ALBANY: On Tuesday, Governor Kathy Hochul gave the 2024 State of the State address in Albany, to acclaim from lawmakers from the Mid-Hudson region. Their responses are below.
Sue Serino, the county executive of Dutchess:Numerous neighbors who are having financial difficulties have reached out to me, and New York is expected to have a $4 billion budget deficit. In order to provide excellent services and resources while controlling costs, we must exercise innovative thinking. I am eager to collaborate with the Governor in order to provide tangible outcomes for all the families and companies residing in Dutchess County and New York State, while avoiding the imposition of additional financial obligations.
Senator Bill Weber of the 38th district (Republican): While I was there during the governor’s state of the state speech, I found the budget plan for next week to be more interesting than the rhetoric of aspiration today. That’s the point of intersectionality. During this legislative session, there are many significant concerns that need to be addressed, and I am eager to collaborate with the governor whenever possible to find solutions.
Senator Rob Rolison of the state (R, 39th district): Although the governor’s aim to return to the fundamentals is commendable, I worry that Albany’s routine approach would make such goals unattainable. Nothing will change in the long run, and our inhabitants will keep falling behind, until the Capitol modifies its basic philosophy toward communities and the people it purports to represent. First, a budget that is both financially reasonable and protects important services and investments is provided. A severe financial deficit is facing New York State as a result of years of waste and inadequate preparation.
Democratic senator from the 42nd district, James Skoufis: Her strategy for resolving New York’s affordability challenge piqued my interest the most, as it is a topic I am still intensely concerned about at a time when out-migration is a major problem for the state. We’ve pushed for lower middle-class income tax rates in seventy years, an increase in the minimum wage linked to inflation, more child care aid, and the creation of the Empire State Child Credit in recent years. We especially need to address the issue of housing affordability, which continues to put a financial strain on a lot of Orange County families due to exorbitant property taxes and the expense of both buying and renting.
Senator Peter Oberaker of the 51st district (Republican): Constituents inform me on a daily basis that they are packing up and leaving New York, and the governor’s statement today won’t alter any of their relocation plans. People are having difficulty making ends meet, small businesses are being burdened by onerous regulations, and crime rates are still rising. The concerns of those who reside and work in the 51st Senate district are not addressed by the governor’s proposals, such as mobile swimming pools.
Delegate Matt Slater (Republican, 94th district): Significant information regarding the Governor’s plan to address the urgent problems driving New Yorkers to relocate to other states in almost record numbers was absent from today’s state of the state address. All of us agree that public safety, affordability, and education are priority issues, but we didn’t hear anything about reducing state expenditures, eliminating immigration incentives, or preventing drug traffickers from supplying fentanyl into our neighborhoods. I expect that in the upcoming weeks, the Governor will offer precise guidance and information on how we can responsibly close the $4 billion state budget shortfall while achieving these crucial goals.
Rep. Karl Brabenec, the 98th district assemblyman: I was encouraged by the governor’s apparent direction as she hinted at her state of the state recommendations during the course of last week. After hearing the entire presentation, I’m not exactly thrilled. While the aforementioned programs, like lowering medical debt or shielding customers from dishonest companies, are all commendable, she fell short in providing sufficient solutions for several other problems, like fighting crime and safeguarding New York’s Jewish population. Although this is just another bland speech from our executive office, I’m still fully dedicated to making sure Orange and Rockland county residents’ needs are satisfied.
Republican assemblyman Brian Maher of the 101st district: The governor discussed significant policy changes and investments in the areas of housing, crime, mental health, and early childhood education at today’s State of the State address. Even if I haven’t yet seen the outcomes that New Yorkers are hoping for in terms of affordability and these concerns, I’m willing to collaborate with anyone from any party to see what kind of significant progress we can make in the future. The $275 million investment in the Empire State AI Consortium piques my attention in particular since it will enable our SUNY and CUNY community colleges and universities to take part in the development and uses of artificial intelligence. In the end, I’m eager for a more thorough report on the governor’s numerous projects so that my colleagues and I can start serving our residents.
Legislator Sarahana Shrestha (D) of the 103rd district: For the first time, the governor recognized today that working class families are leaving New York for lower-tax areas because they cannot afford to remain here, primarily due to housing expenses. This appreciation is much appreciated. However, the governor has made it clear that she still does not plan to raise taxes on the rich and that, despite the fact that many of our services are in jeopardy, she is ready to leave billions of dollars on the table. Therefore, we’ll be pressuring the governor to tax the wealthy once more in order to make New York cheap for everyone else, particularly because we’re starting to run out of the federal money from the Covid era. The programs that people now rely on were made possible in part by those federal funds. These services cannot now be discontinued.
Delegate Jonathan Jacobson (D) of the 104th district: In an outstanding speech, the governor outlined some of her recommendations for addressing the most important issues confronting the state, such as housing, mental health, crime, education, infrastructure, and economic development—with a focus on artificial intelligence leadership for New York. I’m interested in seeing her proposed budget to address these issues.