REIMAGINE REBUILD RENEW2021 State of the StateGovernor Andrew M. Cuomo

The Constitution of New York State requires theGovernor to deliver an annual message to theLegislature regarding the state of the state. Sincetaking office, Governor Cuomo has used thisopportunity to update New Yorkers on the progressof the State, while laying out a series of priorities forthe year. The State of the State proposals are the firststep in defining the Governor's agenda in 2021.Additional policies and funding details will beincluded in the upcoming Governor's ExecutiveBudget.1

Contents1. Conquering COVID and Reimagining PublicHealth . 14Part 1: Leading the Nation in Fighting InfectiousDiseases. 16Proposal. Secure In-State PPE Supply Chain andPass the Medical Supply Act . 17Proposal. Make “Surge and Flex” RegulationsPermanent. 19Proposal. Create the Citizens Public Health Councilto Train Volunteers in Public HealthPreparedness . 20Proposal. Launch a 40 Million New York StateBiodefense Commercialization Fund . 21Part 2: Ensure All New Yorkers Have Access to theBenefits of Telehealth . 24Proposal. Eliminate Obsolete Provider LocationRequirements for Insurance Reimbursement. 26Proposal. Increase Access to Mental Health andSubstance Use Disorder Services ThroughTelehealth . 27Proposal. Increase Coverage and Ensure InsuranceReimbursement for Telehealth . 28Proposal. Mandate Coverage for Virtual EmergencyDepartment Services and other TelehealthTechnological Advancements . 29Proposal. Support Patients and Providers throughProfessional Development, Education, andInnovative Support Programs . 302

Part 3: Making New York the First COVID-SafeState . 31Proposal. Ensure Comprehensive, Safe, Equitable,and Rapid Distribution of the COVID-19 VaccineThroughout New York State. 31Proposal. New York Vaccine Equity Task Force toEnsure Underserved Communities Are Not LeftBehind . 33Proposal. Enlist 1,000 People for the First-In-theNation Public Health Corps . 34Proposal. Provide Workers Paid Time Off to GetVaccinated . 35Part 4: Strengthening the Health CareWorkforce. 36Proposal. Provide New York’s Heroic NursesPreferred Access to SUNY and CUNY . 36Proposal. Develop New Pathways in Health CareCareers. 37Proposal. Modernize Office of Professional MedicalConduct . 42Part 5: Expanding Access to Health Insurance . 44Proposal. Eliminate Health Care Premiums for400,000 Low-Income New Yorkers, ProvidingCoverage to 100,000 Uninsured New Yorkers. 44Part 6: Addressing Systemic Disparities in Accessto Health Care. 46Proposal. Expand Access to Services in Health CareDeserts . 48Proposal. Eliminate Disparities in Health InsuranceBenefits and Reimbursement Incentives. 503

Proposal. Cutting the Cost of Prescription Drugs . 52Part 7: Expanding Mental Health and AddictionServices . 53Proposal. Establish a Comprehensive CrisisResponse Services Program . 55Proposal. Promote Integrated Addiction and MentalHealth Care through Streamlined Licensing . 58Proposal. Continue Innovation in OpioidTreatment . 60Proposal. Protecting New Yorkers with Addictionand their Families from Predatory Practices . 632. Reopening and Revitalizing New YorkBusinesses . 66Part 1: Safely and Rapidly Reopen Businesses . 67Proposal. Create a Rapid Testing Network as a Toolto Help Businesses Reopen. 67Proposal. Develop a Mobile App to Fast-TrackReopening Theaters, Stadiums, and OtherBusinesses . 69Proposal. Support the Return to COVID-SafeWorkplaces . 70Proposal. Adapt Spaces to Safely Bring Back theArts and Support Artists . 72Proposal. Creatively Repurpose UnderutilizedCommercial Space for Additional Housing . 75Proposal. World-Leading Aerosols Study with MITto Ensure the Continued Safety of Public Transit . 77Proposal. Rediscover New York Campaign toIncrease Tourism . 794

