tv New York Governors State of the State Address CSPAN January 12, 2021 3:59am-4:46am EST
this special year. happy new year to all. i believe it is with near universal relief that 2020 has come to an end. 2021, with towards the spirit of optimism that is grounded in experience. i address you from the magnificent war room in the state capital. the war room is fitting, because we are at war, a war that began early last year when we were ambushed i the covid virus and a war that continues today. the artwork in this room reminds us that we have been at war before. it memorialized epic battles, the revolution, the civil war, the war of world war i. it honors the unknown soldier, also reminding us today of our lost frontline euros -- frontline heroes.
we will win this war and we will be the stronger for it. today i am called on to answer what is in most years a straightforward question, but at this time is anything but. what is the state of our state? in some ways it is likely the state of the nation and indeed the state of the world. we are hurt. we are frustrated. we are in morning. we are anxious. we are shocked that an invisible enemy could reap such destruction in the most powerful nation in the earth. it was not only the virus that showed our vulnerabilities. it is that covid created low tide in america and the ugliness that lurk below the surface was exposed. the racial divisions, religious tensions, the health care disparities, the social injustice, and the danger of hateful leadership. new york is not immune to those
currents. we experience all of it. but in other ways, new york state of the state is different, because new york is different. our dna is different. what covid did to us is different and how he responded to covid is different. we have a confidence born from accomplishment and we know what we must do and we will do it. we will win the covid war and we will learn and grow from the experience. we are smart, united, disciplined and loving. we are as they say, new york tough. there are moments that can change the person fundamentally, sometimes for the better and likewise there are episodes in history that transform.
covid is one of those moments. new york seized the moment for the crisis it is but for the opportunity it presents. we understand the international trauma and -- trauma and disruption that covid is causing. it is affecting every aspect of society around the globe and generated new fundamental dynamics. even this presentation today is different. with thousands of people. today i am speaking in person with a small group, but broadcasting zoom and streaming and in this new and different world, the audience is actually larger. technology and technology-based relationships, work from home, these are new realities that will have dramatic consequences. this next year, we will see economies realign and reset around the world. we see the risk of the peril but we also see the promise and potential.
the question to be answered is what will we make of this moment. is it positive or negative, do we move forward or move backwards. is america, is new york, stronger or weaker in the post-covid world. those, my friends, are the questions that we alone will answer in 2021 because the future is in our hands. we built the great estate in the country once before and we will do it again. in normal times, the governor state of the state address is issued on one day in one presentation. but these are no ordinary times. our plan is more complex and detailed. i will give an overview today and then three additional presentations of specific action plans in the coming days. allow me to outline the scope of our plan.
first, we must defeat covid. and beat back the assault as the virus rages in these next few months. it will not be easy. a high-performing hospital system as well as the diligence of new yorkers are the keys to stop the spread. second, the vaccine will end the covid crisis. we must vaccinate 70% to 90% of our 20 million new yorkers quickly, safely and fairly. we must learn the glaring and costly lessons of america's failed public health system. so we are better prepared for the next time. there will be a next time. we must deal with the short-term economic crisis. a $15 billion record state deficit that must
be addressed in the next several weeks. we must plan our economic resurgence. the cost is too high. we simply cannot stay closed until the vaccine hits critical mass. we will have nothing left to open. we must reopen the economy but we must do it smartly and safely. also, we must energize our lagging private sector and rebuild our economic platform, our transportation system, our infrastructure system for the next generation of growth. fifth, we must seize the opportunity to make new york a global leader to green energy. -- in the long overdue economic shift to green energy. that is the smart thing to do. that is the right thing to do. and create thousands of good, secure jobs. sixth, we must be the first to anticipate how covid will transform our society and economy, and we must capitalize
on those coming changes. seventh, we must address the systemic injustice exposed during this year's low tide in america -- the inequity, the racism, and the social abuse. my friends, if that was not ambitious enough, all of these plans must move forward simultaneously. it will be hard. it will be the greatest test for government since we mobilized to fight world war ii. the greatest opportunity for advancement since post-world war ii. today, i will address the first step we must take. most immediately, until the vaccine reaches critical mass, we must regulate and implore new yorkers to be diligent. covid fatigue is not an option until covid itself is fatigued. we must defeat the enemy. if we tire before the enemy
tires, we lose the war. it's that simple. we must slow the spread to keep our covid numbers down. in the interim, we must manage hospitalizations so the system is not overwhelmed. we need the highest level of performance of our hospitals and local governments. if the case load threatens to overwhelm the hospital system we would need to close that region again. that is the worst case option. but even more broadly, we must realize it is time for an entirely different way of thinking in the public health system. our nation's public health system was just not prepared for this. despite the experience of rsa and years ago, m
ebola, several outbreaks in the last few years, this country could not even produce something as simple as enough nasal swabs. our laboratories were unprepared . -- and our hospital systems had no ability to manage the surge. the federal government did not even screen visitors at the nation's gateways hearing and it -- here in new york, and it still doesn't. our nurses and doctors were heroic but are country could not provide them with enough masks and downs. -- gowns. it was like sending soldiers into battle without bullets. we have had 100 years of medical breakthroughs since the last pandemic in 1918, yet we were decimated by this virus. that can never happen again. covid revealed the grave vulnerability of our medical supply chain. too many essential products are made in china.
