ALBANY, N.Y. (WETM) – New York State Governor Kathy Hochul laid out an ambitious legislative agenda for the upcoming year, outlining nearly a dozen points she called the dawn of a new era for New York.
Hochul announced plans to bolster the state’s workforce, bring back alcohol-to-go for restaurants, invest in infrastructure and create affordable housing for New Yorkers. The governor’s agenda also focused on rebuilding the state’s healthcare system and economy amid the pandemic. Hochul said her goal is to grow the healthcare workforce by 20-percent in the next five years.
Perhaps Governor Hochul’s most ambitious goals include setting two-year term limits for state officials and signing off on tax cuts for New Yorkers.
“For government to work, those of us in power cannot continue to cling to it,” Hochul said. “We need to continually pass the baton to different leaders with different perspectives and fresh ideas.”
In regards to taxes, Gov. Hochul said her administration will accelerate a $1.2 billion tax cut originally scheduled to take place between 2022 and 2025. According to Hochul, that means over six million middle-class taxpayers will get more money in their pockets sooner.
When it came to the pandemic, Hochul struck an optimistic tone, saying “this is not a moment of despair, but a moment of possibility.”
Though local leaders across the Southern Tier agreed with Hochul on numerous points, some expressed concern and said she did not hit every point.
“There were very few proposals that were put out there,” Republican Senator Tom O’Mara said. “There was no talk about income tax relief [and] were the highest tech state in the country.”
Republican Assemblyman Philip Palmesano agreed and said the governor should have addressed inflation and gas prices.
The State of the State is merely an outline for the state’s legislative agenda, meaning anything in it is subject to change.
“We’ll share success, we’ll find common ground, we’ll restore trust in this government because it’s been eroded for far too long,” Hochul said. “And we will fight like hell, not for turf and not for credit, but for New Yorkers.”