Governor Cuomo Outlines 2018 Agenda: Realizing the Promise of Progressive Government

In 8th State of the State Address, Governor Cuomo Advances Far-Reaching Agenda to Build on Seven Years of Progressive Policy 
 
As Washington's Federal Assault Continues, The Empire State Will Lead the Way - Strengthening Critical Social and Economic Policies and Serving as a Beacon of Progress, Unity and Fairness for the Nation
 
First-in-the-Nation Plan to Fight the Federal Tax Assault; Multi-Pronged Women's Agenda; Nation's Most Progressive Criminal Justice Reforms; Strongest Protections to Ensure the Integrity of New York's Elections; Nation-Leading Counter Terrorism Program
 
Governor's Agenda Continues Record Fiscal Discipline While Making Dramatic Investments in 21st Century Infrastructure, Advancing Job Creation and Innovation, Attacking Homelessness, Expanding Access to Higher Education & Tackling Climate Change

PDF of Official 2018 State of the State Book Available Here

Governor Andrew M. Cuomo today delivered his 2018 State of the State Address at the Empire State Plaza Convention Center in Albany. The Governor's far-reaching 2018 agenda delivers on the promise of progressive government by advancing a slate of critical social and economic policies to improve the lives of New Yorkers. The bold agenda includes a full package of legislative reforms, robust investments and targeted actions - from a comprehensive women's rights agenda to a first-in-the-nation plan to fight the federal tax assault to nation-leading criminal justice reforms - that will increase opportunity for New Yorkers and ensure the Empire State continues to serve as a beacon of equality, unity and fairness for the nation.
 
These sweeping proposals build on seven years of strong progress under Governor Cuomo - passing a $15 minimum wage, tuition-free college, marriage equality, paid family leave, gun safety, infrastructure, and landmark criminal justice reforms, all while lowering taxes for the middle class, capping property taxes and keeping spending increases to the lowest levels in generations. In the face of a concerted federal assault from Washington, New York will continue to lead the way in 2018, fostering our shared values of opportunity, equality, fairness, and hope, and proving the competency of our progressive government.
 
Governor Andrew M. Cuomo said, "New York believes that there is no future built through division - but only through unity. The New York way is that tolerance is expected from all, inclusion is our operating principle, and forging community is the ultimate goal. For too long in this country, government has promised too much and delivered too little. This administration understands that effective government requires citizen confidence and management competence.  To better society, government leaders must be dreamers and doers; visionaries and achievers. We are facing unprecedented challenges to women's rights, our immigrant community, the environment and our economy. New York is unwavering. We will continue to lead the nation by fighting to protect and advance the rights of all women, ensuring the integrity of our elections, safeguarding New York's natural resources, creating the jobs of tomorrow, combating the federal assault on our tax code and reforming our criminal justice system so that wealth does not dictate outcome."
 
Highlights of the Governor's 2018 Agenda include the following:

The Governor's 2018 Policy Book is available here.
 
KEEPING NEW YORK ECONOMICALLY COMPETITIVE
 
Since day one, Governor Cuomo has fought to reduce taxes for New Yorkers. Today all New Yorkers pay a lower state tax rate than when Governor Cuomo took office, and the Governor has secured the lowest middle class tax rate since 1947, the lowest corporate tax rate since 1968 and the lowest manufacturers tax rate since 1917. While Washington leaves our middle class behind, New York will continue to fight for our hardworking families.

UPHOLDING THE NEW YORK PROMISE
 
Advancing the Women's Agenda
 
New York has a long and proud legacy of leading the way to advance women's rights. From the birth of the women's rights movement at Seneca Falls to the recent passage of the most comprehensive Paid Family Leave policy in the nation, New York continues to champion women's rights and break down barriers to equality.
 
In 2018, we will build on our progress by continuing to advance equality for women and protect our rights against federal attempts to stall and undermine us. The Council on Women and Girls will release a full set of policy recommendations to create opportunity for women to succeed in every area: work, health, safety, education and family life.
Criminal Justice For All
 
Governor Cuomo has advanced significant criminal justice reforms throughout his time in office, improving every stage of the justice system from arrest to community reentry. Three major reforms were passed this past year, including Raising the Age of criminal responsibility, extending the landmark Hurrell-Harring settlement's indigent criminal defense reforms to the entire state, and requiring law enforcement to video-record interrogations for serious offenses, as well as allowing properly-conducted witness identification into evidence at trial. In 2018, New York will build on this bold progress by restoring basic fairness to our state's criminal justice system.

