Category Archives: NYS Governor Kathy Hochul

NYS Gov Hochul Signs Landmark Legislation to Strengthen Gun Laws, Bolster Restrictions on Concealed Carry in Response to SCOTUS Decision

Legislation (S.51001/A.41001) Restricts the Carrying of Concealed Weapons in List of Sensitive Locations

Institutes a Default of No Concealed Carry on Private Property and Businesses Unless Deemed Permissible by Property Owners

Establishes New Eligibility Requirements and Expands Disqualifying Criteria for Those Seeking Concealed Carry Permits

Enhances Safe Storage Requirements, Extends Requirements to Vehicles

Requires Backgrounds Checks for All Ammunition Purchases

Amends Body Armor Purchase Ban to Include Hard Body Armor Used by Suspect in Buffalo Shooting

New York State Governor Kathy Hochul has been steadfast in combating the epidemic of gun violence in the state and nation. Back in October 2021, she signed landmark legislation to crack down on “ghost guns,” untraceable firearms used by criminals to evade background checks. Immediately upon the Supreme Court striking down the state’s 111-year law restricting concealed carry permits, she called back the state legislature for a special session to enact new, landmark legislation to strengthen the state’s gun laws and concealed carry regulations to conform with the radical decision © Karen Rubin/news-photos-features.com

Barely a week after the Supreme Court struck down New York State’s 111-year old law regulating concealed gun carry permits, Governor Kathy Hochul signed landmark legislation to strengthen New York’s gun laws and bolster restrictions on concealed carry weapons. This package of new laws — drafted in close collaboration with the Legislature — is devised to align with the Supreme Court’s recent decision in NYSRPA v. Bruen. As a result of this decision, the State has taken steps to address the consequences of the Supreme Court decision and the resulting increase in licenses and in the number of individuals who will likely purchase and carry weapons in New York State.

“A week ago, the Supreme Court issued a reckless decision removing century-old limitations on who is allowed to carry concealed weapons in our state — senselessly sending us backward and putting the safety of our residents in jeopardy,” Governor Hochul said. “Today, we are taking swift and bold action to protect New Yorkers. After a close review of the NYSRPA vs. Bruen decision and extensive discussions with constitutional and policy experts, advocates, and legislative partners, I am proud to sign this landmark legislative package that will strengthen our gun laws and bolster restrictions on concealed carry weapons. I want to thank Majority Leader Stewart-Cousins, Speaker Heastie, and all of our partners in the Legislature for their willingness to take on this critical issue with urgency and precision. I will continue to do everything in my power to combat the gun violence epidemic.”

“Keeping the people of New York State safe is our greatest priority and I am proud to stand with the Governor and Legislature in enacting the measures put into place today,” Lieutenant Governor Antonio Delgado said. “With this action, New York has sent a message to the rest of the country that we will not stand idly by and let the Supreme Court reverse years of sensible gun regulations.”

Research has shown that violent crime involving firearms increases by 29 percent when people are given the right to carry handguns, caused in part by a 35 percent increase in gun theft and a 13 percent decrease in the rate that police solved cases. Today’s legislative package furthers the State’s compelling interest in preventing death and injury by firearms by:

  • Expanding on eligibility requirements in the concealed carry permitting process, including completed firearm training courses for applicants.
  • Allowing the state to regulate and standardize training for license applicants.
  • Restricting the carrying of concealed weapons in sensitive locations and establishing that private property owners must expressly allow a person to possess a firearm, rifle, or shotgun on their property. Individuals who carry concealed weapons in sensitive locations or in contravention of the authority of an owner of private property will face criminal penalties.
  • Establishing state oversight over background checks for firearms and regular checks on license holders for criminal convictions.
  • Creating a statewide license and ammunition database.
  • Strengthening and clarifying the law relating to the sale of body armor to include hard body armor, such as the type worn by the suspect in the Buffalo shooting and the safe storage of firearms.

The law will take effect on September 1, 2022. In addition, an appeals board will be created for those applicants whose license or renewal is denied or revoked, which will take effect on April 1, 2023.

