“‘I Am Ultra-MAGA’: Invention of Elise Stefanik” (front page, Jan. 1) traces the evolution of an emerging congressional leader driven by a restless political ambition and a quest for power and influence.
Ms. Stefanik herself defends her shift from a moderate brand of Republicanism to a full-throated embrace of MAGA doctrine as simply reflecting the views among her constituents.
But surely we must demand more of our leaders than that they be mere conduits for expressing what they perceive to be the will of those they represent. True leadership does indeed involve taking into account the views of various constituents in shaping one’s words and actions, but ultimately grounding them in a set of principles that makes morality — the desire to do that which is right, fair and just — the force that most animates our exercise of leadership.
In his recent book about Abraham Lincoln, “And There Was Light,” Jon Meacham writes that “politics divorced from conscience is fatal to the American experiment in liberty under law.”
Representative Stefanik, along with anyone who aspires to a position of leadership, would do well to heed those words.
Elise Stefanik’s Gumby-like transformation from moderate Republican to ultra-MAGA Trumpster is emblematic of today’s G.O.P., which has now given us George Santos. Malleability and dissembling have replaced honesty and conviction.
Groucho Marx famously said, “Those are my principles, and if you don’t like them … well, I have others.”
Re “Don’t Expand the Child Tax Credit,” by Scott Winship (Opinion guest essay, Dec. 21):
Dr. Winship writes that while a short-term bump in the child tax credit has been shown to reduce child poverty, the long-term consequences are likely to be a disincentive for parents to work. This trope has been a conservative talking point going back to the Reagan administration.
The glaring omission in Mr. Winship’s analysis is the cost and unavailability of reliable, quality day care for low-income and single parents.
The Times recently published a hand-wringing article about the cost of day care, which can reach heights beyond that of college tuition. A Nov. 17 article in Fortune magazine bemoaned the frequency with which parents miss work for lack of child care, especially during winter flu and cold seasons.
When are conservatives going to see the elephant in the room? The problem is the cost and availability of child care, not parents’ inherent unwillingness to work if they receive a benefit in the form of a child tax credit from the government.
If the money from the tax credit enables a working-class parent to quit or reduce the hours of a undervalued, low-paying job and stay home to nurture and raise their children, to avoid the stress and anxiety of dealing with unreliable child care and transportation, what’s so wrong with that? Let them enjoy the same options more financially secure parents enjoy.
As Scott Winship explains in his essay, the expanded Child Tax Credit dramatically reduced child poverty in 2021. The monthly payments also reduced food insecurity and lessened parent financial stress.
But I disagree with Mr. Winship on one key point — the expanded Child Tax Credit wouldn’t dramatically change parents’ work behavior. Findings from the 2021 University of Chicago study he mentions have been rebutted by the libertarian-leaning Niskanen Center and other researchers. Evidence from the similar tax benefits in Canada also found no negative employment effects among parents.
If anything, a permanently expanded Child Tax Credit would, in the long run, support employment outcomes for parents and children. Providing additional cash to families improves outcomes in school, health and even future earnings.
In fact, the tax credit helped some parents work more hours. The payments allow parents to afford the transportation and child care needed to work.
The expanded Child Tax Credit supports children, families and our economies — in both the short and long term.
The writer is a senior policy analyst at the Center for Law and Social Policy.
Re “Hasidic Schools Seize on Special Ed Windfall” (front page, Dec. 29):
A few months ago, The Times published an article about how the Hasidim in New York City were failing to provide basic instruction in the state’s elementary and high school curriculums.
We now learn that they are labeling so many of their children disabled in a bid to obtain state and federal special education funds to augment their inferior schools and unjustly enrich their community. This fraudulent conduct takes scarce resources from the truly needy disabled children in other schools.
As a retired special education attorney, I was appalled that the school administration in New York has apparently shirked its responsibility to students and to the taxpayers by allowing this fraud to continue. At a minimum, it should have trained staff, if not a practicing attorney, at each hearing, forcing the students and parents to prove the disability and to prove what services are necessary.
It should also be conducting annual evaluations to determine the student’s progress and if special education and related services continue to be necessary. The burden of proof in these cases lies with the student and the parent.
