In response to Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s 2021 State of the State address on Monday, Conservative Party of New York State Chairman Gerard Kassar said, “Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s State of the State was a pure political speech that failed to address the structural fiscal situation that multiplied the costs of the COVID-19 pandemic.
“There were no details as to when he intends to return control of the government back to its duly elected representatives, nor when businesses can return to their normal operations, in fact, he noted that further business closings may be needed.
“Gov. Cuomo’s reliance on the federal government bailout is as shortsighted as his reliance on the sale of recreational marijuana and the institution of mobile sports betting. Bad ideas remain bad ideas even if it helps you gain revenue.
“New Yorkers need a governor that is willing to make the structural changes necessary and show the leadership to provide a path to economic recovery, not the Pollyanna statements made to placate progressives.”
Assemblyman Mike Norris, R-C-Lockport, said, “Here are the real facts before COVID-19 even existed: New York has led the nation in population loss, with over 1 million people leaving over the past decade for greener pastures, our debt is second in the nation only to California, and our state budget with mounting deficits every year continues to be larger than states like Florida and Texas.
“Now with the COVID-19 crisis, the state faces a $15 billion deficit, small businesses and restaurants have been forced to shut down due to no fault of their own, thousands of workers are unemployed and employers struggling to survive, and many parents are attempting to educate their children from home with no access to broadband.
“COVID-19 has shaken our state and its economy, but New York has had a tax-and-spend problem and population exodus way before this virus hit it. There is no question that the virus has pushed New York even closer to the brink.
“We don’t need any more talk. We need action. We need to get our restaurants and small businesses currently restricted or closed opened safely and provide them real relief to recover. We need to ensure the allocated vaccinations are being distributed promptly. We need broadband access available at every home, business and farm, now. Lastly, we need to be bold and reimagine how we operate this state’s finances so hardworking taxpayers and families are no longer forced to leave because of high taxes and burdensome state regulations.
New York State Republican Chairman Nick Langworthy said, “The state of our state is that New York is in crisis.
“We are facing a fiscal crisis, a public safety crisis, a population crisis. …
“But most of all we are facing a leadership crisis.
“The chief executive of this state – Gov. Andrew Cuomo – has not just presided over New York’s decline this past decade, he is the architect of it.
“By any objective measure, New York is in serious trouble.
“The state of our state requires a sense of urgency and action.
“This isn’t the time to pull punches – New Yorkers need to hear it straight. They want the truth.
“Cuomo was right about one thing – New York is suffering and abused – but it's at the hands of our own state government.
“Our problems started long before COVID and they aren’t the fault of anyone else, including the federal government – they are the direct result of bad state policies.
“They are the direct result of a governor who is only consumed with his own power and publicity, while everything he touches is corrupted, mismanaged or destroyed.
“COVID is perhaps the best example of the charade he has tried to perpetuate on New Yorkers.
“The governor deserves credit for knowing how to put on a show – heck, he earned an Emmy for it.
“He was filtered into everyone’s living rooms talking about mama’s meatballs, the boyfriend and movie night with his daughters.
“But for the other 23 hours a day when the bright lights of the cameras were off, Andrew Cuomo was mismanaging this virus.
“His deadly order that forced nursing homes to accept COVID-positive patients and prohibited testing led to the deaths of more than 12,000 elderly New Yorkers. He was the only governor in America who adopted that combination of deadly policies.
“We still don’t even know the true number of deaths because he’s engaged in a coverup.
“His petty power-struggle with New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio has created chaos, confusion and frustration among New Yorkers.
“His unemployment system was a colossal failure, taking months for New Yorkers to register and receive their first check.
“His arbitrary and punitive shutdowns have been ruled unconstitutional and destroyed the livelihoods of low and middle-income New Yorkers who were already struggling to make ends meet in the tax and regulatory hell that is the state of New York.
“He changes the rules to suit his whims, without a care for how it impacts people’s lives.
“Our small businesses were shut down, while big box stores thrived. The governor called them ‘essential.’
“To this day, businesses like restaurants are shut down to indoor dining, despite a transmission rate of only 1.4% by this own math.
“That is lower than New York City schools, which the governor called the safest place to be, but in Cuomo’s New York, facts are applied very subjectively.
“What’s worse, is that as New Yorkers were dying and having their livelihoods and their futures stolen from them overnight, Cuomo was focused on making a crude commemorative self-congratulatory poster and writing a memoir.
“We have the worst death rate of any state in the nation, nearly 39,000 New Yorkers. Close to double that of Florida, which has a greater population.
“There was light at the end of the tunnel thanks to Operation Warp Speed and the response of the Trump administration that delivered the vaccine to New York, but once again Cuomo’s mismanagement is preventing it from getting into people’s arms.
“New York lags behind 26 other states in getting the vaccine administered and currently 66% of doses are sitting on the shelves in New York City.
“Medical providers were forced to throw precious vaccines away because they couldn’t find eligible recipients that fit into the governor’s restrictive and complicated guidelines.
“It’s a disgrace.
“The governor announced that drug addicts and sex offenders in prison would have access to the vaccination before the NYPD or the elderly.
“The gross absurdity of it is almost too much to believe.
“But that is the truth we live in as New Yorkers.
“More than a third of our small businesses are permanently closed.
“More than half of our restaurants are facing the same fate.
