Kathy Hochul – NY

Kathy Hochul – NY 1

Summary

Position: Governor since 2021
Affiliation: Democrat
Former Positions:  Lt. Governor from 2015 to 2021

Her Story: Kathy Hochul became politically active during her college years at Syracuse University successfully lobbied the university to divest from apartheid South Africa.

Hochul is the 57th and first female Governor of New York State. Governor Kathy Hochul began her career in public service on her local Town Board before serving as Erie County Clerk, and then as a member of Congress for New York’s 26th Congressional District. She more recently served in statewide office as Lieutenant Governor and now as the first female Governor of the State of New York.

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News

Governor Hochul Protects LGBTQ+ Community
CBS, CBS New York TeamJune 25, 2023

NEW YORK — Gov. Kathy Hochul attended Sunday’s New York City Pride March, where she signed legislation to protect the LGBTQ+ community.

In part, the measures make New York a safe haven for the trans community by protecting trans youth, their parents and their doctors.

The governor is also requiring gender neutral terms in state laws and gender neutral language on state websites.

2023 State of the State
Governor Kathy Hochul, January 10, 2023

New York Governor Kathy Hochul, the state’s first woman governor, is delivering her state of the state address.

Hochul protects doctors prescribing abortion pills
CNN, Sabrina Souza and Kaanita IyerJune 23, 2023

New York Democratic Gov. Kathy Hochul signed a bill into law Friday that legally protects doctors who prescribe and send abortion pills to patients in states where abortion services are outlawed or restricted.

“We are witnessing a shameful regression of women’s rights in this country as abortion access is restricted in states across the nation,” Hochul said in a news release, adding that the law will ensure that more women will be able to access reproductive health care.

The measure – passed by the state legislature Tuesday – will block out-of-state litigation, prohibiting prosecution against doctors in New York who provide telehealth services, prescribe medication abortion, or deliver reproductive health care to patients living in states with restrictive abortion laws.

About

Source: Government

NY GovernanceKathy Hochul is the 57th and first female Governor of New York State.
She began her career in public service on her local Town Board, before serving as Erie County Clerk and as a Member of Congress for New York’s 26th Congressional District.

As Lieutenant Governor, she chaired the statewide Regional Economic Development Councils, and served as co-chair of the State’s Heroin and Opioid Task Force, Women’s Suffrage Commission, and Child Care Availability Task Force.

Since being sworn into office in 2021, Governor Hochul has led by establishing a bold vision for New York’s future. Governor Hochul has spearheaded comprehensive policies and initiatives to help New Yorkers and their families, while building an economy that is stronger and more inclusive than before. Governor Hochul is making historic investments in the people, places, and things to make that happen – from healthcare workers, small businesses, and working families to infrastructure, education, and workforce development. And in the wake of the U.S. Supreme Court’s reckless decisions to strip away abortion rights and strike down commonsense gun regulations, Governor Hochul led the charge in Albany to protect reproductive health care and strengthen gun safety laws, ensuring New York continues to stand as a beacon of hope and freedom for the rest of the nation.

Governor Hochul was born and raised in Western New York. She and her husband, Bill Hochul, are the proud parents of two children and one granddaughter.

Personal

Full Name: Kathleen ‘Kathy’ Courtney Hochul

Gender: Female

Family: Husband: Bill; 2 Children: Will, Katie

Birth Date: 08/27/1958

Birth Place: Buffalo, NY

Home City: Hamburg, NY

Source: https://justfacts.votesmart.org/candidate/biography/129238/kathy-hochul

Education

JD, Catholic University, Washington, DC, 1983

BA, Political Science, Syracuse University, 1980

Political Experience

Governor, State of New York, 2021-present

Former Member, Hamburg Town Council

Lieutenant Governor, State of New York, 2015-2021

Candidate, Lieutenant Governor of New York, 2018

Representative, United States House of Representatives, 2011-2013

Candidate, United States House of Representatives, District 27, 2012

Twitter

Web Links

Videos

Who is Kathy Hochul? N.Y. To Get First Female Governor

August 11, 2021 (03:18)
By: NBC News

New York will get their first female governor after Gov. Andrew Cuomo resigned over sexual harassment allegations. Lt. Gov. Kathy Hochul will take over running the state. NBC News’ Allison Morris reports on Hochul’s career.

Politics

Source: none

Finances

Source: Open Secrets

New Legislation

Open

Economy & Jobs

Source: Campaign

Governor Hochul is determined to fight for working families, grow our state’s small businesses, and ensure that New York’s economy emerges from COVID stronger than ever before.

Ever since Kathy helped her mom start a flower and gift shop, she has been a tireless advocate for small businesses and local economies.

As Governor, Kathy has made historic investments in advancing New York’s economic recovery, creating good-paying jobs and putting working families first. As our state continues to recover from a once-in-a-generation pandemic, she has fought to get New York back on track by delivering hundreds of millions of dollars in recovery assistance to small businesses and workers, and increased support for teachers and health care workers.

