Sen. Akshar wants state legislative review of emergency mask and other mandates


Sen. Fred Akshar (R-52nd District / Tioga, Broome and Chenango) has cosponsored legislation to remove the authority for New York State agencies to automatically renew emergency regulations without the involvement of the State Legislature.

The proposal responds to the recent mask sweeping mandate issued by Gov. Kathy Hochul. The mask mandate was forced on local governments and small businesses without their input, nor that of their legislative representatives, regarding the ability to implement and enforce this new regulation.

Akshar said, “We must learn from the lessons of the past, not repeat them. Unfortunately, it appears Gov. Hochul is committed to making the same mistakes in governmental overreach and unchecked executive powers as did her predecessor, Andrew Cuomo. Not every region needs the same blanket approach to regulations. One size doesn’t fit all, and the broad, sweeping mandates put forth by the Governor and state agencies must involve our legislature. Binghamton is not Manhattan.”

Currently, State Administrative Procedure Law allows an emergency regulation to be in effect for 90 days, and it also allows state agencies to re-adopt and extend the regulation for periods of 60 days without any legislative input or approval. This new proposal would change existing law and curtail the power of state agencies by requiring them to obtain legislative approval for any extension of “emergency” regulations. It would also reduce the duration of these extensions from 60 days to 30 days, with legislative approval.

Akshar said, “If my time in the Senate (Akshar will not seek re-election.) has taught me anything, it’s that Albany rarely knows best and good policy comes from listening to the community and meeting those specific needs, whether it be expanding public health resources, vaccination access, testing sites or more.”