this basic level of transparency and accountability.

Moving forward, I sincerely hope the governor is prepared to work with the Legislature in a manner that sets aside the grandstanding and dysfunction we experienced today. And I hope my colleagues in the Majority are prepared to demand proper legislative processes and full transparency, rather than serving as the governor’s rubber stamp. We are dealing with a serious public health matter. And the 20 million New Yorkers we are trying to protect deserve an open, focused and serious approach in every step of this process.”