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Memo: Governor Hochul Delivers on Promise to Build a Safer, More Liveable New York in 2023  


On January 1, 2023, Governor Kathy Hochul took her oath of office as the 57th Governor of New York, saying of New Yorkers: “In the face of adversity, we always persist, we persevere, we prevail.”

This year, New York has faced significant obstacles: mounting costs for families, a rise in hate crimes and hate speech, and an influx of migrants and asylum seekers. These issues, along with longstanding challenges to increase the housing supply, expand access to child care, and lower rates of crime to pre-pandemic levels, had New Yorkers looking to their leaders for help.

In response, Governor Hochul immediately got to work, leading robust State responses to every crisis while championing an ambitious, long-term legislative agenda.

Many of Governor Hochul’s initiatives are already delivering results: historic investments in public safety, a $1 billion overhaul of the mental health care system, the expansion of child care access to thousands of families, and other critical actions are making profound impacts on the daily lives of New Yorkers.

There is more work to do, but regardless of the challenges facing our State and country, Governor Hochul will continue leading by enacting policies that work to lift up all New Yorkers.


  • Responded to the rise in hate crimes and speech by announcing more than $51 million in grant funding to improve the safety and security of organizations at risk of such crimes; fully activating the DHSES Office of Counterterrorism; and launching a new telephone hotline and online form allowing New Yorkers to report hate and bias incidents directly to the State.
  • Made the largest public safety investment in a generation - $347 million (a $120 million increase from the previous year) in gun violence elimination, community response, and youth employment programs along with increased funding for law enforcement agencies and support for the enforcement and investigation of Extreme Risk Protection Orders (ERPOs).
  • Oversaw double-digit declines in shooting incidents with injury and the number of individuals killed by gun violence through December 2023, as compared to the same timeframe last year – a 32 percent decrease in the number of individuals killed and a 25 percent reduction in shooting incidents with injury.
  • Signed the Clean Slate Act, landmark legislation allowing certain criminal records to be sealed years after an individual is sentenced or released from incarceration if that individual is not subsequently convicted of an additional criminal act.
  • Enhanced cybersecurity with the first-ever statewide strategy to protect New York’s digital infrastructure from cyber threats.


  • Made a $1 billion, multi-year commitment to strengthen New York State’s continuum of mental health care.
  • Invested $30 million to expand mental health services for school-aged youth, including $20 million for school-based services.
  • Hosted a series of youth listening sessions and a spring summit, attended by more than 1,000 participants, aimed at exploring the issues impacting the mental health of youth throughout New York State.
  • Funded 13 new Certified Community Behavioral Health Clinics (CCBHCs) statewide that will offer immediate, walk-in mental health and substance use disorder services, regardless of insurance status.
  • Restored nearly 500 psychiatric beds taken offline during the pandemic.
  • Awarded funding to the first of 50 new Critical Time Intervention (CTI) care coordination teams, which will provide wraparound services, including housing and job support.
  • Worked with 14 existing Safe Options Support (SOS) teams in New York City to provide street outreach and services for chronically unhoused populations, including many living with mental illness or substance use disorder; helping 250 individuals transition into long-term or permanent housing, and laying the groundwork to expand this successful program to other areas of the state.
  • Continued holding health insurance carriers accountable by issuing more than $2.6 million in penalties to those failing to adopt network adequacy standards for behavioral health services, including covering life-saving crisis intervention and post-discharge services.
  • Awarded $1.6 million to eight addiction services providers to establish Mobile Medication Units (MMUs) that dispense medication to treat substance use disorder.
  • Made available all $192.8 million provided in the first year of the opioid settlement agreements, supporting a variety of prevention, treatment, harm reduction, and recovery initiatives helping New Yorkers impacted by the opioid and overdose crisis.