“New York’s economic recovery has been one of the slowest in the nation, bogged down by our highest-in-the-nation taxes, worst business climate and most onerous regulations.
“New York’s economy was on its knees before COVID – now it is in a full-blown death spiral.
“We are facing a $59 billion shortfall.
“$59 BILLION DOLLARS!
“And the governor and Democrat-controlled Legislature’s only plan to address it is through higher taxes, sports betting and marijuana.
“That is not going to solve this crisis.
“New York doesn’t have a revenue problem – we have a tax and spend problem.
“The only result raising taxes will have is sending more residents and jobs fleeing out of New York.
“Our population continues to decline more than any state in the nation.
“We are hemorrhaging people and jobs. Goldman Sachs has added itself to the growing chorus of Wall Street firms moving out of New York.
“The financial services industry is critical to New York. Not only for the good jobs they provide, but for the enormous tax revenue that they contribute.
“Another important industry – real estate – has been decimated. The Democrat leaders who run New York have enacted extreme liberal policies that have trampled on property owners’ rights.
“Our poor economic policies are compounded by the very dangerous destruction of our criminal justice system.
“New Yorkers have watched as violent career criminals are emboldened by a new revolving door system of justice and the elimination of cash bail, courtesy of Cuomo and NY Democrats.
“Two decades of falling crime rates in New York City have been reversed and replaced with horrifying statistics.
“Murders are up 40%.
“Burglaries are up 41% and shootings have doubled.
“Our brave men and women in law enforcement are demoralized and dejected by anti-police rhetoric and policies that put them in handcuffs instead of the criminals.
“This past summer, we watched as cities across New York were being destroyed by rioters and looters. Out-of-control mobs were burning small businesses and stealing people’s American Dream. Yet cowardly Democrat politicians across the state remained silent, too intimidated to cross the radical left who they are held hostage to.
“Our law enforcement needed help, but Cuomo refused to call in the National Guard and insulted them as simply meal delivery men and women.
“Hardworking, law-abiding New Yorkers and crime victims got the loud and clear message that they are not the priority of this government.
“That must change.
“Common sense must make a comeback in the state of New York.
“Families at home make hard decisions every day about how to manage their budgets and their priorities.
“It’s time for state government to start doing the same.
“What we do now will dictate what kind of state we have left for the next generation.
“How can we help those less fortunate if we have no one left to pay the bills?
“How can we create a safe community and help crime victims when we let their perpetrators right back out on the street?
“How can we help our immigrants and our young people realize their entrepreneurial dreams if we make it impossible to run a small business?
“What kind of state do we want for our kids and our grandchildren?
“Those are the questions every New Yorker must ask themselves.
“This governor has had 10 years in charge. He has a rubber-stamp Legislature who abdicated all their power to him.
“And I call on those leaders to take back their power – do your job. Speaker Heastie and Senate Leader Stewart Cousins were just sworn in and reelected to lead their chambers.
“They must start fulfilling their constitutional duties and return New York to representative democracy.
“We are not a monarchy or a dictatorship. New Yorkers must have a voice through their elected representatives.
“One person and one-party rule has not served this state well.
“New York Republicans have put forth an agenda that will revive our state.
“The recipe is not complicated.
“We need to tax less. Let hardworking New York taxpayers keep more of their money.
“We need to repeal the onerous regulations that act like a wet blanket on our ability to create and grow jobs.
“We need to spend within our means and stop wasting money.
“We need to send a message that if you violate someone’s safety, there will be consequences.
“We need to respect those who risk so much for our safety.
“And, most importantly, we need to return state government to the PEOPLE.
“There is much angst in our country right now. We truly are at a pivotal moment.
“People have lost trust in our institutions and been let down by those empowered with leading them.
“We are experiencing a trampling of our rights, a movement to suppress free speech and censorship at the highest levels by out-of-control Big Tech.
“Instead of working to bridge our divides, this governor has worked tirelessly to deepen them. He thrives on them, because for him, it is a deflection tool to distract from his failures.
“He needs New Yorkers to be angry and divided because uniting us will have devastating consequences for him.
“That is why he says things like conservatives have no place in New York.
“Since the events that unfolded last Wednesday, he had a chance to rise to the moment.
“To change his tone, his rhetoric and his partisanship.
“Instead, he and his taxpayer-funded staff have worked overtime ginning it up.
“He has failed to deliver, once again.
“New York used to be a symbol for hope and that anything is possible.
“Now, unfortunately, we are a symbol of failed leadership, failed policies and failed opportunities.
“We need a new dawn in this state.
“A new era, that respects the taxpaying, law-abiding citizens of New York.
“That decentralizes power from Albany and puts it back into the hands of its rightful owners –the people.
“The key to our future is not an extreme ideological agenda – it’s a return to common sense.
“We can rise up again. We can return New York to greatness.
“To be a state that attracts people and businesses – a state that embraces those who put it all on the line to fulfill their destiny.
“The phrase ‘New York tough’ is thrown around a lot – and New Yorkers are tough. But instead of forcing them to be tough to endure the hardships this state puts on them, let’s lift those burdens and invest that energy into our state’s future.
“The results will be transformative.
“I am asking you to join our mission. To reject the status quo.
“To reject decline and demand better from those in power.
“We can, because we are Americans and we are New Yorkers. There is nothing we cannot do when we put our hearts and minds together and fight for a better future.
“One nation ... one state ... under God, indivisible, with liberty and justice for all.”