By Karen Rubin, News-Photos-Features.com
In the past three years since the Democrats took control of the New York State government, extraordinary progress has been made in everything from climate change, public education, public health and health care, gun violence and criminal justice, voting and civil rights.
Republicans may not say out loud that they intend to back down, but we know — and have now seen — how Democratic Gov. Kathy Hochul will lead and the stance she takes on these programs. vital, because everything is spelled out in its state. of the State’s speech as well as its budget proposals.
Since Hochul, the first woman to serve as governor of the state considered the birthplace of women’s suffrage, took office in August, she has (remarkably) signed 400 bills that directly help New -Yorkers.
“I am inspired by the belief in the power of government to do good,” Hochul said in his Feb. 17 speech accepting the state Democratic Party’s nomination (with 85 percent of the vote).
Hochul detailed her plans in her State of the State post in January, when she revealed “an ambitious agenda — one that responds to the Covid-19 pandemic but also rebuilds our healthcare workforce. and teachers, providing tax relief to those who need it most, accelerating economic growth and creating well-paying middle-class jobs, strengthening our infrastructure and tackling climate change, ensuring public safety, making housing more affordable, ensuring every New Yorker has a roof over their head, and enacting bold reforms for our state government.
“My fellow New Yorkers: This program is for you. Each initiative is filtered by how it will help you and your families. I know you are exhausted, I know you want this pandemic to end, I know you are worried about the economy, inflation, your children and their education and what the future holds.
She said, “The time has come for a new American Dream. Today we are beginning to build a better, fairer and more inclusive version that I call the New York Dream. We will create a new era for New York by embarking on a bold and far-reaching political agenda that will advance our recovery and restore New Yorkers’ faith in government.
Among Hochul’s New Era for New York initiatives:
A $10 billion plan to rebuild and increase the state’s health workforce by 20% over the next five years.
Three-part program to prevent and reduce gun violence and violent crime: investing in public safety and funding the gun safety efforts of state and local police departments; create the interstate firearms tracing consortium; and a triple investment in the community response to gun violence.
Tax Relief: Accelerate by two years – through 2023 – the phase-in of $1.2 billion in middle-class tax cuts for 6 million New Yorkers – through 2023 – and establish a $1 billion property tax rebate program for 2 million New Yorkers; providing $100 million in tax relief to 195,000 small businesses.
Strengthening New York’s Workforce to Grow the Economy: Create an Office of Workforce and Economic Development; helping New Yorkers transition from education to career; expand access to learning; recruiting the next generation of public servants; developing the state’s technology talent pool; make New York a model for the employment of disabled workers; and protect and strengthen workers’ rights.
Jails to Jobs, a new initiative to improve re-entry into the labor market by connecting individuals to education, resources and job placement opportunities, which will improve public safety and reduce recidivism.
A billion dollar “ConnectALL” initiative to bring affordable broadband to 1 million New Yorkers.
Make New York a national leader in climate action and green jobs: produce 2 million climate-friendly homes by 2030. $500 million investment in offshore wind will support 6,800 jobs, impact combined economy of $12.1 billion statewide and will generate 4.3 gigawatts of energy, enough to power 3 million homes.
Investing in Public Education and Revitalizing SUNY: Rebuilding New York’s Teaching Workforce: Providing Incentives to Attract Teachers and Schoolworkers; learning and mental health scholarships; creating a state teacher residency program and developing teacher support workers to earn their certifications.
Increase access to child care services for 100,000 families by increasing eligibility from 200% to 225% of the federal poverty level; invest $75 million in the salaries of educators.
Implement an equity program to promote and support gender equity, racial equity, anti-hate, social justice, the LGBTQIA+ community, immigrants and newcomers, and veterans in the purpose of protecting the health, safety, economic opportunity and basic dignity of every New Yorker.
Make critical reforms to restore New Yorkers’ faith in their government: propose a constitutional amendment to limit all elected state officials to two terms and ban outside revenue. Further, repeal and replace the Joint Public Ethics Commission with a truly independent and transparent ethics entity, subject to the demands of the Freedom of Information Act and open assembly laws.
Hochul has clearly defined its program. Now ask the main challengers of Hochul (Tom Suozzi) and the Republican challenger (Lee Zeldin) to detail their plans, not to serve as platitudes or slogans.
At the New York State Democratic Convention, Nassau State and County Party Chairman Jay Jacobs said, Republicans “have the audacity, the temerity, to stand there again and again criticizing what we are doing to improve people’s lives, while they stand by and do nothing at all.”
“We’re trying to move the state forward and move the country forward, they want to go back,” said New York Congressman Hakeem Jeffries. “We are fighting to keep and bring people together. They are trying to separate us. We fight for the people, they fight for the privileged few.
As several speakers have noted, “2022 is one of the most important elections in our history.”
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