To make New York more affordable for the middle class, Governor Hochul is also:

Accelerating $1.2 billion in middle-class tax cuts for 6 million New Yorkers
Providing $100 million in relief for nearly 200,000 small businesses
Delivering $1 billion in property tax rebates for more than 2 million New York families
Making affordable child care accessible to 100,000 more working families and investing $75 million to raise child care worker wages
Under Governor Hochul’s leadership, New York has made great strides to ensure an equitable recovery for all that puts the state’s economy on track to build back stronger than before.

Education

Source: Campaign site

With the pandemic creating once-in-a-generation challenges, Governor Hochul has prioritized combating the spread of COVID, fighting for affordable health care, and keeping our state healthy and strong.

Kathy has spent her career fighting to expand access to and lower the cost of health care. In Congress, she proudly fought to save Medicare funding and the Affordable Care Act, putting politics aside to vote against its repeal.

Over a decade later, too many families still struggle with the unpredictable costs of prescription drugs and inequities in coverage persist. In the midst of a global pandemic, access to quality, affordable health care is more important than ever.

Governor Hochul took the reins during the worst crisis of our lifetimes and has shown steady and effective leadership throughout. She has taken decisive action to combat the spread of COVID-19, by expanding vaccination efforts — including an effective vaccine mandate for health care workers, increasing testing capacity, and keeping our economy open and kids in school.

She has also committed to a $10 billion investment to grow New York’s health care workforce by 20% over the next five years — the largest investment in health care in state history. This includes more than $4 billion to support wages and bonuses for health care workers.

As the state continues to beat back the pandemic, New Yorkers can trust that Governor Hochul will put politics aside, as she always has, and prioritize their health and safety.

 

Energy & Environment

Under Governor Hochul’s leadership, New York is implementing the nation’s most aggressive plan to combat climate change and create good-paying clean energy jobs.

As Governor, Kathy is committed to ensuring that New York leads the transition to a clean energy future and advances climate justice. Since taking office, she has led efforts to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and expand solar energy initiatives, from breaking ground on the largest green hydrogen plant in North America to developing New York’s first offshore wind farm. She has also invested millions in climate justice fellowships for historically disadvantaged communities.

Governor Hochul is working tirelessly to ensure that New York is a global leader in the fight against climate change, and she will continue enacting policies to protect our communities and the next generation of New Yorkers from the growing threats of the climate crisis.

In the midst of a pandemic and rising housing prices, Governor Hochul acted swiftly to expand access to affordable housing and keep New Yorkers in their homes.

Kathy knows that access to stable housing is a fundamental right. Too many New Yorkers face homelessness and struggle to find safe, affordable housing options. This crisis has been further exacerbated by the pandemic, particularly in our Black and Brown communities.

As Governor, Kathy is taking bold action to address the homelessness crisis, including establishing teams of trained mental health practitioners, known as Safe Options Support (SOS) teams, to work with emergency shelters, outreach providers and permanent supportive housing providers to help transition New Yorkers living on the street into stable housing.

Governor Hochul has also enacted significant measures to expand access to affordable housing, prevent evictions, provide relief to landlords, and keep families in their homes. As part of her agenda for New York’s comeback, she launched a comprehensive 5-year housing plan to invest $25 billion to create and preserve 100,000 affordable housing units, including 10,000 units with supportive services for vulnerable New Yorkers.

By investing in efforts to keep more New Yorkers in their homes and address the homelessness crisis, Governor Hochul is standing true to her commitment to address these issues head-on and support the economic security of New Yorkers.

Healthcare

Human Rights

With lawmakers and judges throughout the country rolling back access to abortion, Governor Hochul will ensure that New York remains a national leader in protecting reproductive rights.

Throughout her career, Kathy has been a champion for reproductive rights. Today, her leadership is more important than ever, as states across the country — along with Donald Trump’s Supreme Court — continue pushing anti-abortion laws that will put tens of millions of people at risk.

As Governor, Kathy’s work has affirmed reproductive rights and cemented New York as a safe haven for all people seeking care. As part of these efforts, she has directed state agencies to coordinate a statewide public information campaign, including developing a Patient Bill of Rights to make New Yorkers aware of their rights and legal protections. Additionally, she directed the state to update existing regulations to make medication abortions more accessible during telehealth visits and urged Facebook to provide information on and take action to combat abortion misinformation online.

As she has throughout her career, Governor Hochul will continue fighting for reproductive rights and will work to ensure, without a doubt, that those seeking care in New York will be protected.

Public Safety

Source: Campaign site

Governor Hochul is committed to keeping our communities and families safe, getting illegal guns off our streets, and ensuring our criminal justice system is fairer and more equitable.

In keeping with her commitment to enhancing public safety in communities facing increased gun violence, Governor Hochul is focused on ensuring that state and local agencies can safely and effectively enforce the law. Working with partners at all levels, she has enacted legislation to further strengthen New York’s nation-leading gun laws and provide public safety officials with the tools to crack down on the distribution and possession of dangerous weapons.

