ALBANY, NY — New York Governor Andrew Cuomo’s laid out his 2019 justice agenda at his “State of the State” address in Albany, New York on Tuesday.
With a Democratic state house and senate, Cuomo believes the empire state can accomplish a more democratic agenda this year despite what he describes a “dysfunctional federal government” in Washington.
Cuomo is about to sign into law – the Gender Identity and Expression Non-Discrimination Act or GENDA that would protect LGBTQ members against discrimination, harassment and hate crimes on the basis of gender identity, as well as legislation that would ban gay conversion therapy.
Cuomo is also calling on legislators to pass laws that would ban gay and trans panic defenses.
New York is also about to finally pass the DREAM Act — to give certain undocumented New York students access to the tuition assistance program, as well as state-administered scholarships.
A New York federal court recently decided that the citizenship question in the 2020 census is illegal.
Cuomo said that every New Yorker, regardless of immigration status, must count in the coming census.
Cuomo believes the Empire State can lead the way in serving and bringing its diverse constituents together.
After all, it was in Ellis Island in New York harbor that first welcomed immigrants from all over the world.
“You know who else came through NY harbor? Frederick Trump, grandfather of Donald Trump,” Cuomo said. “The greatest arrogance is when you forget where you came from and where you started…we all came from somewhere else, we are all immigrants.”