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Editorial

Hochul Makes History as New York’s First Female Governor

Sometimes history is made within the flow of normality and sometimes it is forced upon us. Such was the case when New York State Lieutenant Governor Kathy Hochul stepped up to the podium this week with two weeks to go until she becomes New York’s 57th governor.

No woman has ever occupied that position before and she ascends to the highest office in New York not through a peaceful transfer of power in an election format, but instead she takes over for yet another New York Governor who resigned in disgrace.

Kathy Hochul assumes the mantle of leadership in a turbulent period where her predecessor might face criminal charges for sexually inappropriate behavior and for allegedly altering the numbers on nursing home deaths in New York during the COVID-19 pandemic. It is very unfortunate that the perfectly competent lieutenant governor ascends to the post on the heels of yet another male politician who engaged, according to the independent investigator, incredible allegations of sexual misconduct.

That of course should not suck all the oxygen out of the room and we should take this moment to appreciate the fact that after so long, New York finally gets its first female governor. What are some of the priorities for the new governor?

Rising coronavirus cases around the world is certainly a cause for concern, the new school year is right around the corner and there are shades of 2020 with how much anxiety both educators and parents, not to mention students, have about starting up again.

The challenges are great – for example, infrastructure projects started by Governor Cuomo must remain on-time and under budget if Lt. Gov. Hochul is to stand a chance to win a full term in November 2022, should she choose to run. New York also lost one congressional seat due to population loss in the last census

Another challenge facing soon-to-be Governor Hochul is to try to entice talent back to New York with those folks working remotely for the better part of two years, and to convince those that remained in New York that even with soaring prices, it’s worth staying.

Infrastructure has been on the forefront of everyone’s mind in politics as President Biden gets some version of his Build Back Better infrastructure initiative passed through the U.S. Senate and soon through the House of Representatives.

Soon-to-be Governor Hochul has to deal with an emboldened New York State Legislature to keep pushing for large-scale projects that will enrich the state while being environmentally-friendly. Good luck to Kathy Hochul as she takes over as Governor of New York under extremely difficult circumstances

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