Ho hum. Another month, another “emergency” in Kathy Hochul’s New York.
On Monday, with zero fanfare, the governor renewed her pandemic emergency declaration for 30 more days, through Sept. 12, even though the Omicron wave that initially inspired the order was largely over by March.
Because it focused on technical rules for state purchasing rather than mask mandates or business closures, the decision made few waves with the public. But declaring emergencies that don’t exist is a dangerous abuse of gubernatorial power — and it’s sadly becoming a pattern.
In recent weeks, Hochul has quietly extended three other emergency declarations that originated in 2021. One focuses on shortages of hospital and nursing-home staff, another on deteriorating conditions at Rikers Island. The oldest, addressing gun violence, was first issued by ex-Gov. Andrew Cuomo more than a year ago, shortly before he resigned to avoid impeachment.
As the Empire Center’s senior fellow for health policy, Bill Hammond tracks fast-moving developments in New York’s massive health care industry, with a focus on how decisions made in Albany and Washington affect the well-being of patients, providers, taxpayers and the state’s economy.