Erie County legislature revokes Poloncarz's emergency COVID powers

Jun 10, 2021

The Erie County Legislature on Thursday approved a resolution to revoke the emergency powers granted to County Executive Mark Poloncarz last June, early in the COVID-19 pandemic.

Credit File Photo

The county's COVID positivity rate has dropped dramatically in the last month, falling from the highest in New York, while vaccination rates are increasing.

The Legislature's minority caucus started a push to end those powers three months ago, with initial resistance from the Democratic Majority Caucus and the Poloncarz administration. But recent discussions and debate on the issue resulted in Thursday's unanimous vote.

In addition to the total revocation of the emergency powers, two budget resolutions will be eliminated, that allowed the County Executive to spend money and enter into contracts without normal legislative protocol.

The governor had his emergency powers revoked by the state earlier this year. He announced that all COVID-related restrictions will be lifted when the state vaccination rate hits 70% and that COVID cases have been hitting new lows.