The flood of cases will quickly wane when the parents realize that they will be on the hook for attorneys’ fees for both sides if they pursue untenable claims of disability. This can happen only if the public school administration does its job.
Re “Chief Justice Roberts Addresses Threats to Judges’ Safety in His Year-End Report” (news article, Jan. 1):
Chief Justice John Roberts is right to address threats to judges’ safety in his year-end report. I only wish he recognized the threat to women’s safety posed by the court’s Dobbs decision and the threat to the safety of us all posed by the court’s decision in New York State Rifle & Pistol Association Inc. v. Bruen.
Re “The Disappearing Act of a Magical Baby Toy” (Sunday Business, Dec. 25):
Whatever happened to picking up your crying baby so she can smell and feel the parent’s warm body and hear the parent’s soothing voice? Sure, clicking a switch on an electronic toy will stop a baby from crying, but that is not being a responsible parent.
Mayor Adams Announces Steps as New Concealed Carry
New Signage to be Posted to Warn Pedestrians When Entering “Sensitive Locations,” Like Times Square
City Website With Frequently Asked Questions Will Ensure New Yorkers Are Aware of New Regulations
NEW YORK – New York City Mayor Eric Adams today announced that the city is launching a comprehensive outreach plan to educate and inform New Yorkers about new state legislation, going into effect tomorrow, governing concealed carry regulations across the state. The provisions of the legislation will require concealed carry license applicants to meet revised eligibility requirements and complete a state-regulated firearms training course, as well as defines certain “sensitive locations” where concealed carry licensees are not permitted to carry guns within.
“The U.S. Supreme Court’s Bruen decision was the shot heard round the world that took dead aim at the safety of all New Yorkers. New York City will defend itself against this decision, and, beginning tomorrow, new eligibility requirements for concealed carry permit applicants and restrictions on the carrying of concealed weapons in ‘sensitive locations,’ like Times Square, take effect,” said Mayor Adams. “We will be posting signage at every entrance into Times Square informing those traveling through that the area is a gun-free zone and that licensed gun carriers and others may not enter with a gun unless otherwise specially authorized by law. As mayor of New York City and a former police officer, my top priority will always be the safety of all 8.8 million people who call this city home, so while the Supreme Court decision may have opened an additional river feeding the sea of gun violence, we are doing everything we can to dam it and keep New York the safest big city in America.”
Later today, the city will post temporary signage around Times Square informing those traveling through that the area is a gun-free zone, and licensed gun carriers and others may not enter with a firearm unless otherwise specially authorized by law. Signage will be posted at other “sensitive locations” in the near future.
The city will also launch a website tomorrow with Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) to educate New Yorkers about the law. The FAQs will provide an overview of the legislation and what changes New Yorkers can expect. The page will be updated periodically to respond to New Yorkers’ concerns and provide helpful information.
“In response to the Supreme Court’s decision to strike down New York’s century-old concealed carry law, we took swift and thoughtful action to keep New Yorkers safe,” said New York Governor Kathy Hochul. “I refuse to surrender my right as governor to protect New Yorkers from gun violence or any other form of harm. In New York state, we will continue leading the way forward and implementing common sense gun safety legislation.”
“Ignorance of the law is not an excuse to break it, but we are still committed to making it abundantly clear to every resident and visitor what the provisions and effects of this new legislation are,” said Deputy Mayor for Public Safety Philip Banks III. “What this decision doesn’t change is the fact that the NYPD and all of our public safety agencies remain focused on protecting this city. We have worked tirelessly with our law enforcement partners to prepare for the new regulations, and will continue to make safety priority #1 as this legislation goes into effect.”
“The state has developed a licensing regime that is consistent with Bruen and protective of commonsense eligibility requirements — and the city has worked in close coordination with our partners at the state level to implement the provisions going into effect this week,” said City Hall and Mayoral Chief Counsel Brendan McGuire. “We will continue to use every legal tool at our disposal to keep New Yorkers safe.”
