Photo Courtesy of the Office of the Governor
Governor Cuomo’s 2018 State of the State address is anchored by nearly two-dozen local and statewide proposals.
By Michael V. Cusenza
Governor Andrew Cuomo was set to deliver his State of the State speech on Wednesday afternoon. Over the past couple of weeks, he has been revealing myriad proposals – nearly two-dozen – for the Empire State that were to anchor his address.
These ambitious ideas, which range from local to state-wide, include:
• Remove Firearms from Domestic Abusers
• Protect the Environment, Protect the Hudson River
• Round Three of the Downtown Revitalization Initiative
• Cutting off the Recruitment Pipeline to Eradicate MS-13
• Examine Eliminating the Minimum Wage Tip Credit to Strengthen Economic Justice in New York State
• Continue to Reduce the Local Property Tax Burden by Making the State’s County Shared Services Panels Permanent
• Major Investment to Accelerate Improvements at Niagara Falls Wastewater Treatment Plant
• New York Will Take Action to Stop Railcar Storage in the Adirondack Park
• Calling on the New York State Common Retirement Fund to Cease All New Investments in Entities with Significant Fossil Fuel-Related Activities and Develop a De-Carbonization Plan for Divesting from Fossil Fuels
• Bringing the New York Islanders Home with a Worlds-Class Sports and Entertainment Destination at Belmont Park
• Ending Sextortion Now
• Protecting New York’s Lakes From Harmful Algal Blooms
• Democracy Agenda to Protect the Integrity of New York Elections and Require Transparency for Digital Political Ads
• Fast Track State-of-the-Art Containment and Treatment of the U.S. Navy/Northrop Grumman Contamination Plume
Launch Comprehensive No Student Goes Hungry Program
• Furthering the Fight Against Exploding Student Loan Debt
• Modernize, Expand and Rebrand Stewart International Airport
• Combat Sexual Harassment in the Workplace
• Strengthen Workforce Development to Prepare New Yorkers for the Jobs of the Future
• New York’s Clean Energy Jobs and Climate Agenda
• Taking Steps to Revitalize Red Hook
• Restoring Fairness in New York’s Criminal Justice System
Some you may already be familiar with (Sports and Entertainment Destination at Belmont Park), others maybe not.
Cuomo’s 22nd proposal is a sweeping, five-pronged reform package to overhaul the State’s criminal justice system. This package, according to the administration, will guarantee fairness for the accused by reshaping New York’s antiquated bail system, ensuring access to a speedy trial, improving the disclosure of evidence in the discovery process, transforming asset forfeiture procedures and implementing new initiatives to help individuals transition from incarceration to their communities.
The governor has also crafted an agenda that targets sexual harassment in the workplace. He has pledged to propose legislation to prevent public dollars from being used to settle sexual harassment claims against individuals, void forced arbitration policies in employee contracts, and mandate that any companies that do business with the state disclose the number of sexual harassment adjudications and nondisclosure agreements they have executed.
Queens Borough President Melinda Katz applauded Cuomo’s vision.
“A settlement should not compel silence in perpetuity and preclude further accountability for harassers enabled by that very silence,” she said. “This multi-pronged proposal is a thoughtful, important step toward restoring legitimacy and control on the survivor’s terms, and is an unequivocal statement on New York’s zero tolerance for sexual harassment, at least in the workplace.”
Check the next edition of The Forum for a comprehensive review of Cuomo’s latest State of the State address.