we must have the capacity in united states into new york. -- and even here in new york. we are already acting to solve the problem. we awarded $20 million to 36 new york businesses to make medical equipment here at home. going forward i hope they pass -- i propose the state pass the medical supplies act to incentivize new york companies to manufacture medical supplies. new york will then purchase from that supply first. this nation cannot be caught flat-footed again. covid showed us the limits of our health system, but it also fostered innovations. telemedicine was invaluable in keeping people remote while providing care. public access was uneven and inequitable. at the recommendation of the new york commission i'm issuing the most comprehensive telehealth bill in the nation to ensure accessibility to new yorkers. most pressing for the immediate
future, we must vaccinate all new yorkers. it is a massive undertaking. and much greater than anything this nation has done to date. we are expanding today our distribution system to include thousands of outlets. the federal vaccine supply must increase. today, we have about one million doses in new york state for over 4 million eligible people. we only received 300,000 doses per week from the federal government. at this rate, it will take us 14 weeks just to receive enough dosages for those currently eligible. now we will schedule appointments for vaccines weeks into the future. we would rather have people signed up and awaiting the vaccine and have the vaccine awaiting people.
-- than have the vaccine awaiting people. i understand millions of people want the vaccine today. we must be patient even though it's an inpatient time. impatient time. i believe the new federal administration will see the vaccine supply increase and we will be ready for that increase. we will also bring social and racial justice to the vaccination effort. by making vaccines available to all new yorkers and some of the -- supplement the private health system to reach more underserved communities. black, latino, asian, and poor communities. we will not allow politics or wealth to dictate the distribution of this life-saving vaccine. today we are announcing the launch of the new york state public health order. corps. -- public health corps. we will hire 1000 health corps
fellows who agree to serve for one year. they will be trained to facilitate a statewide coordinated vaccination operation and do it safely and quickly in every part of the state. the public health corps will also help new york learn from this experience and establish a best in the nation emergency response capacity that lasts beyond covid. so we are better prepared for future crises. we will also empower and educate new york citizens to be prepared for the next public health crisis. too many new yorkers felt anxious because they were uninformed and untrained to handle this newer emergency. we will develop a citizen public health training program designed by cornell, it will be offered online and it will be free to educate and certify tens of thousands of citizens all across the state who will then be better prepared to help themselves, their families and coworkers and will be trained
and ready to volunteer to help their community and the next public health emergency. our goal is to train and certify 100,000 new york health emergency volunteers. rapid testing not only saves lives, but it is a key to our economic reopening plan. we will open a network of new rapid testing sites across the state. while we are continuing to battle covid and expedite the vaccine, we must also deal with the cost of covid. covid has been costly in every sense of the word. the greatest cost of covid is the lives lost. and for that we pray every day for god's grace and peace.
businesses have been lost, a -- lifetime savings have been exhausted. personal debt has mounted and our state government faces a $15 billion deficit, the largest in history. while this fiscal crisis is larger than ever, the dynamics are not new. in the 1970's, a new york city was on the verge of bankruptcy. bankruptcy that threatened the whole state and in fact, the whole nation. at that time washington famously told us to "drop dead." well, in recent years, washington not only told us to drop dead, they dug a grave and tried to push us in. but their efforts failed. new yorkers would not give up. fortunately this nation rejected washington's hyper-partisan politics and today is a new day in america after a long dark night.
the new federal government has no credible argument against the fact new york's damage from covid is clearly, legally and ethically washington's liability. this crisis was caused by two factors and both were created by the federal government. first, allowing covid to ambush new york last spring without the knowledge or notice of the federal government was an act of gross negligence. the federal government thought the virus was still in china but they were wrong. covid had already traveled to europe and 3 million europeans had already traveled to new york before the federal government ever warned new york or the nation or enacted a travel ban on the continent. new york, unlike any other state had no notice and no time to prepare for the attack.
