Gov. Andrew Cuomo announced his resignation in a televised address Tuesday, Aug. 10, effective in two weeks.
While the governor denied accusations that he was intentionally inappropriate with anyone, he said that the “politically motivated” allegations against him would plunge the state into disarray.
The three-term governor has been rocked by sexual harassment allegations which included unwanted kisses and touching.
Lt. Governor Kathy Hochul will become the next New York State governor.
Reactions to the resignation were swift.
“While we can now turn to rebuilding our state, it does not mean the end of multiple investigations into the departing governor and his retaliatory enablers,” State Sen. Peter Oberacker, R-Schenevus, said in a statement. ” The brave women who stepped forward to tell their stories deserve justice, along with those who lost their lives needlessly due to the governor’s irresponsible COVID nursing home directive. ”
“New Yorkers can breathe a collective sigh of relief that Andrew Cuomo will no longer be able to wield the immense power of the governor’s office to commit his corruption and abuse, but make no mistake, this resignation is simply an attempt to avoid real accountability for his numerous crimes,” NYGOP Chairman Nick Langworthy said in a media release. “Thousands of lives have been destroyed by Andrew Cuomo and the legislature must continue to move forward with impeachment to ensure he can never run for office again.”
“Gov. Cuomo finally stepping down is ultimately for the good of New York and something I am glad to see finally happening,” Assemblyman Brian Miller, R-New Hartford, said in a statement. This resignation is a definitive new beginning. We deserve a better leader.”
“New York now has a chance to move forward and build a new culture of leadership,” said Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand, D-NY, in a statement. “Lieutenant Governor Kathy Hochul is an exceptional public servant and will be an excellent governor. I look forward to working together to continue serving the people of our great state.”
“Gov. Cuomo’s resignation is welcome news for all New Yorkers,” said Assemblyman John Salka, R-Brookfield, in a press release. “He has finally acted in the best interest of the people. His actions have been disturbing and inexcusable. I am pleased to see the governor step aside and allow government to function properly. I will continue to stand with these women and fight to hold the governor accountable. Congratulations to Lt. Gov. Kathy Hochul, I look forward to working with her in a positive and bipartisan manner.”
“I again want to thank the women who came forward for their accounts and applaud them for their bravery, because today we sent a message to everyone that conduct of this nature will never be tolerated, from anyone,” Assemblyman Chris Tague, R-Schohaire, said in a press release. “I wish to congratulate Kathy Hochul, the next governor of our state, and hope that we will be able to establish a productive, bipartisan relationship to do all we can for the people of New York.”
Sales tax revenue for local governments in New York state rose by 49.2% in the second quarter (April to June 2021) compared to the same period last year, a dramatic increase from last year’s weak collections during the first wave of the COVID-19 pandemic, according to State Comptroller Thomas P. DiNapoli.
Sales tax collections during this period grew by just over $1.6 billion and even surpassed collections reported during the second quarter of 2019, before the onset of the pandemic.
“The strength of these collections, along with federal aid, will give local governments statewide the chance to improve their fiscal stability, but it will take time to recover from the strain caused by the COVID-19 pandemic,” DiNapoli said in a media release. “While this is good news, local leaders are advised to budget carefully. If this pandemic has taught us anything, it’s to always plan for unpredictable circumstances.”
The size of the increase largely reflects extremely weak collections in the April to June period of 2020. However, even compared to pre-pandemic collections for the same period in 2019, statewide collections in 2021 were up 8.7% or $396 million.
The League of Women Voters of the Cooperstown Area joins the New York State Volunteer Ambulance and Rescue Association, Inc. in supporting state legislation that would create a task force to study the unique problems facing ambulance services in rural areas of New York State and to propose long-term solutions for them.
The League believes that every resident should have access to a basic level of quality healthcare, including acute care, of which ambulance services are an essential component.
We also support allocating additional medical resources to underserved areas, and New York State rural residents are chronically underserved.
The COVID-19 pandemic has only made the importance of rural emergency medical services more evident, and the need to address their pre-existing challenges more pressing.
