Although many of the details remain to be revealed, I am impressed with Governor Cuomo's comprehensive State of the State address, in which he promised to advance a host of progressive policy goals.
I am heartened by the Governor's renewed call for an assault weapons ban and other measures to fix New York's porous gun laws, especially in light of the tragedy at Sandy Hook and the spate of gun violence across New York City last summer. The Governor’s Women’s Equality Act, which includes support for pay equity, is a bold effort to end discrimination and inequality based on gender, and I appreciate his strong call for passage of the Reproductive Health Act to protect women’s right to choose. I was also pleased to hear his plan to lessen the harm caused by the NYPD’s stop-and-frisk policy by decriminalizing small amounts of marijuana and advance campaign finance reform through the public financing of elections.
The creation of a $1 billion affordable housing fund appears promising, although we also need measures to strengthen rent regulation laws, which have been bottled up by special interests for many years. And while I'm pleased to hear of the Governor's support for increasing the minimum wage to help address the growing gap between the rich and poor in our state, working families will not see a lasting benefit if we fail to index any increase to inflation. Finally, I welcome the Governor’s plans for universal pre-kindergarten, infrastructure improvement, and economic development strategies that aim to improve New York’s long-term future.
I look forward to working with the Governor and my legislative colleagues to advance these initiatives.