NEW YORK - Gov. Kathy Hochul joined Good Day New York on Thursday morning, where she discussed various topics, including bail reform, charter schools expansion, MTA funding, MSG tax exemption and mental health care.
She started out by saying what New Yorkers need to do to support her.
"My priorities are their priorities. My number one focus is on public safety, that is what people want us to focus on. I’ve been focused on this since I became governor 18 months ago."
"What I'm going after are the serious felonies, serious cases involving guns where a judge right now has a conflict in the laws," Hochul said.
The governor's plan is to remove the "least restrictive means" standard from the state’s bail laws so that judges can have more discretion when setting bail.
Senate Majority Leader Andrea Stewart-Cousins and Assembly Speaker Carl Heastie both have expressed reservations about once again addressing the issue.
Hochul said she is going to work with the legislature to show them why it's important.
"This is about public safety overall," Hochul said.
Charter Schools Expansion
Gov. Hochul wants to eliminate the regional cap on charter schools, which would allow more charter schools to open in New York City.
Per pupil funding for charter schools would increase by 4.5%.
But the proposal has faced opposition in the Legislature.
"I want to make sure parents have a choice," Hochul said. "They deserve to have a choice. But I'm also funding public education at record levels. So the argument that that takes away from our investment in public schools is absolutely false.
Gov. Hochul wants to create a new revenue stream for the MTA that would keep massive service cuts and layoffs from going into effect.
To offset this budget gap, Hochul is proposing a hike on the MTA payroll tax for New York City companies.
"I have to keep the MTA strong, reliable and keep investing in it," Hochul said. "And that's why we had to come up with a plan that would spread all around and it's not on the commuters themselves, it is the larger companies in the region who pick up a share of it."
The governor also urged the MTA to start finding ways to save money.
MSG Tax Exemption
State Senate Democrats are aiming to deal Madison Square Garden chief James Dolan a big blow in the state budget.
A budget resolution this week will include a proposal to strip the Garden of its 40-year-old property tax exemption.
But would the governor veto something like this?
"I don't predispose my positions on issues like that," Hochul said.
Gov. Hochul made a pledge to build 800,000 new units in a decade.
"It's a crisis," Hochul said. "We have not kept up with the pace of building new apartments and homes that other states have."
Gov. Hochul said the suburbs of New Jersey have five times more houses built than on Long Island.
Mental Health Care
Gov. Hochul is making a $1 billion investment in mental health.
The governor announced that Thursday afternoon, they will be having a roundtable discussion with young people, particularly girls.
"One out of three girls who are teenagers entertained suicide," Hochul said. "That is devastating."
Hochul said they are going to talk to the girls around the state, and the listening tour will lead to a mental health summit in May with experts.