Governor Hochul has also increased the state’s collaboration with communities facing increased gun violence, directing tens of millions of dollars in grants to community and hospital-based violence intervention programs that work to reduce firearm-related incidents through mediation, mentoring, and community engagement.

Governor Hochul also understands that our communities are stronger and safer when every member has the opportunity to contribute and is committed to creating pathways to reduce recidivism. For far too long, formerly incarcerated New Yorkers have been forced to deal with the lifelong consequences of criminal convictions that deny them a second chance to reclaim their role as an equal member of society. That’s why her agenda for New York’s comeback includes a new “Jail-to-Jobs” initiative to ensure incarcerated people have the support they need to find employment during re-entry, as well as the restoration of the Tuition Assistance program for incarcerated people — ending a 30-year ban.

More Information

Wikipedia

Kathleen Hochul (/ˈhkəl/ HOH-kəl; née Courtney; born August 27, 1958) is an American politician and lawyer. Since August 24, 2021, she has served as the 57th governor of New York.[2] A member of the Democratic Party, she is New York’s first female governor[3] and the first governor from Upstate New York since Nathan L. Miller in 1920.[4]

Born in Buffalo, New York, Hochul graduated from Syracuse University in 1980 and received a Juris Doctor from the Catholic University of America Columbus School of Law in Washington, D.C. in 1984. After serving on the Hamburg town board and as deputy Erie County clerk, Hochul was appointed Erie County clerk in 2007. She was elected to a full term as Erie County clerk in 2007 and reelected in 2010. In May 2011, Hochul won a four-candidate special election for New York’s 26th congressional district to fill the vacancy created by the resignation of then-Representative Chris Lee,[5][6] becoming the first Democrat to represent the district in 40 years. She served as a U.S. representative from 2011 to 2013. Hochul was defeated for reelection in 2012 by Chris Collins after the district’s boundaries and demographics were changed in the decennial reapportionment process. Hochul later worked as a government relations executive for the Buffalo-based M&T Bank.[7]

In the 2014 New York gubernatorial election, Andrew Cuomo selected Hochul as his running mate; after they won the election, Hochul was inaugurated as lieutenant governor. Cuomo and Hochul were reelected in 2018. Hochul took office as governor of New York on August 24, 2021, after Cuomo resigned amid allegations of sexual harassment. She won a full term in the 2022 election against Republican U.S. Representative Lee Zeldin in the narrowest New York gubernatorial election since 1994.[8][9][10]

As governor, Hochul entered into an agreement with the Buffalo Bills to fund their new stadium with at least $850 million of taxpayer money. In June 2024, just weeks before it was to go into effect, she abruptly halted a congestion pricing plan in Manhattan that had been in the works since 2019, already cost hundreds of millions of dollars, and was expected to become the MTA‘s largest funding source.

Early life and education

Hochul was born Kathleen Courtney in Buffalo, New York, the second of the six children of John P. “Jack” Courtney, then a college student and clerical worker, and Patricia Ann “Pat” (Rochford) Courtney, a homemaker.[11][12] The family struggled financially during Hochul’s early years and for a time lived in a trailer near a steel plant.[11] By the time Hochul was in college, however, her father was working for the information technology company he later headed.[11] Her family is of Irish Catholic descent.[13]

Hochul became politically active during her college years at Syracuse University, leading a boycott of the student bookstore over high prices and an unsuccessful effort to name the university stadium after alumnus Ernie Davis, a star running back who died of cancer before he could join the National Football League.[11][14] Hochul successfully lobbied the university to divest from apartheid South Africa. In the spring of 1979, the student newspaper The Daily Orange awarded her an “A”, citing the campus changes as evidence for the grade.[14] She received a Bachelor of Arts with a major in political science from the Maxwell School of Syracuse University in 1980 and a Juris Doctor from the Catholic University of America Columbus School of Law in Washington, D.C., in 1984.[11][15][16]

Early political career

After graduation from law school, Hochul began working for a Washington, D.C., law firm, but she found the work unsatisfying.[11] She then worked as legal counsel and legislative assistant to U.S. Representative John LaFalce and U.S. Senator Daniel Moynihan, and also for the New York State Assembly, before seeking elected office.[17][18]

Hochul became involved in local issues as a supporter of small businesses facing competition from Walmart stores[18] and, in the process, caught the attention of local Democratic leaders.[19] On January 3, 1994, the Hamburg Town Board voted to appoint her to the vacant seat on the board caused by Patrick H. Hoak’s resignation to become town supervisor.[20][21] She was elected to a full term in November 1994, on the Democratic and Conservative lines,[22][23] and was reelected in 1998, 2002, and 2006. She resigned on April 10, 2007,[24] and was succeeded by former state assemblymember Richard A. Smith.[25] While on the board, she led efforts to remove toll booths on parts of the New York State Thruway system.[26][27]

