Kathy Hochul became the first female governor in New York’s history shortly after midnight on Tuesday, and she vowed to foster “a dramatic change in culture in Albany, which is a message that she first delivered a day after her predecessor, Andrew Cuomo, resigned following the release of a state attorney general report concluding that there was sexual harassment in the workplace.

"I feel the weight of responsibility on my shoulders,” Governor Hochul said, but she reassured New Yorkers that she is up to the task.

Plans For Hochul Administration

Hochul, the 57th governor of New York, detailed the new administration’s main priorities, including combating the spread of the COVID-19 delta variant, sharing pandemic relief funds and getting New York’s government “focused, without distractions.”

“That begins with a dramatic change in culture, accountability, and no tolerance for individuals who crossed the line,” Hochul said.

The new administration under Hochul ordered an adjustment to the New York state’s sexual harassment and ethics policies, starting with a new requirement that all of the governmental training will be done live, rather than allowing people to click their way through a class.

When addressing the state, Hochul made residents aware that her administration is focused on an open and ethical way of governing. She said, "I want people to believe in their government again. It's important to me that people have faith.”

Going Forward Under Governor Hochul

Hochul also vowed to sign an executive order in the near future to require ethics training for every employee of the New York state government, “which shockingly is not required across the board,” Hochul said. 

Hochul said she is “ready to go to work as your governor and solve the big problems that this state faces,” restating the three main focuses of the new administration. 

School and COVID-19 Expected Changes

With school starting in less than a few weeks, Hochul said she planned to require that all school personnel be vaccinated, with the option to test weekly as an alternative, and to mandate masks for anyone who enters the school. She said New Yorkers can expect new vaccine requirements, but has yet to provide those details.

The Hamburg native has transitioned into the governor position amidst a number of crises, including managing the rise in COVID-19 cases, the expiration of the state eviction moratorium at the end of the month, and some issues within the Metropolitan Transportation Authority. 

“I will tell New Yorkers I'm up for the task and I'm really proud to be able to serve as their governor,” Hochul said.

“I won't let them down.”

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