On January 5th, Governor Kathy Hochul delivered the annual State of the State address. On January 7th, the Prohibition Party of New York responded with a 5-page document critically evaluating the governor’s address and providing their own vision and proposals for state policy. The full document is available on their website.
The Prohibition Party of New York gave a mixed assessment of Governor Hochul’s proposals. They stated their opposition to Hochul’s proposal to weaken state restrictions on alcohol sales in bars and restaurants: contending that such changes would undermine public health and wellbeing, would exacerbate problems with the coronavirus, and contradicted the governor’s claim of wanting to move the state in a direction centered on the interests of New Yorkers and their families. They criticized Hochul for wanting to continue the pro-alcohol industry approach of the Cuomo administration, rather than using the opportunity to help end state support for the alcohol industry and start seriously addressing alcohol as a public health problem. They praised Hochul’s proposals to increase restrictions on the ability of state officials to acquire income from outside sources and to replace the state’s Joint Committee on Public Ethics with a more independent public ethics body, with the power to enforce ethics laws on our state’s public officials. But they also criticized her for not calling for the repeal of the changes to state ballot access laws passed in 2020 under the Cuomo administration (which the Prohibition Party of New York characterized as an anti-democratic action to suppress third parties and independent candidates and deny electoral choices to voters). They praised Hochul’s proposals to expand workforce training programs and expand eligibility for the state’s Tuition Assistance Program. While they expressed approval for some of Hochul’s economic proposals (such as expanding infrastructure and green energy projects), they criticized her for not addressing persistent issues with the state’s economic development programs and lacking a holistic approach to economic development focused on improving the quality of life for New Yorkers. They finished their assessment of Hochul’s proposals by stating that they believed that the quality of Governor Hochul’s agenda and goal of creating a new era for New York was being held back by her administration holding on to “flawed ideas and approaches” from the previous administration and that her administration would need a change in mentality to able to successfully create a new era for New York.
The Prohibition Party of New York put out its own list of proposed policies. This included ending state support for the alcohol industry, increasing restrictions on alcohol, tobacco, and other drugs, increasing support for education, prevention, rehabilitation efforts to combat alcohol, tobacco, and other drugs, amending state law to remove the time limit for local communities to be able to opt-out of recreational marijuana sales, repealing the 2020 changes to the state’s ballot access laws, passing stronger ethics laws for public officials, passing Britany’s Law, abolishing the statute of limitations for rape and the sexual abuse of children, reforming the state’s economic development programs, improving the quality of public education, expanding the state’s Tuition Assistance Program, improving services for those living with disabilities, reforming the state fiscal system to reduce the burden of property taxes, and realigning state policy based on standards of moral principle and public wellbeing.