Earlier this week, we reported that the homeless were skeptical of Mayor de Blasio's and Governor Cuomo's attempts to get the homeless inside.
Many of New York City's homeless people who were interviewed said they felt safer on the streets than in NYC's shelters, where reports of violence have escalated in recent years.
Yesterday, Governor Cuomo delivered a State of the State speech on Wednesday, calling for a financial and spiritual commitment to rebuild the state's social and physical infrastructure, according to The New York Times.
So it seems like Cuomo's gotten the message loud and clear: we need to do much more to help people get off the streets than just deploying resources aimed at forcing them into shelters.
Cuomo presented an emotional, ambitious 2016 agenda. He plans to spend $20 billion to add 100,000 permanent housing units over five years, and thousands more after that, that would offer shelter and social services across the state.
He also promised to exert his clout to hurdle barriers that have stood in the way of affordable housing in the past.
Cuomo also called on the city to increase its financial contribution to the City University of New York system and to Medicaid costs.
Cuomo's proposals included ethics changes for the state. He proposed that legislators limit their outside income to 15% of their base salary. Congress already has this sort of limit, and Albany's long been lobbied to do the same.
Cuomo also proposed closing a certain campaign loophole, called the L.L.C. loophole, which allows corporations to channel large amounts of funds to candidates through limited liability companies.
In the past, Cuomo's criticized de Blasio's handling of the homelessness epidemic, saying de Blasio was slow to respond to the crisis on the city's streets.
Mayor de Blasio, however, commented favorably on Cuomo's speech in a news conference afterward, saying, "This is good day for sure and some real progress was made."
During his speech, Cuomo said that New York State is, "stronger than at any point in recent history."
When State Assemblyman Charles Barron broke out yelling, Cuomo responded, "We came together; we refused to be intimidated." After his outburst, Mr. Barron was escorted out.
Cuomo also vowed to pass the Dream Act, which would allow undocumented immigrants to apply for state financial aid, and pledged to raise the age of criminal responsibility to 18.
He also pushed to enact 12 weeks of paid leave for workers with a new child or sick relative, and lamented that he hadn't spent more time with his late father, former Governor Mario Cuomo.
nygovcuomo Today we outlined our transformative agenda for New York State that builds on 5 years of progress and turns focus to raising the bar on pressing issues and areas of opportunity. We have proven the capacity to take on the toughest issues of the day, and done what was once dismissed as impossible. Together, we will build an even smarter, stronger and fairer New York than ever before – and we will show the nation the way forward once again. #BuiltToLead
"Life is such a precious gift, and I have kicked myself every day that I didn't spend more time with my father at that end period," Cuomo said. "It was my mistake, and a mistake I blame myself for every day."
Prior to this conference, Cuomo's agendas included raising statewide minimum wage, paying New York's recent college graduate's student loans, and remedying deficiencies in minority-owned businesses.
It's safe to say that Cuomo is kind of killing it. Kind of.
All of these proposals will lead into actual negotiations and actual bills in the coming days. We'll let you know if Cuomo's ambitious agendas succeed.
We think if Cuomo could wave a magic wand over New York, though, and change things, that New York would be a much better place to be.
Check out 9 Subway Stops Along the N Line Close Next Week for 14 Months.[via The New York Times] [Feature Image Courtesy Instagram]