Gov. Hochul Puts New York’s Safety and Affordability at the Top of Her Agenda
By Yehudit Garmaise
When Gov. Kathy Hochul was sworn in to take the oath of office for her first elected term on Sunday, she spoke about her commitment to resolve many of the same issues, such as crime and cost of living, on which her opponent, US Rep. Lee Zeldin campaigned and lost by only six percentage points.
In her inaugural address, Gov. Hochul said her first priority was to “make our streets safer.” Vowing to crack down on hate crimes and tackle gun violence, the governor said she would make changes so that, “New Yorkers can walk our streets, ride our subways and our kids can go to school, free from fear.”
Gov. Hochul remains unclear as to whether she will seek additional changes to the bail reform to which many attribute the state’s frightening uptick in crime.
Mayor Eric Adams has repeatedly called on the NY legislature to significantly scale back bail reform to prevent what he called the “catch, release, repeat” cycle that NYPD officers say is the pattern of the repeat offenders of crime that bail reform emboldens.
However, many NY Democratic lawmakers, with whom the governor must remain aligned to vote for her agenda, continue to, often passionately, support bail reform.
In her inaugural speech, Gov. Hochul also pledged to create jobs and economic opportunities to staunch the state’s significant population loss, as New Yorkers continue to leave the state.
“High housing and energy costs were “making life just too hard for New Yorkers,” said Gov. Hochul, who is expected to unveil a plan later this year to build 800,000 new housing units in the next 10 years.
“I didn’t come here to make history,” said Gov. Hochul, who is the first woman to serve as New York’s governor. “I came here to make a difference.”