Senate Majority Leader Andrea Stewart-Cousins said,”In response to the Supreme Court’s decision implying that guns are more important than lives in this country, we are passing legislation to ensure that New York State has safe and responsible gun laws. States are the last line of defense, which is why we are stepping up to protect New York from being easily flooded with concealed weapons and keeping firearms out of the wrong hands. These measures, in addition to the previous anti-gun violence legislation we passed, are vital in a time when there are more guns than people in America. New York will continue to prioritize people’s safety and lives, and I thank my conference, Speaker Heastie, and Governor Hochul for their partnership.”

Speaker Carl Heastie said, “In the wake of the Supreme Court’s dismantling our more than 100-year-old sensible concealed carry law, the Assembly Majority worked tirelessly alongside our Senate colleagues and the governor to ensure that our state has the strongest gun laws possible. We will not let this ruling make our streets less safe. Here in New York, the right to feel safe in public spaces is not secondary to unfettered access to firearms. And when this right-wing conservative court inevitably continues its assault on our democracy, we will remain as committed as ever to protecting the rights of every New Yorker.”

Last week, the Supreme Court’s 6-3 decision ended a 100-year legal precedent requiring individuals to demonstrate “proper cause” to obtain a license to carry a concealed firearm. The existing law gave discretion to the state and its licensing officers in determining what constitutes “proper cause”, which the court cited as unconstitutional.

Governor Hochul has worked closely with the legislature to devise the following Legislation (S.51001/ A.41001), which carefully and strictly regulate concealed carry weapons while staying within the confines of the NYSRPA vs. Bruen decision.

Sensitive locations and Private Property

Certain locations are always unsafe for guns, and this legislation makes concealed carry in sensitive locations a punishable crime. Sensitive locations include:

  • Airports
  • Bars and restaurants that serve alcohol
  • Courthouses
  • Daycare facilities, playgrounds and other locations where children gather
  • Educational Institutions
  • Emergency shelters, including domestic violence shelters and homeless shelters
  • Entertainment venues
  • Federal, state, and local government buildings
  • Health and medical facilities
  • Houses of worship
  • Libraries
  • Polling sites
  • Public demonstrations and rallies
  • Public transportation including subways and buses
  • Times Square

The law also makes ‘no carry’ the default for private property, unless deemed permissible by property owners. This gives power to business and property owners to decide whether or not they want guns in their establishments, which could include bars, restaurants, shops or grocery stores. Property owners who do decide to allow concealed carry will have to disclose with signage saying concealed carry is allowed on the premises. This allows people to make an informed decision on whether or not they want to be in a space where people could potentially be carrying a weapon.

Expanded Eligibility Requirements and Disqualifying Criteria

The legislation expands eligibility requirements for concealed carry permit applicants. Expanded application requirements include character references, firearm safety training courses, live fire testing, and background checks. Additionally, applicants who have documented instances of violent behavior will be disqualified from obtaining a concealed carry permit. Disqualifying criteria also includes misdemeanor convictions for weapons possession and menacing, recent treatment for drug-related reasons, and for alcohol-related misdemeanor convictions.

Safe Storage

Today’s legislation also implements new safe storage requirements for rifles, shotguns, and firearms. Gun owners will be prohibited from leaving a gun in their car unless it is stored in a lockbox. Additionally, state law previously required that guns be stored safely in a home if someone under 16 resides there, but new legislation will require safe gun ownership in a home if someone under 18 resides there.

Ammunition Background Checks

The legislation allows the state to conduct and have oversight over background checks for firearms and run regular checks on license holders for criminal convictions. State background checks will go beyond those conducted by the National Instant Criminal Background Check System maintained by the FBI, which lack access to crucial state-owned and local-owned records and databases that provide a more accurate assessment of an applicant’s background. Research has found that states that perform their own background checks, instead of solely using the federal database, experience 27 percent lower firearm suicide rates and 22 percent lower firearm homicide rates. The legislation also requires background checks for ammunition sales and creates a statewide license and ammunition database.

