Gov. Cuomo's emergency power rollback won't impact vaccine distribution
The New York Senate officially voted to roll back Gov. Andrew Cuomo's emergency powers Friday, however, it does not imply more local control over the vaccine rollout in the Hudson Valley.
With less power in the governor's hands, many believe local governments could take charge over COVID-19 policies, such as business reopenings and vaccine distribution.
Dutchess County Executive Marc Molinaro says that is not the case.
Gov. Cuomo cannot create any new COVID-19 policies without getting legislative approval first.
"For you and I as New Yorkers, nothing really changes," said Molinaro.
Policies the governor has already made will still stand, and new policies he wants to make need to be communicated across the board.
"There is no restoring of local authority," said Molinaro. "The governor and the state of New York dictates who can be vaccinated, where they can be vaccinated, and how many vaccines are distributed."
With many blaming Cuomo for the frustrating and confusing vaccine rollout, several Hudson Valley counties believe the process would be much more organized if they were able to take charge.
"The system that the state designed years ago and still has in effect now, is to have local health departments and local counties run emergencies, run distribution for these pods," said Orange County Executive Steve Neuhaus. "Let us do it, and we'll make everybody proud, and we'll get the job done."
So far, the only mass vaccination sites in the Hudson Valley are both in Westchester County, meaning residents of Orange, Rockland, and Dutchess counties must travel to either Yonkers or White Plains.
Neuhaus called the vaccine rollout "a disaster."
This bill limiting the governor’s COVID-19 authority still needs to be approved by Cuomo himself. He is expected to sign off on it this coming week.