New York State legislators are taking steps to limit Governor Andrew Cuomo’s emergency executive orders in the wake of the administration being investigated for its reporting of COVID deaths of nursing home patients and the directive to put residents who were COVID positive back in nursing facilities instead of keeping them in hospitals at the start of the pandemic.

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The Governor March 3 said a deal had been reached where the legislature could repeal an Executive Order with a 50 percent vote in both houses. The agreement also would extend Cuomo’s ability past April 30th.  The Democrat says that deadline was thought to be more than reasonable in the early days of the pandemic when no one had any idea how long COVID-19 would be present and spreading. The emergency power now extends until the federal government declares an end to the pandemic.

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Cuomo says he will give the legislature a five-day advance notice of any change to an executive order unless it is a health emergency and then the Health Department would be able to enact the change “as soon as possible.”

Republicans call the so-called deal “an unequivocal sham.”

New York State Senator Fred Akshar of Binghamton, who earlier praised the steps to limit the executive powers a victory for the people, later said, after reading the language in the final bill from the Democratic Senate Leadership, passing the bill is worse than doing nothing and he will vote against it.

The Republican says the bill may keep the governor from issuing new directives but doesn’t reign in changes to the many current directives on a wide range of issues that the legislature would only be able to comment on through the committee chairs and Democratic leadership.

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