Person shot at 350 W. 37th St. in Manhattan.

POLITICS: Gov. Hochul panders on abortion as New York burns

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Crime is soaring statewide (more in such smaller cities as Troy than in the Big Apple); New York is still a long way from recovering its pre-COVID jobs as it faces an exodus of high earners and top firms who’ve discovered they can work just as well in no-income-tax Florida. New York City desperately needs a renewal of mayoral control and a tax-code fix to allow for non-luxury housing construction before the Legislature quits for the year in a few weeks.

Yet Gov. Kathy Hochul is laser-focused on . . . protecting abortion rights in a state that already guarantees them practically through to birth.

Hochul’s big ideas include writing abortion rights into the state Constitution (actually, starting the at-least-two-year process to pass an amendment) and setting aside $35 million to financially support abortion providers if the Supreme Court strikes down Roe v. Wade.

And never mind that New York providers won’t need help, since again nothing will change in this state, whatever the high court does. If anything, they’ll see an increase in business — and will have no trouble financing any expansion, though Hochul means to send them $25 million for it anyway.

No doubt the gov will also sign off on state Attorney General Letitia James’ push for the taxpayers to fund “free abortions for all,” especially, low-income out-of-state women and illegal migrants.

It’s clear Kathy Hochul has forgotten about addressing crime in New York after state budget talks.
William C. Lopez

Oh, Hochul & Co. are also eyeing a state constitutional amendment to protect gay marriage, supposedly fearing that the Supremes might reverse that decision, too. (Reality check: “Right wing” Justice Neil Gorsuch wrote the last decision expanding gay rights, and got Chief Justice John Roberts’ vote for it, too.)

The most charitable motive we can attribute to Hochul is a desire to win positive headlines in The New York Times, which largely ignores state politics but can’t resist the culture wars. After all, she’s got primary and general elections to win this year.

But any need for political pandering (and endless fund-raisers) is no excuse for dodging her duties. She already lost her best chance to start turning New York around when she caved to Legislature’s tax- and spending-hiking budget without winning serious fixes to the criminal-justice “reforms” that are fueling crime statewide.

But she should be still pushing for basics like the city’s affordable-housing tax break, along with whatever else she can get on crime. (Especially when New York’s pro-crime attitudes just kept yet another perp out of jail, free to allegedly shoot a cop.)

Most New Yorkers want a governor who’ll fight for them, not one pandering on an issue that’s irrelevant in their state.

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