Governor Kathy Hochul’s 2023 State of the State Address

Today, Governor Kathy Hochul delivered her second State of the State address.  While this was her second address, it was her first address as the elected Governor.  During her address, Governor Hochul laid out her vision for leading New York State. The Governor set an optimistic and hopeful tone for the future of the State but noted that there was much to be done to reach that future.  The Governor pledged a collaborative approach, aiming to work with the Legislature, municipalities, and businesses across New York for the people of New York State.

The State of the State contained numerous policy proposals, and the Governor also made clear that the economic outlook for 2023 is far less rosy than it was in 2022. Nonetheless, the Governor announced that she will not be proposing or supporting an increase in personal income taxes.

The Governor’s address highlighted a few key areas. To accompany her State of the State speech, the Governor released a briefing book containing more detail on her priority areas.  In her briefing book, the Governor laid out her vision in fourteen main topics areas including: housing, mental health, public safety, healthcare, climate change, inflation, education, attracting and growing New York businesses, agriculture, enhancement of social protections, expanding childcare, transportation, and improving state government.  We are reviewing this briefing book and will send along proposals of interest.

During her address, the Governor did not delve into the specifics of many of the proposals, and while the briefing book provides a high-level overview of many of the proposals, we anticipate more details will emerge during her upcoming Budget address, which will occur at the end of January.  Once she delivers her budget address, the Governor and the Legislature will then work towards negotiating a final budget by the April 1 deadline.

Some of the highlights from Governor Hochul’s State of the State address include:

Minimum Wage

The Governor is proposing automatic increases to the minimum wage to keep pace with future inflation.  After reaching $15/hour, each region’s minimum wage would increase yearly based on the consumer price index. To help ensure that no single-year increase would threaten employment, there would be an off-ramp built into the proposal to allow annual increases to be capped or delayed in the event of certain economic conditions.


To help stem the tide of New Yorkers moving out of the State, the Governor has set a goal that New York will build 800,000 new homes with the New York Housing Compact. The Compact is intended as a statewide strategy to reduce barriers to housing, and it centers on three- year new-home-creation targets that will apply to all municipalities.  Additionally, the Governor is proposing legislation that will expand which commercial buildings are eligible to be converted into residential use, which would make an estimated 120 million square feet eligible for conversion.

Mental Health

In discussing New Yorkers’ concerns regarding public safety, the Governor linked making the State safer to improving mental health services.  The Governor announced the intent to invest $1 billion to transform New York’s mental health system. This multi-year plan would increase insurance coverage for mental health services, increase the operational capacity for inpatient psychiatric treatment by 1,000 beds, create 3,500 units of housing for New Yorkers with mental illness, and expand access to mental health services in schools.  Additionally, the Governor announced the intent to substantially expand outpatient services for mental health services.

As noted above, we will send along specific proposals of interest as we identify them and will share more information and detail as it becomes available.

As always, please let us know if you have any questions.

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