December 3, 2021

Kathy Hochul, New York’s 1st female governor, inherits vast challenges

ALBANY, New York — Kathy Hochul grew to become the primary female governor of New York on Tuesday, inheriting immense challenges as she takes over an administration going through criticism for inaction throughout Andrew Cuomo’s distracted remaining months in workplace.

Hochul, a Democrat and former member of Congress from Western New York, took the oath of workplace simply after midnight in a short, personal occasion overseen by the state’s chief decide, Janet DiFiore.

A ceremonial swearing-in was deliberate Tuesday morning on the New York State Capitol, with extra pomp than the transient, legally required occasion throughout the evening. Hochul deliberate a public handle at 3 p.m.

“I feel the weight of responsibility on my shoulders and I’ll tell New Yorkers I’m up to the task. And I’m really proud to be able to serve as their governor and I won’t let them down,” Hochul informed considered one of her hometown Buffalo tv stations, WGRZ, as she left the Capitol early Tuesday morning.

Over the following few months, Hochul, who was a little-known determine as lieutenant governor, may have a possibility to reshape the best way energy works in Albany, the place Cuomo dominated decision-making for years earlier than being felled in a sexual harassment scandal.

For generations, it has been stated that all the actual selections within the state authorities had been made by “three men in a room,” the governor and the leaders of the state Senate and Meeting.

Now, for the primary time in state historical past, two of these three – Hochul and Senate Majority Chief Andrea Stewart-Cousins – are girls. Solely the state Meeting is led by a person, Speaker Carl Heastie.

Cuomo left workplace at 12:00 a.m, two weeks after he introduced he would resign slightly than face an impeachment battle that appeared inevitable after a report by impartial investigators, overseen by Lawyer Basic Letitia James, concluded he had sexually harassed 11 girls.

On his remaining day in workplace, Cuomo launched a pre-recorded farewell handle by which he once more stated he was harmless and portrayed himself because the sufferer of a “media frenzy.”

Hochul takes over with the state nonetheless coping with rolling crises brought on by the coronavirus pandemic.

Within the coming weeks she is anticipated to make selections about whether or not to mandate masks for youngsters returning to high school – one thing she’s already stated she favors.

She will likely be beneath strain to get federal hire reduction cash into the palms of tenants. Little of the $2 billion put aside by the federal authorities to assist New Yorkers repay hire debt has been distributed so far within the state and hundreds face the opportunity of eviction if the state permits protections to run out.

And Hochul faces questions on whether or not she’ll change the tradition of governance in New York, the place many different high Democrats have, for years, complained about being shut out of key selections and bullied by Cuomo.

Former Gov. David Paterson, who, like Hochul, unexpectedly grew to become governor when his predecessor resigned, stated she might want to restore religion within the workplace.

“There’s going to be some pressure on Gov. Hochul, as there was on me, to kind of restore the values and to restore the conduct and the decorum that bespeaks a governor,” Paterson stated.

She’ll additionally need to work shortly. Hochul has already stated she intends to run for a full time period subsequent yr, and may have simply months to determine herself as the favourite earlier than a spring Democratic major.

Within the meantime, she’ll be constructing an administration – a activity that started early Tuesday with the oath of workplace.

DiFiore administered the oath in entrance of a stone fire in a room on the Capitol, atop which had been positioned household photos.

Hochul, her husband, Invoice Hochul, and DiFiore entered the room carrying masks, taking them off when the ceremony started. Hochul positioned her hand on a bible held by her smiling husband, a former federal prosecutor and present normal counsel for Buffalo-based meals service and hospitality firm Delaware North.

Hochul signed a pile of papers – together with the oath – utilizing a set of ten pens dated “August 24, 2021,” whereas her household stood behind her trying on. She then stated thank to her particular person members of her employees, and informed them she’d see them tomorrow earlier than she left the room.