Kathy Hochul became the first female governor of New York on Tuesday. She has integrated immense challenges as she has taken over the administration, which was facing criticism. Hochul is a Democrat and the former member of Congress for western New York. She took the oath of office after midnight briefly. State’s chief judge Janet DiFiore has overseen this event.
There was a ceremonial swearing which the administration planned on Tuesday morning. It was more pump than brief, which legally required the event during the night.
“I feel the weight of responsibility on my shoulders, and I’ll tell New Yorkers I’m up to the task. And I’m proud to be able to serve as their governor, and I won’t let them down,” Hochul said.
Over the next few months, Hochul will have the opportunity to reshape how power works in Albany. It has also been said that “three men in a room” have taken the real decisions in a state government.
For the first time in the state’s history, two of those three, Andrea Stewart and Hochul, are women. Speaker Carl Heastie is the only man who is leading the state Assembly.
Cuomo left the office at midnight after two weeks of the announcement that he would resign rather than facing an impeachment battle. Also, it seemed quite inevitable as a report from Attorney General Letitia James concluded that he had harassed 11 women sexually.
On this final day at the office, Cuomo released a farewell address. In the recording, he again said that he is innocent and portrayed himself as the victim of the media.
Hochul, the first female governor, had taken over the office with the state, which is still dealing with the rolling crisis due to the pandemic. In the coming week, she is expecting to decide whether to mandate masks for the children who are returning to school or not.
She will be under pressure to get the money for federal rent relief into the hands of tenants. $2 billion has been set aside to help New Yorkers to pay off the rent debt. It has also been distributed to date in the state, and thousands are now facing the possibility of eviction if the state allows for the expiration of the protection.
Hochul is now facing questions about whether she will change the governance culture in New York or not. Former Gov. David Paterson said she would need to restore faith in the administration.
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