In May 2003, Erie County Clerk David Swarts appointed Hochul as his deputy.[17][22] Governor Eliot Spitzer named Swarts to his administration in January 2007 and appointed Hochul to succeed Swarts as county clerk in April 2007.[24] In an intervention that raised her statewide profile, she opposed Spitzer’s proposal to allow undocumented immigrants to apply for a driver’s license without producing a social security card, and said that if the proposal went into effect she would seek to have any such applicants arrested.[28][29] She was elected later in 2007 to fill the remainder of Swarts’s term.[30][31] She ran for reelection on four ballot lines: Democratic, Conservative, Independence and Working Families Party, defeating Republican Clifton Bergfeld in November 2010 with 80 percent of the vote.[18][32]

Following Hochul’s departure as county clerk, a backlog of mail was discovered by newly elected County Clerk Chris Jacobs, who later said that $792,571 in checks were found in the backlogged mail.[33] As county clerk, Hochul had been in the process of implementing a new system for handling real estate documents when she left after being elected to Congress. Jacobs said that $9,000 were spent in overtime to deposit checks and file unopened documents that had accumulated in the interim period after Hochul’s departure, while the office was adjusting to the new system.[33]

U.S. House of Representatives (2011–2013)

Elections

2011 special

Hochul with President Barack Obama, following her 2011 election to represent New York’s 26th district

Hochul ran in the May 24, 2011, special election to fill the seat in New York’s 26th congressional district left vacant by the resignation of Chris Lee. She was the Democratic Party and Working Families Party nominee.[34] Hochul’s residence in Hamburg, just outside the 26th district, became an issue during her campaign, though it did not disqualify her from seeking the seat.[35] One month after her victory, she moved into the district.[35][36]

The Republican and Conservative Party nominee, State Assemblymember Jane Corwin, was at first strongly favored to win in the Republican-leaning district, which had sent a Republican to Congress for the previous four decades.[11][37][38] A late April poll had Corwin leading Hochul by 36% to 31%; Tea Party candidate Jack Davis trailed at 23%.[39] An early May poll gave Hochul a lead of 35% to 31%,[40] and shortly thereafter the nonpartisan Rothenberg Political Report called the race a toss-up.[41] Additional polling in the days immediately before the election had Hochul leading by four- and six-point margins.[42][43]

A Washington Post article noted that in the face of a possible Hochul victory, there was already a “full blown spin war” about the meaning of the result. The article said that Democrats viewed the close race as a result of Republicans’ budget proposal The Path to Prosperity, and, in particular, their proposal for Medicare reform. Republicans viewed it as the result of Davis’s third-party candidacy.[44]

The campaign featured a number of negative television ads, with FactCheck accusing both sides of “taking liberties with the facts”. In particular, FactCheck criticized the Democrats’ ads for claiming that Corwin would “essentially end Medicare”, even though the plan left Medicare intact for current beneficiaries.[38] The organization also faulted the Republicans for ads portraying Hochul as a puppet of former Speaker Nancy Pelosi, and for claiming that Hochul planned to cut Social Security and Medicare benefits.[38]

Hochul was endorsed by EMILY’s List, a political action committee that supports Democratic women candidates who support abortion rights.[45][46] She was the fifth largest recipient of EMILY’s List funds in 2011, receiving more than $27,000 in bundled donations.[46] The Democrat and Chronicle endorsed Hochul “for her tenacity and independence”,[47] while The Buffalo News endorsed her for her positions on preserving Medicare and her record of streamlining government.[48]

Hochul defeated Corwin 47% to 42%, with Davis receiving 9% and Green Party candidate Ian Murphy 1%.[49]

2012

Before the 2012 election, Hochul’s district was renumbered the 27th during the redistricting process. The district was redrawn in a manner that caused it to be more heavily Republican.[50] Hochul was endorsed by the NRA Political Victory Fund.[51][52] She lost to Republican Chris Collins, 51% to 49%.[52]

Tenure

Hochul during the 112th Congress, 2011

In Hochul’s first few weeks in office, she co-sponsored bills with Brian Higgins to streamline the passport acquisition process.[53] She also met with then-President Barack Obama about the economy and job creation and introduced a motion to restore the Republican cuts to the Commodity Futures Trading Commission. She looked for ways to reduce the federal budget deficit and expressed support for reducing Medicaid spending as long as the reductions would not be achieved in the form of block grants offered to states, as proposed in the Republican budget blueprint. She also spoke with Obama about ending tax breaks for oil companies and protecting small businesses.[54]

While campaigning for Congress, Hochul called herself an “independent Democrat“.[18] In an interview with the Lockport Union-Sun & Journal, she cited as examples of her independence her opposition to then-Governor Eliot Spitzer‘s driver’s license program for undocumented immigrants and her opposition to then-Governor David Paterson‘s 2010 proposal to raise revenue by requiring all vehicle owners to buy new license plates.[18]

Hochul was one of 17 Democrats to join Republicans in supporting a resolution finding United States Attorney General Eric Holder in contempt of Congress relating to the ATF gunwalking scandal, a vote on which the NRA, which supported the resolution, announced it would be scoring lawmakers.[55] Later in 2012, Hochul “trumpeted” her endorsement by the NRA and noted that she was just one of two New York Democrats to receive its support.[56]

