Assemblywoman Woerner: Assembly Action on Executive Orders Helps Restore the Balance of Power

Assemblywoman Carrie Woerner (D-Round Lake) announced that several bills that would modify executive orders put in place by Governor Cuomo are moving through the Assembly’s committee process this week. This comes after Woerner voted to revoke the governor’s expanded emergency powers earlier this month.

“As we continue to follow a positive trajectory and vaccinate more New Yorkers, we must refocus our attention on the state’s recovery plan,” Woerner said. “Over the last year, the governor enacted myriad executive orders that touch all corners of our lives. Our families, small-business owners and restaurant workers are still hurting from restrictions put in place at the height of this pandemic and local governments are left wondering if the orders will be renewed each month. It’s well past time for the legislature to take its power back by cementing some of these orders into law and repealing those that are no longer necessary.”

One bill moving through committee this week will make the moratorium on essential utility shutoffs, like water, telephone or broadband service, permanent for the duration of any emergency with a significant, long-term effect on the economy (A.6255). This will bring peace of mind to families and small-business owners who are still facing the effects of the economic downturn, Woerner noted.

Other legislation will allow municipalities, school districts and other special districts to continue holding public meetings virtually (A.6481) and will ensure voters can vote by absentee ballot in school district elections for the duration of the COVID-19 emergency (A.6475).

“As it currently stands, the governor must renew each of these orders on a monthly basis,” Woerner said. “This means they are often left scrambling at the last minute, which costs both time and money. By making these laws permanent, we can create a more predictable system that allows them to plan ahead. It just makes sense – both in terms of public health and of good government.”

Woerner noted that while the executive orders being acted on this week are good public policy, others must be modified or repealed entirely.

As a member of the Assembly’s New York Economy Workgroup, Woerner is committed to helping small businesses reopen and thrive. She looks forward to continued discussions on modifications of other executive orders including:

  • rescinding the 11 p.m. curfew on restaurants and bars, and removing a rule that required these establishments to serve food with alcohol;
  • allowing food sales on sidewalks, which is prohibited by local ordinance in certain municipalities; and
  • making permanent the authorization of alcohol delivery.