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Heartland Letter to New York Lawmakers Urging Reform of Governor Cuomo's Gubernatorial Overreach

February 16, 2021

A letter from the Heartland Institute's president James Taylor, urging New York lawmakers to pursue reform of New York's state of emergency/executive authority statutes.

Dear Speaker Heastie and Majority Leader Stewart-Cousins:

I hope this letter finds you well during these trying times. I’m sure you share my hope that with every passing day, we are one day closer to putting this pandemic and all the associated civic and political animus behind us.

I can only imagine how betrayed and disappointed you feel by the revelation that Governor Cuomo hid critical information from Empire State lawmakers regarding his approach to mitigating the coronavirus pandemic, especially regarding nursing homes and assisted living facilities.

I write to you today because as leaders of New York’s legislature, you are in the unenviable position of fighting to reclaim back much of the legislative authority that the governor has usurped under the guise of public health issues. Yet, that unenviable position presents a tremendous opportunity for reform and to change the course of the pandemic in New York.

I also want to encourage you and your legislative colleagues that this is absolutely the right course of action to take considering the facts now known regarding the ways Governor Cuomo has failed New Yorkers and lied to legislators. In a very real way, his mismanagement led to an unacceptable number of deaths and his obstinance and refusal to cooperate with a co-equal branch of government has cost him the confidence of your constituents.

The Heartland Institute’s Government Relations department is tracking dozens of pieces of legislation across the country and has been leveraging our expertise on this issue to help lawmakers craft proposals that are as unique as the states themselves. I invite you to lean on us to help you craft a proposal worthy of your great state. I assure you, as a former New Yorker myself, I would love to see the Empire State be a model on these issues.

Governors of blue states and red states are increasingly usurping and abusing power that has always resided with the legislative branch. Yet, they are just governors, not gods. The audacious manner of overreach with which they have conducted themselves requires state legislative action to restore the intended balance between governors and legislatures.

Gov. Cuomo s abuse of authority, and its deadly consequences, illustrate how important it is that legislators reform emergency management statutes so that the more than 13,000 nursing home deaths in New York is a tragedy never repeated

Gov. Cuomo’s abuse of authority, and its deadly consequences, illustrate how important it is that legislators reform emergency management statutes so that the more than 13,000 nursing home deaths in New York is a tragedy never repeated.

Cameron Sholty, Heartland’s Director of Government Relations, works with a great team that can provide your offices with critical research and counsel. His research and presentations have led to several states beginning the process of reform and he is eager to be a valuable asset for you.

I hope you will consider reaching out to me or Cameron. In the meantime, please take a moment to review material we have put together for our “Governors, Not Gods” project.

Warmest regards,

James Taylor

President

The Heartland Institute

JTaylor@heartland.org

312-377-4000

Author
James Taylor is president of The Heartland Institute.
jtaylor@heartland.org