Launching A Comprehensive Plan to Attack Homelessness
 
The Governor is committed to implementing innovative solutions to address the multi-faceted problem of homelessness, including expanding access to affordable housing across the state. In 2016, the Governor launched a landmark $20 billion, five-year plan to combat homelessness and advance the construction of affordable housing in New York State, which included $10 billion to end the homelessness crisis and support housing programs, rental subsidies and other shelter costs in New York City and across the state. The state's new comprehensive plan to attack homelessness will build on the progress achieved to date.

We Are All New Yorkers - Immigrants' Rights
 
New York State and this nation were founded on the premise that we are all created equal. While this promise may be threatened by acts of hate and intolerance, we must remember that we are stronger than that - we are one New York and we are all immigrants. Under Governor Cuomo's leadership, we will continue our legacy of protecting the rights and freedoms of all New Yorkers so that they have the opportunity to succeed and contribute to our state's cultural and economic strength.

Protecting the Rights of Workers
 
New York has a long and proud tradition of fighting for union workers' rights.  At a time of stagnant wages, evaporating pensions, and swelling household debt, unions offer a pathway to the middle class and create economic growth that reaches all Americans.

Serving Our Veterans
 
Under Governor Cuomo's leadership, New York has championed programs to make New York State the most veteran-friendly state in the nation. The New York State Division of Veterans' Affairs continues to strengthen its ties with the approximately 775,000 Veterans living in New York State.

EXPANDING EDUCATIONAL OPPORTUNITY FOR ALL
 
The Importance of Early Education
 
Governor Cuomo has championed early childhood and family health to ensure that all children are healthy and thriving in New York State. The Governor recognizes that it is essential we reach our children in the critical development window while they are young. Early childhood support and education is the basis of a quality education and can significantly improve the long-term prospects of our young people. Building on the progress of recent years, Governor Cuomo will make critical investments to strengthen early childhood programming and expand access to more New Yorkers.

Five Point Plan to Ensure No Student Goes Hungry
 
The Governor's No Student Goes Hungry Program includes investments to expand the Farm to School program, legislation to expand access to free breakfast and put an end to lunch shaming, and policy changes to ensure students in kindergarten through college receive access to farm-fresh foods in a quality learning environment. 

Expanding High Quality Educational Programming For All
 
Governor Cuomo has secured record investments in K-12 education to support all students in the State, recognizing that no investment is more important than the future of our young people. The State's investment in education has continued to increase under the Governor's leadership. This year, Governor Cuomo will continue to expand education programming and set young people on path to success.

Expanding Access to Higher Education
 
Governor Cuomo has led the nation in expanding access to a quality and affordable college education and provide our young people with the tools they need in the 21st century economy. Since he took office, the Governor has taken action to reduce the financial barriers to college, including implementing a rational tuition plan that limits SUNY and CUNY tuition increases, creating the Get On Your Feet Student Loan Forgiveness Program, launching the groundbreaking Excelsior Scholarship to provide tuition-free college for middle class families, and investing $8 million to help reduce the costs of textbooks through innovations like the Open Educational Resources at SUNY and CUNY.
 
Building on these historic accomplishments, Governor Cuomo will continue to fight to ensure all New Yorkers can go to college and achieve their dreams.

NY WORKS
 
Preparing the Workforce of Today & Tomorrow
 
Governor Cuomo has overseen a remarkable resurgence of New York's economy. Since he took office, New York's economy has created more than 1 million private sector jobs, and the State's unemployment rate has dropped from 8.3 percent to 4.7 percent. But in the midst of this economic growth today, Governor Cuomo recognizes the urgent necessity of preparing New Yorkers for the good-paying jobs of tomorrow. On average, there will be nearly 362,000 job openings each year in New York over the next ten years, and Governor Cuomo is committed to ensuring that New Yorkers are equipped to fill them. 

Continue the Bottom Up Regional Economic Development Strategy
 
Governor Cuomo knows that the American Dream centers on economic security and mobility. He has fought to remove barriers to opportunity, strengthen the middle class, and build pathways to help give every New Yorker a chance to succeed and build a better life for themselves and their family. Under Governor Cuomo's leadership, New York has transformed its approach to economic development and adopted a bottom-up strategy that empowers local communities all across the state.

Building 21st Century Infrastructure
 
Under Governor Cuomo's leadership, New York is moving forward with a $100 billion infrastructure program, the most aggressive and ambitious building program in the country. From investing in rehabilitating roads and bridges and rebuilding airports for the 21st century, New York is moving forward with bold projects across the state: a new Moynihan Train Hall to serve as the world-class transit hub that New York deserves; a 1.2 million square foot expansion of the Javits Convention Center; a new Kosciuszko Bridge, the first major new bridge in New York City in more than 50 years; new train stations in Niagara Falls, Rochester and Schenectady; a $6.6 billion transformation of the Long Island Railroad; and a record MTA Capital Plan to bring New York City's subway system into the 21st century.

