Lee Zeldin lifted Republican turnout across New York, helping the GOP retake the House while coming closer than anyone had in decades to defeating a Democratic governor. Here is his response to Kathy Hochul’s State of the State address.
The State of our State in New York should be the strongest, safest, freest and most prosperous in the nation. The Empire State is in dire need of a full restoration to its former glory, reversing outward migration, improving the quality of education in schools, promoting upward economic mobility, securing our streets and subways and much more. Unfortunately, one-party Democratic rule in Albany has resulted in a lack of balance and common sense that has our state charging off a cliff.
Due to political calculations, far-left ideology and special-interest influence, Gov. Hochul’s State of the State address ignored far too many of the ideas that would truly save our state.
While the worst part of Hochul’s speech was all that she left out of it, the most alarming proposal in her address is her vindictive declaration of war on New York’s suburbs. Masked as a housing plan, Hochul wants to double down in replacing “local control” around the state with “Hochul control.” No one elected her town supervisor, county executive or emperor, but she believes the office of governor encompasses all those other titles as well.
New York leads the entire nation in many of the wrong categories, including outward migration. To reverse the flight, Hochul needs to communicate a far better understanding as to why so many individuals, families and businesses are leaving. People believe their money would go further, they would feel safer and they would live life freer in states like Florida, Texas, Tennessee and the Carolinas. Hochul’s speech was yet another badly missed opportunity to boldly confront this reality head on.
As governor, if I were delivering Hochul’s State of the State address for her, here are 10 initiatives I would have offered that Hochul ignored:
- Term limits: No statewide elected official should serve longer than two terms of four years each.
- Declare a crime state of emergency and suspend cashless bail, Raise the Age, Less is More, the HALT Act and recent discovery-law changes.
- Lift the cap on charter schools.
- Give judges discretion to weigh dangerousness when setting bail.
- Reverse the state’s ban on the safe extraction of natural gas.
- Approve new pipeline applications.
- Enact the largest tax cut in the history of New York.
- Rehire all public-sector employees who were fired for their personal decision against receiving the COVID vaccine.
- Fire weak district attorneys who refuse to enforce the law, including Alvin Bragg.
- Refuse to meet with any campaign contributors soliciting business from the state.
We need strong, courageous leadership in New York now more than ever. During my campaign for governor last year, I outlined dozens of other proposals as well that I would be hitting the ground running on this month straight out of the starting gate. While I was doing everything in my power to earn the trust and support of New Yorkers of all walks of life — and save New York — it was clear Hochul was trying to do everything in her power to save Kathy Hochul. Public service is about serving the public, not being served by the public. New Yorkers don’t want to be ruled by an emperor-governor, and they strongly desire the ability to better control their government rather than have government control the people.
We should all be able to confidently declare that we live in the greatest state in the greatest nation in the history of the world, but it’s hard to call New York the most exceptional state in the union when so many people are permanently fleeing New York.
If Kathy Hochul’s State of the State address is any indication, many of the boldest and most important solutions to restore New York to glory are being outright ignored by one-party Democratic rule. The rest of us now need to work even harder to hold these weak politicians accountable and remove them from office the next time they are up for re-election. We must save our state.