“Nothing about the new requirements going into effect regarding legal firearm possession changes the fact that the NYPD remains prepared to ensure public safety in Times Square and elsewhere throughout New York City,” said New York City Police Department (NYPD) Commissioner Keechant L. Sewell. “The NYPD’s focus on detecting and interdicting illegal guns — and arresting those who unlawfully possess them — remains a cornerstone of our continuing fight to eradicate gun violence.”
“The city is committed to doing everything it can to assist in keeping New Yorkers safe,” said New York City Corporation Counsel Sylvia Hinds-Radix. “Our work at the Law Department is ongoing to help the city implement the state’s new laws and ensure public safety, while respecting the constitutional rights of lawful gun owners.”
“Mayor Adams is committed to keeping New Yorkers safe,” said Mayor’s Office of Criminal Justice Director Deanna Logan. “We are working with our partners across the city and state to educate the public on the new regulations, strengthening social interventions that reduce the harm of illegal guns to achieve the right balance between responsible gun ownership and public safety.”
“There is no place for personal firearms at the ‘Crossroads of the World,’” said New York City Department of Transportation Commissioner Ydanis Rodriguez. “Times Square is a safe, global attraction for the millions of residents, commuters, and tourists who visit and pass through it every day. We are grateful for the work of Mayor Adams and the City Council to ensure this iconic space remains welcoming to all.”
On June 23, 2022, the U.S. Supreme Court struck down New York’s handgun-licensing law in New York State Rifle & Pistol Association, Inc. v. Bruen. Before the Supreme Court’s decision,the law required applicants for conceal carry gun licenses to show “proper cause,” but the court ruled that New York state’s “proper cause” requirement violated the Second Amendment of the U.S. Constitution.
On July 1, 2022, New York state enacted Chapter 371 of the Laws of 2022 in response to the limitations set forth under the Bruen decision. The state law revises specific eligibility requirements to the concealed carry licensing process and restricts the carrying of concealed weapons in a specified list of “sensitive locations.” It also enhances safe storage requirements and background check coordination, as well as amends the state’s existing body armor purchase ban to include hard body armor.
“New York State’s new concealed carry legislation is great news for our state, and I applaud Mayor Adams for his work to educate New Yorkers on its provisions and the new gun-free zones that will help keep our communities safe from senseless gun violence,” said U.S. Senator Kirsten Gillibrand. “In the Senate, I am proud to have helped pass the most significant piece of gun reform legislation in nearly 30 years, the Bipartisan Safer Communities Act, which included major provisions from my gun trafficking bill to help limit the flow of illegal guns that come up the Iron Pipeline. We still have more work to do, but New York’s leaders are working diligently at the federal, state, and city level to keep our streets safe and to put an end to the epidemic of gun violence.”
“We have an epidemic of gun violence in this country, our nation is awash in guns—too many of them in the hands of people who pose a threat to our streets, to our schools, to our supermarkets and even to our houses of worship,” said U.S. Representative Jerrold Nadler, chair, House Judiciary Committee. “With an out-of-control Supreme Court that has mangled the meaning of the second amendment and overturned New York’s century old law that provided for reasonable restrictions and gun safety measures for the public, I am pleased that New York has taken action to require concealed carry license applicants to meet eligibility requirements and complete a state-regulated firearms training course, and has designated certain “sensitive locations” like iconic Times Square, where concealed carry licensees are not permitted to bring guns. These actions today will make New Yorkers safer, and tells anyone that New York will do everything within its power to ensure the safety of its residents and visitors.”
“Designating ‘sensitive locations’ in a city as populated as New York is imperative to keeping our people, children, and vulnerable populations safe,” said U.S. Representative Gregory Meeks. “We cannot let senseless gun violence continue to harm our schools, subways, and communities. I applaud these new regulations going into effect swiftly after the Bruen decision, and Mayor Adams for launching a comprehensive plan to educate and inform New Yorkers on how to protect each other and our city.”
“Gun safety and gun violence preventive measures are critical to helping keep New York City families and visitors to our city safe,” said U.S. Representative Adriano Espaillat. “I commend Mayor Adams on today’s announcement to ensure gun-free zones at sensitive locations including in Times Square and other high traffic locations around the city. We must continue to prioritize safety measures and vigilance — to help keep people safe.”
