Lawmakers propose ‘question period’ for governor

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MANHASSET, NEW YORK – MAY 06: New York Governor Andrew Cuomo speaks during a Coronavirus Briefing At Northwell Feinstein Institute For Medical Research on May 06, 2020 in Manhasset, New York. (Photo by Al Bello/Getty Images)

ALBANY, N.Y. (NEWS10) – Two New York State lawmakers have proposed an amendment to the state constitution that would require the governor to periodically appear before, and answer questions from, both legislative houses. Assemblyman Jarett Gandolfo and Senator Phil Boyle say the idea would force governors to: “explain decisions and maintain accountability for as long as they hold office.”

Gandolfo cited Andrew Cuomo’s “recent habits of hiding behind mute buttons, turning away journalists and ignoring the legislative branch,” as his reasons for proposing the amendment.

“Ever since Gov. Cuomo’s honeymoon phase with COVID-19 ended, he’s been taking every opportunity to avoid being honest and open in the public eye.

He grandstands at staged press conferences, he pre-selects reporters in order to avoid tough questions, and he continually ignores calls for transparency and accountability. This kind of behavior cannot be allowed to continue, especially in a technologically evolving future. We need access to our leadership – that’s what makes this state, and indeed this country, what it is.”

Assemblyman Jarett Gandolfo (R,C,I-Sayville)

Gandolfo also said British parliamentary procedure, which sees the Prime Minister answer questions from members of Parliament every Wednesday when the House of Commons is in session, is what inspired the idea.

Sen. Boyle also added: Boyle said. “As someone who has sat in on Question Period in Parliament, I can state it guarantees openness and transparency in government.”

NEWS10 has reached out to Governor Cuomo’s office for comment on the proposed constitutional changes.

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