From overhauling the state's tax code, to eliminating bail in some criminal cases, Gov. Andrew Cuomo delivered his annual State of the State speech in Albany on Wednesday, laying out his agenda for the new year.
In the 90-minute speech from an unusually large podium, Cuomo outlined his reform plan for the criminal justice system.
That includes ending cash bail for misdemeanors and reserving bail only for those who pose a flight risk or are facing charges for a violent crime.
"The blunt, ugly reality is that too often if you can make bail, you are set free, and if you are too poor to make bail, you are punished," Cuomo said. "We must reform our bail system."
As he has done for the last several months, the governor railed against the federal government for the Republican tax bill that Congress passed last month and President Trump signed.
Cuomo said the bill is "an assault" on Blue States like New York, and he plans to sue the federal government.
"If the federal government really wanted to help workers — which is what they said all along; that they wanted to help workers, they wanted to help the middle class — if that's what they wanted to do, then the law they passed would have mandated that the corporations tax cut windfall go to pay workers higher wages or go to create jobs," the governor said.
Cuomo said he believes Blue States are being targeted by Republicans to give tax cuts to Red States. He said he plans to launch a national campaign to repeal and replace the tax law passed in Washington.
The governor also said he may restructure the state's tax plan to rely less on the income tax by introducing a new statewide payroll tax.
But Republicans said the GOP tax plan will not hit New York State as hard as Cuomo and other Democrats claim.
"I think first and foremost there was too much talk about Washington, and there should be more of a focus on New York State," said Assembly Minority Leader Brian Kolb, who is the only Republican so far to declare that he will challenge Cuomo for the governorship later this year.
Omitted from the governor's speech were the details of any kind of congestion pricing plan that he has said in the past he supports.
New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio was in Albany for the governor's address and said he opposes talk of any additional tolls on cars that enter Manhattan.
"We got a little bit more today, but obviously we still don't have a plan," de Blasio said. "So it's impossible to comment on a plan that doesn't exist. I think there are serious fairness issues when it comes to congestion pricing."
As expected, the governor also called for a comprehensive plan to address sexual harassment in government. That includes ending taxpayer-funded financial settlements and non-disclosure agreements.