Very Quick/Rough Notes re: Gov’s State of State Address (Part 1)

January 11, 2020

What is the State of our State?
In some ways like our nation, state is hurt, frustrated, shocked that an invisible enemy could wreak such havoc, and that COVID created low tide in America, exposing ugliness including racial and healthcare inequities and disparities.  But we will prevail.

New realities. but what will we make of this moment?
No ordinary times so plan for State of State is to first offer an overview today followed by 3 additional presentations this week to introduce 7 Point Plan:

  1. Beat back COVID
  2. Vaccinate 70-90% of NYers safely and fairly and learn costly lessons of Americas failed public health system
  3. Deal with the short-term economic crisis including NY’s $15B deficit
  4. Plan economic resurgence – can’t just stay ‘closed’
  5. Seize opportunity to make NY global leader in economic energy development by capitalizing on shift to green energy
  6. Address systemic injustices (racism, social abuse, etc.)
  7. Expand the infrastructure of tomorrow by expanding broadband access and true affordability for everyone regardless of economic situation

*All of these plans must move forward simultaneously.
First Steps:

  • Regulate and implore NYers to be diligent and turn away from COVID fatigue.  Slow the spread to keep numbers down.
  • Manage hospitalizations so system is not overwhelmed by requiring highest level of performance from hospitals and county government.
  • Must realize it is time for a entirely new way to think about our public health system.
  • Invoke state’s Medical Supply Act
  • Innovations
  •  Governor will introduce most comprehensive tele health bill in nation
  • Vaccinate all NYers

Expanded distribution to include thousands of outlets but limited availability of vaccine right now.1 mil doses for 4 mil eligible at this moment.  At this rate, would take 14 weeks just to receive enough doses for those who are eligible.  Will schedule appointments in advance of availability and press Washington to deliver our fair share of vaccine.

  • Supplement private health system to address vaccination distribution inequities

Administration will implement:
NY Public Health Corp:  Hire 1000 health corp fellow to facilitate a statewide coordination effort in every part of state
Will help NY learn from this experience by establishing first in nation emergency response system
To empower NYS citizens to be prepared for next public health crisis
Develop citizen public health training program – online and free to educate and certify tens of thousands of NYers around state who will be trained and ready to help during next PH emergency.
Goal:  Train and certify 100,000 emergency volunteers.

  • Open network of rapid testing sites across state

Cost of COVID
Costly in every sense of word
Greatest cost – lives lost.  Businesses lost.$15 B dollar deficit largest in history.  Not new.  In 1970s NYC was on verge of bankruptcy and Washington told us to drop dead.

Arguments for NYS to make to Washington that support our getting our fair share:
1) NY’s damage from COVID is legally and ethically Washington’s responsibility.
Gross negligence by DC.  Federal negligence that continues today with failure to test incoming international  travelers NY had no notice and no time to prepare for COVID attack.  Federal incompetence.

2)  Federal government has failed to realize this is a national crisis.  Washington passed the buck without passing the bucks and then compounded the injury by failing to pass relief for state and local assistance. This is a war that must be financed by Washington and DC must raise taxes on wealthiest Americans if it need money.  No state pays more to DC while receiving less in return.  True for decades, and has gotten worse under Trump.  Political extortion.  NY subsidizes 42 other states and new federal SALT has costed NY 30b over 3 years and increased taxes on workers by $2,600/.year.    We subsidize other states with lower rates and then recruits our citizens.  Starved out infrastructure funding and impeded our global travel.

NYS suffering and tired of being abused.
1) We expect SALT to be removed from our wounds and to be compensated for our economic loss
2)  Hope with New President, New Senate and House. If Washington tells us to drop dead again, we will do what we did in 70’s to avert financial ruin and this would be very painful requiring extraordinary and negative measures.

Note:  Gov said if we raise taxes to highest rates in nation on all incomes above 1 mil, we would only raise 1.5B.  If we postpone tax cuts and freeze labor contracts, if we cut education 20% we would only save $5.2B – after all this pain we would still need billions of cuts to healthcare to avoid havoc .
Washington must deliver fairness for NY.
Must do it quickly.

We will do our part:
Recreational Adult Use Mobile Sports Betting(Gov said nothing about raising new taxes here)
Discussed ending police brutality.  No top down solution.  500 communities with police departments in NY.  Each community must re-design public safety and pass a law instituting a new public safety function by April 1, 2021.  We must reform public safety.  

Eliminate health insurance premiums for 400,000 more New Yorkers.  Undocumented workers need hardship funding,  or DC must allow NYS to do it
Address crisis of growing vacancies in our cities – we must convert vacant commercial space to affordable supported and low income housing.