New York’s first-ever woman governor Kathleen Hochul promised to usher in a “new era of civility and consensus in state government” following the exit of her predecessor Andrew Cuomo, who resigned after allegations of sexual harassment.
In a video address, Ms Hochul, who was sworn in on Tuesday, outlined her administration’s top priorities for New York. It included combating the spread of the Delta variant of the coronavirus, and efficiently sharing pandemic relief funds. She also vowed to foster a “dramatic change in culture” in Albany.
She said: “I’ve been in the trenches with local health leaders and officials battling the pandemic day after day after day. Your priorities are my priorities, and right now, that means fighting the Delta variant.”
The former congresswoman was sworn in at the State Capitol at 10am in a ceremonial event that followed an official swearing-in at a private ceremony just after midnight.
Ms Hochul also said that she wanted New York’s government to be “focused, without distractions.”
“And that begins with a dramatic change in culture, accountability, and no tolerance for individuals who cross the line,” she added.
Governor Hochul said that she will also be ordering an overhaul of New York’s sexual harassment and ethics policies, “starting with requiring that all training be done live, instead of allowing people to click their way through a class.”
Ms Hochul, 62, vowed to “focus on open, ethical governing that New Yorkers will trust.”
The former New York governor had said that Ms Hochul will “step up to the challenge.”
Ms Hochul said that her immediate goal as the governor was to ensure a “safe transition back to school next month.” She said that she would direct the Health Department to create a statewide policy requiring “universal masking for anyone entering our schools.”
During her video address, she said: “Today, for the first time in New York history, a woman will enter that arena as governor” and added that she is “willing to be bloodied and marred in the pursuit of doing what’s right for the people of this great state.”
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