ALBANY – New York’s Governor this week is outlining his plan for the new year.
In the first of three public addresses, Governor Andrew Cuomo focused on several points, including tackling the state’s $15 billion budget deficit.
The Democrat plans to reopen the economy safely, calling for rapid action to distribute the COVID-19 vaccine.
“Today, we have about 1 million doses for over 4 million eligible people,” said Cuomo. “We only receive 300,000 doses per week from the Federal government. At this rate, it will take us 14 weeks just to receive enough dosages for those currently eligible.”
With the help of a new federal administration and the innovative medical field, Cuomo plans to speed up vaccine distribution in the next couple weeks.
Part of that, the Governor introduced new plans like the Medical Supplies Act to ensure more medical supplies are manufactured in the state. He also plans to hire 1,000 fellows to facilitate a statewide vaccination operation through the new Public Health Corp.
“We will schedule appointments for vaccines weeks into the future,” furthered Cuomo. “We would rather have people signed up and awaiting the vaccine than have the vaccine awaiting people.”
Cuomo says the economic loss during the pandemic is due to a delayed federal response to the virus.
“New York is suffering, and New Yorkers are tired of being abused and demand that Washington stops causing damage and starts resolving the damage they caused,” said Cuomo.
The governor is calling for a federal relief fund to foot the bill.
Public Health for all communities was also addressed, along with continued efforts to combat racial injustice statewide.
“Some elements are absolute. Mutual respect is absolute. Individual rights are absolute. Rejecting brutality is absolute. Allowing police to do their job safely is absolute. But for most issues, there is no top down solution, or one size fits all approach,” said Cuomo. “We have 500 communities with police departments in New York, and each one must develop an approach that works for them.”
Also, part of Cuomo’s 2021 plan is establishing a ‘Reimagine Commission’ that will help modernize the state, with Cuomo calling for an expansion of telemedicine and broadband services. The commission will also look at investing in a green economy to help decrease the threat of climate change.
The Governor is also looking at legalizing sports betting and recreational marijuana to help raise revenue for the state.
State Senator George Borrello, in response to the address, says while the federal government does play a role in economic recovery, more focus belongs on the state’s culture of overspending and its burdensome tax and regulatory environment, which he calls persistent obstacles to economic strength.