Wednesday, January 8, 2020

NY Gov. 2020 State of the State Possible New Programs

New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo (D) pledged an Array of Investments, Regulations, and Reforms Impacting Business Owners in his State of the State Address Today.

Despite a looming $6 Billion Budget Shortfall, Details of how the Administration Plans to Address the Funding Gap may have to wait for his Budget Proposal, expected in Mid-January, Cuomo Pledged New Investments in Solar Energy Upstate and in Transmission Lines to run the Power into the New York City Metro Area, just as Building Owners face New Restrictions on their Carbon Footprint.

Cuomo declared “Making Progress Happen” as his Slogan for 2020. But any Progress will have to come while the State is Grappling with that Budget Gap Fueled by Soaring Medicaid Costs. Debate over how to Handle the Shortfall is expected to Color Virtually every Policy Debate this year. His Administration on New Year’s Eve announced Cuts in the Program's Payments to Health Care Facilities and Providers that are expected to Save Medicaid $124 Million through April.

To help Bankroll some of his Environmental Initiatives, Cuomo said he would Push Raising the State's Debt Limit through a "Mother Nature Bond" on the Ballot this Fall. "The economy of tomorrow is the green economy," he declared at the Empire State Plaza Convention Center in Albany. He also Advocated a Tax Cut on Small Business Owners in the face of the Fiscal Hole, slashing the Rate from 6.5% to 4%. But this Relief will come with Strings Attached if the Governor gets his way.

In the Address, Cuomo cast himself as a "pragmatic progressive" in the Mold of his Father, the Late Former Gov. Mario Cuomo, and Contrasted his Approach with farther Left Groups who Deal in "political hyperbole and hashtags".

"Progressive government is competent and effective," the Governor said. "Progressive government does not raise hopes and dreams only to leave them dashed on the rocks of reality. Progressive government does not make promises it cannot fulfill. It does not advocate for proposals that it's not sure can work."

The Governor announced:

- His Intention to Ban Styrofoam.

- Obligate Large Companies to offer Seven Days of Sick Leave.

- Promulgate New Rules regarding the Employment Status "Gig Economy" Workers currently Classified as Independent Contractors. "It's abusive, it's exploitive, it's a scam and a fraud and it has to stop and it has to stop here and now," Cuomo said. Reclassifying Contractors could Affect not only Uber Drivers and DoorDash Delivery People, but also more Traditional, Low-Wage and Low-Benefit Personnel such as Janitors.

- His Intention to Obligate Banks Operating in New York State to Open Branches in Disadvantaged Neighborhoods.

- He called on the State Legislature to Pass "first thing this session" a "clear strict law" controlling Flavored E-Cigarette Sales and Prohibiting Advertising geared toward Children. This would give Legal Teeth to the "emergency ban" on the Products Cuomo implemented last year, and which the Industry has Challenged in Court.

- The Potential Legalization of Recreational Marijuana. Legalization Proposals stalled last year in New York amid Hesitation from Long Island Democrats and Disagreements over how to Spend Revenue from Sales of the Drug.

- Ban Untraceable Guns.

- Study High Speed Rail.

- Allow Liquor Sales in Movie Theaters.

- Require the use of American-Made Steel and Iron on Infrastructure Projects.

- Ease Rules for Prosecuting Sexual Assault involving Intoxicated Victims.

- Other Initiatives to be defined Later.

Assembly Speaker Carl Heastie (D), said Lawmakers have their Own Priorities this year, including Working to Increase School Aid, Affordable Housing, Infrastructure, Local Businesses, Rural Hospitals. and Mental Healthcare.

Some Prosecutors and Law Enforcement Officials have Warned that the New Rules, which Prevent Money Bail and Pretrial Detention for a Wide Majority of Low-Level Cases and Nonviolent Felonies, could Lead to Dangerous People being Freed from Jail while Awaiting Trial. The Political Battle has Intensified in the last week as New York Judges have Released People who would have Remained Behind Bars under the Old Rules.

NYC Wins When Everyone Can Vote! Michael H. Drucker

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