The hardworking volunteers and paid emergency medical technicians are local heroes in our rural communities, and their dedication and commitment have a direct impact on health outcomes and quality of life. Establishing a task force that systematically identifies service gaps and makes recommendations on how to sustainably support this critical component of rural healthcare is a much-needed first step.
State Sen. Hinchey and Assembly Member Santabarbara are sponsoring the bills in their legislative chambers, and we call on our local representatives — Sen. Oberacker and Assembly Members Salka, Miller, Tague, and Angelino—to support the bill’s swift passage before the legislative session comes to a close at the end of June.
Liane Hirabayashi and Patricia MacLeish
Co-presidents, League of Women Voters of the Cooperstown Area
From: The Adirondack Daily Enterprise
It’s no surprise that all local school budgets were approved by voters Tuesday, May 18.
Between additional state aid approved by the state Legislature and federal pandemic aid, most of the proposed budgets came with either no tax increase or a nominal increase in local property taxes.
But local voters should make sure they are paying attention to how school districts are proposing to spend that federal pandemic aid. New York state received about $12.5 billion while school districts received a total of $9 billion in direct aid.
In our view, routine expenses should remain the domain of local and state taxpayers.
Care must be taken in planning what’s best for the needs of the individual district. Some districts may need major renovations to heating, ventilation and air conditioning systems to promote breathing easier for all who work and learn there. Others may require wholesale updating of their technology platforms to platforms to best prepare for effective online learning.
Care must be taken as well to ensure maximum input from the school district’s administrators, teaching staff, parents and students so that final spending decisions reflect a broad consensus of a district’s stakeholders.
Many schools will likely have a lot of money to spend helping students make up for lost time. That is essential, but the federal investment is enough to do a lot more than that. It’s enough to created targeted programs that help children achieve more than they would have if COVID-19 had never happened and schools had never been closed in the first place.
Taxpayers shouldn’t settle just for the old status quo. For this kind of money, they should demand a level of education higher than before.
From: Sochie Nnaemeka and TeAna Taylor. special to the Utica Observer-Dispatch.
There’s no doubt that Albany is undergoing a transformation.
Voters across the state turned out in record numbers to elect Democratic and Working Families champions to the Legislature last year, winning super-majorities in both houses. And this April, the results were made clear: New York passed a budget that provides historic funding to our public school students, tenants, immigrants and Black and brown communities. We legalized cannabis for adults with provisions to ensure the benefits are shared by the communities directly impacted by the drug war. And we finally passed the HALT Solitary Confinement Act to restrict the use of “the box” in prisons and replace it with safe, humane alternatives. Electing progressive leaders is helping to deliver a future for New York rooted in equity and justice.
As we come down the final stretch of the legislative session, our elected leaders must resist complacency and continue to deliver long-overdue changes to our criminal justice systems that New Yorkers have been demanding.
Family members of incarcerated people, community leaders, and criminal justice advocates call on Gov. Andrew Cuomo to grant emergency clemencies to older people in prison and others with compromised immune systems in response to the death of a person incarcerated at Sing Sing Correctional Facility who tested positive for COVID-19 April 3, 2020 outside the prison in Ossining, New York. Juan Mosquero was the first incarcerated person with the virus to die in a state prison.
The next New York State budget is on its way to passage, and with the federal stimulus of $12.6 billion it will not be as bad as projected. But there are still many problems ahead. Our state had a budget deficit before the pandemic, and a declining population, which the census will likely confirm later this year.
We must look for new ways to bring people back to New York. Without more people, our state will continue to suffer, and the problems will continue to grow. What is one way to bring people back?
How do we get more jobs? By investing strategically in the industries of the future, and we can do that without hurting businesses already here.
Green energy has dazzling potential. It is the industry with the fastest growing job basis in the country, and these jobs pay higher than average.
We need the energy too. New York has some of the highest utility rates in the country, and investment in green energy will lower energy costs, because the costs for renewable energy continue to go down.
Recognizing the value of green energy, the legislature passed the Climate Leadership & Community Protection Act in 2019. This bill outlined clear and achievable targets to increase renewable energy production, storage and energy infrastructure.
Plus, it recognized that many communities across New York have been left behind and disadvantaged economically, so it makes sure that large parts of the investment go to these communities.