as soon as we found out the covid enemy was already amongst us and had been coming for months. we just saw the same federal negligence reenacted when it failed to test travelers from the u.k. where a new strain of the covid virus had been detected. the united states did nothing. even though 120 other countries had already acted. new yorkers were called on to flatten the curve created by federal failure. new yorkers cannot now be asked to pay the financial bill for federal incompetence. new yorkers already paid too high a cost. second, the federal government has failed to realize that this is a national crisis. this is not a state crisis. they delegated responsibility for covid to the governors and then failed to provide the
resources. washington passed the buck without passing the box -- bucks. congress failed this nation when it failed to pass state and local financing during the last legislative session. this is a national challenge. it is a war and like every war before, it must be financed by washington. if the federal government needs revenue, it should raise income taxes on the wealthy to finance the states resurgence from this national devastation. that is basic economic justice and economic prudence. look what is happened. -- has happened. in america, the rich have gotten richer, the poor have gotten poorer and the middle class has gotten smaller.
washington should not force any state to bear the cost alone. especially new york state. washington has savaged us for four years. no state in the nation pays more to washington and receives less in return. as the late senator daniel patrick moynihan pointed out, this is been true for decades and it has never been remedied. in fact it has gotten worse. over the past four years, a washington took even more funding from new yorkers as a sheer exercise of political extortion. today, new york subsidizes 42 other states. on top of that, of the new federal provision has cost new york $30 billion more over three years. it increases property taxes on hard-working new yorkers $2600 per year.
look at the gross injustice. washington raised our taxes to benefit other states and those states then appealed to our residents to relocate to their lower tax states. the infuriating ironing is the -- irony is that new york subsidizes those states -- states' lower rates. but washington did not stop there. the abuse was unrelenting. our medicaid reimbursement rate was the lowest in the united states. they starved our infrastructure funding and illegally impeded our global travel. so you ask me today what is our state of the state, new york is suffering and new yorkers are tired of being abused and demand that washington stops causing
damage and starts resolving the damage they caused. we expect salt to be removed from our wounds fully and quickly. and we expect to be compensated for our economic --. we expect basic fairness from washington. with our new president, the new senate and newhouse members i believe they will do justice. if washington does tell new york to effectively drop dead once again, i would be shocked. but new york will fight back, we will do what we did in the 70's. we came together, we organized and we averted financial ruin.
but make no mistake, it would be very painful. to close our budget gap on our own would require extraordinary and negative measures. imagine this, if we raise taxes to the highest income tax rates in the nation on all income over $1 million, billionaires, multimillionaires, millionaires. any income over $1 million we would only raise 1.5 billion $1.5 billion. if we postponed our important tax-cut for a struggling middle-class, we would save $500 million. if we froze labor contracts on our hard-working public employees, we would save $1 billion. if we cut education funding for our children 20% we would save 5.2 billion dollars. even after all that pain we would still need billions in
cuts to health care in the middle of a pandemic and we would need to borrow billions at the cost of future generations. it would be devastating to all new yorkers. after four years of washington's assault on new york, their inaction would compound their crime. our federal representatives must deliver fairness for new york and they must do it quickly. because our budget is due april 1. new york will do its part, this will raise revenue and will end the criminal -- criminalization of this product that has left meters of color over policed and over prosecuted. over incarcerated. we propose state-sponsored mobile sports betting to raise additional funding. we are a fiscally responsible state. we only ask for an equitable part of the share from -- partnership from washington. by themy friends,
immediate issues for our focus. crushing covid and the short-term economic consequences for our state. but that is just the beginning for us. afters room reminds us, the war is when the reconstruction begins, and in the reconstruction is when progress is truly made. must plan and start our post-covid war reconstruction now to seize the advantage, and i will be outlining an initiative to do just that in the coming days. stayruth is, we cannot closed until everyone is vaccinated. psychological, emotional cost would be incredible. we must begin increasing economic activity and using science to do it, making covid testing and vaccinations available so we can reopen restaurants and art spaces and
theaters and commercial businesses. we just tested the concept with the buffalo bills playoff game, and early indications are that it was a great success. planst also aggressively for the post-covid economic opportunities. how do we adjust to the new world dynamics? "reimagine" commission has been identifying those opportunities in workforce retraining. we also need to jumpstart the economy now. we will commence the most aggressive transportation development program in the united states of america -- new air, road, and rail systems upstate and downstate, more affordable housing, and more economic development to create jobs, jobs, and more jobs. fdr, a great governor of the state of new york and president, set the precedent, and new york state knows how to get things done.
