Gov. Andrew Cuomo, who is delivering his annual State of the State address in a series of virtual presentations, will present a third day of the State of the State at 11:30 a.m. today.
The event, from The War Room in the state Capitol in Albany, will be streamed live on the governor’s website, http://www.governor.ny.gov.
The State of the State is an annual speech given by the governor – this will be Cuomo’s 11th – near the start of the new year to lay out his goals for the upcoming legislative session.
Cuomo has already revealed several proposals. These include:
- Legalize and create an equitable adult-use cannabis program. Under the Governor's proposal, a new Office of Cannabis Management would be created to oversee the new adult-use program, as well as the State's existing medical and cannabinoid hemp programs. Additionally, an equitable structure for the adult-use market will be created by offering licensing opportunities and assistance to entrepreneurs in communities of color who have been disproportionately impacted by the war on drugs. Once fully implemented, legalization is expected to generate more than $300 million in tax revenue.
- Election reform. The governor’s proposal would expand access to early voting by extending early voting hours from 6 to 9 p.m. on weekends and on a minimum of three week days during the 10-day early voting period. His proposal also includes no-excuse absentee voting for all New Yorkers, allow more time for voters to request absentee ballots, and allow county boards of elections to process absentee ballots as they are received and to begin counting and reporting those ballots on Election Day.
- An extension of the state’s moratorium on commercial evictions until May 1, as long as tenants have suffered financial hardship tied to COVID-19.
- A ban on all penalties for late or missed rent payments for tenants struggling to pay thanks to the pandemic
- The creation of a new Office to End Domestic and Gender-Based Violence and a new rule authorizing the courts to make domestic abusers pay damages including housing and moving costs.
- A proposal that would establish an automatic moratorium on utility disconnections in regions under states of emergency. The proposal would apply to electric, gas, water, telecommunications, cable and internet services. Utilities that fail to comply would be subject to penalties.
- Proposed legislation that would provide New York nurses with priority access to SUNY and CUNY programs to fulfill baccalaureate credentials and continue practicing.
- A set of reforms designed to modernize the Office of Professional Medical Conduct and also increase transparency to allow public access to information on professional license status and misconduct investigations. The governor will also propose specific renewal requirements to maintain state licensure practice.
- Proposals to expand and improve access to telehealth.