Governor Andrew M. Cuomo’s 2021 State of the State Address

Governor Cuomo’s 2021 agenda - Reimagine | Rebuild | Renew - features proposals to defeat COVID-19, jumpstart New York's economic recovery; create a fairer, more just state; become a leader in the growing green energy economy; and rebuilding and strengthening New York's infrastructure.

In delivering his annual address Governor Cuomo said “[T]here are episodes in history that transform society and COVID is one of those moments. We see the risk and peril, but we also see the promise and potential of this moment. This next year we will see economies realign and reset around the world and New York will lead the way. In a moment when nagging insecurity can either limit your potential or give way to the energy of urgency, necessity, and innovation, we know the direction we are headed - it is our state motto, Excelsior- ever upwards." 


Passing the Medical Supplies Act: To promote domestic manufacturing of critical medical equipment and to reduce dependency on overseas products, Governor Cuomo is proposing that New York pass the Medical Supplies Act to prioritize buying American-made PPE and medical supplies.

Comprehensive Telehealth Legislation: In partnership with the Reimagine New York Commission, the Governor will enact comprehensive telehealth reform to help New Yorkers take advantage of telehealth tools and address existing roadblocks. These reforms will address key issues like adjusting reimbursement incentives to encourage telehealth, eliminating outdated regulatory prohibitions on the delivery of telehealth, removing outdated location requirements, addressing technical unease among both patients and providers through training programs, and establishing other programs to incentivize innovative uses of telehealth.

Ensuring Social and Racial Justice for the Vaccination Effort: In order to ensure the vaccine is distributed equitably, especially in communities of color, Governor Cuomo created the New York Vaccine Equity Task Force to assist in overcoming existing barriers to vaccination and increase access to vaccines in Black, Hispanic, Asian, Native American, rural, poor, and public housing communities, as well as other health care deserts.

New York State Public Health Corps: To support New York's massive effort to vaccinate nearly 20 million New Yorkers and support other public health emergency responses, Governor Cuomo is proposing the launch of the nation's first public health corps. As part of the effort, up to 1,000 fellows will be recruited to assist with vaccination operations.

Free Citizen Public Health Training: To empower and educate New Yorkers to be prepared for the next public health crises, the State will develop a free citizen public health training program with Cornell, offered online, to educate and certify thousands of New Yorkers to be prepared to volunteer to help their communities the next time there is a health emergency.

Pass a Comprehensive Adult-Use Cannabis Program: The Governor is proposing the creation of a new Office of Cannabis Management to oversee a new adult-use cannabis program, as well as the State's existing medical and cannabinoid hemp programs. Additionally, an equitable structure for the adult-use market will be created by offering licensing opportunities and assistance to entrepreneurs in communities of color who have been disproportionately impacted by the war on drugs.

Enabling Online Sports Betting: Under Governor Cuomo's proposal, the New York State Gaming Commission will issue a request for proposals to select one or more providers to offer mobile sports wagering in New York. This platform must have a partnership with at least one of the existing licensed commercial casinos.

Facilitating the Creation of Statewide Childcare Options: To make child care more affordable and equitable for our most vulnerable children and their parents, $40 million will be made available to reduce the burden of parent subsidy copays. The Governor will direct the Office of Children and Family Services and the Council on Children and Families to identify opportunities for reform and streamlining;  and eliminate redundant background checks that increase administrative burdens and costs for providers.

Streamlining and Enhancing Work to Address Gender-Based Violence: The Governor is proposing a comprehensive package of initiatives to combat domestic violence and gender-based violence. Additionally, the Office for the Prevention of Domestic Violence will be transformed into the Office to End Domestic and Gender-Based Violence, and will be tasked with addressing the intersection of the many forms of intimate partner violence, including domestic violence and sexual violence.

Providing Rent and Mortgage Relief for Tenants and Small Business Owners:  Governor Cuomo will codify his Executive Order banning fees for late and missed rent payments during the pandemic and allowing tenants to use their security deposit as immediate payment and repay the deposit over time, keeping those protections in place through May 1. The Governor will also codify his Executive Order to establish a statewide moratorium on commercial evictions until May 1 for commercial tenants who have endured COVID-related hardship.

Eliminating Health Care Premiums for Low-Income New Yorkers: Through New York's successful health insurance exchange, the New York State of Health, low-income families qualify for the state's Essential Plan for free or with a maximum premium of $20 a month per person. To make coverage more affordable for low-income New Yorkers, these monthly premiums will be eliminated for over 400,000 New Yorkers, saving families nearly $100 million per year in premiums and enrolling 100,000 New Yorkers who are currently uninsured.

Strengthening and Expanding Access to Elections: Building from New York's previous election reforms, Governor Cuomo is proposing to expand access to voting and improve procedures to speed up vote counting, and add additional time for early voting. Specifically:

Creatively Repurposing Underutilized Commercial Space for Additional Housing: Governor Cuomo will propose legislation to create a five-year period during which property owners may convert office buildings and hotels in New York City to residential use. Stimulating housing conversion will create thousands of good-paying jobs, increase housing affordability, and support long-term economic growth by helping New York's employers attract and retain talent.