Our region has been left behind by Albany for far too long. This bill may start to change that. Of course, the question comes up of how to pay for these upgrades. We cannot print money like the federal government, so the answer is the Climate & Community Investment Act.
This bill will set taxes and charges against those businesses that pollute the most. The revenue will be turned into direct reinvestment in our state.
I support this legislation because it answers the question of how to pay for a specific state program. It may not be a perfect bill, it should be debated, and that debate can certainly make it better.
The results of this bill will help our region, and for that we all have reason to support it.
Editor’s Note: By covering stories other big newspapers have ignored, the New York Post, founded in 1801 by Alexander Hamilton, is regaining some of its luster. In this latest editorial on the Cuomo Administration’s latest crisis, it questions whether campaign contributions played a role in the March 25 order requiring nursing homes to accept COVID-19 patients. Also, below, is a sampling of editorials on the issue.
Governor Cuomo is trying to rage his way through the horrific nursing-home scandal, vowing to “take on the lies and the unscrupulous actors” even as he repeats his own lies blaming the feds for his fateful March 25 mandate that homes accept COVID-contagious patients. Will the feds let him get away with it?
New Yorkers who lost family members in nursing homes were cheered by news of a federal probe into the matter. But the Biden Justice Department might buy his effort to blame the Trump administration, even though it’s transparently false.
When it comes to the COVID-19 pandemic, one thing is consistent – politicians are placing blame for the effects of the virus at the feet of other politicians, policymakers and providers, but nobody is focusing blame for the consequences of the virus where it truly belongs, with:
• The virus itself
• The state’s “hospital-centric” approach to combatting the virus and
• Historic underfunding of long-term care.
At the onset of the pandemic, the State of New York failed to immediately focus fully on the needs of nursing homes, and instead implemented a “hospital-centric” approach that led to limited access to testing, extensive staffing and PPE shortages in nursing homes.
The COVID-19 virus first appeared in the United States at a nursing home in Washington State, with devastating consequences. New York disregarded this fact and implemented a “hospital-centric” approach to combatting the virus, instead of looking at the people who were most susceptible to the COVID-19 virus – namely nursing-home residents.
New York’s “hospital-centric” approach focused the state’s limited resources on hospital-based solutions such as the Javits Center and the USS Comfort, that ultimately proved to be ill-advised, while nursing homes throughout New York State were left scrambling to safeguard their residents and staff.
Almost 80 percent of New York State’s nursing home resident care is paid for by Medicaid. The state has cut Medicaid reimbursement to nursing homes for over 12 years in a row – creating a reimbursement void that was only exacerbated by the state’s primary focus on hospitals through-out the pandemic!
The statewide average cost of providing around-the-clock nursing home care is $266. However, the statewide average Medicaid reimbursement for 24-hour care is $211, resulting in nursing homes being reimbursed $8.79 per hour to care for our most vulnerable! Most folks pay their babysitter more than $8.79 per hour!
Policymakers and legislators must stop the blame game, work in partnership with nursing home providers and view long-term care as an investment not an expense. Nursing homes are highly regulated providers that are essential in ensuring critical care to the State’s most vulnerable residents.
ALBANY – Recognizing that their states have one integrated regional economy, Governor Cuomo and five other Northeast governors today announced a multi-state council “to restore the economy and get people back to work.”
Cuomo was joined for the announcement by New Jersey’s Phil Murphy, Connecticut’s Ned Lamont, Pennsylvania’s Tom Wolf, Delaware’s John Carney and Rhode Island’s Gina Raimondo.
“Everyone is very anxious to get out of the house, get back to work, get the economy moving,” said Cuomo. “Everyone agrees with that. What the art form is going to be here is doing that smartly and doing that productively and doing that in a coordinated way.”
WINTER PROGRAMS – 1 – 3 p.m. Bring the kids for some learning fun over February break. Choose from programs ‘Forest as a Habitat’ featuring interactive games on how action of animal & humans affect the forest, or ‘New York State Breakout Box’ families try to open the Breakout Box with their knowledge of NYS social studies. Free, open to public. Oneonta History Center, 183 Main St., Oneonta. 607-432-0960 or visit www.oneontahistory.org/index.htm