Wednesday, January 12, 2022

The State of the State, Adirondacks

kathy hochul state of the state

In case you missed it, Gov. Kathy Hochul delivered her first State of the State speech last week. This is where the governor tells New Yorkers what she’s hoping to accomplish within the next year. It will be followed by a state budget presentation later this month.

My first time covering a State of the State address was January 2020. The coronavirus pandemic was barely a whisper in the Capitol building. Former Gov. Andrew Cuomo held his address inside The Egg in Albany where hundreds of people were in attendance. Out of curiosity I filed a records request for a list of those invited, but it took me over a year to get it from the Cuomo administration. Cuomo, even during his State of the State in 2021, used big PowerPoint presentations and video snippets. In 2020, a couple of dozen journalists were there. I couldn’t tell you how many photographers and videographers were scouting out their best shots while walking through the crowd.

Hochul changed the venue of her speech to the state Assembly chambers, something that hadn’t been done in over a decade. The audience number was limited due to the pandemic, and everyone that was there was masked (except for podium speakers). For media coverage, a press pool of one print, one television and one radio reporter was allowed. Most people watched it live-streamed. I did.

Hochul’s speech was only a glimpse of what her administration wants to do in 2022. The rest of it comes out in an over 200-page book where we learned about Adirondack Park-specific plans. You can read more about those in our story here.

The Adirondack Park Agency is slated to meet on Thursday and Friday. The board could vote on a proposed mining operation near White Lake in Forestport. The project has caused a stir among residents and APA records show more than 1,200 public comments were submitted. It is not clear if the board will take action, though the APA’s agenda includes a presentation during the regulatory programs committee. Staff have recommended approving it with conditions. You can view the agency’s agenda and records here: We’ll be following.

Photo provided by Gov. Hochul’s administration.

Editor’s note: This first appeared in Gwen’s weekly “Adirondack Report” newsletter. Click here to sign up.

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Gwen is the environmental policy reporter for Adirondack Explorer.

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