Hawley opposes potential of perpetual COVID-19 powers for governor
Assemblyman Steve Hawley (R,C,I-Batavia) has joined fellow members of the Assembly Minority in drafting a letter to Gov. Hochul, Department of Health Commissioner Mary T. Bassett, and Department of Education Commissioner Betty A. Rosa opposing a proposed change to New York state’s regulations that would empower the Department of Health and Department of Education to unilaterally implement mask mandates and other COVID-related edicts. Hawley argues this policy would essentially return emergency powers to Gov. Hochul in perpetuity, depriving the Legislature of its authority to design and implement such orders and the ability of local health departments to cater their pandemic response toward the unique circumstances faced by their communities.
“New Yorkers have been overwhelmingly calling for a return to normalcy and the implementation of this dystopian policy would be the farthest thing from that, forever granting Gov. Hochul the power to plunge our lives back into a state of chaos at her whim,” said Hawley “This proposal is an attempt by Hochul’s administration to feign concern for public health in order to claw power away from the people, their local governments and their elected representatives, and cannot be allowed to stand.”