State of Cuomo
Rays of Sunshine
Today, Gov. Andrew Cuomo not only presented his agenda for the final year of his first term–he declared the first three years of his tenure an overwhelming success.
“It’s a year that’s going to be a banner year for the State of New York,” Mr. Cuomo told the attendees at the beginning of his annual State of the State address in Albany. “But there’s an old saying that you don’t really know where you’re going until you know where you’ve been.”
Mo' Money Mo' Problems
Ray Kelly, the longtime police chief under former Mayor Michael Bloomberg, appears set to land another job in public service.
During Andrew Cuomo’s annual State of the State speech today, New York’s governor announced plans “to establish the nation’s first college on emergency preparedness and homeland security” and has “recruited Ray Kelly to be a special adviser to the state in setting up this school.”
Mayor Bill de Blasio today dismissed a report that Gov. Andrew Cuomo is planning to propose an alternate funding stream for Mr. de Blasio’s signature universal pre-K tax plan, and said any extra money in the state budget should be spent on other things.
After Governor Andrew Cuomo issued his annual State of the State address today, Mayor Michael Bloomberg and City Council Speaker Christine Quinn both released statements reacting to the remarks. Mayor Bloomberg was understandably pleased with the governor’s focus on strengthening gun control laws, which has been a pet issue for hizzoner.
“Governor Cuomo laid out a strong agenda in many areas for the year ahead, which will build on the progress he has led over the past two years. I was particularly struck by his passionate leadership on gun violence,” the mayor said. “New York State has led the nation with strong, common-sense gun laws, and the Governor’s new proposals will build on that tradition. They will help law enforcement keep guns out of the hands of criminals and other dangerous people and save lives. We strongly support his proposals to close loopholes and strengthen existing laws, and we look forward to working with him and the State Legislature to adopt them.”
Ms. Quinn gave a thumb’s up to the governor’s gun control plans as well as a whole host of his other proposals.
“Today’s proposals are smart, forward thinking ideas and I applaud Governor Cuomo for his tireless advocacy on behalf of all New Yorkers,” she said.
Earlier today, Governor Andrew Cuomo gave his annual “State of the State” speech where he presented a broad plan to transform the state through various legislative measures and executive actions. Once such action that Mr. Cuomo seemed particularly pleased with was his plan for a new whitewater rafting challenge in the Upstate Adirondacks.
“I believe if they see Upstate New York, they will come back, but we need to make that happen,” Mr. Cuomo said of the region’s tourism capability. “For example, New York has some of the best whitewater rafting in the nation, I bet you maybe that you didn’t even know that. So this year, we’re going to sponsor a national rafting competition called, ‘The Adirondack Challenge.’”
While Mr. Cuomo didn’t elaborate on the event’s specifics, he did proceed to jokingly promise Albany’s legislative leaders will be getting in on the rafting action.
“We are going to have a special part of the Adirondack competition, which can be between government officials,” he continued. “And we’re going to start a politician division, actually. We’re going to have a set of rules that were very carefully drafted and reviewed by [the state's] counsel.”
As liberals rejoiced over the parts of Governor Andrew Cuomo’s State of the State address that promised tougher gun laws and campaign finance reform, the State Senate’s Republican Leader Dean Skelos released a video hinting at a legislative battle to come when he said he would not support the public financing of campaigns.
“I do not support taxpayer dollars to fund political campaigns,” Mr. Skelos said after explaining that Republicans did back increasing “transparency” and “accountability” in the campaign process. “If the public campaign finance system in New York City was applied statewide and to legislative campaigns, it would cost taxpayers more than 200 million dollars. That’s money that would be much better spent on property tax relief or investing more money in rural upstate school districts and underperforming school districts around the state.”
One of the most hotly anticipated elements of Governor Andrew Cuomo’s annual State of the State address today was his plan to enact “sweeping” gun control reforms in New York. In his speech, the governor outlined a seven-point gun control plan focused on “high-capacity assault rifles” that he promised would be one of the “toughest” in the nation and lead similar laws to spread beyond New York.
“Gun violence has been on a rampage as we know firsthand and as we know painfully,” said the governor. “We must stop the madness, my friends. In one word, it’s just ‘enough.’ It has been enough. We need a gun policy in this state that is reasonable, that is balanced, that is measured.”
The governor continued by saying his gun control proposals are not about “taking away people’s guns.”
Queens State Senator Tony Avella, often known to speak his mind, wrote a letter to the editor of his local Patch publication highly critical of the “new fad we are witnessing is the multitude of ‘State of the State’ and ‘State of the City’ addresses.”
“I am writing to voice my disdain with what I see as a new fad being used as a self-promotional tool amongst politicians who, quite often, are seeking higher office throughout this city and state,” Mr. Avella began, explaining while he has “no problem with the governor, mayors and heads of municipalities” giving addresses, he is concerned with City Council Speaker Christine Quinn, Comptroller John Liu, and the various Borough Presidents all needing to give speeches of their own.
Governor Andrew Cuomo never tires of describing his first year in office as a transformative period for New York State government that saw Albany change from a hotbed of graft and gridlock into a model of bipartisan cooperation and good government. At his annual State of the State address last week, each element was perfectly calibrated to symbolically support that narrative.
Rather than giving the speech in the Assembly Chamber, Governor Cuomo moved the proceedings to the New York State Convention Center in the underground concourse below the Capitol. In an appearance on former Governor David Paterson’s radio show Monday, he confirmed the venue change was intended to send a message.
“I wanted to make a statement. The State of the State, as you know, is normally done in the Assembly Chamber,” Governor Cuomo said. “So, the Senate would come in and they would pack into that Assembly Chamber. And it was in the Capitol, it was basically to the Legislature with very few guests … because there were no seats—uncomfortable and you’re talking to a room full of politicians. I wanted to metaphorically, last year, bring the government outside of the Capitol and open the forum to the people.”
Still more reflections on Governor Andrew Cuomo’s speech yesterday and plenty of other highlights throughout New York:
The Times, Times Union, and Post editorialized generally on yesterday’s State of the State.
While the Daily News focused on the convention center and education proposals.