Barclay: Assembly Democrats are ‘running from’ their jobs

Updated: Mar. 1, 2021 at 3:00 PM EST
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WATERTOWN, N.Y. (WWNY) - A session in the state Assembly was canceled Monday afternoon and it has Minority Leader Will Barclay saying Democrats are running from their jobs.

Republican lawmakers have included amendments on all proposed legislation that would strip the governor of his pandemic powers.

Instead of taking up those bills, Barclay says he learned through the media that session wouldn’t be happening Monday. Barclay calls it frustrating.

“Are we going to hold back because they don’t want to take the political heat of holding a vote about taking the emergency powers away? Are we not going to pass any legislation going forward? I find it wholly problematic and we’re elected to do our jobs. Sometimes you have to take uncomfortable votes. Sometimes you have to go against your party,” he said.

In a statement, Barclay says the Assembly has been in session for fewer than 3 hours over 3 days. (See his full statement below)

So why was session canceled? We tried contacting Assembly Speaker Carl Heastie’s office, but were directed to call the Assembly. We called just before 5 p.m. and got no answer there.

The following is Barclay’s full statement:

“Assembly Democrats were elected to do a job, and they’re running from it. There is a crisis going on. When has it been more important for us to act, to legislate or to lead? I thought last week was embarrassing, when the Assembly was in session for fewer than three hours over three days. But today we’ve reached a new low.”

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