Committee assignments

Lieutenant governor of New York (2015–2021)

Elections

2014

Hochul with assembly majority leader Joseph Morelle at the 2014 Labor Day parade in Rochester, New York

After her departure from Congress, Hochul worked as a government relations executive for the Buffalo-based M&T Bank.[7]

In 2014, Robert Duffy announced that he would not run for reelection as lieutenant governor.[57] Incumbent Governor Cuomo was running for a second term. After Duffy’s announcement, Cuomo named Hochul as his choice for lieutenant governor.[58] On May 22, 2014, the delegates to the state Democratic convention formally endorsed Hochul for lieutenant governor.[59]

In September, Cuomo and Hochul won their Democratic primary elections, with Hochul defeating Timothy Wu.[60] They were also the Working Families Party nominees.[61] (In New York, candidates for governor and lieutenant governor are nominated separately, but run as a ticket in the general election.)[62] In November, the Cuomo/Hochul ticket won the general election.[63] Hochul was sworn in as lieutenant governor on January 1, 2015.[64]

2018

In the 2018 Democratic primary for lieutenant governor of New York, Hochul defeated Jumaane Williams, a member of the New York City Council, 53.3%–46.7%.[65][66] In the November 6 general election, the Cuomo-Hochul ticket defeated the Republican ticket of Marc Molinaro and Julie Killian, 59.6%–36.2%.[67]

Tenure

Cuomo tasked Hochul with chairing the 10 regional economic development councils that are the centerpiece of the administration’s economic development plan.[68] The councils’ goal is to build upon the strengths of each region to develop individualized long-term strategic plans.

Cuomo appointed Hochul to chair the Task Force on Heroin and Opioid Abuse and Addiction. In this capacity, she convened eight outreach sessions across New York State to hear from experts and community members in search of answers to the heroin crisis and works to develop a comprehensive strategy for New York.[69]

Hochul spearheaded Cuomo’s “Enough is Enough” campaign to combat sexual assault on college campuses beginning in 2015, hosting and attending more than 25 events.[70][71][72] In March 2016, Cuomo named her to the New York State Women’s Suffrage 100th Anniversary Commemoration Commission.[73]

In 2018, Hochul supported legislation to provide driver’s licenses to undocumented immigrants, which she had opposed as Erie County Clerk in 2007. While Hochul had said in 2007 that she would seek to have any such applicants arrested if the proposal was implemented, in 2018 she said circumstances had changed.[74][75]

On May 30, 2018, State Senate Democrats hoped to force a vote on an abortion rights bill known as the Reproductive Health Act. Hochul was prepared to cast a tie-breaking vote on a hostile amendment; with one Republican senator away from Albany on military duty, the Senate Republican Conference and the Senate Democratic conference each had 31 members in the chamber. But Senate Republicans “abruptly shut down business and pulled all the bills for the day” when Hochul entered the Senate chamber. She called the GOP’s actions “reprehensible” and “cowardly”, adding, “The governor and I are offended by the actions taken here today in the Senate.”[76]

Hochul presided over the Senate chamber on June 5, 2018, when Senate Republicans called for the override of Cuomo’s veto of a bill relating to full-day kindergarten classes. The override passed by a large margin, and was the first veto override to occur during Cuomo’s gubernatorial tenure.[77]

At a July 2018 rally with Planned Parenthood, Hochul called upon the Republican-led State Senate to reconvene in Albany to pass the Reproductive Health Act. She asserted that the potential confirmation of then-Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh made this necessary.[78][79] The Act was reintroduced in January 2019 and passed the same month with wide margins in the state House and Senate.

Governor of New York (2021–present)

Hochul being sworn in as Governor of New York on August 24, 2021

In a press briefing on August 10, 2021, Andrew Cuomo announced his resignation as governor, effective August 24. Cuomo was accused of multiple instances of sexual misconduct.[80][81] Hochul said that New York attorney general Letitia James‘s report on Cuomo documented “repulsive and unlawful behavior”[82] and praised his decision to resign.[83] Of her time as lieutenant governor and relationship with Cuomo, Hochul has said: “I think it’s very clear that the governor and I have not been close.”[84]

Hochul was sworn in as governor at 12:00 AM Eastern Time (ET) on August 24 by New York Chief Judge Janet DiFiore in a private ceremony. A public ceremonial event was held later that morning at the State Capitol’s Red Room.[2] Hochul is the state’s first female governor.[2] She is also the first New York governor from outside New York City and its immediate suburbs since 1932 (when Franklin Delano Roosevelt left office).[2] Hochul also became the first governor from north of Hyde Park since Nathan L. Miller in 1922, in addition to being the first governor from Western New York since Horace White in 1910 and the first governor from Buffalo since Grover Cleveland in 1885.[85] On August 12, Hochul confirmed that she planned to run for a full term as governor in 2022.[86] She was the first Democrat to announce a 2022 gubernatorial candidacy after Cuomo said he would resign.[87]