Body Armor Amendment

Under current law, a “body vest” has a limited defined as a bullet-resistant soft body armor. This legislation will redefine body vests to encompass a broader array of protective equipment that is bullet resistant, expanding current purchase and sale prohibitions to include hard body armor. During the Buffalo tragedy, the shooter was wearing a steel-plated vest which would be captured under this new body armor definition.

Rebecca Fischer, Executive Director of New Yorkers Against Gun Violence said, “Even as the gun industry attacks our sensible gun laws, our communities, and our children, we know we can count on New York State’s leadership to protect us time and time again. Last week, the gun-lobby backed U.S. Supreme Court overhauled New York’s concealed carry licensing law, a law that has helped keep New Yorkers safe for over a century.  Last night, our state took swift action by enacting new laws that will strengthen our public carry permitting process and enable New Yorkers to live safely in sensitive places across New York.  We applaud Governor Kathy Hochul, Senate Majority Leader Andrea Stewart-Cousins, and Speaker Carl Heastie for being model leaders for our nation as we continue to address the gun violence crisis and save lives.” 

NYC’s Chinatown Welcomes Year of Tiger With Lunar New Year Parade

US Senator Chuck Schumer, New York Governor Kathy Hochul and NYC Mayor Eric Adams kick off the Lunar New Year Parade in Chinatown, New York City © Karen Rubin/news-photos-features.com

By Karen Rubin, News-Photos-Features.com

New York’s Asian American community welcomed the Year of the Tiger with its traditional Lunar New Year parade, but with some important differences: glee after a COVID hiatus and a measure of assertiveness to counter the uptick in hate crimes these past two years. There was more political messaging – pushing back against a city plan to locate a jail in the community and standing firm against hate crimes directed at the community. It is also an opportunity for politicians to show support for the community, which numbers 1.6 million in New York City.

US Senator Chuck Schumer, New York Governor Kathy Hochul and NYC Mayor Eric Adams kick off the Lunar New Year Parade in Chinatown, New York City © Karen Rubin/news-photos-features.com

“When I see this crowd, it says to me one thing, that New York is as strong as the tiger,” Governor Kathy Hochul said in her remarks to start the parade. “We are tough, courageous, resilient, and we always fight back. That’s what this parade symbolizes. We were here just before the pandemic and yes, it took us down and it was very difficult for many of our communities, our businesses.

“I walked these streets, and this was a ghost town for too long. We came here with Steven and others, but we are back. And I also want to say that the State of New York, my administration, is committed to one program I believe is going to make a huge difference here. We’re putting $10 million toward helping mental health and social services for this community to help people rise up, rise up and deal with all the challenges.

“Stop Asian Hate.” Lunar New Year Parade in Chinatown, New York City © Karen Rubin/news-photos-features.com

“We will continue to fight back against every form of hate as it rears its ugly head. We have your backs, and we stand with the Asian community, 1.6 million strong here in the State of New York.

“We are so powerful. Let us roar like the tiger as we continue to fight our way back, claw our way back, because we are New York! Happy New Year!”

Sending messages to politicos at the Lunar New Year Parade in Chinatown, New York City © Karen Rubin/news-photos-features.com

The $10 million in awards will go to community-based organizations providing services to Asian American communities that were disproportionately impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic. The funding, allocated in the FY 2021-22 budget, will be distributed through the Asian American Federation (AAF), the Coalition for Asian American Children and Families (CACF), and the Chinese-American Planning Council (CPC), as well as other organizations. There will be a focus on community programs and providers that bring services and supportive programs directly to New York’s Asian American communities. This will be the largest investment in the Asian American community in New York State history.

“Stop Asian Hate.” Lunar New Year Parade in Chinatown, New York City © Karen Rubin/news-photos-features.com

“The COVID-19 pandemic has had a devastating effect on so many vulnerable and marginalized communities across New York State,” Governor Hochul said.”The Asian American community was especially hard hit, not only by the virus, but by an increase in hate and violent crimes. With this $10 million in funding, we are sending a strong message that hate has no home here, and we will continue to stand shoulder to shoulder with our sisters and brothers in the Asian American community. My administration is laser focused on continuing to help communities that have for too long been forgotten, not only as we recover from this pandemic, but for years to come.”

