Governor’s Actions A Death Sentence For Family Businesses

By this summer, I’d seen enough. I’d seen a governor praised by the media as a visionary leader cause thousands of needless deaths in our nursing homes because of his mismanagement and carelessness. I’d seen a governor shut down mom-and-pop shops and family diners while shoppers crowded into big-box chains and grocery stores. I’ve seen a man who was hawking a book about his own leadership skills constantly blame Washington for our problems.

My colleagues and I called for him to relinquish his emergency powers. He wouldn’t.

We called on our Democrat colleagues to help us take them from him using our legislative power. They wouldn’t.

And now, just weeks after a holiday that will be best remembered for the governor criticizing police officers who refused to bust into private homes and count heads, we’re watching him make the same debilitating mistakes all over again.

Let me be clear: I am as concerned about public health as anyone. I know that social distancing, mask wearing, hand washing and avoiding large crowds is necessary. These are the precautions that will slow the spread of the virus and keep us safe until the vaccine is readily available. What I can’t support, however, are arbitrary, inconsistent, unilateral actions from the governor that needlessly put families out of work.

Despite his own administration’s assertions that contact tracing shows small, in-home gatherings are the source of a vast majority of new COVID-19 cases, the governor shut down all indoor dining in New York City this week. Over 1,000 restaurants there have already shut their doors forever. Data from the New York State Restaurant Association indicates that up to two-thirds of all restaurants statewide could close in the coming months.

One man killing tens of thousands of jobs, uprooting countless community tentpoles and ending generational legacies of hard work and culinary artistry in a move that isn’t even supported by his own administration’s data.

It’s unacceptable.

It gets worse. The governor has threatened to lock the entire state down again based, of course, on his own arbitrary guidelines. Expect every department at Walmart to be jam-packed. Expect him to shut down your local department store, your local diner, and the specialty home goods store on main street. The fact that they’ve weathered the storm, borrowed money to keep employees on the payroll, and ensured that their workers and customers wear masks, regularly wash their hands, disinfect surfaces and practice social distancing won’t matter to him.

Enough is enough.

This man lives in a fully staffed mansion on our dime. He jets around on state planes and helicopters. He’s chauffeured in luxury SUVs. He got a massive, taxpayer-funded pay raise. Who is he to prevent families from earning a living? Who is he to erase generations of blood, sweat and tears that build our family businesses? Who is he to shut down the economy without approval from duly-elected lawmakers who represent families that are out of work and out of options?

Assembly Democrats want to return to Albany this week to, of all things, raise your taxes before the holidays. I have a better idea. Let’s return to Albany and finally remove the governor’s emergency powers before he shuts down our entire state.  

What do you think? I want to hear from you. Please send me your feedback, suggestions and ideas regarding this or any other issue facing New York state. You may always contact my district office at 315-781-2030 or email me at kolbb@nyassembly.gov

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published this page in LATEST NEWS 2020-12-18 15:06:51 -0500
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