NY Gov. Hochul’s first year in office marked by several accomplishments, some missteps

New York Governor Kathy Hochul speaks at a press conference at the Moynihan Train Hall in Manhattan, June 9, 2022. Photo Courtesy: New York Daily News

Kathmandu: Gov. Hochul made history when she took the reins of the Empire State one year ago, stepping up mid-pandemic to become the first woman to serve as governor of New York.

The New York Daily News has reported that Hochul has made her mark with a host of accomplishments, as well as missteps, and been met with both praise and criticism during her tenure leading the state through continued COVID outbreaks, a horrific mass shooting, high inflation and upticks in crime, and other crises.

Supporters say there is plenty of substance behind the change in governing style, pointing to a string of legislative wins and policy initiatives implemented since Hochul took office.

The Buffalo native has pushed and passed more stringent gun laws in the wake of a horrific race-fueled Buffalo shooting that left 10 Black shoppers dead, taken steps to safeguard abortion access in New York.

Hochul, a one-term congresswoman and former county clerk before being elected lieutenant governor in 2014, also implemented reforms to sexual harassment and ethics training procedures and policies for state employees in Cuomo’s wake and vowed upon becoming governor to help people “believe in their government again.”

In the wake of the worst of the pandemic, New York also created a scholarship program designed to recruit and train nurses and is offering cash bonuses to health care workers under Hochul’s direction, the New York Daily News reported.

The governor also scaled back the state’s plan to redevelop Penn Station and the block surrounding the notorious transit hub.

Hochul has also faced accusations that she slow-walked a long-awaited review of New York’s COVID response and criticism from conservatives over her extension of emergency pandemic powers.

Bail remains a flashpoint in New York politics as Mayor Adams echoes Republicans in advocating for giving judges more discretion to hold defendants pre-trial.
Hochul has stood by the changes included in the budget that expanded the list of bail-eligible crimes and made it so judges have more authority to set bail when dealing with repeat offenders.

Despite their differing opinions on the subject, Hochul and Adams have maintained a friendly working relationship, a sea change from the antagonistic squabbling that Cuomo and former mayor Bill de Blasio engaged in.

While handling the day-to-day aspects of the demanding job, Hochul has mounted a bid for a full term in office amid concerns about crime, cost of living and other issues plaguing the state.

Hochul also endured persistent speculation that her predecessor was preparing to put down his fishing pole and run for his old seat.

(News Source: New York Daily News)