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Why Gov. Cuomo could retain his pandemic powers until 2022

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(WBNG) -- New York State GOP legislators are calling for an end to Governor Andrew Cuomo's emergency powers before it's too late.

Republican members of both the state assembly and state senate gathered in Albany Monday to introduce legislation that would end NY's pandemic state of emergency.

By ending the state of emergency, lawmakers said it would officially end the governor's pandemic-related powers he was granted as coronavirus first wreaked havoc on the state.

In the 15 months since then, the GOP minority said it has moved to repeal the powers more than 20 times.

State Senate Minority Leader Robert Ortt told 12 News the recent confusion surrounding masks in schools is a prime example of why Cuomo shouldn't be entrusted to make all-state decisions.

"I have received phone calls from superintendents in my district who are utterly angry, who are upset, and who are confused, and you know why they're angry, upset, and confused? They're getting phone calls from parents who are upset, angry, and confused," Ortt said.

Adding to the urgency of the situation, this current legislative session will end later this week; if the session ends and the powers are not repealed, barring extreme circumstances, Cuomo would retain his powers until the next session in 2022.

Lawmakers would have to adjourn for a special legislative session to take away the governor's powers before next year, an unlikely undertaking.

While the debate over executive powers continues, there are still multiple, ongoing investigations into Cuomo and his office, including one in the state assembly.

Local Assemblywoman Donna Lupardo (D, District 123) sent 12 News a statement regarding the current status of the assembly's impeachment inquiry:

“We're passing legislation this week ensuring that adequate funds will be available for a thorough investigation of the Governor and his office. It’s taking longer than some expected because of the number of issues being examined. We take this work very seriously and want it done correctly.”

Josh Rosenblatt

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