Gov. Kathy Hochul appealed to working-class New Yorkers on Tuesday, promising to address the high cost of living, safety on the subways and children struggling with mental health crises.

During her State of the State address, Hochul emphasized that since taking office, she has made it her mission to make it safer and more affordable for working-class New Yorkers.

What You Need To Know

  • During her State of the State address, Gov. Kathy Hochul promised to focus on crime, retail theft, domestic violence and hate crimes
  • Hochul wants to convert properties owned by state agencies into new housing developments, which she says could create up to 15,000 units
  • She also wants to plant 25 million trees by the end of the decade, expand solar energy infrastructure and meet emission goals that were previously set
  • The governor promised to unveil key details next week about whether she’ll help Mayor Eric Adams pay for the migrant crisis

“Today is not about us. It’s about the 20 million hard-working New Yorkers we are privileged to represent and what we can deliver for them in the year ahead," Hochul promised during her address to top lawmakers, special interests and advocates.

Attendees described the address as broad and largely non-controversial, as Hochul’s State of the State address largely avoided big-ticket proposals seen in past years, like a massive focus on infrastructure development tied to the intended legacy of prior governors.

Instead, she appealed to those frustrated by the high cost of living, dispirited by crime and battling with depression.

“Today we’re unveiling a series of crime-fighting tactics alongside an era-defining mental health initiative so New Yorkers can live free from chaos and disorder and focus on the things in life that matter most," Hochul said.

The governor pitched the creation of a new police unit tasked with investigating retail theft, as well as a tax credit that small businesses can tap into when trying to recover from losses due to robberies. It’s an idea Republicans have keyed in on in prior elections.

“The task force will be nothing more than yet another task force that produces paper instead of results from employers and make people safe," said state Senate Minority Leader Robert Ortt, an upstate Republican.

But Hochul issued her own advice for improvement. She said she wants unused properties like old correctional facilities converted into at least 15,000 new units, basement apartments legalized and commercial offices transformed into apartments.

“It’s not enough to fix our affordability crisis. So let’s be honest with New Yorkers. The only thing that will solve this problem is building hundreds and hundreds of thousands of new homes,” Hochul said.

Hochul chastised legislative leaders in the audience for failing to cement a housing deal, declaring she wants to give real estate developers tax breaks.

“Let them build. Our plan for New York City includes four central components of what I proposed last year: restoring tax incentives to build housing that includes affordable housing," Hochul said.

Hochul held the line in her opposition to enacting more tenant protections, which could spell a fight with fellow Democrats.

“I’d also like to hear the investment and focus on housing. I was disappointed to not see a mention of tenant protections, but I think this is the beginning, not the end, of a conversation," state Sen. Zellnor Myrie, a Brooklyn Democrat, said after listening to Hochul's address.

The governor promised to unveil key details as to whether she’ll help Mayor Eric Adams pay for the influx of migrants arriving in the city — promising to discuss the topic in next week’s budget address.