Republican Senate Majority Leader John Flanagan ripped Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s executive order that would grant parolees the right to vote in New York, charging that the governor is “exchanging votes at the expense of public safety.”

Cuomo on Wednesday announced the executive order, which would apply to the more than 35,000 people on parole in New York.

“It’s ridiculous public policy,” Flanagan told reporters at the Capitol in Albany. “He said, I’m tired of waiting. I’m going to do something like this on my own and the taxpayers should be absolutely outraged.”

Flanagan also insisted Cuomo did not raise the topic in the budget negotiations, though the governor’s office insists the issue was raised at a lower level of negotiations. Similar orders have been placed in 14 other states, including Indiana, Montana, North Dakota and Utah as well as Washington, D.C.

“The way this should be done is we have hearings, we have committees, and a legitimate public policy discussion that the governor doesn’t want to engage in,” Flanagan said. “I think he’s trying to expand the universe of people who are eligible to vote and I don’t agree.”

Flanagan did not rule out a legal challenge to the executive order, which rests in large part on the governor’s ability to issue pardons contained in the state constitution.

Asked if he thought Cuomo was issuing the order because of the primary challenge from Cynthia Nixon the Democratic primary for governor, Flanagan said, “Yes, and I still think it’s bad public policy regardless. He’s saying we don’t need a Legislature.”