New York’s powerful Assembly Speaker was more than effusive in his praise for Governor Andrew Cuomo’s leadership during today’s State of the State Conference. Speaking before Majority Leader Dean Skelos and the Governor himself, Speaker Silver said, ”You have emerged as the most effective chief executive in our nation today.” That would place New York’s governor over the ones in 49 other states, as well as above President Back Obama.
Governor Cuomo returned at least some of the compliment, praising Speaker Silver’s “great job” and stating that ”we owe him a debt of gratitude.”
The Governor also took some time to tease the Speaker, placing an image of the 67-year-old Speaker’s head on an 8-year-old body with short pants during his PowerPoint presentation, visually demonstrating how long ago it was that New York had taxes as low as they are under his administration. (The Governor used the opportunity to show a similarly altered image of Senator Skelos as well.)
Speaker Silver has been one of the most powerful political figures in New York State over the last number of years with the power to make or break governors’ agendas. Although Governor Cuomo’s predecessor, David Paterson, suffered significantly from an adversarial relationship with the Speaker, the current governor has largely had a publicly peaceful relationship with Speaker Silver.
After extolling Governor Cuomo, Speaker Silver used most of the rest of his time to advocate for an increase in New York’s minimum wage.