New York State Has a New Governor

New York State Has a New Governor

by Joseph Krupka

On August 24th, 2021 Kathy Hochul officially took the office of her predecessor Andrew Cuomo and was sworn in as governor of New York state. Cuomo resigned due to the increasing reality of the alleged sexual allegations against him and the nursing home controversy that occurred during the pandemic. Hochul had been Cuomo’s lieutenant governor since 2015. She became the first female governor of New York.

Hochul had a busy agenda when she took office. First, she had to address mask wearing in schools. When Kathy Hochul was asked whether or not masks will be mandatory in schools for the 21-22 school year, she said, “Get used to it, my friends.” Masks, however, will not be required in NY schools if the student is two years old or younger. You will still need to wear a mask in schools even if you have been fully vaccinated. Hochul said that since the new Delta variant is on the rise (as well as cases with children) she feels it very important to have us wearing masks in schools. She also later said she will be working with school boards and different superintendents to require vaccinations at schools since she can’t mandate them herself. Along with the mask regulations, Hochul also set up 120 new popup vaccination sites across NY for the next 12 weeks to increase vaccination rates among “Younger New Yorkers”. She calls it “#Vaxtoschool”. They also have an Instagram account called “@VaccinateNY”.

Hochul also had other items on her agenda as she took office. To help aid the state’s school bus driver shortage, she passed legislation so that all traditional and nontraditional Commercial Driver License holders can now become bus drivers. She also got rid of the fourteen day waiting  period in between the written and driving test for a CDL.  

One of the first bills passed that Hochul passed is legislation (A.4302/S.2758) that says that all passenger cars/trucks that are sold after 2035 must have zero emissions. Governor Hochul explained that the number one source of pollution in the state currently is coming from the transportation sector. This new law is also directed towards any new off-road vehicles and new construction equipment. Car manufacturers have until 2023 to have a plan in development for producing a zero emissions vehicle.