“Even after the U.S. Supreme Court’s reckless and outrageous Bruen decision invalidating New York’s century-old concealed carry weapons law, New York will keep its obligation to protect our citizens,” said New York State Senator Brad Hoylman. “I’m proud to have secured the protection of Times Square, one of the most visited tourist sites on the planet, as a sensitive location where concealed weapons will not be permitted. It’s crucial to the recovery of our local economy, including Broadway, that Times Square be a gun-free zone and that its 50 million annual visitors feel safe from the dangers of gun violence.”
“The Supreme Court’s decision to dismantle the concealed carry law has opened the door to even more senseless gun violence. Banning concealed weapons in sensitive locations — like schools, government buildings, and places of worship — are the ‘common sense gun laws’ that the majority of Americans want and need,” said New York State Assemblymember Rodneyse Bichotte Hermelyn. “Thoughts and prayers after countless mass shootings aren’t enough. We have to take action to stop a Supreme Court determined to strip away sensible gun laws that protect everyday New Yorkers and Americans. Mayor Adams’ decision to make Times Square and other densely-populated destinations ‘gun free’ is a much-needed step to protect New Yorkers. These regulations are intended to protect everyone, including law-abiding gun owners.”
“New York must continue to be a place where we do everything we can to reduce gun violence,” said New York State Assemblymember Jeffrey Dinowitz, chair, Assembly Codes Committee. “Although the Supreme Court and gun rights advocates are trying their hardest to undermine our ability to keep people safe, the state has implemented new requirements to ensure that our gun laws remain in compliance with recent judicial rulings. I am glad to see sensitive area signage being installed as well as a new city website to help all New Yorkers understand the changes in our gun laws.”
“Over the past year, my colleagues in the state legislature and I worked hard to encode new laws to protect New Yorkers from gun violence, including important revisions to the state’s concealed carry program,” said New York State Assemblymember Chantel Jackson. “Despite opposition from the Supreme Court, we passed laws to protect the program from abuse, including designated areas where concealed carry will not be permitted. This is a major victory for New Yorkers, and I support the mayor’s efforts to inform the public about the new program.”
“After we passed our gun safety bill in the extraordinary session in Albany, Mayor Adams is implementing and educating New Yorkers on this life-saving legislation,” said New York State Assemblymember Jenifer Rajkumar. “The mayor will ensure that everyone knows where our gun-free zones are, from schools to subways to Times Square. In a year where there have already been 1,000 shootings, including one last week in my district that left a man in critical condition, this preemptive action will keep firearms out of sensitive areas and stop gun violence before it starts.”
“When the Supreme Court sided with the NRA’s New York chapter to weaken gun safety laws, the state legislature stepped up and passed a new law to address crime in New York,” said New York State Assemblymember Manny de los Santos, MSW. “Thank you, Mayor Adams, for speedily implementing this new state law to keep New Yorkers safe.”
“Gun violence has torn apart too many families and threatens community safety,” said New York City Comptroller Brad Lander. The city’s steps to implement enhanced training and no-gun zones in high traffic areas will help keep these deadly weapons out of hands and off streets where they do not belong. I commend the state legislature for acting swiftly to strengthen our concealed carry laws that will protect New Yorkers.”
“Gun violence is a serious crisis in our city and nation, and the Supreme Court’s misguided decision to strike down New York’s concealed carry gun law presented a major challenge to keeping New Yorkers safe,” said New York City Council Speaker Adrienne Adams. “Our state government leaders acted swiftly and responsibly by passing regulations to prioritize our safety, including the designation of sensitive locations like Times Square as gun-free zones. With the new law set to go into effect on September 1st, the council and administration are working closely to define and implement the boundaries of the Times Square sensitive areas through administrative rules and legislation. It is also imperative for the city to take steps so residents and visitors alike are clear about the new law and designated areas where gun-carrying is restricted. We will continue to pursue new initiatives that keep our communities safe by preventing violence, investing in solutions, and limiting the over-proliferation of deadly firearms.”
