Updated: January 9, 2024

Governor Hochul has delivered  her third State of the State address. This event was a platform for her to outline her office’s targets for the forthcoming year. Along with her speech, a briefing book was released that encompassed a variety of policy proposals for the year 2024.

Here is a recap of key items proposed by the Governor:


Governor Hochul has outlined plans for what she refers to as substantial investments in the state’s transportation infrastructure. These plans will be well-received, provided she fulfills her funding commitments. Her proposals encompass:

  • The proposed extension of the Second Avenue Subway – West line would traverse East Harlem, Central Harlem, and Manhattanville along the bustling commercial corridor of 125th Street, establishing a robust east-west subway link in Upper Manhattan.
  • The MTA will consider the possibility of extending the Q Line.
  • The Interborough Express (IBX) construction is on the docket.
  • The state of New York will introduce the “Infrastructure Hub,” a new website that displays the historic investments being made to enhance our roads, bridges, tunnels, public transportation, water quality, clean energy systems, and broadband internet access. [Infrastructure.NY.gov](http://infrastructure.ny.gov/) includes an interactive map spotlighting pivotal infrastructure projects currently in progress, funded by both the State and federal investments.
  • The Governor will once again push for the enactment of the legislation known as “Sammy’s Law,” which would grant NYC the power to reduce its speed limits.

New York’s Housing Crisis:

Despite housing being a priority in last year’s address, the state failed to make significant strides to address the crisis. ABC remains active in its stance against the implementation of Prevailing Wage and Project Labor Agreement mandates on these projects. The plans of Governor Hochul encompass:

  • Set up a fund worth $500 million to address infrastructure requirements and other necessities for conversion processes.
  • Improve the Pro Housing Community program by modifying the eligibility criteria for local governments. This change will make it mandatory for localities to secure Pro-Housing certification to access certain discretionary funding programs.
  • The Governor proposes to reintroduce an incentive similar to the 421-A. This proposal would allow NYC to provide a tax abatement for the construction of rental properties. The tax abatement would be dependent on requirements related to affordable housing and wage standards for building service and construction workers.
  • The Governor intends to propose a law establishing a tax incentive for commercial conversions that include affordable housing across the entire state.

Green Energy and the Environment

Governor Hochul reiterated her desire to tackle the climate crisis by readying our infrastructure for severe weather conditions, constructing additional renewable energy facilities and pursuing other green infrastructure initiatives. Her targets encompass:

Green Infrastructure:

  • The Governor will instruct the Environmental Facilities Corporation (EFC) to boost water infrastructure grants for small, rural communities. This increase will raise the grant coverage from 25% to 50% of the necessary project costs.
  • Resources will be allocated to protect and enhance some of the state’s most valued watersheds, with a focus on the eastern Finger Lakes watershed and Chautauqua Lake.
  • The Governor plans to direct significant investments towards the Eastern Finger Lakes Coalition of Soil and Water Conservation Districts. These funds will enhance professional capacity and speed up the execution of agricultural and resilience-related projects.
  • The Governor proposes the establishment of the Resilient & Ready Program. This flexible fund will be utilized to reinforce our housing stock and vital infrastructure, with a particular focus on flood-prone communities. The program will bolster resilience efforts for low and moderate-income homeowners ahead of future storms.

Renewable Energy:

  • The largest customer-sited solar plus storage project in New York State is set to begin construction by the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey. This project includes a solar carport canopy at JFK Airport, which will also be the largest of its kind in the state.
  • Governor Hochul is proposing the Renewable Action Through Project Interconnection and Deployment (RAPID) Act. This legislation aims to streamline the environmental review and permitting process for major renewable energy and transmission facilities by creating a one-stop-shop within ORES at the
  • Department of Public Service (DPS).
  • The Governor is also directing DPS to initiate a proceeding to enhance the interconnection of distributed energy resources. This proceeding will explore potential incentives, penalties, and other mechanisms that can enable New York State utilities to facilitate a faster and more efficient interconnection.
  • Additionally, Governor Hochul plans to advance the Affordable Gas Transition Act. This legislation supports gas system transition planning and includes eliminating the “100-foot” rule among other provisions of the law.

Extreme Weather Response and Preparedness:

  • An overhaul of building codes to align New York with the latest resilient building standards will be undertaken by the Codes Council. The 2024 update is expected to include items such as enhanced standards for resistance to wind, snow, and temperature extremes.
  • The creation of a “Blue Buffers” program is being proposed. This program aims to promote voluntary buyouts in communities most susceptible to flooding. Projects in communities will be prioritized based on flood risk levels to ensure the most vulnerable areas to high water and storm surge are protected.
  • The Governor will instruct DEC, NYSERDA, and DOS, in conjunction with all relevant state agencies, to devise a comprehensive climate change adaptation and resilience plan. This plan will ensure state entities and localities can adapt to climate change equitably, including assessing impacts on disadvantaged communities, ecosystems, infrastructure, and vulnerable economic sectors.
  • The Governor will command DHSES to equip our local and county partners with additional generators, high-flow pumps, and flood barrier technology.

Improving New York’s Business Environment

Governor Hochul emphasized the necessity for the state to reinvigorate its dedication to backing businesses in New York, with the goal of enhancing its reputation as an excellent location to both work and conduct business. Her plans include:

  • The Governor plans to launch a new round of the NY FAST program, which is designed to attract large-scale developments to the state.
  • Governor Hochul intends to create a program aimed at establishing additional workforce development centers throughout New York.
  • Governor Hochul has committed to providing funding for the RESTORE NY initiative, which finances projects that transform vacant, abandoned, and condemned properties into usable sites.
  • The Governor will push for legislation that allows municipalities and state agencies to use DASNY’s planning, design, procurement, and construction management services for a wider range of projects.
  • ESD is set to expand its Ombudsman program by establishing the Small Business Environmental Support Office (SBESO). This office will assist small businesses in complying with a wide range of environmental regulations, including those related to water, air, waste, bulk storage, and more.
  • The Governor will strive to establish a Youth Apprenticeship model, to be developed collaboratively by the Department of Labor (DOL) and the State Education Department. This model will provide an alternative career path for students who may not be able to pursue traditional post-secondary education.

You can download the Governor’s Briefing Book here…

If you have any questions about how these policies and inititatives can affect your business and the industry at large, feel free to contact Diane Cahill.

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bob dalessioRobert “Bobby” D’Alessio, is a former New York City Department of Buildings Senior Executive Director of Construction Safety. Mr. D’Alessio’s focus is predominately in the areas of construction code and safety analysis for our clients’ major new building and renovation projects in the New York City and surrounding regions.

As Cahill Strategies’ Director of Construction Code and Safety, Bobby brings an unparalleled level of knowledge and practical experience to our growing construction solutions practice area.

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