In August 2021, The Daily Beast and The Buffalo News reported on a potential conflict of interest between Hochul’s role as governor and the high-level executive position held by her husband, William Hochul, at Delaware North, a Buffalo-based casino and hospitality company. Delaware North has stated that William Hochul will be prohibited from working on any matter that involves state business, oversight, or regulation. A spokesman for Kathy Hochul has said that she had a recusal policy as lieutenant governor and would maintain that policy as governor.[88][89]

On August 26, 2021, Hochul appointed State Senator Brian Benjamin to the position of lieutenant governor of New York.[90] Benjamin was sworn in on September 9, 2021.[91][92]

Hochul discussing East Side Access in October 2021

In November 2021, Hochul pushed to end remote work during the COVID-19 pandemic and to return workers to offices.[93] That same month, Hochul offered her plans to redevelop Manhattan’s Pennsylvania Station and the surrounding neighborhood. In her plans, she called for reducing density in the area.[94][95]

In December 2021, Hochul announced the reinstatement of an indoor mask mandate amid the spread of the Omicron variant.[96]

In January 2022, she expanded an existing vaccine mandate for healthcare workers to include a booster shot requirement.[97] Also in January 2022, Hochul confirmed that New York’s eviction moratorium would expire on January 15. She announced that she would sign on to a letter with other governors to the federal government asking for more rent assistance, after New York received only $27.2 million of its nearly $1 billion request. Tenant advocates and other politicians have pushed her and state lawmakers to pass the Good Cause eviction bill, which would give tenants the right to a lease renewal in most cases, cap rent increases, and require landlords to obtain a judge’s order to evict tenants.[98]

In March 2022, Hochul reached an agreement with the Buffalo Bills to have taxpayers pay $850 million for the construction of a new stadium, as well as commit to maintain and repair the stadium.[99][100] It was set to be the largest taxpayer contribution ever for a National Football League facility.[99] The agreement was released four days before the state budget was due to be passed, making it hard for lawmakers to scrutinize it.[99] Critics of the agreement characterized it as corporate welfare.[99] Part of the funding for the stadium came from a payment from the Seneca Nation of New York, whose bank accounts had been recently frozen as part of a long-running dispute between the Seneca Nation and the State of New York over the Seneca Nation’s refusal to pay certain fees related to casino gaming despite being ordered to do so by multiple judicial bodies.[101][102][103]

On April 12, 2022, Brian Benjamin resigned as lieutenant governor after having been indicted earlier that day on federal charges of bribery, conspiracy to commit wire fraud, wire fraud, and falsification of records.[104][105][106] The crimes of which Benjamin is accused were allegedly committed during his State Senate tenure.[107] He has pleaded not guilty to all charges.[108]

On May 3, 2022, Hochul selected U.S. Representative Antonio Delgado to serve as lieutenant governor of New York.[109][110] Delgado was sworn in on May 25.[111]

On June 22, 2022, Hochul announced a $300 million plan to rebuild infrastructure in western New York communities with public and private funding.[112]

In 2022, a citizens’ group called Uniting NYS and a group of state legislators sued Hochul in the New York State Supreme Court in George M. Borrello et al. v. Kathleen C. Hochul et al. to prevent implementation of a recently created state department of health policy enabling health practitioners to refer even asymptomatic patients suspected of having been exposed to a contagious illness for possible involuntary detention backed by law enforcement, with the option of holding detainees incommunicado.[113] The policy had been created without consulting the state legislature and did not require an emergency to be implemented. New York Supreme Court Justice Ronald Ploetz ruled against Hochul on the grounds of unconstitutionality under the separation of powers doctrine of both the state and federal constitutions, as well as on the grounds that the policy was cruel and lacked due process.[114] The New York state attorney general and Hochul are filing an appeal to retain the regulations, and the appeal is being challenged.[115]

In late 2022, Hochul delayed the signing of the Digital Fair Repair Act, a bill that received rare bipartisan support. The delay was allegedly due to major equipment manufacturers’ lobbying efforts.[116] On December 28, 2022, Hochul signed the Digital Fair Repair Act (Senate bill 4104-A) into law, but not before adding an amendment that equipment manufacturers “may provide assemblies of parts rather than individual components”.[117] Independent repair analysts such as Louis Rossmann have claimed these amendments undermine the bill’s purpose, and allege codification into law of “unethical practices”.[118]

2022 election

On February 17, 2022, the New York State Democratic Convention endorsed Hochul for governor. As of that month, she had raised $21 million in campaign funds.[119] Hochul won a full term in office, defeating Republican nominee Lee Zeldin in the closest New York gubernatorial election since 1994 and the closest Democratic victory since 1982. Hochul’s election marked the first time a woman was elected governor of New York.[120]

