Here is what you need to know.
At 11:00 a.m., Governor Cuomo delivered his first regional State of the State address in New York City where he unveiled his Middle Class Recovery Act, a series of policies and programs aimed at addressing the economic anxieties of New York's working and middle classes; while also fiercely committing to deliver on the New York Promise by continuing to fight for our state's progressive values.
Governor Cuomo forcefully reminded New Yorkers that there is no reason to sacrifice our progressive values while we provide our middle class a path upward.
Key Thematic Excerpts:
“Our middle class is hurting and angry at their lack of progress...They are paying the bills, but lacking security...We understand the anger and we will address it. Today I am proposing a Middle Class Recovery Act. It has three components: jobs and infrastructure; access to education; and lower taxes.”
“At these stormy times of instability and confusion – let the great state of New York serve as a safe harbor for the progressive principles and social justice that made America. We will hold the torch high to light the way. That is New York’s promise. And it is unequivocal. This promise is not just in words; it will be in actions. We will protect the social progress we have made and we will push even harder.”
“New York knows that our progressive principles of acceptance and diversity are not the enemy of our middle class and we know that the middle class success is not the enemy of our progressive beliefs. In fact, it was the progressive policies that created the nation’s middle class in the first place. President Roosevelt put people back to work, while he regulated banks, establishing a minimum wage, creating labor rights that built labor unions, social security, and building infrastructure, all at the same time.”
NEW YORK PROMISE AGENDA - Advance and safeguard progressive values and social justice
CRIMINAL JUSTICE REFORM: Overhaul New York's antiquated bail system, ensure access to a speedy trial, improve witness identification procedures, record police interrogations, raise the age of criminal liability from 16 to 18, and extend the Hurrell-Harring settlement reforms statewide.
VOTING REFORM: Early voting, automatic registration, same day registration.
WOMEN’S RIGHTS: Eliminate the wage gap by adopting salary history blind hiring practices and requiring state contractors to disclose data on gender, race and ethnicity of employees - leveraging taxpayer dollars to drive transparency and advance pay equity statewide. Steadfastly supporting a woman's right to choose.
PROTECT THE HOMELESS: Fight homelessness with historic $20 billion affordable housing plan.
HONOR AND RESPECT FOR ALL: Launch of statewide task force to investigate and deter instances of bias and discrimination and the formation of an Interfaith Advisory Council led by Cardinal Dolan to achieve a greater tolerance and understanding of all religions and cultures.
PROTECT OUR ENVIRONMENT: Invest record amount in Environmental Protection Fund, close Indian Point, lower RGGI emissions cap by 30 percent by 2030, develop off shore wind power.
IMMIGRANT RIGHTS AND OPPORTUNITY: Launch Empire State Immigrant Defense Fund to ensure that all New Yorkers have access to representation and due process, regardless of citizenship status. Advance passage of the Dream Act to finally open the door to higher education to thousands of New Yorkers.
MIDDLE CLASS RECOVERY ACT - Create jobs and build infrastructure, increase access to education and lower taxes
EDUCATION: Increase education funding to a record level across the state with New York City receiving more education aid that ever before.
- Free tuition at SUNY and CUNY schools to families making up to $125,000
- New pilot after school program to extend school hours to provide mentoring, tutoring
JOBS: Attract good jobs to New York.
- Invest in industries of tomorrow. Adopt a regional approach
- Specific NYC investments: $650 million in life sciences economy (Genome Center)
- Make Brooklyn a model for wellness
INFRASTRUCTURE: Build and improve infrastructure to support a dynamic 21stcentury economy.
- New LGA
- $10 billion plan for JFK
- $50 million investment in Montefiore Hospital
- Invest in Knight’s Bridge Armory and Orchard Beach, Institute for Behavioral Research becomes part of CUNY
- Toll reduction for Staten Island residents at the Verrazano crossing
TAX RELIEF FOR FAMILIES: Middle Class Child Care Tax Credit which will double the child tax credit for more than 200,000 hard-working families. Governor Cuomo will announce a plan to address property tax relief later this week.