Assemblymember Wallace: Governor’s State of the State Lays Out Bold Proposals to Move State Forward

“Governor Hochul has set forth an ambitious plan to address the issues that are most pressing to New Yorkers. At a time when many New Yorkers are struggling to make ends meet, the Governor’s plan will help families burdened with medical costs by limiting hospitals’ ability to sue working families over medical debt, as well as limit monthly payments and interest for that debt. These actions build on the progress we made last year, including raising the minimum wage and boosting childcare assistance for working families.

“I’m pleased that the Governor is focused on addressing the mental health crisis facing our children. I’ve been advocating for legislation to raise public awareness and education around the negative impact social media use has on our youth. The Governor’s proposal to restrict social media use for preteens is a giant step in the right direction. I look forward to working with her to pass legislation that will tackle this issue as well as to advance other initiatives geared toward making mental health treatment more accessible and affordable for those who need it.

“I’m also pleased to see the Governor commit to renewed efforts to build more weather-resilient homes and communities and deliver additional utility relief to hundreds of thousands of vulnerable households. These efforts are desperately needed after a winter in which Western New Yorkers experienced both horrific winter storms and record-high utility costs.

“Public safety is always a top-of-mind concern for New Yorkers, and the proposals outlined today will build on our recent success in keeping New Yorkers safe. We’ve seen a dramatic reduction in violent crime across our state. Unfortunately, however, retail crimes remain a persistent problem. I fully support the Governor’s proposals to tackle the scourge of organized retail thefts.

“In addition to the proposals outlined by the Governor, I’d also like to see this year’s budget include initiatives to address the horrific drug epidemic still tearing apart communities and families across our state. Last week, I attended a rally with parents, children, and spouses who have lost loved ones to this terrible disease. There is so much more we must do to confront this problem, including updating our outdated drug laws to prohibit deadly xylazine or “tranq,” cracking down on fentanyl dealers, and updating our DUI laws to give law enforcement the tools they need to hold all violators accountable. I am committed to working with the Governor, my colleagues in the Legislature, and law enforcement on these efforts to keep New Yorkers safe.

“I look forward to learning more about and helping to advance many of the policy proposals outlined in the State of the State to move New York forward. I will also fight for important priorities that were not highlighted in the Governor’s address, including adequately funding schools, increasing assistance for SUNY, and raising Medicaid reimbursement rates to ensure quality care in our hospitals and nursing homes.”