Monday, January 15, 2024

State of the State to budget

Gov. Kathy Hochul delivers her 2024 State of the State address


I was looking back at our coverage of Gov. Kathy Hochul’s State of the State speeches. During her first in 2022, she mentioned the Adirondacks in passing during her speech. In her accompanying agenda book, she made specific mentions of an Olympic Regional Development Authority venue and of managing visitors in the Adirondack forest preserve.

In 2023, there were no specific mentions of either the Adirondack or Catskill forest preserves in her agenda book, and no mentions of them in her speech. But she used the metaphor of climbing mountains in last year’s address and continued to use it this year. Before the Assembly chambers last week, Hochul made no passing mention of the Adirondacks and her agenda book included one mention of it.

In what way was the Adirondacks mentioned in her book? And how might the things she did talk about impact the Adirondacks? You can read our story below to find out.

The State of the State address tees up the executive’s budget proposal this week, followed by a round of budget hearings. We’ll be watching to see what gets proposed for the Adirondacks.

Read more about How Hochul’s 2024 vision could impact the Adirondacks here.


Blue Line blueprint

The day after Hochul’s State of the State address, the Common Ground Alliance released its annual “Blueprint for the Blue Line.” The document is a conglomeration of ideas from the organization’s October meeting and is addressed to Hochul and lawmakers. This year’s focuses included “broadband and cellular connectivity, childcare and workforce in vibrant communities, invasive species, the Environmental Bond Act, climate change, and housing.”

Here are a few items the organizations would like to see get done:

  • “Invest in initiatives for broadband and cellular providers deploying infrastructure in rural areas, which might not be financially viable under conventional business models – especially funds specifically earmarked for cellular development to bridge the gap in communication services across the Adirondack region.
  • Subsidize commercial driver’s license (CDL) training costs for aspiring school bus drivers.
  • Establish a network that is financially and organizationally prepared to sustain and grow the Adirondack region’s population by welcoming and employing “new Americans” and domestic migrants.
  • Increase investment in invasive species management efforts undertaken by lake associations and municipalities, while streamlining permitting and licensing for such efforts.
  • Provide technical assistance circuit riders to assist communities with the Clean Water, Clean Air, Green Jobs Environmental Bond Act application processes, administration of funds, and connection with partners/similar stakeholders across municipal boundaries.
  • Reduce the number of reimbursement-based grants, as many small, rural communities cannot carry large, upfront project costs.
  • Reestablish the Office of Rural Affairs in the Executive Chamber.

You can read the full proposal here.


Adirondack Park Agency

View all APA public comment and hearing opportunities at:


Environmental Notice Bulletin

View all the state Department of Environmental Conservation’s weekly environmental notice bulletin projects.


Photo at top: Gov. Kathy Hochul delivers her 2024 State of the State address in Albany. Screenshot from the state’s livestream.

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.

One Response

  1. Rob says:

    A lot of wants in this proposal that the taxpayers will be footing the bill for.

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