Last week, Republicans in the state Assembly introduced a measure meant to jump start the impeachment process of Gov. Andrew Cuomo over his handling of nursing homes and fatality data during the COVID-19 pandemic.
So far, just one Democrat in the 213-member Legislature is in favor of removing Cuomo: Assemblyman Ron Kim, who Cuomo called last week and allegedly threatened.
A more sizable pool of legislators want to scale back the governor's oversight of the pandemic.
And then there's another informal faction of Democrats in the Legislature who are taking a more measured approach, and could be key for the governor as he seeks to weather the current storm.
"Hindsight is always 20-20. What is unfolding now is 'politics', not 'policy.' Deaths of people due to COVID-19, who lived in nursing homes, but died in hospitals, raise many questions," said Assemblyman Bill Magnarelli, a Democrat from the Syracuse area, in a statement issued late last week.
"The Legislature's roll is partly oversight, which requires research and investigation, and then legislation to correct deficiencies found -- if any. Instead of focusing on personalities or political points, we must refocus back to policy -- how do we keep all New Yorkers safe during this pandemic."
And then there are lawmakers willing to literally stand with Cuomo, including Assemblywoman Latrice Walker, Assemblyman Nick Perry, and Assemblyman Erik Dilan. The legislators flanked Cuomo at a Brooklyn mass vaccination site as he urged New Yorkers of color to get their COVID-19 shots.
"It's important to make sure that, not only we advocate and we deliver this site to Brooklyn, but that we're always walking hand-in-hand and delivering every one of our constituents to this site in Brooklyn," Walker said, adding it represents the "best of state and federal partnerships."
"The governor heard our call and he put this vaccine center right here in the heart of our communities, as well as opening up mass transportation to this site," Walker said.
Democrats hold large majorities in the state Senate and Assembly, enough to override Cuomo's veto pen. But this controversy also comes amid a budget process that any governor has inherent influence and leverage over during the negotiations.
Cuomo last week signaled he wants a package of changes for nursing home oversight in New York, making that part of the budget negotiations as a vote over his executive authority is yet to be held in the Legislature.
Democrats in the state Senate have signaled they want to curb Cuomo's authority; the Assembly's leadership is yet do so.
It's not out of the realm of possibility, if the past is any guide in Albany, that a package of nursing home regulatory changes along with some changes to how Cuomo's power over the pandemic response is checked, are approved in a bigger budget deal by the end of March.