Moments ago, New York Governor Andrew Cuomo delivered his annual State of the State address, where he outlined his legislative priorities for 2020 and his vision for building a most prosperous and just state. While Governor Cuomo indicated support for some promising programs, his address largely ignored the needs of the state’s young people, especially low-income and first-generation college students, and failed to invest in the programs they need to get ahead financially.
Following Governor Cuomo’s address, Marissa Muñoz, Northeast Regional Director for Young Invincibles, issued the following statement:
“While Governor Andrew Cuomo vowed to put New Yorkers on a path to economic stability and prosperity, the proposals outlined in his State of the State address do not tackle the structural issues impacting young New Yorkers. With the skyrocketing cost of college, the rising cost of health care, and stagnating wages, today’s young New Yorkers face unique and profound obstacles to achieving financial security. Unfortunately, Governor Cuomo has overlooked critical programs that could help young people save and plan for their futures.
Across New York, initiatives such as CUNY’s Accelerated Study in Associate Programs and the state’s comprehensive Essential Plan offer proven blueprints for increasing graduation rates, and ensuring that all young people — regardless of immigration status — can access quality, affordable health care in New York. But as the federal government continues slashing funding for higher education, workforce development, and health care programs, the Governor continues to prioritize programs like the Excelsior Scholarship — a restrictive scholarship that does not support students who struggle with costs beyond tuition. Instead, New York should expand nationally-recognized programs like ASAP that give young people the support they need to succeed.
In 2020, Young Invincibles will work to ensure that the Governor commits to sound, evidence-based investments in programs that expand health care access and affordability, invest in college students’ success, and ensure all young New Yorkers have access to a meaningful career pathway. The future of our state — and this generation — depends on it.”