Proposal. Convene a Commission on the Future ofNew York’s Economy . 79Part 2: Stabilize the Economy in the Wake ofCOVID . 81Proposal. Fight for Overdue Federal Support toStates Fighting COVID-19 . 81Proposal. Pass a Comprehensive Adult-UseCannabis Program . 83Proposal. Enable Online Sports Wagering . 86Part 3: Support Small Businesses. 88Proposal. Provide Lease Assistance to New York’sSmall Businesses . 89Proposal. Facilitate Digital Sales for Retail, Food,and Beverage Businesses . 92Proposal. Get New Bars and Restaurants in NewYork City Up and Running Sooner with TemporaryOperating Permits . 94Proposal. Expand Licensing of Movie Theaters toServe Alcoholic Beverages . 95Proposal. Support to Incubate Minority- andWomen-Owned Technology Startups . 96Proposal. Establish the New York BankTechInnovation Network . 98Proposal. Codify and Expand Commonsense COVIDEra Reforms . 101Proposal. Leverage the Expertise of the RegionalEconomic Development Councils to Invest in aStatewide Recovery . 103Part 4: Support New York’s Farmers . 1045

Proposal. Deliver New York Agricultural Productsto Feed Families in Need which is Good for Familiesand Good for Farmers . 105Proposal. Grow New York’s Hemp Industry . 107Part 5: Train Workers for High-GrowthSectors . 108Proposal. Partner with New York’s LeadingBusinesses to Invest in Workforce Training, ExpandApprenticeships and Mentorships, and ReformRecruitment and Promotion Policies . 110Proposal. New Scholarship to Train and CertifyPeople for in Demand Jobs . 112Proposal. Expand SUNY’s Online TrainingCenter . 114Proposal. Support Business-Led Retraining byExpanding the Employee Training IncentiveProgram . 1153. Building the Green Economy . 118Part 1: Spurring the Green Energy Economy . 120Proposal. 26 Billion Public-Private Partnership toBuild Nearly 100 Renewable Energy Projects . 121Proposal. Build 40 New Community Solar Projectsfor Local Governments to Create 1,250 Jobs. 124Proposal. Continue New York’s Nation-LeadingOffshore Wind Program by Awarding Two NewOffshore Wind Farms – the Largest Ever RenewableEnergy Procurement by Any State . 126Proposal. Make New York a Global Wind EnergyManufacturing Powerhouse . 1286

Proposal. Construct New York’s Green EnergyTransmission Superhighway . 129Proposal. Offshore Wind Training Institute to Trainat Least 2,500 New Yorkers for Good-PayingJobs . 132Proposal. Climate Justice Job Corps . 133Part 2: Accelerate the Transition to EnergyEfficient Buildings and Clean Transportation . 135Proposal. Solar and Energy Efficiency Retrofits for5,000 Affordable Housing Units . 136Proposal. Purchase 100 New Electric Transit Busesand Build New EV Infrastructure for PublicTransit . 1384. Building a New New York . 142Part 1: Nation-Leading 306 Billion Investment inTransformative Infrastructure . 143Proposal. Transformational 51 Billion MidtownWest Development . 147Proposal. Accelerate Nation-Leading Investment inTransportation Infrastructure . 152Proposal. Continue Job-Creating InvestmentsAcross the State . 159Proposal. Invest in Upstate New York’s Health CareFacilities . 168Proposal. Open Pathways to Low-Cost Financingand Delivery Opportunities for Non-Profits, andSchool Districts . 170Proposal. Facilitate Rail-Advantaged Housing . 171Proposal. Launch Database of EconomicIncentives . 1737

Part 2: Build Out New York State Parks . 174Proposal. Expand Outdoor RecreationProgramming to Promote COVID-19 SafeRecreation . 174Proposal. Launch NY Parks 100 Capital Plan toCelebrate a Century of the State Park System . 177Proposal. Launch Initiative to Diversify Stories toldthrough State Historic Sites . 180Proposal. Open the Nation’s First-of-its-KindAutism Nature Trail at Letchworth State Park . 183Part 3: A Modernized Transportation System . 184Proposal. Develop the Autonomous VehicleIndustry in New York . 1845. Realizing a More Just and Equal New York. 186Part 1: Close the Digital Divide . 187Proposal. Mandate 15 per Month High-SpeedService for Low-Income Families, a First-in-theNation Guarantee of Affordable Internet for AllLow-Income Families . 190Proposal. Establish a “Hardship Fund” for Familiesand Facilitate School District Purchases of NeededDevices. 191Proposal. Catalyze New Broadband Infrastructureand Equitable Fiber Buildout Across New YorkState . 191Proposal. Ensure Consumers Get Clear andAccurate Pricing Information . 193Proposal. Make Government Services MoreAccessible Online . 194Part 2: Supporting and Protecting Workers . 1968

