The Green Party in New York offered up its own State of State address last week, with a series of ideas the party says will push the state forward.
Howie Hawkins, a two-time gubernatorial candidate for the Green Party, says there are things his party liked in Gov. Cuomo’s list of 2018 legislative priorities, but there's not enough to pull them on board.
“He’s socially progressive but economically, he’s pretty conservative,” said Hawkins. “And the system isn’t changing. And when you get to issues like poverty and the struggles of middle income people, he offers nothing.”
Hawkins says Cuomo’s 2018 legislative agenda doesn’t go far enough on several fronts, including promoting clean energy and reforming public campaign financing. And as far as a multi-billion dollar budget deficit the state faces, Hawkins says the answer is easy.
“We’re broke because you won’t tax the rich in the state like they used to be taxed,” he said.
Hawkins says the Greens have some ideas he says would erase a deficit, including creation a public health care plan, and elimination of various tax breaks for businesses, that he calls corporate welfare. He expects the Green Party will bring these and other issues up during the gubernatorial campaign, one that could have Hawkins again sitting on the Green Party line on Election Day.
“The Greens are encouraging me to, and since I’m retiring I have the time. So I probably am,” he said.
When not running for political office, Hawkins has worked the graveyard shift unloading trucks for UPS for many years.
“I haven’t made a formal announcement and I haven’t even started a campaign plan, but we are having that discussion,” he said.