Republicans lawmakers are pushing for a “NYS Government Transparency Act” to eliminate the governor’s message of necessity and late-night votes in the Legislature, which most recently led to a hastily called vote last month to adopt a gun-control measure.
“If that’s not dictatorial, I don’t know what is. Hitler would be proud. Mussolini would be proud of what we did here. Moscow would be proud. But that’s not democracy,” McLaughlin said in a news conference today.
Asked by Gannett’s Albany Bureau if that’s an appropriate comment, McLaughlin said, “I just said it.”
And he added, “How does Putin act over in Russia? Same thing. Dictate to the Legislature what they are going to do. They are rubber stamping it.”
McLaughlin continued, “I’m not calling the governor a dictator. I’m saying this was a dictatorial thing to do. We’re not here to be rubber stamps.”
The Republicans lawmakers, all Assembly Republicans and Sen. Greg Ball, R-Patterson, Putnam County, said they are seeking a constitutional amendment that would limit the ability of a governor to issue message of necessities—which bypasses a three-day waiting period for bills to be voted on.
Assemblyman James Tedisco, R-Schenectady, said he’s not calling Cuomo a dictator, but the ability of the governor to push legislation without it being properly reviewed and debated needs to change.
“We do need a process and we do need debate. I’m not about to call the governor a dictator,” Tedisco, the former minority leader, said. “I like him for his fiscal agenda. We’re doing great things. We’re passing budgets on time. I’m happy about that. I just don’t think we can allow him to say they’re not that important over there.”
Cuomo has defended the quick vote on the gun bill Jan. 15. He said it was needed to avoid a rush on guns. And his office has pointed out that he has issued far fewer message of necessities than his predecessors.