RE:Governor Cuomo S 2018 State of the State

RE:Governor Cuomo S 2018 State of the State


FROM:Kristen Murphy

DATE:January 3, 2018

RE:Governor Cuomo’s 2018 State of the State

The Governor presented the 2018 State of the State in the Empire Plaza Convention Center this afternoon. Beginning last week, proposals were released and continued throughout the day today. The Governor touched on topics including economic development, health care, women’s rights, criminal justice and ethics reform. The Governor is due to release his Executive Budget on January 16th. The following summary highlights areas of interest. Please let us know if you require more information.

Women’s Agenda

  • Abortion Access – The Governor proposes to codify Roe v. Wade and continue to push for a constitutional amendment;
  • Comprehensive Contraception Coverage Act – the Governor will advance a program bill to codify access to contraception, including emergency contraception;
  • Criminalize “sextortion”;
  • Require the mandatorysurrender of firearms after all domestic violence convictions, including misdemeanors. Go here for more information;
  • Sexual Harassment –The Governor proposes to advance legislation that would prevent taxpayer funds from being used for settlements against individuals relating to sexual assault; create a uniform code of sexual harassment policies; and establish an anonymous whistleblower process.

Combatting the Opioid Epidemic

  • Pharmaceutical Accountability: The Governor and Attorney General will take enforcement actions against pharmaceutical opioid distributors who fail to meet their legal duties to monitor, detect, and report suspicious orders of prescription opioids. Any funds received will be used to support the state’s efforts to combat opioid addiction;
  • Opioid Refills: Advance legislation to restrict subsequent refills to more than one additional seven-day prescription of opioids for acute pain without having an in-person visit;
  • Advance legislation that authorizes the Department of Health to apply the same limitations to patients who have not used opioids previously and require Emergency Room prescribers to also consult the PDMP before prescribing opioids;
  • Create a Statewide Pain Management Steering Committee bringing together clinical experts to make recommendations on pain management issues including on insurance coverage of alternative pain management treatments;
  • Eliminate Insurance Barriers: limit prior authorization requirements and co-payments for outpatient addiction treatment;
  • Implement regulatory and policy reforms that increase access to substance use disorder services. Reforms may include adding subacute pain as a qualifying condition for medical marijuana;
  • Creation of 250 Certified Peer Recovery Advocates;
  • Advance legislation to add 11 fentanyl analogs to Schedule I of the controlled substance schedules of Public Health Law;
  • Advance legislation to add 35 different synthetic cannabinoids to the state schedule of controlled substances; and
  • Give the State Health Commissioner the authority to add to the state controlled substance schedule.

Criminal Justice Reform

The Governor proposes several measures to reform New York’s criminal justice system including:

Bail Reform: Under this proposal, people facing misdemeanor and non-violent charges must be released without cash bail; in cases where a judge does not set bail, the court must give defendants a choice between cash or bail industry bonds; and in violent crime cases, if an individual commits a crime or misses a court appearance while on pretrial release, the judge can hold the individual in jail pretrial.

Discovery Reform: This plan would require prosecutors and the defense to share information in a multi-stage time frame before a trial takes place. A safety measure will be in place to protect witnesses.

Speedy Trial Reform: The Governor proposes legislation to codify the waiver process, require court reviews of statements of readiness, and regulate last minute motion practice.

Civil Asset Forfeiture Reform: The Governor proposes legislation to ban all asset seizures and directs DCJS to require law enforcement agencies to report demographic information on seizures.

Re-Entry: The Governor proposes legislation to remove mandatory suspension of driver’s licenses for people convicted of drug crimes; remove statutory bans on occupational licensing for professions outside law enforcement; expand opportunities for release from prison individuals through geriatric release consideration; decrease financial barriers of released individuals including removing the parole supervision fee and review of child support orders; and, undertake a review of parole revocation guidelines and practices to determine appropriate alternative to incarceration options for individuals who do not pose a risk to the community.

Juvenile Justice System: Invest $100 million to implement the Raise the Age law to support prevention, diversion, treatment, re-entry and supervision services.

Solitary Confinement: Direct the Department of Corrections and Community Supervision to close more than 1200 Special Housing Unit beds in correctional facilities throughout New York.

Local Jail Protection: The State Commission of Correction will review all facilities in New York that have repeatedly failed to meet well-established standards of safety, security, and service. Jails that fail the review will be required to adhere to a corrective action plan or will be shut down immediately.

In addition to passage of the Child Victims Act, the Governor proposes legislation that provides the Superintendent of State Police with administrative subpoena authority in instances of online sexual abuse of children.

Substance Abuse Treatment in Homeless Shelters

Under this proposal, OASAS will make on-site peer delivered services available in 14 existing homeless shelters throughout New York. They will begin in areas that have seen the biggest increases in substance use.

Promoting Tolerance

The Governor proposes the following:

  • Codify current regulations that ban harassment and discrimination against transgender individuals;
  • Add gender identity as a protected class under the Human Rights Law; and
  • Direct the Division of Human Rights to work with the State Education Department to develop a respect for diversity curriculum for 8th and 9th graders.

Immigrant Rights

  • Pass the DREAM Act;
  • Continue the Liberty Defense Project which provides legal services for immigrants;
  • Establish the One WorldWelcome and Opportunity Center in Utica which will provide workforce and vocational training to refugees.

Minimum Wage

Under this proposal, the Department of Labor would be required to hold hearings on eliminating the minimum wage tip credit.

Democracy Project

This proposal includes initiatives that are intended to modernize New York’s elections:

  • Early Voting: Every county will be required to offer residents access to at least one early voting poll site during the 12 days leading up to Election Day;
  • Automatic Voter Registration: The Department of Motor Vehicles will automatically send voter information used in a DMV application directly to the County Board of Elections. Individuals who do not wish to register to vote can simply check an "opt out" box; and
  • Same-Day Voter Registration: This proposal would allow New Yorkers to register and vote on the same day.

Student Loans

This proposal would require the following: appoint a Student Loan Ombudsman at the Department of Financial Services; require all colleges to annually provide students with the estimated amounts incurred for student loans; and prohibit the suspension of professional licenses of individuals behind or in default on their student loans. Go here for more information.

Patients Right’s

To help New Yorkers navigate healthcare services, the Department of Financial Services will require health plans to provide consumerswith information including cost estimator tools and quality ratings.

External Appeals Database: The Department of Financial Services will create a searchable database of prior external appeals to make it easier for consumers to decide if an appeal is worthwhile.


The Governor is advancing legislation to expand access to rural health services by ensuring Medicaid recipients can receive telehealth services in more settings including from their home;advance legislation that allows a patient to receive telehealth services regardless of location; and launch a new pilot program to support rural providers across the state to make the necessary investments in telemedicine equipment and IT support.

Voluntary Non-Profit Hospitals

The NYS Prevention Agenda and DSRIP aim to shift the role of hospitals from providing care to those in need to addressing the social and environmental determinants of population health. Under this proposal, all voluntary non-profit hospitals must include budgets in their community service plans, detailing investments in community health improvement interventions including those associated with the Prevention Agenda.

Ethics Reform

  • The Governor will propose a constitutional amendment to limit outside income to 15% of base salary for members of the Legislature and create a fulltime Legislature;
  • The Governor will also propose a constitutional amendment to create 4-year legislative terms for members of the Legislature and an 8-year term limit for new members;
  • Close the LLC loophole on contributions for all elected officials; and
  • Institute a voluntary public financing system that matches small donations with public funds.

Regional Economic Development Council - Round 8 Funding

Allocate $750 million to fund regional priority projects.