“Stop Asian Hate.” Lunar New Year Parade in Chinatown, New York City © Karen Rubin/news-photos-features.com

President & CEO of the Chinese-American Planning Council Wayne Ho said,”We would like to thank the Governor’s Office and State legislators for critical funding to support the Asian American and Pacific Islander community. The increase in anti-Asian violence and hate combined with the economic devastation of the pandemic have left our community in crisis. In the past year, CPC has served over 125,000 New Yorkers of all ages and backgrounds through our essential services, financial assistance, and pandemic relief efforts. CPC looks forward to receiving this funding from the State to continue addressing our community members’ health, economic, and safety needs.”

Asian American Legal Defense and Education Fund march in the Lunar New Year Parade in Chinatown, New York City © Karen Rubin/news-photos-features.com

Executive Director of the Asian American Federation Jo-Ann Yoo said,”We thank Governor Hochul for her investment and commitment in providing the resources that New York’s Asian American community needs now more than ever. With the tragedies that our community has experienced since the start of the pandemic, and painfully so over the last few months, many Asian Americans are fearful for their own lives when stepping out of their homes. Governor Hochul’s leadership shows that our voice is not going unheard as we ask for support to overcome this trauma. Today’s announcement is the start of much work to be done, and we look forward to working with the Governor and State and City elected officials to ensure that New York’s Asian American community is protected and given the resources to preserve past this crisis.”

“Thank you Governor Kathy Hochul.” The governor is allocating $10 million in awards to community-based organizations providing services to Asian American communities that were disproportionately impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic and took a strong stand against hate crimes directed at the Asian American community © Karen Rubin/news-photos-features.com

At least two of the floats carried banners with Governor Hochul photo, with a giant “thank you.”

Hochul was joined on the podium by a number of politicians, including US Senator Chuck Schumer, NYC Mayor Eric Adams, State Senator Brian Kavanaugh and NYC Comptroller Brad Lander,

Curtis Sliwa, founder of the Guardian Angels who lost his bid to become NYC Mayor, marches in the Lunar New Year Parade in Chinatown, New York City © Karen Rubin/news-photos-features.com

The parade and festivities returned after last year’s coronavirus hiatus, and so were the crowds to enjoy the display of culture and pride by the Asian American community. Here are photo highlights from the parade through New York City’s Chinatown:

Lunar New Year Parade in Chinatown, New York City © Karen Rubin/news-photos-features.com
Lion dancer works the crowd at the Lunar New Year Parade in Chinatown, New York City © Karen Rubin/news-photos-features.com
Lunar New Year Parade in Chinatown, New York City © Karen Rubin/news-photos-features.com
Lunar New Year Parade in Chinatown, New York City © Karen Rubin/news-photos-features.com
Lunar New Year Parade in Chinatown, New York City © Karen Rubin/news-photos-features.com
Lunar New Year Parade in Chinatown, New York City © Karen Rubin/news-photos-features.com
Lunar New Year Parade in Chinatown, New York City © Karen Rubin/news-photos-features.com
Lunar New Year Parade in Chinatown, New York City © Karen Rubin/news-photos-features.com
Lunar New Year Parade in Chinatown, New York City © Karen Rubin/news-photos-features.com
Lunar New Year Parade in Chinatown, New York City © Karen Rubin/news-photos-features.com
Lunar New Year Parade in Chinatown, New York City © Karen Rubin/news-photos-features.com
Lunar New Year Parade in Chinatown, New York City © Karen Rubin/news-photos-features.com
Lunar New Year Parade in Chinatown, New York City © Karen Rubin/news-photos-features.com
Lunar New Year Parade in Chinatown, New York City © Karen Rubin/news-photos-features.com
“Stronger Together” is the message at the Lunar New Year Parade in Chinatown, New York City © Karen Rubin/news-photos-features.com
Asian American culture and pride on view at the Lunar New Year Parade in Chinatown, New York City © Karen Rubin/news-photos-features.com
the Lunar New Year Parade in Chinatown, New York City © Karen Rubin/news-photos-features.com
the Lunar New Year Parade in Chinatown, New York City © Karen Rubin/news-photos-features.com
Asian American culture and pride on view at the Lunar New Year Parade in Chinatown, New York City © Karen Rubin/news-photos-features.com

