State Assembly Speaker Carl Heastie made the decision after meeting with the Assembly Majority Conference, a meeting he announced earlier Thursday.
The committee led by Democratic Assemblyman Charles Lavine is authorized to subpoena documents, interview witnesses and evaluate evidence, the statement says.
“The reports of accusations concerning the governor are serious,” Heastie said.
Heastie said he has the “outmost faith” that Lavine and the committee will conduct an “expeditious” investigation.
CNN has reached out to the offices of Cuomo, Lavine and Lt. Gov. Kathy Hochul for comment.
In a statement, New York Attorney General Letitia James said the Assembly’s action will have “no bearing” on her investigation.
Calls for Cuomo to resign
Earlier Thursday, more than 50 Democratic lawmakers called for Cuomo’s resignation, arguing that he has “lost the confidence of the public” and is “ineffective in this time of most urgent need.”
“In light of the Governor’s admission of inappropriate behavior and the findings of altered data on nursing home COVID-19 deaths he has lost the confidence of the public and the state legislature, rendering him ineffective in this time of most urgent need,” the group of 59 Democrats serving in New York state Senate and Assembly wrote in a letter released Thursday.
The letter amounts to the largest show of public pressure the New York Democratic governor has faced from his own party to step down. Jay Jacobs, the New York State Democratic chairman, called for the allegations to be investigated by the legislature. He acknowledged the calls by some Democrats for Cuomo to resign but declined to do so himself, instead saying he would call a meeting of county chairs to hear their views.
“In the meantime, the Governor needs to put the people of New York first. We have a Lieutenant Governor who can step in and lead for the remainder of the term, and this is what is best for New Yorkers in this critical time,” they argue.
“It is time for Governor Cuomo to resign,” they add.
Cuomo on Sunday said he would not resign and has repeatedly denied inappropriately touching anyone.
They add to the top Democrat in the state Senate, Senate Majority Leader Andrea Stewart-Cousins, who on Sunday had said “for the good of the state Governor Cuomo must resign.”
New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio also said Thursday that Cuomo “just can’t serve as governor anymore.” Democrats serving at the national level have been much more muted in their responses, with White House press secretary Jen Psaki this week saying “all women should be heard” but declining to condemn Cuomo over the allegations and referring to the ongoing investigation.
Heastie on Sunday had called the allegations against Cuomo “deeply disturbing” in a tweet, adding, “I think it is time for the Governor to seriously consider whether he can effectively meet the needs of the people of New York.”
Until late January, long-term care residents who died of Covid-19 were classified that way only if they passed away inside of a facility. Those who died after being transferred out or to a hospital were not included in that specific figure. The overall number of Covid deaths in New York remained the same, but the practice led to a dramatic misrepresentation of the actual toll in New York’s long-term care facilities.
Cuomo and his administration defended their decision, arguing that with both the Justice Department and New York state lawmakers asking questions, the federal inquiry became their priority. The governor has denied any suggestion of wrongdoing.
Amid the criticism over his handling of nursing home deaths, Cuomo also faces accusations from multiple women of sexual harassment or inappropriate behavior.
CNN’s Gregory Krieg and Kristina Sgueglia contributed to this report.