Elected leaders here in the Southern Tier are reacting to Gov. Kathy Hochul’s State of the State address. “You know these speeches, State of the State, no matter what level, are normally all hat no cattle.” said Chemung County Executive Chris Moss.

“To be honest with you, very disappointing when watching it today. Upstate, when the Governor talks about it, normally means Rochester, Buffalo, Syracuse. But as you look at Binghamton and Elmira, we’re one of the highest unemployment rates in the state, we’d like to see what you’re gonna do to solve these issues.” he added.

Moss admits he did see a bright spot that will benefit our area: The Governor’s announcement of a one billion dollar investment statewide in mental health services. “I think that’s probably money well spent.” said Moss. “There is a need for improvements in mental health around the state, and it does affect this area, so hopefully we’ll see our fair share as well.”

State Senator Tom O’Mara represents New York’s 58th district, which covers a large portion of the Southern Tier. “Very low key, I thought the Governor gave a very safe speech.” said O’Mara. News 18 reporter Nick Dubina asked Senator O’Mara why the Southern Tier was not specifically mentioned in Governor Hochul’s address. “The Governor and the democrat leaders of New York State are totally downstate oriented. The Southern Tier is far too often overlooked.” said O’Mara. 

State assemblyman Phil Palmesano says he is waiting to see how Governor Hochul plans to pay for her initiatives when she presents her budget later this month. “The Governor certainly laid out an ambitious agenda today.” said Palmesano. “But one thing is for certain Nick, the Governor and the Legislature must work together to address the challenging affordability and public safety crisis that’s facing our state.”

We also reached out to Elmira Mayor Dan Mandell and City Manager Michael Collins for their reaction to the Governor’s address. They were not available for comment before air time.