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Governor Hochul Unveils Budget for Bold Agenda to ‘Embrace This Moment of Possibility, Redefine New York’s Destiny’

NYS Governor Kathy Hochul: “This is a moment of a great possibility, a once-in-a-generation chance to reconsider what is possible for our state. And this really is the beginning of New York’s next great comeback. I declared a New Era for New York, and it continues today.” © Karen Rubin/news-photos-features.com

NYS Governor Kathy Hochul: “This is a moment of a great possibility, a once-in-a-generation chance to reconsider what is possible for our state. And this really is the beginning of New York’s next great comeback. I declared a New Era for New York, and it continues today.”

This is a highlighted transcript of New York State Governor Kathy Hochul’s budget message:

Two weeks ago in my State of the State speech, I proposed a whole new era for New York. One in which my administration, my fellow statewide elected officials and the legislature will finally work together to deliver for New Yorkers. But before I deliver our positive budget trends, let’s look at another trend, which is increasingly positive.

Today, positive COVID cases are at 22,312 down 75% from our peak of 90,132 on January 7th, less than two weeks ago and that’s incredible. And cases dropped 34% in the last seven days while cases across the rest of the United States went down only by five percent. Our positivity rate is down to 12.48%, nearly an 11% drop from the peak on January 2nd and hospitalizations continue to trend downward as well.

So we hope to close the books on this winter surge soon. So we can turn the page and open the book on our 2023 budget outlook and focus on the post pandemic future. As I said, since I took office 147 days ago, my top priority is to confront this pandemic head-on and to save lives, protect the health of New Yorkers and protect the health of our economy.

But we also must pass a bold agenda that’ll do more than just help us recover from this crisis. We need to embrace this moment of possibility and use it to redefine New York’s destiny. How? First by rebuilding our healthcare and teacher workforces, providing tax relief to those who need it the most, speeding up economic growth and creating good paying middle-class jobs, strengthening our infrastructure and confronting climate change, securing public safety and protecting our communities, making housing more affordable and ensuring every New Yorker has a roof over their head, enacting bold reforms that will restore trust in state and we’re changing the culture and creating workplaces that are free of harassment.

This is an extraordinary time and it will be met with extraordinary solutions. The policies I laid out two weeks ago are ambitious, but as I said, just as importantly, they’re realistic and achievable. And we’re in a position to fully fund them by making historic investment,  like record aid to education, the biggest capital plan for infrastructure that our state has ever seen, and a groundbreaking program to rebuild the healthcare industry. But we’re also being smart and responsible recognizing that we need to fund our reserves to historic levels as well. So I’m proud to say that today we are submitting a balanced executive budget for fiscal year 2023 to the legislature.

Our state is in a strong financial position due to a combination of factors, increased tax receipts, a thriving stock market, and an influx of federal aid through the American rescue plan and the infrastructure act, some of which have already been received, some with more still to come. Looking forward, our base level forecasts are equally optimistic.

We predict we’ll be able to continue to balance the budget and be able to make these types of bold but necessary investments all the way through fiscal year 2027. And this is a big change from where we were just this time last year. When the division of budget projected deficits totaling $17 billion during that same timeframe.

So this is a once in a generation opportunity to make thoughtful, purpose-driven investments in our state and in our people that will pay dividends for decades. And that’s exactly what my budget will do.

But this is also about meeting New Yorkers where they are now, frustrated by a persistent pandemic, anxious about rising prices for everything from milk to gas to housing, worried about whether or not their paycheck will be enough to make ends meet and stressed, most of all, about their kids, the quality of their education, affordability of childcare, and even thoughts about what their future will be in a world beset by climate change.

So New Yorkers, this budget is for you and about you. And how I propose to use the entirety of our $216 billion budget to directly address the immediate needs of New Yorkers and at the same time positively impact people’s lives and livelihoods for decades to come first. First, we’ll respond to this pandemic head-on by following the science and the data, and doing whatever it takes to ensure that our recovery is swift and far-reaching.

