Kathy Hochul’s 2023 priorities include bail reform, housing

Gov. Kathy Hochul’s State of the State address delivered Tuesday laid out her top priorities Tuesday that will serve as her top priorities this session and kick off the first of her four-year term. 

They include: 

Bail

The third time’s the charm when it comes to editing the state’s controversial bail reform law. Hochul said she wants to untie judges’ hands by removing the “least restrictive” means standard they need to consult when it comes to ensuring that defendants accused of the worst crimes return to court. It’s a partial victory for law enforcement, judges and Mayor Eric Adams who have all advocated to grant judges more discretion when it comes to setting bail. However, Hochul glossed over adding additional bail-eligible crimes to the state’s list — omitting a solution to New York City’s rampant scourge of shoplifting. 

Gov. Kathy Hochul’s State of the State address laid out her top priorities for New York.

Hochul will focus her efforts on Long Island.
Hochul wants to build up to 800,000 new units of housing statewide.


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Housing

Hochul wants to build up to 800,000 new housing units statewide — with a big focus on Long Island — over the next 10 years to solve an increasing affordability issue. She wants to strip existing bans on multi-family homes and help cut red tape on notoriously slow zoning processes with a specific focus on neighborhoods close to MTA subway and railroad lines.

In addition, 3,500 new supportive housing units for the mentally ill will be added.
A $1 billion mental health investment is on the way in the form of 1,000 inpatient psychiatric hospital beds.
Stephen Yang

Mental Health

A $1 billion mental health investment is on the way in the form of 1,000 inpatient psychiatric hospital beds and 3,500 new supportive housing units for the mentally ill. The move could help New York City confront rising crime and homelessness alongside proposed policy changes that Hochul claims will make sure her plans get implemented.

Environment

All new construction must be green, with a 2025 goal for banning on-site fossil fuel combustion for smaller buildings and 2028 for larger ones. 

Minimum Wage

The governor revealed a proposal to raise the minimum wage and tie future hikes to the rate of inflation, noting the move will grant 900,000 minimum-wage workers — who are majority women and people of color — “a lifeline.”