Governor Andrew Cuomo delivered his annual State of the State address yesterday, outlining his proposals for New York. It was 93 minutes of dense policy and politics, which we’ve watched and analyzed to save you a little time.
Here are three highlights from the speech.
Supporting the jobs of today and tomorrow
We know there’s a hunger for homegrown talent across New York’s tech sector. In the speech and in proposals he issued in advance, Governor Cuomo outlined a workforce development plan that would help close the skills gap by unifying the state’s various training and placement programs and streamlining various sources of economic development funding.
He also proposed increased support for the state’s computer science education efforts, with a $6 million annual commitment to provide teachers across the state with support and professional development in computer science and engineering. He also reaffirmed his commitment to its Excelsior Scholarship, which offers free college to New Yorkers. All of these steps will be a boon to both New York’s workers and the companies growing here.
Making voting easier
We believe it should be easier to vote in New York, and Governor Cuomo proposed a few ways to make that happen. Right now, New York is one of only 13 states without early voting, which enables a broader swath of the electorate to participate. This proposal would require every county to open at least one polling site per 50,000 residents for the 12 days before an election.
New Yorkers can already register to vote through the DMV, but the process is more complex than it should be and only works if you have a state-issued ID. The governor proposed expanding an automatic voter registration system that would help relevant agencies share voter information with county election boards. He also proposed same-day voter registration, which would alleviate issues with the state’s lengthy registration deadlines that currently trip up potential voters. Simply put, it’s time we allow New Yorkers to register on Election Day so more people can participate in our democratic process.
In the same proposal, Governor Cuomo also suggested increasing the transparency of online political advertisements and working to prevent foreign governments from influencing American elections. He also proposed securing election infrastructure further to protect it from bad actors.
Keeping New York diverse, egalitarian, and safe
Throughout his speech and proposals, Governor Cuomo reaffirmed our state’s commitment to making sure everyone in New York is safe and welcome, no matter their gender, race, immigration status, religion, sexual orientation, or income. Notably, the governor called for more ways to combat sexual harassment and expressed strong support for our DREAMers.
We look forward to working with Governor Cuomo’s administration toward these important goals.
Watch the full 2018 State of the State speech.