NY lawmakers react to Hochul’s swearing-in

ROCHESTER, N.Y. (WHEC) — New York lawmakers are reacting to the swearing-in of Gov. Kathy Hochul.

Hochul became the state’s first female governor on Tuesday. She took the helm after Andrew Cuomo resigned amid controversy over the New York Attorney General’s investigation, which details the stories of 11 women who claim they were sexually harassed or otherwise treated inappropriately by the now-former governor.

New York lawmakers are sending in statements.

Attorney General Letitia James:

“Today is a historic day for New Yorkers with the swearing in of our first female governor, Kathy Hochul. I congratulate Governor Hochul on this incredible accomplishment and wish her well in her new role building on the progress of our great state. I look forward to continuing to work with her and the entire incoming administration.”

Assemblywoman Sarah Clark (D-Rochester):

“I could not be more thrilled to have Governor Kathy Hochul at the helm at such a critical moment for New Yorkers everywhere. I have known and worked with Governor Hochul for many years during my time working in the U.S. Senate, and can not think of a better woman to be taking the reins in Albany. Kathy is one of the most tireless and hard working women in government I’ve ever known. This last year and a half has been unfathomably challenging for too many families, and Kathy has the perseverance and experience to get the job done during an incredibly tenuous time for all New Yorkers.

I am ready to roll up my sleeves and get to work with Governor Hochul to make sure our recovery from this pandemic is equitable and inclusive for all, that we continue to build on our historic investments in the childcare ecosystem, and ensure quality education is available for all by maintaining our commitment to fully fund Foundation Aid for schools. The challenges ahead are complex, particularly around healthcare, mental health needs, criminal justice reform, achieving livable wages, and meeting our ambitious environmental goals. Governor Hochul is and will be an excellent partner to work with as the state legislature begins to tackle these issues.

There is also much long-term work to be done to ensure sexual harassment is forever gone from the halls of state government and all workplaces. We must honor the courageous women who came forward with a new world where all can come to work feeling safe and secure. After a dark year in the history of state government, we can embark on a new era of governance today. Congratulations Madame Governor!”

State Sen. Samra Brouk (D-Rochester):

“Throughout her career, Kathy Hochul has demonstrated a strong commitment to the people of New York State and I look forward to working with her as the first woman to serve as our governor. I am hopeful that we will work in partnership to confront pressing issues and deliver for our hometown Western New York communities, and I wish her the best of luck as she takes this historic step for our state.”

Monroe County Executive Adam Bello:

"History was made this morning as Kathy Hochul was sworn in as New York’s first female Governor. Governor Hochul is no stranger to Monroe County and has always been responsive and ready to help during her service as Lt. Governor. Just recently, I had the honor of introducing Governor Hochul at a summit on gun violence. We have had in depth discussions on issues of importance to Monroe County such as COVID-19 response, crime, and the gun violence plaguing our communities. I know with her strong roots in Western New York, she will be a strong partner and advocate for us in Albany. Welcome, Governor Hochul."

Assemblyman Jeff Gallahan (R-Manchester):

“After bearing with an incompetent and untrustworthy executive for over a decade, New York finally has a real opportunity to make state government more transparent and more responsive to the needs of New Yorkers throughout the state, not just those who live in its most populous regions. Cleaning up the executive branch and ridding government of those who had a hand in Gov. Cuomo’s wrongdoings must be a top priority for the new administration, because it must be clear that ‘politics as usual’ have come to an end in Albany.”

Assemblyman Steve Hawley (R-Batavia):

“By swearing in a new governor, I remain hopeful we can use this moment as an opportunity to correct the course set by our former executive. Given her experience in local and county government, I hope that her tenure will be free of the burdensome mandates on small businesses, schools, places of worship, and other institutions which characterized her predecessor’s style of leadership and were so harmful to the people of our state.”

Senate Republican Leader Rob Ortt:

"Congratulations to our new Governor and Western New York native Kathy Hochul on her inauguration as New York’s 57th Governor, and the first female to hold the office in state history. I am looking forward to working with this new administration to try to improve the lives of New Yorkers all across the state.

Governor Hochul takes office in the face of many challenges. It is my hope that she will work with elected leaders in both parties to address pressing issues like the pandemic, rising crime, continued outmigration and other threats to the future of our state. Saving our state will require input from across the political spectrum, not just the most radical voices from one region of our state."

Assembly Speaker Carl E. Heastie:

"Today, we have sworn in the first woman to serve as governor of New York. From State Senate majority leader to state attorney general to vice president of the United States, we continue to see women rise through the ranks of government, and it is a welcome trend.

"Governor Kathy Hochul has served at every level of government and is a qualified and dedicated public servant. Over the course of her time in public service, she has visited every corner of this state and developed strong relationships with local representatives.
My colleagues and I know that our state is facing many significant challenges, and we are prepared to partner with Governor Hochul in addressing them. We look forward to working with her to ensure our children can safely return to school, New Yorkers are able to stay in their homes, small businesses can thrive again, our work to end to the scourge of gun violence continues and to fight the resurgence of COVID-19 to finally put this pandemic behind us.

"We stand ready to work with Governor Hochul to continue moving New York forward.

State Sen. Ed Rath (R-Amherst):

“Congratulations to Western New York native and 57th Governor of New York State, Kathy Hochul. I look forward to working with her and her administration to address the challenges facing our state.

As a western New Yorker, she knows firsthand, that too many residents and businesses feel as though their voice isn’t heard nor respected in Albany and as if upstate is simply an afterthought to powerful New York City interests and their agenda.

Governor Hochul has a historic opportunity to reimagine state government. The priorities of every region must be respected, regardless of their political representation. Our challenges are too great to be dictated by petty partisan politics. The stakes are too large. Our infrastructure, public safety, and economic opportunity should not be used as bargaining chips.

As Governor Hochul’s administration begins, I stand ready to work with her to achieve our common goals and improve the lives of residents across Western New York and the entire state.”