Local NY Republicans call for end to state of emergency and mask mandates for school children

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(WETM/NEWS10) — As New York State lifted nearly all COVID-19 restrictions on Jun. 15, local Republican leaders are now calling on Governor Andrew Cuomo to end the state of emergency.

“Remember June 15, remember today because it is the day that New York rose again,” said Governor Andrew Cuomo.

The Governor announced Tuesday that COVID restrictions for commercial and social settings have been lifted. Those include: social gathering limits, capacity restrictions, social distancing, health screening, cleaning protocols and contact info for tracing. 

In a statement Senate Republican Leader Rob Ortt said while he welcomes the news of the easing of restrictions, “… the Governor should mark this occasion by ending the state of emergency and reinstating the Legislature as a co-equal branch of government. Only then can we fully repeal unnecessary restrictions like mask mandates for school children.”

The Governor says the state will follow CDC guidelines, and continue to require mask in schools, healthcare facilities, and public transportation settings. 

Assemblyman Phil Palmesano (R,C,I – Corning) agrees with Senate Republican Leader Ortt.

“The governor can listen to the parents, teachers, families, and school officials or he can continue doing what he is doing or the legislature can go in there and repeal that restriction which we should do,” said Palmesano.

Palmesano said Gov. Cuomo’s emergency powers have been in effect for too long.

“I think that is another reason why we need to look to end [Cuomo’s] emergency powers and this emergency declaration,” said Palmesano.

New York Senator Tom O’Mara (R,C,IP – 58th Senate District) also agrees with the two Republican lawmakers.

“47 times we moved to revoke his emergency powers and 47 times every Democrat in the State Senate voted to not terminate those powers,” said O’Mara.

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