  • Took steps to prepare for the influx of asylum seekers and migrants in anticipation of the expiration of federal immigration policy and continues leading a robust State response.
  • Committed nearly $1.9 billion to date to support asylum seekers and migrants by funding housing, transportation, and social services.
  • Identified multiple State-owned sites to be used as shelters for asylum seekers and migrants, including Lincoln Correctional Facility in Manhattan and Building 197 at JFK Airport.
  • Deployed more than 2,100 National Guard personnel to assist with on-the-ground management and logistics.
  • Led the successful push for the White House to grant Temporary Protected Status (TPS) to individuals who arrived in the United States from Venezuela on or before July 31, 2023, granting more than 15,000 Venezuelan individuals the opportunity to attain legal work status within 30 days.


  • Secured a historic increase to New York’s minimum wage that will continue through 2027 when it will then index to the rate of inflation, ensuring those hit hardest by affordability crisis – including women and people of color – keep pace with the cost of living.
  • Expanded the Empire State Child Credit (ESCC) to include children under four years of age, making 630,000 additional children eligible.
  • Investing $500 million in underutilized federal funds to create a state workforce retention program and $4.8 million to establish an employer-sponsored child care pilot program allowing families who fall between 85 and 100 percent of the state median income to split the cost of child care with participating employers and the State.
  • Providing $7.6 billion over four years for the Child Care Assistance Program and expanding eligibility by raising the income limit to the maximum allowed by federal law: from 300 percent of the federal poverty level to 85 percent of the state median income – assisting more than 100,000 additional New York families.
  • Announced that approximately 27,000 housing units had been built and preserved as part of the administration’s transformative, five-year, $25 billion housing plan.
  • Increased New York’s housing supply using executive actions to promote housing growth, including an executive order prioritizing certain discretionary funding for localities that comply with a new “Pro-Housing Community” certification process; a new, interactive portal to collect and share community-level housing and zoning data; and a program advancing residential projects halted by the expiration of 421-A in the Gowanus neighborhood of Brooklyn.
  • Required all State entities to identify the potential for their State-owned lands to support housing.
  • Expanded Transit-Oriented Development (TOD) to spur housing growth along major rail lines.
  • Invested tens of millions of dollars into communities across New York State through the Downtown Revitalization Initiative (DRI) program, bringing small business investments, transportation infrastructure, and affordable housing to every region.
  • Awarded $100 million to 24 communities to date through NY Forward, which works to accelerate and expand the revitalization of New York’s downtowns.
  • Signed legislation protecting consumers from having medical debt impact credit scores and prohibiting price gouging for medicine during drug shortages.


  • Strengthened access to reproductive health care by ensuring New York providers can prescribe medication abortion, allowing pharmacists to dispense contraception over the counter, and requiring schools in the SUNY and CUNY systems offer access to medication abortion.
  • Led the nation by ensuring reproductive health care can be provided to patients in states where abortion services are outlawed or restricted through telehealth services.
  • Announced the State would stockpile 150,000 doses of misoprostol, a five-year supply, to meet current anticipated needs.
  • Invested $100.7 million in new funding for abortion providers and reproductive health, including for security grants for reproductive health centers and additional Medicaid reimbursements.


  • Created GO-SEMI, a $45 million investment to oversee Micron’s historic $100 billion investment in New York State to create 50,000 new jobs and bolster the State’s efforts to grow the chipmaking ecosystem.
  • Announced a transformative, $10 billion partnership with industry leaders to create a next-generation research and development center at NY CREATES’ Albany NanoTech Complex – the first of its kind in North America – making New York home to the nation’s most advanced, publicly-owned semiconductor R&D infrastructure.
  • Growing New York’s green economy, benefitting nearly 171,000 workers, by integrating fossil fuel employees into the clean energy industry and expanding workforce development and training initiatives that prioritize programs for the state’s most underserved populations.
  • Secured a historic expansion of New York’s film and television production tax credit to support the State’s growing film industry by raising the annual cap to $700 million.