Proposal. Connect Unemployed New Yorkers withPart-Time Re-Employment Opportunities . 197Proposal. Launch A Virtual Career ServicesPlatform . 200Proposal. Support Workers in the Gig EconomyDigital Marketplace . 201Part 3: Protecting Consumers . 202Proposal. Protect Vulnerable Customers fromDangerous Utility Disconnections DuringEmergencies . 203Proposal. Making For-Profit EducationalInstitutions in New York State Subject toNondiscrimination Provision of the Human RightsLaw . 204Proposal. Protect New Yorkers’ Digital Privacy . 205Proposal. Protect New Yorkers fromEavesdropping Devices . 208Proposal. Protecting New Yorkers from HigherPremiums by Combatting No-Fault InsuranceFraud . 209Part 4: Ensure Access to Affordable Housing . 211Proposal. Provide Mortgage Relief for Homeownersand Assistance for Renters . 212Proposal. Investment in New York’s HistoricAffordable and Supportive Housing Plan . 215Proposal. Expand Access to SONYMA Loans toSupport Homeownership in RedlinedCommunities . 216Proposal. Open Pathways to Homeownership toBorrowers Underserved by the Banking System 2219

Part 5: Supporting the Homeless. 223Proposal. Ensure Safe Shelters and ProvideSustained Care for Homeless . 223Part 6: Women and Families Agenda . 225Proposal. Lower the Cost of High Quality Child Carefor Low-Income Families . 226Proposal. Increasing Child Care Availability in ChildCare Deserts . 228Proposal. Ease Administrative Burdens for theEssential Child Care Workforce . 232Proposal. Establish the New York State CaresDiaper Bank to Keep Our Infants Healthy, Happy,and Dry . 233Proposal. New York Student Service Corps to ServeNew York Students and Families . 235Proposal. Launch the Food Surplus RecoveryPilot . 237Proposal. Streamline and Enhance the Work toAddress Gender-Based Violence . 238Proposal. Building on New York’s Nation-LeadingWork to Reduce Campus Sexual Violence . 243Proposal. Amend the Family Court Act to Removethe Label of “Incorrigible” to Describe YoungPeople . 246Proposal. Create the Governor’s Blue-RibbonCommission on Forensic Custody Evaluations . 247Proposal. Improve Provider Awareness of RacialBias and Its Impact on Maternal Mortality . 248Proposal. Pass an Inclusive Equal RightsAmendment . 25010

Part 7: Continuing to Lead on LGBTQ Rights. 251Proposal. Eliminate Discriminatory Policing ofTransgender New Yorkers . 252Proposal. Include a Third Gender Marker onIdentity Documents . 254Proposal. Expanding Access to Fertility Coveragefor Same-Sex Couples . 257Proposal. LGBTQ Fairness in Child Custody. 259Part 8: Supporting New York Veterans . 260Proposal. Connect Underserved Veterans to TheirBenefits. 261Proposal. Expand Veterans Treatment Courts. 264Part 9: Protecting Immigrants’ Rights . 267Proposal. Provide Legal Services to Immigrants. 267Proposal. Outlaw Discrimination on the Basis ofCitizenship or Immigration Status . 269Part 10: A Fair and Supportive Start forVulnerable Children. 271Proposal. Create A More Just and Safe Child WelfareSystem. 271Proposal. Make it Easier for Parents to Find andCollect Unclaimed Child Support . 274Part 11: Facilitating Policing Reform. 277Proposal. Strengthen New York’s PolicingProfession . 279Proposal. Promote Diversity in Public SafetyCareers. 284Proposal. Make Safer and More Efficient VirtualArraignments Permanent. 28711

Part 12: Keeping Illegal Guns off the Street. 289Proposal. Close the Federal Loophole PermittingIndividuals with Active Warrants to PurchaseGuns . 289Proposal. Enhance the Sharing of Crime GunData . 2906. Protecting Our Democracy. 292Proposal. Reform Election Administration andSpeed up Canvassing of Ballots . 294Proposal. Open and Modernize Absentee Voting 295Proposal. Expand Access to Early Voting . 298Proposal. Protect Judges and their Families fromThreats . 300ENDNOTES . 30212


1.CONQUERING COVIDAND REIMAGINING PUBLICHEALTHCOVID-19 ambushed New York — as flights fromEurope imported the virus to the Empire State, we wereleft virtually on our own while the federal governmentfocused on China and President Trump claimed isappear.” But, as New Yorkers always do in times ofcrisis, we rose to the occasion. We wore masks, stayedhome, and saved lives — bringing New York from thehighest infection rate to one of the lowest. New Yorkerswere tough, smart, united, disciplined, and loving.Whether they were serving on the front linestreating patients in our hospitals, stocking grocery storeshelves to feed our neighbors, or simply staying home tostop the spread, New Yorkers showed the nation how tobend the curve. Under Governor Cuomo’s leadership, wedemonstrated how adapting to the facts, trusting science,and putting people above politics can save lives.14

