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State of the State 2020: Making Progress Happen

On January 8, Governor Cuomo delivered his tenth State of the State Address, themed “Making Progress Happen.” He set the stage by deeming New York as the progressive capital of the country for its results-driven leadership during this turbulent time with a divided nation and polarized Federal government, pledging that New York will continue forward with a robust and aggressive agenda.

The Governor welcomed new Assembly Minority Leader William Barclay from the 120th district, which encompasses parts of Oswego and Jefferson Counties, and Senator George Borrello of the 57th district, who won a special election in November 2019 for the seat that had previously been held by Cathy Young. Encompassing 4,139 square miles, the 57th Senate District is one of the state’s largest and includes Allegany, Cattaraugus, Chautauqua counties plus eight towns in Livingston County.

Governor Cuomo congratulated New Yorkers on the many successes “rooted in reality” during 2019, including increased safety, improved infrastructure, higher wages, decreased taxes and increased jobs.

He laid out a comprehensive list of proposals that spanned drug pricing, education funding, numerous social justice initiatives, the legalization of marijuana, middle class income tax reductions, climate change and numerous infrastructure investments.  All of which are being proposed within the context of a $6.1 billion projected budget deficit, largely attributable to Medicaid spending. While the Governor acknowledged the deficit and alluded to a desire to shift some costs to localities and to re-convene his Medicaid Redesign Team (MRT), the details of how to pay for his agenda will be left to later this month when he will release the Executive Budget.

Throughout his address, the Governor referenced the recent anti-semitic attack in Monsey and the need for cultural understanding, tolerance and unity among New Yorkers. His passion and fervor were evident as he ended his speech saying, “And when you try to divide the great State of New York, we will stand up tall. We will stand up unified. We will stand up and we will fight and we will win! Because we are right! And that is the New York way! Excelsior! Thank you, and God bless you!”

2020 State of the State Proposals

  1. Preventing Individuals Who Commit a Serious Crime in Another State From Owning a Gun in New York
  2. Banning Fentanyl Analogs to Further Combat the Opioid Epidemic
  3. Mandating Automatic Manual Recounts in Close Elections
  4. Closing the Rape Intoxication Loophole
  5. Banning the Use of Single-Use Styrofoam Food Containers in New York State
  6. Lowering Prescription Drug Prices for All New Yorkers Through Comprehensive Three-Part Plan
  7. Advancing the Strongest Net Neutrality Protections in the United States
  8. Protecting Consumers from Abusive Debt Collectors
  9. Cracking Down on Retailers Who Sell Illegal Cigarettes
  10. Eliminating the Pink Tax
  11. Legislation to Prevent Sexual Predators from Using Social Media, Dating Apps and Video Games to Exploit Children
  12. Making the “New York Buy American” Act Permanent
  13. Developing an Innovative Strategy to Build High Speed Rail in New York
  14. Increasing Transparency in Healthcare Costs
  15. Legislation Banning Flavored Nicotine Vaping Products and Vaping Ads Aimed at Youth
  16. Legalizing Gestational Surrogacy
  17. Combating the Scourge of Robocalls
  18. Banning Untraceable “Ghost Guns” by Requiring Firearm Parts be Treated as Guns and Have a Serial Number
  19. Growing New York’s Craft Beverage Manufacturing Industry by Reforming Antiquated Prohibition Era Laws
  20. Passing the First-in-the-Nation Inclusive Equal Rights Amendment
  21. Expanding Access to Safe and Affordable Financial Services
  22. Preserving 4,000 Acres of Land in the Mid-Hudson Valley
  23. Investing $9 Million In Unmanned Aerial System Experimentation and Test Facility at Griffiss International Airport
  24. Transferring Pier 76 Tow Pound to Hudson River Park for Reuse
  25. Industry-Leading High Technology Companies to Create More Than 700 Jobs in and Near Rochester’s Downtown Innovation Zone
  26. Protecting the Health of Lake George’s Waters
  27. Rebuilding the Mid-Station Lodge at Whiteface Mountain
  28. Transforming Buffalo’s North Aud Block
  29. $300 Million Plan to Reimagine the Iconic Erie Canal
  30. Creating a 21st Century Empire Station Complex in Manhattan
  31. Creating the State’s First Comprehensive Education and Workforce Training Center in Syracuse
  32. Expanding New York’s $175 Million Workforce Development Initiative to Meet Emerging Job Demand
  33. Banning Sex Offenders from MTA Transit Systems
  34. Strengthening Relationship Between Local Police and the Communities They Serve