Governor Continues Outrageous Power Grabs

The governor’s latest executive action has caused quite a stir. Last week, he announced that he is requiring patrons to order food in order to be served alcoholic beverages at bars and restaurants. Patrons who enjoyed their spirit of choice six feet away from other customers on a patio last week were apparently acting recklessly. If they’d only also ordered, say, chips and a sandwich (but not just chips), they would’ve been doing their part to stop the spread.  

It’s ridiculous.

It’s almost humorous, but the suffering, hardship and stress that small business owners have endured to keep their doors open and their neighbors on the payroll is absolutely no joke. To burden them with costly, new mandates that make it harder for them to retain their loyal customers is just wrong. We should be doing everything we can to help these people get back on their feet. This governor, in ways big and small, seems intent on knocking them down.

On Wednesday, only 0.6% of all COVID-19 tests in the Finger Lakes Region came back positive. That indicates an incredibly miniscule infection rate. It’s certainly not a public health emergency. There is no justifiable reason for the governor to unilaterally impose measures like this on small businesses in our community. I’ve been steadfast in calling for my Democrat colleagues to join us in voting to remove the governor’s emergency powers. They’ve chosen to play politics instead.

If the governor wants people to believe social distancing and mask-wearing is important, he shouldn’t undermine the credibility of government by forcing totally arbitrary regulations down people’s throats. If the governor wants people to believe we need to limit large gatherings to keep COVID-19 at bay, he shouldn’t endorse massive, shameful anti-police protests in the streets. And if the governor wants people to quarantine after they’ve traveled to states with active COVID-19 hotspots, he shouldn’t refuse to do so himself, especially after he’s photographed without a mask on breaking social distancing protocols.

The media’s efforts to anoint the governor as the savior of the COVID-19 crisis is senseless. He’s a hypocrite. He’s used the cover of a pandemic to consolidate power and call all of the shots himself. When his unilateral decisions have blown up in his face, including the tragedy that unfolded in our nursing homes, he does what he’s always done- blame Washington.

That’s not leadership. That’s childish. I’m calling on my colleagues to step up to the plate and do the job they were elected to do. Let’s restore normal government order before he gets another brilliant idea for an Executive Order.

What do you think? I want to hear from you. Send me your feedback, suggestions and ideas regarding this or any other issue facing New York State. You can always contact my district office at (315) 781-2030, email me at kolbb@nyassembly.gov, or find me by searching for Assemblyman Brian Kolb on Facebook.

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