First full term

Hochul was inaugurated to her first full term as governor on January 1, 2023.[121] One of her first actions was to nominate Hector LaSalle for the vacant position of chief judge of the New York Court of Appeals. LaSalle’s nomination drew opposition from a wide variety of Democratic groups and constituencies, including numerous unions and trade groups, criminal justice advocates, elected officeholders, and local party affiliates, who raised concerns about his track record on issues relating to abortion, criminal justice, corporate interests, and the environment. Many also suggested that he would do little to stem, or could even accelerate, the Court of Appeals’s rightward drift under the previous chief judge, Janet DiFiore.[122] Despite an extensive lobbying campaign by Hochul’s allies, including support from U.S. House Minority Leader Hakeem Jeffries, the Senate Judiciary Committee rejected LaSalle’s nomination by a 10–9 vote.[123] Hochul subsequently sued to demand a full floor vote. Democratic leadership then held a full Senate floor vote, which overwhelmingly rejected LaSalle’s nomination.[124] Hochul proceeded to nominate associate judge Rowan D. Wilson as chief judge and Caitlin Halligan as the replacement associate judge for Wilson. The New York Senate confirmed the nominations on April 19, 2023.[125][126]

Hochul has employed consulting firms Deloitte and Boston Consulting Group in preparing her State of the State address, an arrangement the New York Times in April 2023 called “unusual, and possibly novel”.[127]

In December 2023, Hochul vetoed legislation to ban non-compete agreements. Business interests lobbied her to veto it while labor supported it, arguing that non-compete agreements harm workers’ interests.[128][129]

In February 2024, during the Israeli invasion of Gaza, Hochul was keynote speaker at a United Jewish Appeal-Federation of New York event. During her speech, she made remarks implying that Israel had a right to destroy Gaza in response to the October 7, 2023, Hamas attack on Israel: “If Canada someday ever attacked Buffalo, I’m sorry, my friends, there would be no Canada the next day.”[130][131][132] Following angry responses from a wide range of parties—including public officials and the Buffalo chapter of Jewish Voice for Peace—Hochul apologized for her “inappropriate analogy”.[130][131]

In March 2024, Hochul instituted a policy in coordination with Eric Adams to deploy 750 National Guard soldiers to the NYC subway system and empower them to conduct random bag checks on subway-goers. She also put forth legislation to allow judges to ban criminals from riding the subway.[133][134]

On June 5, 2024, Hochul indefinitely halted implementation of a congestion pricing plan in the most congested parts of Manhattan just weeks before it was to go into effect.[135] The plan was approved in 2019 and was expected to bring in $1 billion in revenue per year, making it the MTA’s largest source of funding.[136] At the time of the cancellation, the MTA had already purchased $500 million for equipment needed for congestion pricing and earmarked $15 billion for projects it expected to fund with the revenue.[136] Hochul proposed raising the city’s payroll tax for business owners to cover the lost revenue from the cancellation of the congestion pricing,[137] which New York lawmakers declined to consider.[138] Her decision received widespread backlash, especially among state lawmakers,[139] business leaders,[140] and climate activists.[141]

On June 7, 2024, Hochul defended her sudden decision to block the congestion pricing plan based in part on conversations with New Yorkers, particularly from a Manhattan diner, and claimed that the plan would “suck the vitality out of this city when we’re still fighting for our comeback”. Lawmakers said her plan to raise payroll taxes to cover the lost revenue ran contrary to her reason for halting the program, and that the sudden tax hike would incapacitate the city’s post-COVID-19 economic recovery. Democratic Senate Deputy Leader Michael Gianaris condemned how the agreed-upon program was derailed “at the last possible moment” before giving lawmakers less than 48 hours to create an alternative funding plan, calling it “irresponsible” and “inconsistent with principles of good governance”.[142] Senator Zellnor Myrie called it “incomprehensible” that Hochul could claim to care about cost of living while proposing a tax hike.[143]

In June 2024, Hochul proposed banning face masks on the New York City Subway in response to groups of protesters she said were conducting antisemitic acts and confronting people while covering their faces. Organizations such as the New York Civil Liberties Union criticized the proposal as a means to target protesters who hide their identities to avoid legal or professional repercussions, saying it would be selectively used to “arrest, doxx, surveil, and silence people of color and protesters the police disagree with”.[144]

Political views

Trade

On September 17, 2011, Robert J. McCarthy noted that Hochul and her election opponent Jack Davis agreed on their opposition to free trade. “We saw what happened with NAFTA; the promises never materialized,” she said of the North American Free Trade Agreement. “If I have to stand up to my own party on this, I’m willing to do so.”[145]

Energy

During her congressional campaign, Hochul favored offering incentives to develop alternative energy.[26]

In June 2011, Hochul opposed legislation that would cut funding for the Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) by 44%, on the grounds that the CFTC curbs speculation in oil and the resulting layoffs of CFTC personnel would “make it easier for Big Oil companies and speculators to take advantage of … consumers”.[146]

Fiscal issues

While running for Congress, Hochul supported raising taxes on those making more than $500,000 per year.[26] She opposed new free trade agreements then under consideration, saying, “We don’t need to look any further than Western New York to see that these policies do not work.” She believes that free trade agreements such as NAFTA and CAFTA have suppressed U.S. wages and benefits and caused job loss in the U.S.[147]

