In State of the State, Gov. Hochul calls the exodus of New Yorkers ‘an alarm bell’

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ROCHESTER, N.Y. (WHEC) — Gov. Kathy Hochul’s State of the State Address was dominated by COVID and a blunt assessment of the emigration of New Yorkers.

Nearly every idea and spending plan is directly caused by the pandemic and the surges of the last four months.

Hochul entered a nearly empty assembly chamber in the Capitol building, a big difference from the elaborate speeches of former Gov. Andrew Cuomo.

Gov. Kathy Hochul: "Every single initiative is filtered through the lens of how it will help you and your families because I know you’re exhausted."

Hochul proposed a $10 billion investment in health care including $3,000 bonuses to health care workers so they keep working and allowing doctors and nurses licensed out of state to work here.

Gov. Kathy Hochul: "We simply do not have enough health care workers in our hospitals or in our long-term care facilities."

Hochul wants to speed up a $2 billion tax cut, add a $7 billion property tax rebate, include a tax rebate for bars and restaurants for COVID-related purchases like outdoor heaters and seating and let them sell take-out alcohol again.

Gov. Kathy Hochul: "So cheers New York."

New York’s budget is $212 billion. That means the state spends $10,707 per resident. Pennsylvania spends $3,085 per person. North Carolina, $2,490 and Florida, $4,677.

A report by the Empire Center shows those three states are where thousands of New Yorkers moved to in the past decade. Gov. Hochul said 300,000 New Yorkers moved out of state in 2021.

Gov. Kathy Hochul: "That’s the steepest population drop of any state in the nation, an alarm bell that cannot be ignored."

She said she wants New York to be the best state for small businesses and workers.

On ethics, she’s sending a bill to the legislature to limit the governor, lieutenant governor, attorney general and comptroller to two terms.