While the governor's State of the State address wasn't a budget proposal, it almost might as well have been. Our Steve Ference explains some of the governor's plans to move the state forward financially and gets reaction on the issues affecting your wallet and growth in New York.
ALBANY, N.Y. -- “Governor, you've been a leader, innovator and friend,” said Senate Majority Leader Dean Skelos.
As much as the Governor's State of the State address was a chance for leaders to look back and pat each other on the back...
“We're going to ask the Assembly to pass the legislature to raise the minimum wage,” Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver said.
…The focus, on the money.
Skelos said, “How business friendly is the state.”
“New York is strongest when every region is strong,” Cuomo said during his speech.
The governor, making a number of financial promises he hopes New Yorkers can take to the bank, for instance, bringing the Capital Region high-tech investment model to Buffalo.
“There's vibrancy in the Capital District region around nanotechnology that would not have happened but for the state's investment,” Cuomo said.
Other financial proposals, holding the line on taxes and fees, creating a tax fairness commission, saving state money with pension reform and because rising program costs are squeezing municipalities that now grapple with the property tax cap, he wants the creation of a mandate relief council.
“I think we'll hopefully see a lot more relief in this budget, but the details have yet to be seen,” NYSAC Executive Director Stephen Acquario said.
Another part of the Governor's plan, bolstering the SUNY system and the hope is, bettering higher education and regional economic growth.
SUNY Chancellor Nancy Zimpher said, “Three competitions, $20 million each. Ten million from the state, ten million from SUNY. Of course we want to be an investment partner. And he wants to hold us accountable for a return on those investments.”
This as some in the business community have voiced their concern about the call to raise the minimum wage. But everyone, realizing this was a speech, a broad strokes speech. So basically, everyone left to wait for the details in the Governor's budget address.
Cuomo said, “There's no way we're going back. We're going forward.”
The governor estimates the plan would lead to $25 billion in state, federal and private activity.