Saturday, October 1, 2022

Kathy Hochul takes over as governor of New York

ALBANY, NY—Kathy Hochul became governor of New York at midnight Tuesday, taking control of the state government desperate to get back to business after months of distraction over sexual assault allegations against Andrew Cuomo.

Democrats from western New York were sworn in as governor in a brief, private ceremony at the New York State Capitol, overseen by state Chief Justice Janet Defior.

Cuomo left office at 12:00 a.m. two weeks after announcing his resignation instead of facing a possible impeachment battle. He submitted his resignation late Monday night to the leaders of the state assembly and senate.

On his last day in office, Cuomo issued a pre-recorded farewell speech in which he defended his record of more than a decade as governor of New York and portrayed himself as the victim of a “media frenzy.”

Hochul was to have a formal swearing-in ceremony at the Capitol on Tuesday morning, with more fanfare than the brief, legally required event during the night.

He planned to meet MLA leaders later in the morning and make a public speech at 3 pm

Hochul now joins the majority of women in top positions of power in the New York state government, including state Senate Majority Leader Andrea Stewart-Cousins, Attorney General Letitia James and Chief Justice, Defior. The state assembly is headed by a single person, Speaker Carl Hasty.

Hochul will inherit enormous challenges after Cuomo took over an administration that was criticized for inaction in the final months.

With around 1,370 per cent new cases since the end of June, COVID-19 has made a comeback. As schools prepare to go back into session, hospitalizations are taking place.

Big decisions take place on whether to make masks or vaccines mandatory for certain groups, or to restore social distancing restrictions as the latest wave of infections worsens in the state. Hochul has said he favors making masks mandatory for school children, in contrast to Cuomo, who said he believes in the more liberal position that the governor lacks that authority.

The economy remains unstable. Jobs lost during the pandemic are coming back, but unemployment is double what it was two years ago.

New York has also struggled to get federal relief money into the hands of renters behind rent due to the pandemic, releasing just 6 percent of the $2 billion it budgeted so far. Thousands of families face the prospect of losing their homes if the state allows eviction protections to end.

Cuomo’s resignation comes after an independent investigation by state Attorney General Letitia James concluded there was credible evidence that he sexually assaulted at least 11 women.

In his farewell remarks, Cuomo said in a defiant tone, the attorney general’s report that triggered his resignation was “a political cracker on the explosive topic, and it worked.”

“There was a political and media stampede,” he said.

Cuomo also described himself as a shield against the far-left wing of his party, which he said seeks to discredit the police and demonize businesses, and to influence the government in his years in office. claims to make. He cited his work battling the COVID-19 pandemic, legalizing same-sex marriage and raising the minimum wage to $15.

“I tried my best to deliver for you,” Cuomo said.

Cuomo’s top aide, Melissa DeRosa, issued a statement saying the governor was exploring his options for his life after power, but “was not interested in running for office again.”

Cuomo’s resignation will not end his legal problems.

An aide who said Cuomo groped her breast has filed a complaint with the Albany County Sheriff’s Office. Separately, Cuomo was facing a legislative inquiry into whether he misled the public about COVID-19 deaths in nursing homes and improperly asked state employees to protect his reputation as a pandemic leader. Helped write a book that could net her $5 million.

The change in lead was happening after Tropical Storm Henry, which left Long Island little but rained on the Catskill Mountains and Hudson Valley on Sunday.

Hochul will need to quickly build up its own team of advisors to run the administration for at least the next 16 months.

Hochul, who said he did not work closely with Cuomo and was not aware of the harassment allegations before they went public, has vowed that no one would ever call his workplace “toxic.”

“I have a different approach to governing,” Hochul said Wednesday in Queens, “I get things done because I don’t have time for distractions, especially to get into this situation.”

She announced the planned appointments of two top aides on Monday: Karen Persicilli Keogh will become secretary to the governor and Elizabeth Fine will be Hochul’s chief legal counsel.

She plans to lay off Cuomo-era employees for 45 days to give her time to interview new employees, but said she won’t hire anyone for unethical behavior.

Hochul, who has already said she plans to run for a full term next year, is expected to choose a left-wing politician from New York City as her lieutenant governor. Hochul represented a conservative western New York district in Congress for a year and gained a reputation as a moderate.

State Democratic Party chairman Jay Jacobs described Hochul as “formidable”.

“She is very experienced and I think she will be a fresh and exciting new governor,” he said.

The Epoch Times contributed to this report.


This News Originally From – The Epoch Times

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