Because of the federal government’s failure, atowering wave of COVID-19 cases threatened todecimate hospitals in hard-hit New York City. UnderGovernor Cuomo, the State mobilized to createthousands of beds at the Javits Center and other keylocations across Downstate. New York overcame an allbut frozen supply chain to secure PPE for health care andother essential workers.When staffing was an issue, more than 30,000retired doctors and nurses responded to GovernorCuomo’s call and returned to save lives on the front linesof this battle. When the federal government failed toestablish a comprehensive testing program, GovernorCuomo cleared red tape to allow an unprecedentedexpansion of testing, allowing the State to manage thecrisis with data and facts. To date, the state hasconducted more than 27 million tests.Now we focus on a major challenge of our time:quickly vaccinating nearly 20 million people. New Yorkwill meet the challenge. On December 14, 2020, SandraLindsay, an ICU Nurse at Long Island Jewish MedicalCenter in Queens, New York, received the first COVID-19vaccine in the nation. 1 In the following weeks, hundreds15

of thousands of essential health care workers andnursing home residents in New York have receivedvaccines.As we march toward defeating the virus, NewYorkers will not forget what they saw or learned. In 2021,we must — and will — become better prepared andmore resilient for the next crisis.New York will not go back to the way things were.Instead, we will take what we learned from thisexperience and build back better, with a stronger, andmore equitable health care system.Part 1: Leading the Nation in Fighting InfectiousDiseasesFrom the moment New York was ambushed byCOVID-19 and became the first national epicenter of thevirus, the state has acted quickly and aggressively basedon data and science.New York built a new in-state medical supplymanufacturing industry and designed new protocols tomitigate overcrowding at hospitals. Pfizer, a New Yorkcompany, co-created the first approved vaccine, and aNew York academic researcher led Pfizer’s clinical trials16

globally. Another New York company, Regeneron,created one of the first antibody treatments. Corning, oneof New York’s earliest corporate success stories, and stillone of our strongest companies, produces the speciallyengineered glass vials needed for the vaccine requiringsub-freezing storage. More than 250 labs — both big andsmall — across the state processed COVID-19 tests.New York is proud of its medical researchers,scientists, doctors, and nurses, and will capitalize ontheir experience, ingenuity, and creativity to build apublic health system that is better prepared to handle thenext health emergency.Proposal. Secure In-State PPE Supply Chain and Passthe Medical Supply ActThe United States was ill-prepared for a globalpandemic when it came to our shores in 2020. At theoutset of the COVID-19 crisis, New York State, along withthe rest of the country, faced a severe shortage of basicPersonal Protective Equipment (PPE), leaving ourfrontline health care professionals vulnerable tocontracting the disease that we so desperately neededthem to fight. U.S. reliance on foreign PPE suppliers17

meant great disruption when China shut down, and theEuropean outbreak just ahead of us compounded thescarcity, resulting in high prices, delayed shipments, andquality control issues. To ensure that hospitals had thesupplies needed to protect their patients and workers,New York was forced to compete with other countries —and even states — to secure critical products fromoverseas.Seeing these challenges firsthand, GovernorCuomo decided, amidst the crisis, to immediately startinvesting in an in-state supply chain to help New Yorkbecome self-sufficient. By April 2020, Empire StateDevelopment (ESD) had launched a program to helpcompanies across New York State ramp up or retool theiroperations to manufacture critical PPE, including N95respirators, surgical masks, face shields, gowns, test kits,and ventilators, among other vital supplies. 2To date, ESD has awarded more than 20 millionto 36 New York companies as part of this initiative. Thesegrants have not only enabled New York Statemanufacturers to create and retain a combined 3,500jobs, but they have also put the state on track to meetdemand for the production of several critical supplies.18