  • Made record investments to save the MTA from the fiscal cliff and secure long-term stability for public transit by adjusting the payroll mobility tax on New York City’s largest businesses and increasing contributions from the City.
  • Made $35 million in safety investments to protect riders throughout the MTA system and announced that major subway crime had returned to pre-pandemic levels.
  • Announced the New York City subway set a new weekend day ridership record of more than 2.7 million paid rides in October 2023.
  • Led the State in advancing a first-in-the-nation congestion pricing program that will provide $1 billion per year in funds to help increase levels of reliable service and add accessibility improvements throughout the MTA system.
  • Advanced a nation-leading plan to right the wrongs of the past by reconnecting communities where highways were built to divide neighborhoods and roadways were designed to separate residents from their downtowns, including a $2.25 billion I-81 Viaduct Project in Syracuse and a $1 billion Kensington Project in Buffalo.
  • Announced the advancement on Phase 2 of the Second Avenue Subway, delivering equity to East Harlem – one of the most transit-dependent neighborhoods in New York City.


  • Directed State agencies to create a cap-and-invest program to accelerate climate action and fund a sustainable and affordable future for all New Yorkers.
  • Achieved a historic milestone with the successful delivery of clean power to Long Island from the first operational wind turbine at South Fork Wind, the first utility-scale offshore wind farm to begin delivering power in the United States.
  • Announced the first rounds of available Bond Act funds, including $200 million for water infrastructure and $100 million for zero-emission school buses.
  • Invested $500 million for clean water infrastructure.
  • Created the $200 million EmPower+ home retrofits program to reduce energy costs for 20,000 low-income New York families.
  • Secured $200 million in relief for high electric bills for 800,000 households.
  • Completed a 10-stop listening tour across the State, a key step in creating a collaborative and transparent process in the delivery of Bond Act funds.
  • Announced the creation of New York’s State Weather Risk Communication Center (SWRCC) at the University of Albany, a first-of-its-kind operational collaboration between university researchers and State emergency managers.


  • Made a historic investment in education funding, including a record $34.5 billion in total School Aid for school year 2024.
  • Invested $24 billion for Foundation Aid, delivering on a promise to fully fund Foundation Aid for the first time in history.
  • Provided an additional $150 million to expand high-quality prekindergarten programs to 20,000 children across New York, bringing the State’s total annual investment to more than $1.2 billion.
  • Provided $134 million to incentivize qualifying low-income public and nonpublic schools to participate in a federal program allowing all students in those schools to eat breakfast and lunch at no charge regardless of their family’s income.
  • Invested $2.4 billion in new funding for SUNY and CUNY capital projects to upgrade campus facilities and make strategic investments to support innovations and growth.


  • Provided a $22 billion, multi-year investment to support New York State’s health care system and an additional $1 billion for providers to make vital capital upgrades.
  • Invested $500 million for hospitals and health care facilities to upgrade patient technology systems to ensure cybersecurity protections remain strong and patient data remains confidential.
  • Oversaw significant improvements to aging hospital systems and services in lower-resources communities, including breaking ground on a $650 million emergency department expansion at Strong Memorial Hospital in Rochester.


  • Laid a strong foundation for a significant expansion of the State’s legal cannabis market, with New York slated to have 40 operational dispensaries by the end of the year – the vast majority of which are owned by independent operators who were unjustly impacted by the unequal enforcement of past prohibition.
  • Delivered on the promise to crack down on illicit cannabis storefronts, having inspected 350 locations to date – yielding more than 11,000 pounds of seized illicit cannabis valued at over $54 million.
  • Took creative action to ensure growers had pathways to get their products to consumers by creating showcases allowing growers to sell their products via licensed retail operators at “pop-up” style events, which have yielded a total of $3.4 million in revenue.


  • Nominated Chief Judge Rowan D. Wilson, who made history as the first Black Chief Judge in New York State history, and Associate Judge Caitlin Halligan.

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