For the last two months, the management of the coronavirus pandemic has virtually been the Gov. Andrew Cuomo show. 

In many respects, this is literally the case. Cuomo has held daily briefings, televised nationally, on the pandemic. 

But some state lawmakers feel like they have largely been on the sidelines as Cuomo manages the crisis from the Capitol with his team of advisors. 

What You Need To Know

  • Gov. Cuomo has been the center of power during the pandemic.

  • But some lawmakers want more say over the response.

  • They have held two public hearings.

  • And they begin to vote on bills next week.

Democratic Assemblyman Angelo Santabara says he has not had nearly enough say in how New York is responding to the multi-faceted crisis of the COVID-19 pandemic. ​

"I feel like I haven't had the input I should have," he said. "The Legislature should be a co-equal branch of the government and this bill seeks to re-establish that."

Santabarbara has introduced legislation with Republican suppot that would require the governor to give monthly reports to the Legislature on the crisis. Lawmakers would also have greater control over extending disaster declarations. 

The emergency declaration is extended through continuing executive orders on a 30-day basis by the governor. 

"There needs to be more communication between the governor and the Legislature," Santabarbara said. "There needs to be a review."

Over the last two months, the state has been virtually run by the governor through executive orders.

He's set policies during the pandemic for voting, hospitals, public gatherings and the economic reopening -- empowered to do so by a law the Legislature itself approved to give him sweeping authority over the crisis. 

Almost all of the actions he's taken -- like moving the state's presidential primary from April to June -- would have required an act of the Legislature under normal circumstances. 

But lawmakers also acknowledge these aren't normal times. Cuomo was given the authority to respond to the pandemic in order to not have to wait for lawmakers to act in order to move more nimbly. 

And on the communication front, Cuomo pointed to the 80 straight days of news conferences he's held.

"I don't think any governor has been more communicative than I have during this crisis," he said on Wednesday. 

Lawmakers may bristle, too, at any implication they aren't working. The Senate and Assembly have held two public hearings through video conference platforms on how small businesses have fared during the pandemic and the effect COVID-19 has taken on communities of color. 

The Legislature also plans to return sometime next week to take up a package of pandemic-related measures. 

There's also the bread-and-butter issues of dealing with constituents -- who need direct assistance from the state during the economy's pandemic swoon -- which has consumed legislators' time. 

But Assembly Minority Leader Will Barclay said Cuomo's power was never meant to be permanent. He wants more legislative oversight for issues like nursing homes and the virus's impact on those facilities. 

"We have to come back to Albany and whether we hold session in person or remotely," Barclay said, "we have some huge issues that have to be dealt with and I don't think the governor -- a man one show -- should be deciding this."