ALBANY, N.Y. — Statewide elected officials were sworn in New Year's Day as part of a two-hour inauguration ceremony in Albany's Empire State Convention Center.
State Comptroller Thomas DiNapoli, state Attorney General Letitia James and Lt. Gov. Antonio Delgado — all Democrats — each took their oaths of office to begin a new four-year term after voters re-elected them in November.
They each delivered remarks after their swearing in, sharing a theme of unity to combat New York's fiscal, economic and social challenges in 2023.
"Change happens when you work together — all of us," said Delgado. "And I believe that it is this day-to-day practical work born of a commitment to excellence, responsiveness and effectiveness, that in fact leads to a world of possibilities. What good is the dream of what's possible if you're not willing to do the work?"
Delgado, a Rhodes Scholar and former two-term congressman in the Hudson Valley and Capital Region, became lieutenant governor last spring after former Lt. Gov. Brian Benjamin resigned in scandal.
Voters on Nov. 8 elected Delgado to his first full term as the state's second-in-command.
Attorney General James, starting her second term, recounted how she's held predatory landlords, corporations and officials accountable over the last four years.
She also led a national fight to take down the pharmaceutical companies responsible for the opioid epidemic, securing more than $2.5 billion for New York to fight the crisis.
"Because of our work with the Legislature, that money has already started flowing directly to communities for treatment, and prevention and education," she said.
Officials Sunday reflected on their accomplishments, and the work they have cut out for them in 2023.
"What we need is a voice — a moral voice — to say that we, all of us, should be united as one in this great country," James said. "That which separates us are nothing more than artificial constructs and the reality is that we all bleed red, and we should be united as one."
After being sworn in by state Senate Majority Leader Andrea Stewart-Cousins, Comptroller DiNapoli said he's ready to guide the state's finances through continuing economic uncertainty.
He's the state's second-longest serving fiscal watchdog at 16 years in the position and counting.
"One of my top priorities is to safeguard the retirement security of our state and local public employees," DiNapoli said during his inaugural remarks. "Even through a difficult investment environment, New York's pension fund is among the strongest, best-funded retirement systems in the nation and as trustee of the fund, my commitment is to keep it that way to protect our defined benefit pensions."
Gov. Hochul signed legislation this week to restore the comptroller's oversight power to review state contracts before they're signed — an effort that will hopefully make the state's financial commitments more transparent.