Hochul acknowledged during her campaign that substantial cuts must be made in the federal budget, and said she would consider cuts in all entitlement programs. But she expressed opposition to the Republican plan that would turn Medicare into a voucher system, saying it “would end Medicare as we know it”.[26][148] She said money could be saved in the Medicare program by eliminating waste and purchasing prescription drugs in bulk,[26] and that the creation of more jobs would alleviate Medicare and Social Security budget shortfalls due to increased collections of payroll taxes.[26]

On November 19, 2011, Brian Tumulty of WGRZ reported that Hochul had voted for a balanced budget amendment, which she called “a bipartisan solution”.[149]

In July 2023, in response to a statewide workforce shortage, Hochul waived exam application fees for all New York State civil service exams through the end of 2025 to make it easier to join the state workforce.[150][151][152]

Health care

Hochul expressed support for the Affordable Care Act passed by the 111th Congress and said during her campaign that she would not vote to repeal it.[26] In response to a constituent’s question during a town hall meeting in February 2012, she was booed for saying that the federal government was “not looking to the Constitution” under the Obama administration requirement that employers provide their workers with insurance coverage for birth control.[153][154] A spokesman later said she had misspoken, but did not clarify her answer.[154]

Hochul has said she is pro-choice[155] and called the overturning of Roe v. Wade a “grave injustice”.[156]

Immigration

In 2023, Hochul advocated that the federal government expedite work permits to migrants to address a surge of immigration to New York, writing to President Joe Biden, “For me, the answer to these two crises—a humanitarian crisis and our workforce crisis—is so crystal clear and common sense. Let them get the work authorizations; let them work; legally, let them work.”[157]

Personal life

Hochul is married to William J. Hochul Jr., the former United States Attorney for the Western District of New York,[158] who is also the senior vice president, general counsel, and secretary to Delaware North, a hospitality and gambling company. They have two children.[147][158] Hochul is Catholic.[159]

Hochul is a founder of Kathleen Mary House, a transitional home for women and children who are victims of domestic violence. She has served on the organization’s board.[147][160] She also co-founded the Village Action Coalition, and, as of 2011, was a member of the board of trustees of Immaculata Academy in Hamburg, New York.[147]

Electoral history

Special election May 24, 2011, U.S. House of Representatives, NY-26[49]
PartyCandidateVotes%
DemocraticKathy Courtney Hochul47,51942.58
Working FamiliesKathy Courtney Hochul5,1944.65
TotalKathy Courtney Hochul52,71347.24
RepublicanJane L. Corwin35,72132.01
ConservativeJane L. Corwin9,0908.15
IndependenceJane L. Corwin2,3762.13
TotalJane L. Corwin47,18742.28
Tea PartyJack Davis10,0298.99
GreenIan L. Murphy1,1771.05
Blank and void2590.23
Scattering2320.21
Total votes111,597 100.0
Turnout 
Democratic gain from Republican
New York’s 27th congressional district, 2012[161]
PartyCandidateVotes%
RepublicanChris Collins137,25043.2
ConservativeChris Collins23,9707.6
TotalChris Collins161,22050.8
DemocraticKathy Hochul140,00844.1
Working FamiliesKathy Hochul16,2115.1
TotalKathy Hochul (incumbent)156,21949.2
Total votes317,439 100.0
Republican gain from Democratic
2014 Democratic primary results
Lieutenant Governor of New York[162]
PartyCandidateVotes%
DemocraticKathy Hochul 329,089 60.20%
DemocraticTim Wu217,61439.80%
Total votes546,703 100.00%
2018 Democratic primary results
Lieutenant Governor of New York[163]
PartyCandidateVotes%
DemocraticKathy Hochul (incumbent) 733,591 53.3%
DemocraticJumaane Williams641,63346.7%
Total votes1,375,224 100%
2022 Democratic primary results
Governor of New York[164]
PartyCandidateVotes%
DemocraticKathy Hochul (incumbent) 575,067 67.6
DemocraticJumaane Williams164,41019.3
DemocraticThomas Suozzi111,00013.1
Total votes850,477 100
2022 New York gubernatorial election[165]
PartyCandidateVotes%±%
Democratic
  • Kathy Hochul
  • Antonio Delgado
2,879,09248.77%-7.39%
Working Families
  • Kathy Hochul
  • Antonio Delgado
261,3234.33%+2.45%
Total

3,140,41553.20%-6.42%
Republican
  • Lee Zeldin
  • Alison Esposito
2,449,39441.49%+9.89%
Conservative
  • Lee Zeldin
  • Alison Esposito
313,1875.31%+1.15%
Total
2,762,58146.80%+10.59%
Total votes5,788,802 100.0%
Turnout5,902,99647.74%
Registered electors12,124,242
Democratic hold

See also

Explanatory notes

  1. ^ Elected on both Democratic Party and WFP ballot lines in New York via electoral fusion.[1]

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