June 21, 2024
Albany, NY

Audio & Rush Transcript: Governor Hochul is a Guest on MSNBC

Audio & Rush Transcript: Governor Hochul is a Guest on MSNBC

Governor Hochul: “My mother grew up in a household that was abusive. She became a champion for victims of domestic violence her entire life. She went to the State Capitol, where I work now, to lobby to get changes back in the 1970s when people called them ‘wife beaters.’ She got laws changed. When she was 70-years-old, our family opened up a home for victims of domestic violence. So this is a deeply personal issue to me.”

Hochul: “Over 30,000 guns are now out of the hands of potential abusers or assailants or murderers as a result of what we're doing here in New York. As well as putting, just this year in our Budget, $40 million more to help prosecutors prosecute cases against domestic violence victims. So, we take this seriously. As the first woman Governor of this state, I know how vulnerable women can be in relationships where you're living with an abuser, but men are also abused as well. So, we are there to protect all New Yorkers and this is a little bit of a glimmer of hope from the Supreme Court.”

Earlier today, Governor Kathy Hochul was a guest on MSNBC.

AUDIO of the Governor's remarks is available here.

A rush transcript of the Governor's remarks is available below:

Alex Witt, MSNBC: In a major decision, the Supreme Court upheld a federal statute barring people under domestic violence restraining orders from having firearms. The Court, on an 8-1 vote, ruled in favor of the Biden Administration which was defending the law – one of several federal gun restrictions currently facing legal challenges. Justice Clarence Thomas was the only justice in dissent.

And joining us now, New York Governor Kathy Hochul. Governor, welcome. There’s a lot to talk to you about this and I know you have a particularly personal interest in this. We’ll get to that in a moment.

But a year ago, the same conservative justices overturned New York’s concealed carry law. And then, just last week, the justices struck down the Trump-era ban on bump stocks. Were you surprised the justices came to this decision?

Governor Hochul: Indeed I was at the result of this decision, which was not expected given the history you just described. It was the State of New York that had the Bruen case where the challenge was to a 100-year law that allowed a governor like myself to make sure that we didn't have concealed carry weapons in public spaces and in churches and on subways.

So, when that decision came down against us by the same Trump Supreme Court, I wasn't real optimistic about how they would feel about a case that logically, most Americans would say, “Why would domestic abusers be able to have a gun?” But given the history of last year's decision, I wasn't sure.

But right now survivors across America are breathing a sigh of relief. And hopefully we can see a different shift in the Supreme Court and other decisions as well as they realize how out of step they are with keeping Americans safe, which is what governors are trying to do.

Alex Witt, MSNBC: This should be noted, though, because Chief Justice Roberts in his majority opinion did not embrace some of the arguments made by the Biden Administration during oral arguments, including that the government can disarm people who are not responsible.

But the Administration is considering this a win. In a statement, President Biden said, “No one who's been abused should have to worry about their abuser getting a gun. As a result of today's ruling, survivors of domestic violence and their families will still be able to count on critical protections, just as they have for the past three decades.”

How have those protections impacted the State of New York? What would it have meant had those justices decided another way?

Governor Hochul: Well, right now we have a very aggressive approach to our Extreme Risk [Protection Orders], the red flag laws. I'll tell you what shifted my attitudes.

First of all, my mother grew up in a household that was abusive. She became a champion for victims of domestic violence her entire life. She went to the State Capitol, where I work now, to lobby to get changes back in the 1970s when people called them ‘wife beaters.’ She got laws changed. When she was 70-years-old, our family opened up a home for victims of domestic violence. So this is a deeply personal issue to me.

But what we do in the State of New York, I think every other state should follow because we have had real results. Because I changed the laws requiring that in a case where someone would do harm to themselves or others, law enforcement has the ability to petition the court to have the guns removed from their homes or their possession.

Resulting from this: a 113 percent increase – I'm sorry, 1,000 percent increase in the number of guns being removed. Over 30,000 guns are now out of the hands of potential abusers or assailants or murderers as a result of what we're doing here in New York. As well as putting, just this year in our Budget, $40 million more to help prosecutors prosecute cases against domestic violence victims.

So, we take this seriously. As the first woman governor of this state, I know how vulnerable women can be in relationships where you're living with an abuser, but men are also abused as well. So, we are there to protect all New Yorkers and this is a little bit of a glimmer of hope from the Supreme Court, and hopefully this will telegraph a shift in their attitudes about the rights of people to be safe in their homes and their businesses, and certainly in relationships where domestic violence is a leading cause of death for so many women. One out of four murders are committed by someone who's an intimate partner who has access to a gun. In New York, we're standing up for all residents and I encourage other states to adopt the same laws that we have. But for now, this is a good day.

Alex Witt, MSNBC: Amen to all of that. Let me quickly ask you in the brief amount of time I have left about this different topic because it's made a lot of news here in the New York City area. Given the 11th hour decision, what primarily went into blocking congestion pricing from going into effect?

Governor Hochul: It's the realization that sometimes we have to stand up for everyday Americans and New Yorkers. And to realize that this is going to go into effect when a $15 charge in coming to Manhattan – perhaps back in 2019 all the conditions were right, but our city, the epicenter of the pandemic, is still not fully recovered. People have an option to work remotely. We want people to come back to the City to work. But at this moment, a $15 charge I deem to be excessive for New Yorkers who are struggling – our teachers, our firefighters, our police officers, our nurses – all of those who cannot work remotely, who have to show up at their jobs, this would have just been another issue of cost in the City of New York, and we want people to come there.

I'm very focused on affordability and that was the decision to put a pause on it. This does not mean it's over. We'll find funding sources for all the projects that are important to be funded by this, but let's just take a breath right now, give New Yorkers a break and we'll work out the other details.

Alex Witt, MSNBC: New York Governor Kathy Hochul, thank you so much for your time with us.

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