and new york state knows how to build. we have proved it over and over and over again, and now is the time to do it. we will also expand the infrastructure of tomorrow. the infrastructure of tomorrow is our broadband system. today, broadband discriminates by race and income. we have invested $500 million to successfully expand rod band -- broadband access, and 98% of the state now has access to broadband. but new york will also lead the nation now in making rod band of -- burn ban affordable, -- broadband affordable, because accessibility is not enough if it is not double, and because -- not affordable and because
, without affordable broadband, people are not just disconnected -- they are disenfranchised. broadband must available to everyone everywhere, and in new york, we will make sure it is. we will then launch the most aggressive green economy program in the country. covid is the existing threat, but climate change is the existential threat. new york will be the green energy capital of the world. we will not only construct renewable projects, we will develop manufacturing capacity, research and development expertise, and state-of-the-art worker retraining, all here in new york, and we will do it this year. we will then set our sights to determine our social infrastructure. and that starts with our fundamental responsibility as a society and as a government to ensure public safety. last year exposed to the -- exposed the tensions between the community and the police, more starkly than ever before.
this is a national crisis. feelings are deep and complex. emotions run high on both sides. but divorce is not an option. we all need an effective public safety function. it is not just a function of criminal justice, but also social, economic, and racial justice. we have a scourge of gun violence. the victims of crime are predominantly poor, black, and latino. in new york city, in the last six months of 2020, there were over 1200 shootings, double -- double from 2019. of those shootings, 94% involved black or latino victims, and well over half and solved.
-- have been solved. there can be no economic revival without effect if public safety. -- effective public safety. this is especially true for our cities. if the attractions of a city are reduced and crime is increased, urban decline is inevitable. that point has been made over and over again through the economic cycles of our cities, and we will not allow it to happen again. safety must adapt to the times. there are many new questions to answer. does every 911 call require an armed police officer to respond? what role should mental health and domestic violence professionals play in public safety? what is the transparency and disciplinary policy? what is the use of force policy? but some elements are absolute. mutual respect is absolute. individual rights are absolute.
rejecting brutality is absolute. allowing police to do their job and do it safely is absolute. but for most issues, there is no top-down solution, one-size-fits-all approach. we have i've hundred communities -- 500 communities with police departments in new york. and each one must develop an approach that works for them. i have said that each community must redesign public safety in a collaborative process. include all stakeholders, all opinions, all voices. have the conversation. and then we must pass a law instituting a new public safety function, and must do it by april in order to receive state funding. this is an imperative for the state and every community within the state.
many communities have seized the opportunity and are already make good progress. in some counties, citizens and officials are using listening sessions and surveys to increase participation. syracuse launched the citizen dashboard to track development and implementation of each reform. schenectady has created a diverse citizen advisory panel to help evaluate new applicants for the police force. yonkers is developing a new policy for dealing with people who are mentally and emotionally disturbed. binghamton enlisted a professional addition to help in cash institution to help -- enlisted a professional institution to help in their redesign. and salamanca has the distinction of being the first locality to complete and pass a new plan. april 1 is just weeks away. elected leaders must lead. and people must engage now. reforming public safety is hard.
but in life, we will never solve a problem that we refuse to acknowledge, or for which we deny reality and responsibility. problems don't just go away. they mount. this is a national crisis. but new york will lead. we will also set the bar higher for a post-covid reconstruction. the damage to repair is not just from covid. the low tide in america has exposed fundamental schisms and flaws in our society. we have seen the riptide's building over these past few years.riptide's building over te past few years. racism and the kkk parading on the streets in charlottesville we lived through the anti-semitism and the shootings at the tree of life synagogue and across the country
the distrust exploding after the death -- george floyd killing. watch -- thisll week we all watched in horror and attempted coup at the capital. -- capitol. these demons may not be new, but they are worse. visionaries that have had the ability to see beneath the surface of america, have long warned of the ugly reality below. mario cuomoiam, -- spoke of the danger of two america's 40 years ago. but the low tide has exposed the ugliness for all to see. today there is no denying the injustice. rhetoric is not the solution. the public is tired of unfulfilled political promises. results are the solution. doing justice is the solution.
