Hochul to deliver State of the State in Albany Tuesday
Gov. Kathy Hochul will deliver her first State of the State address as governor-elect on Tuesday. Photo: Kevin P. Coughlin/Office of the Governor
January 6, 2023 —
Gov. Kathy Hochul will deliver her first State of the State address as governor-elect on Tuesday. She is expected to focus on affordable housing, public safety and New York’s immigration problem.
Hochul, who took over from former Gov. Andrew Cuomo when he resigned in disgrace in August 2021, was elected in November by the narrowest margin in a generation.
In her inaugural address on New Year’s Day, Hochul pledged to create a comprehensive program to solve the state’s affordable housing crisis and provide relief to renters as well as potential homebuyers.
“There are some fights we just have to take,” Hochul said. “It’s making life very difficult for New Yorkers.”
Hochul also addressed some of the issues driving her campaign, including Republican claims that the state’s crime rate is out of control.
“We must and will make our state safer,” she vowed.
The governor said she also wants to reverse New York’s high rate of immigration, with residents moving to other states such as Florida and Texas.
Assembly Minority Republican Will Barclay said he is pleased with the governor’s intentions.
“These are our priorities,” he said, adding that Democrats too often have their “heads in the sand” and avoid addressing these issues. He said this has caused people to “leave the state en masse”.
“I was glad she actually mentioned it,” Barclay said.
Barclay and other Republican lawmakers want to repeal the state’s 2019 parole reform laws, which ended many forms of parole.
Democrats who run the legislature are unlikely to change parole reform after twice amending the law.
Senate Leader Andrea Stewart-Cousins, speaking on the Senate floor on the first official day of the session Wednesday, said fighting crime is more complicated than simply changing a statute.
“Crime is not going to be solved with a single solution,” Stewart-Cousins said. “Public safety and justice can go hand in hand.”
Hochul may get more feedback from members of her own party than from Republicans.
She is facing opposition from Democrats in the state Senate over her pick for the next chief justice. Progressive-leaning senators say Hector LaSalle has expressed conservative views in a small number of his opinions while serving on a mid-level appeals court. Fourteen Democratic senators now say they will not support LaSalle.
On Wednesday, Senate Democrats expanded the number of members on the Judiciary Committee, adding three Democrats and one Republican. That led to accusations from the GOP that they are packing the committee with LaSalle’s opponents.
State Sen. Anthony Palumbo, a Republican from eastern Long Island, spoke on the Senate floor.
“With what’s going on with a current judicial nominee, unfortunately I find it pretty curious,” he said of the committee’s expansion.
Senate Majority Leader Michael Gianaris, who has vowed to vote against LaSalle, responded that the decision to add members to the Judiciary Committee is nothing unusual.
“This is something that is typical when we adopt rules, based on the interest of the members,” Gianaris said. “Raw numbers in committees change routinely.”
The members of the judicial commission have not yet been appointed and the date for the confirmation hearing has not yet been set.
Among LaSalle’s supporters are former Chief Justice Jonathan Lippman and former Gov. David Paterson. If confirmed, LaSalle would be New York’s first Latino chief justice. Several current and former top Hispanic leaders in New York also support LaSalle.
The confirmation process promises to be Hochul’s first test as governor-elect.