“The Bruen decision was a setback in the fight against gun violence, but I want to reassure all New Yorkers that we are using every tool available to hold accountable those who illegally use dangerous firearms,” said Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg. “We commend the mayor’s office for its efforts to educate the public about the impact of the decision and the new regulations enacted in response. We will work hand-in-hand with our law enforcement partners, city officials, businesses, and community leaders to enhance awareness, answer questions and keep out communities safe”.
“Fewer guns on our streets and in our neighborhoods correlates with lower levels of gun violence,” said Brooklyn District Attorney Eric Gonzalez. “While the Supreme Court’s recent decision has forced our state to adopt more permissive concealed carry laws, the legislature’s quick action to prohibit the concealed carrying of handguns in sensitive areas in New York was an essential step to keep us safe, and these signs will help law-abiding gun owners comply with the new laws.”
“While I and many others in law enforcement remain deeply concerned over the Supreme Court’s recent decision regarding concealed carry regulations, we must now face this new reality together and join forces on all levels of government to ensure our city has effective stopgaps in place to prevent future gun violence from spreading in our communities,” said Staten Island District Attorney Michael McMahon. “I applaud Mayor Adams and his team for putting this comprehensive plan in place and we will continue working closely together to educate New Yorkers about these new regulations. At the same time, my office will continue to vigorously prosecute anyone who violates our gun laws and threatens the safety and security of our communities.”
“While the Supreme Court works to make it harder to keep guns under control, Mayor Adams, Governor Hochul and the state legislature are taking steps to protect New Yorkers in sensitive areas of our city,” said Manhattan Borough President Mark Levine. “The simple fact is the fewer guns on our street the safer everybody will be, and we must continue to work to better control all guns in this country. But I’m proud of the work the mayor and state legislature have done to restrict conceal carry weapons, and to educate New Yorkers about a law that will undoubtedly help keep people safe.”
“The Supreme Court decision overturning our state’s long-standing concealed carry regulations was horribly misguided and deeply undermines our efforts to combat the scourge of gun violence, which has stolen precious lives and ripped apart grieving families for far too long,” said Queens Borough President Donovan Richards Jr. “Thankfully the state adopted revised rules to mitigate the damage done by the court’s awful decision. I commend Mayor Adams and his administration for educating and informing our city’s residents about these revisions and for their continued work to keep our families safe, despite the roadblocks imposed by the court.”
“The erosion of New York State’s Sullivan Act to restrict one’s ability to carry a concealed handgun outside of their residence puts all New Yorkers at risk, said New York City Council Majority Whip Selvena N. Brooks-Powers. “From Buffalo to Brookville, this new precedent allows guns in public places, including most forms of public transportation, a troubling fact considering the rise in shootings. As the city continues to see a rise in gun violence, educating the public is the first step to ensuring public safety. I look forward to working with this administration and all of my colleagues in government to expand the safety zones to better protect the public.”
“The Supreme Court’s ever-growing extremist, right-wing jurisprudence is proof that we cannot wait for the federal government to act and must take gun safety into our own hands,” said New York City Councilmember Crystal Hudson. “This public outreach program is a much needed first step to ensure everyone knows that while New York City may be welcoming to all, it is not welcoming to guns. I look forward to working with the administration and state lawmakers to limit concealed carry regulations to the greatest extent possible and enacting additional measures aimed at ensuring anyone coming to New York – from residents to tourists – understands the law.”
“In response to the unfortunate decision in New York State Rifle & Pistol Association, Inc. v. Bruen, I commend Mayor Adams for taking action that will keep guns out of sensitive locations such as Times Square,” said New York City Councilmember Julie Menin. “In this critical moment following “proper cause” being struck down for concealed carry arms, we must keep New Yorkers safe. As a former commissioner of the Department of Consumer Affairs, I made it a priority to investigate potentially illegal and unlicensed sales of secondhand guns in New York City, and we must continue to keep guns off our streets and use every tool in our toolbox.”
Governor Newsom and President Biden Visit Communities Impacted
SANTA CRUZ COUNTY – Governor Gavin Newsom today welcomed President Joe Biden as he arrived in California to visit communities impacted by recent storms and meet with first responders leading recovery efforts.