That’s why we’ve set aside $2 billion for pandemic recovery initiatives. I’ll work with the legislature to identify the most impactful use of these funds in the short term, whether that’s held for struggling, small landlords and their tenants, or the hardest hurt industries and workers, or for other purposes.

Now let’s talk about putting more money back into people’s pockets. Rather than raise taxes, this is about tax relief. Accelerating a $1.2 billion tax cut originally scheduled to take effect between 2023 and 2025. This [means] way more than 6 million middle-class taxpayers getting their much-needed money a lot sooner.

At a time when inflation is robbing families of long awaited gains and income, and recognizing that property taxes are still too high, we will provide a $2 billion property tax rebate to more than 2 million middle-class homeowners. And we’re delivering $250 million in tax credits for small businesses to help them pay for COVID related expenses.

In addition to that, we’re having new support for farms and other small businesses, hit so hard by this pandemic. We need to help them not just survive, but to thrive. And using the unprecedented fusion of money from our leaders in Washington, starting with President Joe Biden, New York will see the largest investment in our state infrastructure ever through a $32.8 billion capital plan.

The boldness I outlined in my State of the State address will be realized. I’m putting the dollars behind making long-term overdo repairs to our roads, and our bridges, building new transit options, modernizing existing transit and hubs and revitalizing communities. I’ve also declared war on potholes. So here’s the first shot across the bow: a $1 billion plan called Operation POP: Pave Our Potholes, and this strategy takes us from potholes to not-holes. For me, infrastructure is a quality of life issue. It’s about creating connections, connecting neighborhoods, connecting people to jobs, connecting people to their family members and loved ones. And we’ll finally be able to strengthen those bonds across our state, using cash rather than borrowing money. So future generations are not hamstrung by the commitments we make today.

One way we’ll do that is by reconnecting neighborhoods that were severed by asphalt highways, and these all disproportionally impacted communities of color, like the Kensington Expressway in Buffalo, I-81 in Syracuse, the Inner Loop in Rochester, and the Cross Bronx Expressway. 

And one hard lesson we learned about what happens when there’s a lack of investment is how our healthcare system crumbled under the stress of the pandemic.

And that’s why we’re making up for lost time and positioning the state to have better footing going forward with the largest investment in healthcare in State history, $10 billion. One of our shared values as New Yorkers is that everyone deserves the dignity of access to quality health care, especially during a public health crisis. In my State of the State speech, I promise to start by rebuilding our healthcare workforce. They’re the heroes of this pandemic, so let’s stop talking about the debt we owe them, and actually pay them what they deserve. And that includes more than $1 billion in bonuses. We’ll also work to rebuild our medical facilities, nursing homes, and hospitals, which have been crushed by this pandemic, through a $1.6 billion capital program to help them make much needed upgrades.

We’re also going to invest in education, strengthening our teacher workforce and supporting students’ mental health. We’ll provide more than $31 billion in aid for our schools. Continuing our commitment to fully fund education and foundation aid. And that brings us to the highest level the State has invested in education ever. And this should be used to continue expanding our pre-K program to school districts all across the state, and for much needed after school programs. Because working parents need all the support they can get. We’re also increasing our investments in childcare, to more than $1.4 billion. This will make 400,000 more families eligible for childcare subsidies, and we’ll invest more in childcare workers as well.

To boost our economy, we’ll make significant investments in our workforce development programs, support for small businesses, and the revitalization of downtowns across the state. So we can be the most worker friendly and business friendly state in the nation, with all the different engines of our economy firing in all cylinders. And we’ll ensure that the new businesses we’re going to draw to New York will have access to a well-trained and educated workforce. And how we do that is by making our statewide higher education system, the very best in the entire nation.

We’re going to increase operational support for SUNY and CUNY, the engines of social mobility, and we’re adding $1.5 billion over the next five years. And we’re investing $150 million into the expansion of the tuition assistance program, so it’s available to part-time students giving them a chance, which means more students won’t have to choose between work and getting their degree. We’ll also make that assistance available to people in prison as part of our jails-to-jobs initiative.

