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New York Governor Andrew Cuomo delivered day two of this State of the State address Tuesday, after unveiling ambitious plans to jumpstart and reimagine the New York economy in the wake of the pandemic. The effort could start in Manhattan’s central business district, CBS New York reports.
As political reporter Marcia Kramer reports, Times Square is empty. The lights are out in millions of square feet of office space, and rooms and in tourist hotels are going begging. They’re pandemic problems Cuomo wants to fix.
“The crisis of growing vacancies in our commercial properties provide an opportunity. We should convert vacant commercial space to support affordable housing, and do it now. Take the negative and make it a positive,” he said Monday.
The governor also wants to establish a rapid testing network to help businesses reopen. And he’s looking at the success of opening the Bills’ stadium to fans last weekend as a test case for opening up other large venues, including Yankee Stadium and Citi Field.
“We must begin increasing economic activity and using science to do it, making COVID testing and vaccinations available, so we can reopen restaurants and theaters in art spaces and commercial businesses,” Cuomo said.
The governor also called for more rent and mortgage relief for tenants and small businesses, strengthening election laws, telehealth legislation, legalizing marijuana and enabling online sports betting.