Gov. Kathy Hochul on Tuesday used her second State of the State address to unveil a wide-ranging agenda for 2023, vowing to tie New York’s minimum wage to the rate of inflation, create hundreds of thousands of new housing units and push for further changes to the state’s oft-debated bail laws.

Hochul, a Democrat, laid out dozens of proposals for the coming year in a 45-minute address from the ornate Assembly chamber in the state Capitol in Albany, as well as in a 277-page policy book delivered to lawmakers earlier in the day.

Her speech came at a fractious moment in her relationship with the state Legislature, with Democratic senators threatening to block her nomination of Hector LaSalle as the state's chief judge. But Hochul sounded a harmonious tone, vowing to work with lawmakers to fulfill her agenda.

"My goals are straightforward and clear," Hochul told lawmakers near the end of her address. "We will make New York safer. We will make New York more affordable. We will create more jobs and opportunities for the New Yorkers of today and the New Yorkers of tomorrow."

All told, Hochul put forward 147 separate proposals, including several as part of a plan to overhaul the state’s current system for increasing the minimum wage, taking it out of lawmakers’ hands. Instead, the wage — currently $15 in New York City, Westchester County and Long Island — would automatically increase to match year-over-year changes in the price of consumer goods.

Hochul’s public safety plan, meanwhile, calls for a new round of changes to the state’s bail system, which is likely to draw opposition from progressive Democrats in the Legislature who continue to stand behind the 2019 reforms that have drawn extensive criticism from New York City Mayor Eric Adams and others.

She also laid out a $1 billion plan to bolster the state’s mental health system, in part by reopening more than 800 inpatient psychiatric beds and creating more supportive housing units.

Here are five takeaways from Hochul’s State of the State plan, as laid out in the book delivered to lawmakers:

1. Automatic minimum wage increases

If Hochul has her way, New York’s minimum wage would no longer be subject to the whims of governors and state lawmakers.

Hochul’s proposal would link the wage to the Consumer Price Index for the Northeast region. If the index goes up 3% from one year to the next, so would the minimum wage.

That’s a big change from how things are currently done, with lawmakers setting the wage in state law. The last time it was changed was 2016, when then-Gov. Andrew Cuomo and lawmakers approved a three-tiered, multiyear increase that saw the hourly rate rise to its current $15 in New York City, Long Island and Westchester County.

In the rest of the state, the minimum wage is currently $14.20 an hour, with the state Budget Division able to unilaterally increase it in future years until it hits $15.

"If costs go up, so will wages," she said. "Like other states that have implemented this policy, we will put guardrails in place to make increases predictable for employers, and create flexibility in the event of a recession."

Hochul's plan would include a cap the maximum annual increase, though she didn't say what that cap would be. That drew some concern from state Sen. Jessica Ramos (D-Queens), who is the sponsor of a bill to increase the minimum wage to $21.25 and then index it to inflation.

“Like everything else, the devil's in the details,” Ramos said after Hochul’s speech. “My understanding is that she might be proposing a cap on what those annual increases might be. So I'm eager to find out what the details on that are."

2. Changes to NY’s bail laws (again)

Last year, the New York governor’s race was painted in large part by questions over public safety, thanks in no small part to Republican Lee Zeldin making it the central theme of his campaign.

On Tuesday, Hochul made it a major theme of her State of the State proposals.

Specifically, the governor wants to make another round of changes to the state’s bail laws, which prevent judges from imposing bail on a defendant before trial in most misdemeanor and nonviolent felony cases.

In cases that remain eligible for bail, Hochul says she wants to remove a clause that still requires judges to implement the “least restrictive” measures to ensure a defendant returns to court. That clause, she says, has led to confusion among judges who have released defendants that they otherwise may have been able to keep jailed before trial.

"The bail reform law as written now leaves room for improvement," she said. "As leaders, we can't ignore that when we hear so often from New Yorkers that crime is their top concern."

Hochul says she would keep the “least restrictive” clause for cases that are not eligible for bail.

In a statement, Adams praised Hochul's speech, with a particular nod toward public safety.

“Governor Hochul’s State of the State outlined an ambitious agenda that would help make New York City stronger, safer and more affordable for working families," he said.

The Legal Aid Society, the organization that provides free legal defense for the indigent, was far less impressed, saying that Hochul's bail proposal "accomplishes nothing of value."

"As legislative leaders have noted, continuing to falsely scapegoat bail reform only distracts from community investments and reforms like the Treatment Not Jails Act and Clean Slate."

3. Housing plan calls for municipal goals, 421-a replacement

With New York facing a housing crisis, Hochul had previously pledged to create 800,000 new units over the next decade. On Tuesday, she detailed how she plans to do it.

Among other things, Hochul intends to create a “New York Housing Compact.” As part of it, every town, city and village in the state would receive a target number of new homes to create over a three-year period — 3% for those within the MTA service area, and 1% for those outside it.

If a municipality doesn’t meet its goal, the state would step in to fast-track the approval process for certain multifamily developments, provided they meet certain criteria, including a minimum number of affordable units.

Cea Weaver, coordinator of the Housing Justice for All campaign, wasn't pleased with Hochul's plan, calling it "gutless" and "designed to appease her wealthy donors." Her group organized a protest of Hochul's speech Tuesday, but was kept out of the Capitol when the Office of General Services announced late Monday it would temporarily cut off public access to the building.

"Instead of investment in public housing, we got handouts for big developers," Weaver said of Hochul's plan. "Instead of vouchers to help more New Yorkers afford homes, we got zoning changes."

Hochul’s housing plan also relies on some major assumptions. For one, it calls for a replacement of the expired tax incentive known as 421-a, which provided significant property tax breaks to New York City developers who build housing with a certain percentage of affordable units. A number of Democratic lawmakers allowed the program to expire last year, likening it to a handout to developers.

It also assumes about 400,000 units will come from “organic” growth — meaning they are units that would have likely been built regardless of government action.

4. Support for the MTA, but no details on revenue

Hochul’s State of the State book pledges to “secure the MTA’s future,” as the transit authority faces a $600 million budget shortfall caused in large part by ridership levels that haven’t recovered from the pandemic.

But exactly how the governor will do that remains to be seen.

Hochul’s book acknowledged the need for a new revenue stream for the MTA that isn’t so reliant on fares. She did not, however, provide specifics, suggesting that they may come when she lays out her state budget proposal later this month.

Janno Lieber, the MTA's chair and CEO, said he expects that to be the case.

"I would expect that it would be dealt with by the governor in the (state) budget," he told reporters. "I was thrilled to hear her say that MTA is the lifeblood of the region and it’s got to be funded, it’s got to be supported so it can provide great service."

Hochul did, however, include other transit-related proposals. Among them is allowing New York City to lower its speed limits.

The pitch — laid out in the governor’s State of the State speech — would alter current state law that prevents the city Department of Transportation from setting speed limits below 25 mph in most of the city, and 15 mph in school zones

The proposal is similar to legislation dubbed “Sammy’s Law” introduced in 2020 by state Sen. Brad Hoylman (D-Manhattan) in 2020, which would permit the city to lower its speed limits.

5. Measures to protect access to abortion, contraception

Hochul has made abortion and contraception access a major priority in the wake of the U.S. Supreme Court’s decision to overturn Roe v. Wade.

On Tuesday, Hochul unveiled her latest proposals related to reproductive health.

The governor would allow pharmacists to prescribe hormonal contraception, essentially allowing for over-the-counter access.

She also pledged to increase Medicaid reimbursement rates for reproductive health providers, and well as bolster access to medication abortions on SUNY and CUNY campuses across the state.

Includes reporting by Clayton Guse.