And we’re going to confront that climate crisis with the urgency that is required. That’s why my budget includes $4 billion for the landmark Clean Water Clean Air and Green Jobs Environmental Bond act, in the largest ever investment in the Environmental Protection Fund. We must speed up our transition to clean energy and you are we’ll lead the way by making a nation-leading $500 million investment in offshore wind energy.

And we have to confront the housing affordability crisis. And one way we’ll do that is by advancing a new $25 billion five-year housing plan to create and preserve 100,000 affordable homes, including 10,000 homes with supportive services for vulnerable populations. And everyone deserves to feel safe on the streets, in schools, in their homes, and in their communities, and during their commutes, and in too many communities, they just don’t. So we’re going to prioritize public safety. Starting with $224 million investment into programs that will reduced gun violence and other programs to help children in our streets, and will confront the other public health crisis that is taking far too many New Yorkers lives and will take it on head-on because that is something that has destroyed the lives of too many of our loved ones.

So we’re going to make a $400 million dollar multi-year investment in opioid and substance abuse addiction service. Of course, this is just a small sampling of everything that’s included in the 2023 budget. But the bottom line is that we’ll make smart investments to ensure we not only recover from this pandemic, but emerge from it stronger than ever before.

And I want to be very clear. We’re going to do it by taking a fiscally responsible approach because we know that the federal funds will eventually run out. And that’s why we’re not banking on them for the future. We’re not creating recurring expenses or new programs we can’t pay for. So for the first time ever, with smart planning, New York will have no out year gaps.

All these commitments are either one-time expenditures or are supported by the expectation of a reasonable growth in revenue as projected by our division of budget. So we have the means to respond to this historic moment with a historic level of funding. And what we have achieved with the blueprint I’m printing today is both a plan that is socially responsible and fiscally prudent. And as I learned working on 14 balanced municipal budgets with much smaller numbers, but with the same philosophy, you have to prepare for the rainy days, even when there’s not a cloud in the sky, because of the rain – or where I come from, the snow, eventually does fall.

So we’re prepared for the downturns as well. Just remember where we were two years ago today, and suddenly how our world changed forever. As we assess the risks, we do have concerns about long-term economic erosion caused by the pandemic and the impact of inflation and even – hate to say it but possible resurgence of COVID. We just can’t predict the future. But I want to share New Yorkers that we are prepared.

And that’s why we’re making these investments with those worst case scenario calculations built in. And committing resources every year until the state has reserves of at least 15% of operating spending. That’s what the experts recommend, and it’s what we’re going to do. For the future leaders, for future generations, and for the future health of our state. But we’re not letting this once in a generation moment pass us by. It’s not simply enough to return to our pre pandemic world in way of life. That would be timid and unimaginative, and it would fail to honor our history and the legacy of the daring, visionary New Yorkers who came before us.

Leaders like FDR, who weathered some of the most intense storms the world has ever seen, always while keeping one eye fixed on the horizon, planning for the day when the clouds would part. And it wasn’t through sheer luck that the policies he passed during those crises made an immediate difference in the short-term and a generational impact in the long-term. Through careful and strategic planning. And he embraced those times of crisis for what they were, a chance to re-imagine the future while correcting the mistakes of the past. And we must now have the same foresight and resolve to do the same because this pandemic did not create all the problems we’re facing today.

It simply forced us to hold up a mirror and see the cracks in our society that have been too easy to ignore before. We cannot allow this virus to grip us so tightly that it constrains us from looking to the future or prevents us from mending those cracks. Since its founding, our state has been the home of the dreamers and the doers from all over the world who came here in pursuit of opportunity and a better life. But today for too many New Yorkers, the American dream is just that, a dream. And that has been even more true as a result of this pandemic.

As I said in my State of the State speech, it’s time for a better, fairer, and more inclusive version. And I’m calling it the New York dream. And by implementing the agenda I proposed two weeks ago, we can make it a reality. And this is with smart, strategic and a forward thinking plan, we will. This is a moment of great possibility. A once in a generation chance to reconsider what is possible for our state. And this really is the beginning of New York’s next great comeback.

I declared a new era for New York and it continues today. So New Yorkers, this budget’s for you.