If you’re an elected official and want to continue to be elected, you do exactly what Governor Kathy Hochul did on Wednesday in her first State of the State post:
Paint an optimistic picture of a dire situation.
Do not go into details on complicated or controversial issues.
Put a lot of money into education, infrastructure, the environment and the poor.
And leave the scene before anyone knows what hit them.
Oh, and promise them some booze.
Never mind all that ‘bold agenda’ talk. The governor’s speech was the safe and smart route to take as she strategizes a potentially deadly candidacy in the party’s primary and general election to keep her new job.
Her next big hurdle will come later this month when she has to explain in more detail how she plans to pay for all of her promises, which include tax breaks for small businesses; better wages for health service workers; a tax allowance for low and middle income residents; more housing for the poor; investments in higher education and schools; many more resources to fight firearms trafficking; investments in the fight against mental health and addiction; and billions for infrastructure and health services for pregnant women.
The governor began her 35-minute speech by discussing the covid crisis and looking beyond, saying she would focus on helping businesses and keeping schools open, even though cases of covid and hospitalizations are skyrocketing in the state.
His plan is to address a perceived shortage of healthcare workers, improve wages and training, and create incentives to attract more people to the profession.
She also announced that a $ 4 billion environmental bond law would go through the November ballot. That would increase by $ 1 billion the proposed $ 3 billion bond law that was withdrawn from the ballot last year by
Governor Andrew Cuomo and would focus on green jobs and environmental infrastructure like wind turbines and solar power.
Hochul also touched on a number of other issues of interest to New Yorkers, including helping reduce embezzlement and corruption involving public officials. She has previously announced proposed tenure and income limits for state-wide offices. On Wednesday, she went further and vowed to replace the toothless, governor-dominated state ethics commission JCOPE, which is supposed to identify and tackle unethical behavior.
But she did not address sexual harassment in the workplace, one of the issues that led to Cuomo’s resignation, nor did she explain how she could deal with and prevent other scandals that have arisen during. the Cuomo years.
One very specific business initiative she mentioned was to permanently allow food companies to sell alcohol with take out and take out orders, known as “take out alcohol”. The practice, designed to help these businesses stay alive during the height of the pandemic, was suspended last year, and many in the hospitality industry are calling for its return.
Overall, there was actually very little in his proposals that could be objected to – another political advantage of keeping it short, positive and unclear.
Granted, few of us missed the elaborate PowerPoint presentations of its predecessor or its passionate oratory. Hochul went for the brief, bland, and folkloric, which is fine; it works for her.
But the governor might have served herself and New Yorkers better if she had extended her speech to speak in more detail and with some passion about the plight of healthcare workers and others during the pandemic; The crushing tax burden of New Yorkers, the massive emigration of New Yorkers to other states; the threat to voting rights; civil rights; issues of gun violence and police brutality.
At some point, she will have to sell her plans where she offered to spend money to solve problems, and she will have to face and fix the problems that she ignored or ignored.
Governor Hochul took the politically safe route in her first State of State Message, and she received much applause for it.
The road to carrying out his plans will not be so easy.
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Categories: Editorial, Opinion