Kathy Hochul takes a dig at the former Governor Andrew Cuomo by forcing all government employees to take a live sexual harassment training course so they can’t just ‘click through.’
In her first address to New York, Governor Hochul outlined her new agenda. On the list: getting kids back to school and enforcing a universal mask policy, giving renters eviction aid, changing the culture of Albany, and making it mandatory to have all government employees attend a live sexual harassment training.
She told the people of New Yorkers: ‘Today, I am directing an overhaul on state government policies on sexual harassment and ethics. Starting with requiring all training be done live, instead of allowing people to click their way through a class.
‘In a new era of transparency – one of my hallmarks of my administration – to me, it’s very simple: We will focus on open, ethical governing that New Yorkers will trust.’
She will be directing state entities to review their compliancy with state transparency laws and provide a public report with their findings.
Hochul has said she plans to ‘change the culture of Albany’ after she took over as governor of New York on Tuesday from Andrew Cuomo, after her predecessor was mired in sexual harassment allegations.
Hochul vowed to bring new energy and urgency to solving immense challenges as she took over an administration criticized for inaction during Andrew Cuomo’s distracted final months in office.
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Hochul, a Democrat and former member of Congress from western New York, took the oath of office just after midnight in a brief, private event overseen by the state’s chief judge, Janet DiFiore, who wore robes the first woman judge on the state court of appeals had worn.
At another, ceremonial swearing-in Tuesday morning at the New York State Capitol, Hochul promised a ‘fresh, collaborative approach’ in state government.
‘I want people to believe in their government again. It’s important to me that people have faith,’ she said.
Hochul faces questions about how she’ll change the culture of governance in New York, following Cuomo’s administration that favored force over charm.
She noted that she’d already begun speaking with other Democratic leaders who have, for years, complained about being shut out of key decisions and bullied by Cuomo, including New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio.
Hochul also thanked her ‘big Irish Catholic’ family, including her two children and Bill Hochul, her husband of over 30 years. Her immediate family sat in the front row, wearing masks and spaced slightly apart. Hochul, her daughter and daughter-in law wore white to honor suffragists who fought for voting rights.
Over the next few months, Hochul, who was a little-known figure as lieutenant governor, will have an opportunity to reshape the way power works in Albany, where Cuomo dominated decision-making for years before being felled in a sexual harassment scandal.
For generations, it’s been said that all of the real decisions in the state government were made by ‘three men in a room,’ the governor and the leaders of the state Senate and Assembly