Ortt, Senate Republican seek to end ‘statewide disaster emergency’ declared by governor

Posted 17 February 2022 at 11:30 am

Press Release, State Senate Republican Leader Rob Ortt

ALBANY – Senate Republican Leader Rob Ortt today announced he will introduce a resolution to immediately end the “statewide disaster emergency” declared by Governor Kathy Hochul earlier this week.

Rob Ortt

“By unilaterally extending her emergency powers without any input from the Legislature, Governor Hochul is following the playbook of her disgraced predecessor – and not following her own administration’s science and data,” Ortt said. “Albany’s ruling class is clearly more worried about political science and holding onto power than letting New Yorkers decide what is best for themselves. My constituents and millions of our state’s residents are fed up. It’s time to stop governing by arbitrary mandates, restore checks and balances, and end the emergency today.”

On Monday, Governor Hochul declared another “statewide disaster emergency,” basing the Executive Order in part on false data points related to Covid transmission and hospitalization rates. The next day, Governor Hochul herself acknowledged that New York is at “pre-surge levels,” as cases and other data points continue to trend in a positive direction.

Ortt’s concurrent resolution would nullify the Governor’s unscientific Executive Order and immediately put an end to the statewide disaster emergency, if passed in both houses of the State Legislature.

Last year, the Senate Republican Conference led the charge to repeal former Governor Cuomo’s “emergency powers” almost 50 times. Senate Democrats rejected those efforts every single time. Just this week, Senate Democrats also blocked an amendment to unmask children in schools and daycares.

A majority of U.S. states lifted mask mandates for indoor settings, businesses, and/or schools months ago. New York only recently announced the end of the “vax or mask” mandate for businesses and indoor settings, but continues to mandate mask-wearing in schools, among other settings.

“We are trying to do everything we can to stop these mandates for New Yorkers who are tired of state government dictating their everyday lives,” Ortt said. “New York Democrats are out of control and it’s clear the public has had enough – this is our solution.”