Wednesday’s Headlines: State of the State Edition

A speech, some pomp and a full house in Albany. Photos: Governor's office
A speech, some pomp and a full house in Albany. Photos: Governor's office

The big news is that Gov. Hochul made her State of the State address and it included some little Easter eggs (some of which we covered here and here).

But it didn’t take long for the excitement of a full legislative chamber and a color guard and a special invocation from an eloquent minister and a few Buffalo Bills Super Bowl jokes to give way to the harsh reality that this State of the State wasn’t really wearing any clothes.

Riders Alliance pointed out that Hochul didn’t show transit riders the money:

And state legislators Zohran Mamdani and Andrew Gounardes weren’t all that pleased either.

Naturally, retired federal transit man Larry Penner weighed in. Within seconds of the governor concluding her remarks, he sent over a laundry list of vital projects that were nonetheless not mentioned in the speech:

  • Second Avenue Subway Phase II — requires $6.9 billion
  • Penn Station Transformation — $8 billion
  • Cross Harbor Freight Tunnel — $10 billion.
  • Renewed support for the MTA initiation of Congestion Pricing
  • NYC Transit Staten Island North Shore Bus Rapid Transit — $600 million.
  • NYC Transit Staten Island West Shore Bus Rapid Transit — $1.485 billion
  • New Port Authority 42nd Street Manhattan Bus Terminal — $10 billion.
  • LIRR electrification of Port Jefferson branch from Huntington to Port Jefferson — $3.6 billion
  • Light Rail between Jamaica and Long Island City on the old Lower Montauk branch — $2.2 billion.
  • Utica Avenue subway extension — $5 to $10 billion.
  • #7 line station at 10th Avenue and 41st Street — $1 billion
  • #1 train extension from Rector Street to Red Hook — $3.5 billion
  • Restoration of rail passenger service from the West Shore of Rockland County — $ billions?
  • Niagara Frontier Transportation Authority Light Rail Extension to Amherst — $1.1 billion

“Does this imply that many are no longer are, or never were, a priority for her administration?” Penner asked. “You have to wonder how serious Gov. Hochul’s commitment really is to advance these projects. These are fair questions to ask.”

Still, Council Transportation Committee Chair Selvena Brooks-Powers only saw the bright side in Hochul’s speech, offering what was basically a rewrite of the governor’s press release:

This being New York, news coverage was mixed:

In the only other news from a State of the State-sapped day: