ALBANY, N.Y. (WIVB) – Governor Andrew Cuomo gave his State of the State preview on Monday, that sounded a lot more like an actual state of the state speech, just without any legislative leaders present. He highlighted justice, environmental and health bills that he hopes to pass during his first 100 days in office.
Gov. Cuomo likened his agenda to the Declaration of Independence and says the state’s priorities next year are separate from the federal government’s.
The governor said now with a Democratic Assembly and Senate, there are no more excuses. Democrats need to be doers and not just dreamers.
“We are under federal assault as individuals and as a state. We must stand up to this tyranny once again. Not with muskets the way our founders did, not with our voices and our votes. As our forefathers rebelled against England resenting the king values and abuse, let us announce New York’s rebellion from the current federal policies.”
When it comes to healthcare, Gov. Cuomo said he wants to strengthen reproductive health protections such as abortion rights and equal contraceptive access. What was missing was mention of implementing a single-payer health care system that has been a big focus for many Democrats this year.
“We must pass legislation protecting those with pre-existing conditions, codifying the health exchange, and ensuring continued access to prescription drug coverage because New York believes healthcare is not a luxury. Healthcare is a basic human right.”
Gov. Cuomo also mentioned the SAFE Act saying that since its passage, gun violence has only gotten worse. He says this means the state needs more gun regulations such as banning bump stocks, increase the waiting period around background checks, and passing the red flag law that would let a judge take away someone’s firearms who is believed to be a threat.
“New York must lead the way from this place of madness this nation is in.”
Cuomo also talked about his goal to pass a package of voting bills that would allow for early voting, voting by mail, and synchronize federal and state primary days. He even tossed around the idea of making Election day a state holiday.
“Let’s make a real statement about the importance of voting and let’s make Election Day a state holiday and say to people, “get out and vote.”
Gov. Cuomo also announced that he plans to push for the legalization of recreational marijuana, making the property tax cap permanent, eliminating cash bail and passing the Dream Act.
All of these priorities he outlined today he says he hopes to accomplish within his first 100 days of office.
Gov. Cuomo did criticize President Donald Trump for not believing in climate change. He went on to announce that the state will launch the Green New Deal to make the state’s electricity 100 percent carbon neutral by 2040 and ultimately eliminate the state’s entire carbon footprint.