New York Governor Kathy Hochul to mandate masks in schools
Kathy Hochul succeeded Andrew Cuomo at midnight on Tuesday
She said she wants all teachers vaccinated or to be tested weekly
Hochul said that she has consulted multiple stakeholders on the matter
The Democrat, who succeeded Andrew Cuomo at midnight on Tuesday, also said that she wants all school staff to be vaccinated or tested weekly for the coronavirus. She said that she has consulted multiple stakeholders, from parents to teachers, to figure out how to safely get students back into school and protect the environment so they could learn.
She said accomplishing this goal requires buy-in from all levels of government. The state is launching a back-to-school testing program and she plans to announce additional school-related policies later this week.
Hochul, a former member of Congress from western New York, took the oath of office just after midnight in a brief, private event overseen by the state’s chief judge, Janet DiFiore.
At a ceremonial swearing-in later on Tuesday morning at the State Capitol, Hochul promised a “fresh, collaborative approach” in state government.
“I want people to believe in their government again," she said. “It’s important to me that people have faith,” Hochul said.
She noted that she had already begun speaking with other Democratic leaders who have, for years, complained about being shut out of key decisions and of being bullied by Cuomo, including New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio.
“There’ll be no blindsiding; there’ll just be full cooperation,” she was quoted as saying by the Associated Press.
Hochul takes over a state that is still dealing with the coronavirus pandemic. Apart from the mask mandate in schools, she will be under pressure to get federal rent relief money into the hands of tenants. Little of the $2 billion set aside by the federal government to help New Yorkers pay off rent debt has been distributed. Thousands face the possibility of eviction after state and federal protections expire.
(With AP input)