ALBANY, NY – Governor Hochul delivered her first State of the State address in Albany today.

She used the speech to outline her 2022 priorities for battling the pandemic, ethics reform and support for small business.

As NewsChannel 34’s Giuliana Bruno shows us, Hochul lamented the fact that New York lost 300 thousand residents last year.

“WHAT I AM PROPOSING IS A WHOLE NEW ERA FOR NEW YORK.”

A NEW ERA, FOLLOWING TWO YEARS PLAGUED WITH HARDSHIP CAUSED BY THE COVID-19 PANDEMIC, HOCHUL SAID PRE-EXISTING STAFFING SHORTAGES COMBINED WITH NEW CHALLENGES HAVE EXHAUSTED THE STATE’S HEALTHCARE WORKERS AND SYSTEM.

“I’M SETTING AN AMBITIOUS GOAL TO GROW OUR HEALTHCARE WORKFORCE BY TWENTY PERCENT OVER THE NEXT FIVE YEARS. AND WE’LL MAKE THE LARGEST INVESTMENT IN HEALTHCARE IN THE STATE’S HISTORY. TEN MILLION DOLLARS.”

HOCHUL ALSO MENTIONED RETENTION BONUSES FOR UP TO $3,000 PER HEALTHCARE WORKER, AND WILL MAKE IT EASIER FOR PRACTITIONERS FROM OUT OF STATE TO WORK IN NEW YORK.

SHE ALSO ADDRESSED THE HARDSHIPS BARS AND RESTAURANTS HAVE ENDURED, AND SAID FOR THOSE HANGING ON BY A THREAD, SURVIVAL DEPENDS ON WHETHER THEY CAN CREATE DINING SPACE OUTDOORS.

“TO HELP OFFSET THESE COSTS, WE WILL PROVIDE A TAX CREDIT FOR COVID RELATED PURCHASES LIKE OUTDOOR HEATING AND SEATING. WE’RE ALSO GOING TO DO SOMETHING OUR BARS AND RESTAURANTS HAVE BEEN ASKING FOR. TO ONCE AGAIN ALLOW THE SALE OF TO GO DRINKS.”

LAWMAKERS, INCLUDING UPSTATE ASSEMBLYMAN JOHN MCDONALD, APPLAUDING THAT MOVE.

MCDONALD WRITING ON TWITTER THAT HE’S LOOKING FORWARD TO THE PROPOSAL FOR ALCOHOL TO GO, ADDING QUOTE, “IF DONE RIGHT, WE ALL WIN.”

OTHER PRIORITIES OUTLINED IN HER ADDRESS WERE CLIMATE ACTION, REBUILDING THE STATE’S SCHOOL SYSTEM, ADVANCING EQUITY IN NEW YORK, AND RESTORING FAITH IN GOVERNMENT.

That was Giuliana Bruno reporting.

Hochul wnet on to say that government trust has been eroded in New York.

She’s proposing a new ethics commission for the state as well as term limits and a bar on outside income for the governor, lieutenant governor, attorney general and comptroller.