“Over the past weeks, Californians have endured some of the deadliest and most destructive storms in recent memory, but our strength, resilience, and instinct to help in times of crisis has never faltered,” said Governor Newsom. “And President Biden and his Administration have been supporting us every step of the way – and I am grateful for the President’s commitment to helping California recover.”
President Biden’s visit began with an aerial tour led by Governor Newsom on Marine One, surveying damage across Santa Clara County and Santa Cruz County. Following the tour, they visited businesses in Capitola that were impacted by the recent winter storms and met with first responders at Seacliff State Beach.
Governor Newsom welcomes President Biden as he arrived in California to visit communities impacted by recent storms and meet with first responders leading recovery efforts.
Yesterday, the Governor announced that the White House added the counties of Monterey, San Luis Obispo and Santa Barbara to the Presidential Major Disaster Declaration – with San Joaquin being added today.
FEMA and the President also announced a 100% federal cost share for Categories A (debris removal) and B (emergency protective measures). Last week, President Biden also approved the Governor’s request for a Presidential Emergency Declaration to bolster state, local and tribal government storm response efforts.
Over the past two weeks, Governor Newsom has met with evacuated residents in Merced County, assisted storm preparedness work in Santa Barbara County and surveyed storm damage in Santa Cruz County and Sacramento County with state and local officials. The Governor has proclaimed a state of emergency statewide and issued an executive order to further assist the emergency response and support impacted communities across the state.
At Inauguration, Hochul Vows to Make New York Safer and More Affordable
ALBANY, N.Y. — Kathy Hochul became the first woman to be sworn in to a full term as governor of New York on Sunday, a landmark moment that she said she would seize to lead a state confronting fears over crime and a crisis of affordability.
In her first inaugural address, Ms. Hochul briefly acknowledged other women in New York who had made history before her, name-checking Harriet Tubman and Hillary Clinton, before turning her attention to the “worthy pursuits” and fights she said she would take on in the next four years.
“I didn’t come here to make history,” Ms. Hochul said shortly after being sworn in at a convention center in Albany. “I came here to make a difference.”
Ms. Hochul, a moderate Democrat from the Buffalo area, took the oath of office two months after emerging victorious in the closest governor’s race that New York has seen in decades. In one of the nation’s most liberal states, Ms. Hochul beat her Republican challenger, Representative Lee Zeldin, by only six percentage points, with the race largely defined by agitation from voters around spikes in crime and the rising cost of living, issues with which Mr. Zeldin hammered the governor.
On Sunday, Ms. Hochul indicated that she would focus her tenure on addressing many of the same concerns — including safety and affordability — that fueled the wave of discontent in November against Democrats, who control all three levers of power in Albany.
At the same time, Ms. Hochul, 64, used her speech to lean into social issues favored by progressives, who took credit for salvaging the governor’s flagging campaign in its closing weeks. And she emphasized the need to safeguard the right to abortion, an issue that helped galvanize many Democrats after the Supreme Court overturned Roe v. Wade in June.
Such sentiments were lauded by a swarm of well-wishers and Albany power brokers who packed the Empire State Plaza Convention Center in downtown Albany, adjacent to the state’s ornate Capitol Building.
The event, the first inaugural planned in Albany since 2011, when Andrew M. Cuomo first became governor, had a festive atmosphere, with attendees snapping 360-degree photographs and selfies in front of the New York State seal and a I N.Y. poster.
Before the ceremony, an overmatched string quartet played against a babble of conversation among New York’s movers and shakers, only a smattering of whom wore masks, a sign of the state’s steady, if slow, recovery from Covid-19.
Indeed, Ms. Hochul made reference to “the lingering effects” of the pandemic, suggesting it was partly to blame for educational and economic disruptions in the state, including “mental health challenges and increases in crime.”
The governor, who is expected to unveil a plan later this year to build 800,000 units of new housing over the next decade, said that high housing and energy costs were “making life just too damn hard for New Yorkers.” She pledged to address the state’s years of population loss by creating jobs and in-state economic opportunities.
“New Yorkers are just struggling to pay rent, food and gas to get to their jobs,” she said. “They’re hurting.”
