Assemblyman Steve Hawley (R,C,I-Batavia) today joined his colleagues for a press conference in which Sen. George Borrello (SD-57), Assemblyman Chris Tague (R,C,I-Schoharie), and Assemblyman Michael Lawler (R,C,I,SAM-Pearl River) announced their lawsuit challenging the constitutionality of a Department of Health regulation establishing isolation and quarantine procedures for those suspected of having a communicable disease. Hawley and those who’ve brought the lawsuit forward assert its implementation through the regulatory process violates the separation of powers.
Regulation 10 NYCRR 2.13 would empower the Department of Health to forcibly isolate and quarantine individuals exposed to communicable diseases, potentially in locations that aren’t their homes. Adopted on Feb. 22, 2022, the New York State Department of Health’s Public Health and Health Planning Council is set to renew the rule on an emergency basis today. Steps have also been taken by the council to make the regulation permanent.
“The role of the Legislature is to protect the public from dangerous policies like this, which would never survive scrutinous debate in the Assembly,” said Hawley. “When a bill containing most of the same measures this rule does was put before the Assembly in years past (A.416, Perry), it had only a single sponsor, so it seems to me the governor is truly trying to subvert our constitutionally-sanctioned legislative process to put this proposal into law. By subverting the Legislature, the governor has silenced the voices of the people they represent, who almost certainly would not wish to grant their government this overreaching authority.”