Written by Senior Vice President Tom Gray
Earlier this month Governor Andrew Cuomo delivered his annual “State of the State” speech and in it there were a number of proposals that could shape the state beyond 2018.
Some areas may have more effect on different industries and individuals, but ultimately the key takeaways listed below are what could have the biggest impact on everyone that lives and does business in the state of New York.
Keeping New York Economically Competitive
Governor Cuomo described New York as “the nation’s leader in building infrastructure” and stated his commitment to investing in infrastructure throughout the state by highlighting how having more reliable transit networks grows the economy. The other part of keeping the state competitive will be giving economic relief to middle class families, and with the Middle Class Recovery Act, he believes the income tax cuts will be the lowest since 1947.
Upholding the New York Promise
As seen in the news, the issues of racism, sexism, and homelessness still persist throughout the state even in 2018. Cuomo described equality as the single most important element of the state’s social process and promised to renew its protection of women in the workplace by a new whistleblower process, which will protect women from fear of retribution when bringing harassment claims forward.
Expanding Educational Opportunity for All
In the area of education, Cuomo stated that young people are the state’s greatest asset. He emphasized that education funding should address inequities and more state school aid should be dedicated to poorer districts. In 2018, the state will be taking this a step further by making sure the local education districts will be getting more grants for their youth. Cuomo also would like to push education opportunities further by expanding pre-kindergarten for 3- and 4-year-olds across the state.
Continuing Economic Opportunity and Growth Under New York Works
Cuomo’s New York Works program will be entering its 6th year and it will continue to receive state investments. The program has helped give jobs to those in need, while also rebuilding state parks. A new state park will be built in Brooklyn and $63B in funds will also be invested into upstate parks.
Providing a Cleaner, Greener and Healthier New York: The Wellness Agenda
Cuomo proposed, what he described as, a comprehensive plan to hold pharmaceutical companies accountable for perpetuating the opioid epidemic that has done irritable damage to families with members that have become addicted to pain medications that were prescribed so recklessly throughout the decade.
Leading the Fight Against Climate Change
Cuomo addressed the growing threats to our drinking water upstate given the growing concentration of chemicals and pollution in some areas is poisoning the water, literally. He stated that we must attack these growing health threats now because if we don’t it will threaten our children’s futures. One way of addressing this, he posed, is calling an end to any investment in fossil fuel related activities in the state pension fund. He also announced the release of two RFPs for two offshore wind farms.
Advancing the Democracy Agenda
Cuomo stated that we should be making voting easier, not harder. He believes this can be accomplished by same day registration, no fault absentee ballots and early voting methods to ensure that every New Yorker feels their voice has value. He also pushed for full public financing in the electoral process, which would make campaigns more transparent and equitable for others.
Building a Stronger, Safer New York
Lastly, Cuomo referenced recent terrorist attacks in public transportation around the world and called for better protection. He announced that in this year’s budget, there will be funds for more training of the police force and more state-of-the-art surveillance equipment. He stated that government’s number one job is protecting its people, and that the state will always make that a priority.
For more information on the Governor State of the State address and to read the 2018 Policy Book, visit Governor Cuomo Outlines 2018 Agenda: Realizing the Promise of Progressive Government.
To learn more about how these initiatives will shape New York in the year to come, please contact Tom Gray at firstname.lastname@example.org or 212.616.5819.