Without offering specifics, she broadly vowed to crack down on hate crimes and tackle gun violence so that “New Yorkers can walk our streets, ride our subways and our kids can go to school, free from fear.”
Ms. Hochul is expected to unveil her policy vision in greater detail during her State of the State address later this month, as well as in her proposal for the state’s budget, which typically serves as a vehicle to pass a host of nonfiscal policy priorities in Albany.
But passing her agenda will mean working in tandem with Democrats in the State Legislature who hold veto-proof supermajorities in both chambers and have influential blocs of members who are to the left of Ms. Hochul on an array of policy issues.
It is unclear, for example, if Ms. Hochul will seek additional changes to the state’s contentious bail laws this year, as Mayor Eric Adams of New York City has called for — a move that would create another clash with Democratic lawmakers. Mr. Adams attended the ceremony on Sunday, as did Senator Chuck Schumer, who administered the oath of office for the state attorney general, Letitia James, who was also sworn in, as were the state comptroller, Thomas B. DiNapoli, and Lt. Gov. Antonio Delgado. All of them are Democrats.
Ms. Hochul will begin the legislative year already at odds with left-leaning Democrats in the State Senate over her nominee for the state’s chief judge. At least a dozen state senators, including Michael Gianaris, the deputy majority leader in the upper chamber, have announced in recent days that they would vote against confirming her choice, Hector LaSalle.
The intense opposition has placed Ms. Hochul’s nominee in serious jeopardy, raising the possibility that Ms. Hochul, who has so far stood by her decision, might have to withdraw the nomination and suffer an embarrassing political defeat at the onset of her first full term.
Ms. Hochul’s first inauguration capped her whirlwind ascent to the state’s highest office: In August 2021, she unexpectedly replaced Mr. Cuomo after he resigned amid a sexual harassment scandal, thrusting Ms. Hochul, then his mostly obscure lieutenant governor, into the limelight.
A former congresswoman, Ms. Hochul made history as the first female governor in the state and first governor from western New York in over a century, and she quickly moved to build her stature in Albany.
She secured a suite of policy priorities in her 500 days in office, including the passage of a $220 billion state budget, as well as changes to the state’s bail and gun laws, and moved to develop a more cordial relationship with fellow Democrats who control the State Legislature.
Casting herself as an above-the-fray executive and a calming presence after Mr. Cuomo’s combative leadership and sudden downfall, Ms. Hochul immediately announced her bid for a full term and quickly established herself as the de facto leader of the state Democratic Party. She raised record-smashing amounts of campaign contributions and went on to win resoundingly in a three-way primary last summer.
Armed with an overwhelming fund-raising edge in a state where Democratic voters vastly outnumber Republicans, Ms. Hochul appeared poised to easily prevail in the general election. But Mr. Zeldin tapped into fears over crime and mounted a vigorous challenge, fueled by support from independent and suburban voters, and even a sizable chunk of Democrats in New York City, who appeared to be upset over public safety.
Ms. Hochul nonetheless emerged victorious and became the first woman elected governor after scrambling to turn out Democratic voters, and focusing on public safety in the final days of the campaign.
The historic nature of her victory, and her Buffalo-area background, was never far from the forefront on Sunday, with the governor joking at one point that she made “really good chicken wings.”
A brief video early in the ceremony showed girls and young women praising her for breaking a centuries-old glass ceiling. And like other speakers on Sunday, Ms. Hochul offered sympathy to the families of more than three dozen people who died in a blizzard in Buffalo last month, as well as for victims of a racist massacre there in May.
Ms. Hochul sought to use her inauguration to begin mending divides that emerged during the election, pleading for unity by appealing to a common sense of purpose among working-class New Yorkers, from nurses and police officers to teachers and hotel workers, saying “this day doesn’t belong to me.”
“As I approach the next four years with the energy and sense of purpose and optimism, I know I am not alone, for I am joined in that arena with others who will fight the good fights and the worthy pursuits that Roosevelt spoke of,” Ms. Hochul said, referring to Theodore Roosevelt, a former New York governor — and a Republican — whom she often quotes. “Let’s use these coming years to truly make a difference for each other, and make this state stronger than it’s ever been.”
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