Senator Biaggi’s Statement In Response to Governor Kathy Hochul’s 2022 State of the State

Alessandra Biaggi

January 05, 2022

“Governor Kathy Hochul’s first State of the State address marked a welcome change of vision and signaled a new era of collaboration between the Executive and the Legislature to deliver for New Yorkers. Governor Hochul’s commitment to building a better New York is encouraging, and I believe her proposed initiatives surrounding housing supply, affordable housing, transportation, supporting small businesses, rebuilding our health care workforce, and expanding broadband internet access will allow us to make necessary investments in our communities. This is the first administration in my career that is serious about doing the actual work, and I’m excited to work with Governor Hochul this session to build the future of New York.

While I am grateful Governor Hochul prioritized ethics reform in her address with a plan to create an entirely new ethics commission, I am disappointed by the absence of intent to reform the Legislative Ethics Commission or Office of the Inspector General, and the absence of short term solutions to improve how our ethics bodies function. Transforming the culture of Albany will require the collaboration and reform of all offices responsible for anti-corruption work.

I would be remiss to not also note my disappointment that Governor Hochul did not mention any legislation to address sexual harassment and discrimination in the workplace, and the urgent need to strengthen our systems of accountability to protect workers across the State. Considering the actions of sexual misconduct by former Governor Andrew Cuomo that ultimately lead to Governor Hochul’s ascent, the absence of legislation to strengthen laws against sexual misconduct and discrimination and close loopholes that allow perpetrators to evade accountability, is an unforced error ignoring survivors. If we are truly committed to transforming the culture of workplaces everywhere, protections must be implemented through legislative action.

A new era for New York will begin only when we boldly address the faults of our past.”