New York Governor, Andrew Cuomo, delivered his 2020 State of the State address Jan 8. The Governor’s 2020 agenda – Making Progress Happen – features nation-leading proposals to tackle critical issues facing New York. It includes prerogatives to tackle climate change and boost infrastructure projects.
For visual effect, the Democratic governor unveiled a new poster meant to encapsulate the state of New York at the start of 2020, a metaphor-filled piece based on a Leonard Cohen quote that inspired the nautical theme.
Cuomo wants to to borrow $3 billion to pay for a variety of environmental projects across the state and in his speech, he described his vision for a “Restore Mother Nature” bond act, which would let the state sell bonds to pay for various infrastructure-based initiatives to bolster the state’s land, water and air.
If approved by lawmakers, voters would have to approve the bond act at the polls in November.
Specifically, Cuomo wants to use the money to restore habitats for fish and wildlife, fight invasive species, protect against flooding, boost fish production at fisheries and double the state’s artificial reef in the Atlantic Ocean and Long Island Sound.
Here are some of the initiatives for this year:
- Approve a second round of funding for Upstate Airport Economic Development and Revitalization in 2020. Airports across the state will be encouraged to submit proposals that enhance safety and economic development, improve airport operations and access, reduce environmental impact, and create better passenger experiences.
- Re-examine past high-speed rail plans and recommend a new plan for how to build faster, greener, more reliable high-speed rail in New York.
- Make the “New York Buy American” Act permanent, forcing the Department of Transportation, Thruway Authority, Metropolitan Transportation Authority, Office of General 92 Services, SUNY Construction Fund and Dormitory Authority of the State of New York to include a contract provision requiring the use of American-made structural iron and structural steel for all surface road and bridge projects with contracts worth more than $1 million. Since its enactment, several of the state’s largest infrastructure projects have used American made structural iron and steel, including 110,000 tons of steel for the Mario M. Cuomo Bridge, 6,850 tons of steel for the first two phases of the Kosciuszko Bridge and 11,500 tons of steel for the Kew Gardens Interchange.
- Continue historic investments in affordable housing with investments aimed at achieving the goals of Cuomo’s historic $20 billion housing plan in 2021. The governor’s plan is to preserve or create 100,000 affordable housing units and 6,000 supportive units.
- Invest $14 Million in Apprenticeship Expansion across New York State – continuing a commitment made in 2019 to double apprenticeships in high-growth fields and the number of women in apprenticeships by 2025. New York has directed $25 million to dramatically grow apprenticeship and pre-apprenticeship programs over the past three years through SUNY, CUNY and the New York State Department of Labor, and New York has established the Empire State Apprenticeship Tax Credit.