justice,ice, racial social justice, economic justice, and that must be new york's banner to carry in america's post-covert post-covidion --- reconstruction. blacksell the truth, died from covid-19 at twice the rates of white. latinos die at one half times the rates of white. education divided by race and class, as remote learning furthers the divide, that is the truth. we saw the lack of access to affordable childcare disrupt no income families enforce caregivers, primarily women, to choose between putting food on the table and caring for their children, that is the truth. we have thousands of tenants and owners who lost their jobs and livelihoods through no fault of their own, and we will not leave them behind. we will provide them the
resources they need for rent and mortgage relief to keep new yorkers in their homes, and that is the truth. more toyork must do protect homeowners and tenants by prohibiting penalties and late charges on past rent. any small businesses have been decimated by covid. we must protect them from eviction and help them reopen and restart. the pandemic has illustrated again that health care must be affordable for all. and i propose this year we eliminate premiums for 400,000 more low income new yorkers. our new americans have suffered mightily, from increased discrimination over these past few years. we must ensure all immigrants are protected, and have legal counsel, by fully functioning our liberty defense project. we see undocumented new york
family struggling to survive with no financial assistance. the federal government should provide these undocumented new yorkers with hardship funding. and if they do not, they should at least allow new york state to do it. we have seen elections determined weeks after election day. this fuels distrust in our system. we must pass a law mandating boards of election performed professional, accurate, timely, complete count. the housing problem in our cities has gotten worse, but - but, the crisis of growing vacancies in our commercial property provides an opportunity. we should convert vacate commercial space to supportive and affordable housing and we should do it now. take the negative and make a positive. homeless shelters must be available, safe and secure. it is not just our moral
obligation, it is our legal obligation. my friends, rest assured, we can see the future and it is bright. we just have to get from here to there. together,at we need to do together. bold, the old the saying is true. this is another once-in-a-lifetime opportunity. america must seize this moment of international transformation. some countries will succeed and some will fail. some regents will rise and some regions will rise & fall. but this is a moment made for new yorkers. this will be a moment to reimagine, reinvent and re-create. life is about change, and growth. will we restore what we had? no. but neither should we try. life is about moving forward.
society learns from its challenges, makes adjustments, and forges i, better than before. that is the new york story. that is our destiny. i am confident and optimistic we can do this. my confidence is not uninformed or wishful or blind optimism. my confidence is born from howrience very i know difficult our challenges going to be. i know the height of the mountain. i hear the naysayers. i hear the hatemongers. i hear the voices of doubt and insecurity. i hear the fears of those without the confidence to build or the vision to dream. but i know who we are, and what we can do. and i know what we have done. do you remember last spring? do you remember what new yorkers
did in their darkest hour? i hope so. because i will never forget it. when covid ambushed new york, and we went from one case to hundreds of cases in a matter of days, when sirens filled the night stillness, and mass graves were dug on the island. when fear gripped new yorkers like a vice. when the global experts told us there was no way that we could slow the spread. but new yorkers said, yes we could. and yes we would. and they would not give up. an new yorkers united. and they rose to the occasion. that is new york at her best. that is the new york miracle. time and again, we have heard the voices of doubt and defeat. the state cannot do a button on
time, we cannot enact common pass gun safety, we cannot marriage equality, we cannot pass that raise minimum wage, turn around the buffalo economy, and the aids epidemic, provide free college tuition for the middle class, construct a new train hall. they were wrong. we did. we can only if we believe. that is what we mean when we say new york tough. the understanding that there are moments that liberate our capacity and potential. when the little strings that hold down the giant that is new york, are torn away. --n incompetent governments governance is overpowered by the competence of good people. when pettiness of divisions give way to the power of unity. when self-doubt is overcome by self-confidence.
when the voices of our better angels win the day. the pasteen this over year, that ordinary new yorkers, nurses, doctors, train operators, teachers, construction workers, are not ordinary in any way, but, rather, extraordinary in every way. year, when forces were trying to convince this country the strongest four letter word is hate, new york showed that the strongest four letter word is, love. and that love wins every time. power inan indomitable our new york credo. the strength of one people. brown,white, asian, asian, straight, gay, pulling in one direction, it is unbeatable, undeniable and un-debatable. we say it in our state seal in three beautiful words, e
pluribus unum. out of many, one. and we know the direction we are all headed, we are all headed up. it is our state motto, excelsior. ever upwards. new york state is the state of aspiration and excellence. that is new york's legacy. that is what made us the progressive capital of the nation. we have done this throughout history. we did it last year, when times were tough. and we will do it again this year. and new york really the way. -- and new york will lead the