Fueling Clean Energy Jobs
 
New York State is committed to developing a vibrant clean energy economy, and job growth in this emerging industry is booming across the state - with more than 150,000 New Yorkers working in the clean energy industry. In 2014, the Governor launched Reforming the Energy Vision to establish a new framework for clean, resilient and affordable energy system for all New Yorkers. In 2016, the Governor established the Clean Energy Standard, requiring 50 percent of New York's electric supply come from renewable energy sources by 2030. The Governor also supported the creation of a 10-year, $5 billion Clean Energy Fund designed to leverage private sector investment, fuel clean energy markets and deliver energy savings across the state. The Fund is expected to save New Yorkers $39 billion in energy costs over the next 10 years while dramatically reducing greenhouse gas emissions.

A CLEANER, GREENER, AND HEALTHIER NEW YORK: THE WELLNESS AGENDA 
 
New York State is committed to expanding access to quality and affordable health care for all New Yorkers. Under Governor Cuomo's leadership, New York has taken a holistic approach to health care, promoting healthy lifestyles and taking steps to ensure a clean environment. From redesigning Medicaid to reduce costs and improve care to embracing the Affordable Care Act and enrolling nearly one in five New Yorkers through the state's marketplace, Governor Cuomo has transformed health care in New York State. This year, New York will continue to expand access to affordable and quality health care while addressing the major health challenges facing the state's communities today.

Expanding Access to Open Space
 
New York State is home to some of the most pristine natural resources in the nation and Governor Cuomo has continued to demonstrate his commitment to protecting and improving access to New York's open spaces.

Protecting Our Clean Water

Since taking office, Governor Cuomo has taken aggressive action to protect and preserve clean drinking water in New York to ensure that current and future generations of New Yorkers have access to clean water. In 2016, the Governor launched the Water Quality Rapid Response Team to swiftly identify and address drinking water quality issues across the state and in 2017, Governor Cuomo signed the Clean Water Infrastructure Act - a $2.5 billion investment in drinking water infrastructure and water quality protection across New York. Additionally, the Governor enacted the $400 million Water Infrastructure Improvement Act of 2015, secured a record $300 million investment for the Environmental Protection Fund, and provided $11 billion in Drinking Water and Clean Water State Revolving Fund financing.

LEADING THE FIGHT AGAINST CLIMATE CHANGE
 
Under Governor Cuomo's leadership, New York has successfully established some of the nation's strongest and most aggressive climate change policies. From Reforming the Energy Vision to setting greenhouse gas emissions reduction targets of 40 percent by 2030 and 80 percent by 2050, New York is leading the charge in the fight against climate change. In June 2017, Governor Cuomo formed the U.S. Climate Alliance with the Governors of California and Washington State to ensure that willing partners across the country continue to meet or exceed the targets of the Paris Agreement on climate change. While the federal government abdicates its responsibility to lead on climate change, New York State will continue to step up to protect our environment, our health, and the future of our children.

ADVANCING THE DEMOCRACY AGENDA
 
Protecting the Sanctity of Our Elections
 
As proven in the 2016 election, social media is a highly utilized tool for placing and viewing political advertisements, yet political advertisements on social media platforms are not regulated in the same way as advertisements on traditional media platforms. This has created new opportunities for unscrupulous and disruptive actors to improperly influence our political process. This year, Governor Cuomo proposes the strongest and most comprehensive policy to ensure that elections in New York State remain fair and transparent and that online political ads are archived for all to see.

Increasing Transparency and Continuing Ethics Reform 
 
Since his first day in office, Governor Cuomo has fought aggressively for comprehensive ethics reform. Governor Cuomo's advocacy began with the Public Integrity Reform Act of 2011 to increase transparency and accountability throughout State government. The Governor's relentless efforts culminated with an historic agreement in 2016 with the Legislature to further advance critical election, lobbying, and enforcement reforms. This year, Governor Cuomo proposes a two-fold approach to ethics and good government reforms. His proposals will reiterate the continued need to address unresolved problems, shed sunlight on our political process and those who fund aspects of it, and will also identify new solutions to rebuild the trust and confidence that New Yorkers should have in their elected representatives.

BUILDING A STRONGER, SAFER NEW YORK
 
Governor Cuomo has consistently taken decisive action to ensure public safety for all New Yorkers. This past year, New Yorkers faced the devastating consequences of extreme weather and New York's emergency response extended beyond our borders to support our neighbors. This year, the Governor proposes a public safety package that will build on the Governor's legacy of fighting for the safety all of New Yorkers.