Promoting his State of the State and budget address is Governor Andrew Cuomo. The Governor was in the Hudson Valley Tuesday, delivering his message at Marist College in Poughkeepsie. Our John Wagner was there and has more.
POUGHKEEPSIE, N.Y. -- For the third year in a row, Governor Andrew Cuomo submitted a budget plan that closes a deficit without raising any new taxes. The governor came to Marist as a way to bring his State of the State to the people, needing locals to help get the budget passed.
"If I have your support and you understand the plan and you’re committed, then the politicians will follow you," Governor Cuomo said.
Governor Cuomo laid out a $142 billion state proposal to Dutchess County residents and students, focused on a one two punch of education and jobs programs, enticing support with better, high tech training for workers and reducing workers comp and liability costs for businesses.
"Any time you can make it less expensive to do business in the state, that's good for all residents," said Todd Tancredi, Town of Poughkeepsie Supervisor.
"It’s all about creating economic opportunity so that we don't have to argue over the lowest end of the wage, but rather ensure there is great opportunity and prosperity for anyone seeking a job," said Dutchess County Executive Marc Molinaro.
The governor continues to focus on commonalities, building bridges metaphorically through political gridlock and literally with the Tappan Zee Bridge. But Cuomo also touched on more politically charged issues like building casinos, gun control and the minimum wage.
Cuomo said, “The border states all around us have raised the minimum wage so that were no longer in pace. I propose raising the minimum wage, make it $8.75 an hour. It’s the right thing to do, it’s the fair thing to do and it’s long overdue.”
To make his case for budget votes, Cuomo spoke about increasing tourism in the Hudson Valley, creating gender equality and cutting the cost of living in New York.
“We can't be the tax capital of the nation,” Cuomo said.
Tancredi said, "I like the idea of a more efficient less expensive state government, a government that gets you know their budgets in on time and approved on time and doing away with some of the nonsense we've had for years."
The governor closed by saying the state will do much more to prep for big storms, saying there's a clear silver lining to Irene, Lee and Sandy.
"Just bonded together through that tragedy, as sad as it may seem, but were coming out of this significantly stronger than we were before," Marist student Jason Sokolowski said.
The governors will need to build upon that united spirit before April 1st when the state budget comes due.