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ALBANY (WENY) – In her first statewide address as the Governor of New York, Kathy Hochul outlined some of her top priorities that she will focus on in the coming weeks.
Her first priority, Governor Hochul said, was to address concerns of getting children back to school amid the pandemic. She said her administration would outline policies requiring all teachers in public schools to get vaccinated or be tested for COVID-19 on a weekly basis.
Additionally, Hochul said she would work with the State Department of Health to release guidance, requiring mask-wearing for anyone entering school grounds. She also said her administration would work on a program ensuring COVID-19 testing was more available for school districts.
Governor Hochul said she plans on releasing more school-related policies in the coming days.
Additionally, Governor Hochul said her administration would focus on increasing vaccination rates for New Yorkers, and preparing the state to start administering booster shots for vaccinated individuals. As WENY News reported, the CDC and FDA recently issued guidance, saying individuals who received the Pfizer or Moderna vaccines should get a booster eight months after their second vaccine.
Hochul said she is considering reopening state-run mass vaccination sites to help that process.
Governor Hochul also said her administration would work on streamlining the disbursement process for rent relief funding supplied by the federal government. She said he has met with Assembly Speaker Carl Heastie and State Senate Majority Leader Andrea Stewart-Cousins to discuss how to ensure the money is given to tenants and landlords in need.
Governor Hochul also pledged a “dramatic change in culture and accountability” in her administration in the wake of the sexual harassment allegations against former Governor Andrew Cuomo. She said her administration would overhaul state policies to prevent sexual harassment; she also promised to sign an executive order requiring ethics training for all state government employees.
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