In-state manufacturers can currently meet 100 percentof New York hospitals’ peak weekly demand for faceshields. In 2021, New York State manufacturers areprojected to have the capacity to produce up to twomillion N95 respirators, four million surgical masks, onemillion gowns, and 600,000 face shields per week.To promote domestic manufacturing of criticalmedical equipment and to reduce dependency onoverseas products, New York State will pass the MedicalSupplies Act to prioritize buying American-made PPEand medical supplies. As the Buy American Act did forAmerican-made structural iron and steel, this new policyensures domestic manufacturers have a ready marketand we maintain the gains we’ve made since April.Proposal. Make “Surge and Flex” RegulationsPermanentAs the COVID-19 crisis unfolded last spring, a newcoordinated approach to managing hospitalizations wascritical to ensure no one hospital was overwhelmed.Under the Governor’s leadership, the state coordinatedand organized all hospitals under the umbrella of oneunified system to efficiently use all the resources19

available in the state to meet the significant demands ofthe crisis. In August, this strategy was institutionalizedthrough the state’s “Surge and Flex” regulations, to allowthe state to quickly activate Surge and Flex in the eventof a resurgence of COVID-19. Under this coordinatedapproach, hospitals must have plans in place and beprepared to rapidly increase bed and staffing capacity,maintain and actively manage PPE, rapidly load balance,and report all information necessary for the state toimplement Surge and Flex.To ensure that the state’s hospital systems areprepared to face future surges and disasters, theDepartment of Health will make these emergency Surgeand Flex regulations permanent.Proposal. Create the Citizens Public Health Council toTrain Volunteers in Public Health PreparednessThroughout the COVID-19 crisis, New Yorkerswere asked to do their part to fight a virus in ways theyhad never done before. Everyone was given a crashcourse in virology, learning to properly wash their hands,sanitize their homes and businesses, and safely care fortheir family and neighbors. Thousands of New Yorkers20

signed up and were trained to be contract tracers,helping to track and mitigate the spread of the virus. 3When other states needed help, these New Yorkersheeded the call and brought their new public health skillsto the rest of the country.New Yorkers should have the tools to protectthemselves and help others against future healthemergencies. Governor Cuomo will launch a free citizenpublic health training program designed by CornellUniversity, offered online, to educate and certify tens ofthousands of citizens of New York all across the statewho will then be better prepared to help themselves,their families and co-workers and can be trained tovolunteer to help their community for the next healthemergency.Proposal. Launch a 40 Million New York StateBiodefense Commercialization FundNew York’s unparalleled scientific and medicalassets — particularly its wealth of biomedical researchcapacity — proved invaluable in enabling the state tolead the global fight against COVID-19. New York ranksthird among states in receiving National Institutes of21

Health (NIH) grant funding, a key indicator of the volumeof high-caliber research conducted at our world-classcolleges and universities. Of the nation’s 50 most highlyfunded biomedical research institutions, seven arelocated in New York, receiving nearly 2.9 billion inannual federal grants.Governor Cuomo has long4championed growth in this sector. He announced a 620million Life Sciences Initiative in 2016 to further thegrowth of the state’s world-class life science cluster andimprove the state’s ability to commercialize researchfindings into solutions that advance public health. 5While the development of vaccines for COVID-19has moved with unprecedented speed, thanks to manyworking in New York, there is still a pressing need ble not only to COVID-19 but also to otheremerging pathogens. Many entrepreneurs and rapeutics and technologies to control COVID-19.However, too many promising projects lack adequateventure funding in the current recession, and much of theexisting work remains independent and uncoordinated.22

Governor Cuomo will call on Empire StateDevelopment Corporation (ESD) to create a new 40million New York State Infectious Diseases ResiliencyCommercialization Fund advised by the New York StateDepartment of Health and other private experts. Thisinitiative will capitalize on New York’s substantialresearch and development assets and expertise in lifesciences, biotechnology, and biodefense.This fund will be designed to accelerate thegrowth of companies across New York State and to fasttrack the development of innovations that addressemerging infectious diseases and public health threats.This important and life-saving work will supporteconomic growth and keep New Yorkers safe. Grants ranging from 500,000 to 1 million willbe available to companies of all sizes, withinnovations ranging from early- to late-stage,with an emphasis on those with the highest potential for commercial viability.Until the end of the current public healthemergency, priority will be given to innovationswith the potential to directly mitigate the effectsoftheCOVID-1923pandemic.Promising

innovations that address other biological orinfectious disease threats will also be considered.Prior to making awards, the state will convene acommittee of public health experts in partnership withColumbia University and Mount Sinai Health System toreview and evaluate a

Legislature regarding the state of the state. Since taking office, Governor Cuomo has used this opportunity to update New Yorkers on the progress of the State, while laying out a series of priorities for the year. The State of the State proposals are the first step in defining the Governor's agenda in 2021.