Cuomo's to-do list: NYS weighs in
State of the state reaction
Yesterday Governor Andrew Cuomo outlined his economic agenda for New York State during his first state of the state address. Here's what papers around the state are saying about the governor's remarks.
The Buffalo News referred to Cuomo's plan as "an ambitious agenda for a Capitol unaccustomed to change," but that "the buzzword was cooperation," at least within the Convention Center. The paper also reports that Cuomo's signature issue will likely face birthing pains as it transitions from the campaign trail to the Capitol:
Cuomo has invested much political capital in a property tax cap, and he has said it will not include Albany-style escape mechanisms; his plan caps annual growth at 2 percent, or 120 percent the inflation rate, whichever is lower. "New York has no future as the tax capital of the nation," he said. Just what specific form property tax relief might take is unclear; the sides have not yet begun real talks over such a bill.
Gannett's Albany bureau reports that Cuomo's "vision was vast and inclusive" but "how much of it he'll be able to get passed by a reluctant Legislature will be the critical test."
The Post-Standard referred to Cuomo's platform as "a litany of ideas," and spelled out a few of them:
In 47 minutes, with Power Point slides and passionate pleas, Cuomo voiced a litany of ideas. Force health care workers and medical interests to help the government cut Medicaid spending. Create incentives for local government mergers. Close juvenile detention centers with high recidivism rates. Attract more business and jobs to the state. To do all that, Cuomo must convince strong public unions, frustrated business owners, highly taxed homeowners and partisan legislators that his ideas can actually solve New York’s problems.
The Times Union says Cuomo's speech "put some meat on the bones of his plan to reinvent and reinvigorate state government." Yummo! The paper also notes that Cuomo "offered something for everyone" (except maybe vegetarians):
...streamlining government and tax cuts for middle-class, moderately conservative voters; and a list of progressive items encompassing ethics reform, same-sex marriage and consumer rights.
The Press & Sun-Bulletin reports that officials in the Southern Tier liked the cut of Cuomo's jib in the address. The paper has a good round-up of reactions from local elected officials.
Want more juicy political details? Jimmy Vielkind at the Times Union's Capitol Confidential blog has an excellent round-up.
112th sworn in
While many of New York's political observers were focused on Albany, there was also this thing going on in Washington: the first session of the 112th Congress. The Buffalo News has a look at the power shake-ups that went down as Republicans took over leadership. And the Democrat and Chronicle and Post-Standard have looks at the swearing-in of freshman Republican Ann Marie Buerkle, who won a hotly contested race against incumbent Democrat Dan Maffei. Apparently she missed her first vote during a private swearing-in ceremony (along with 20 other members of the House).
Alright, enough politics. If you want more than that you'll have to get them from Jill Terreri at the Democrat and Chronicle's Vote Up! blog.
There's an intellectual property dispute going down between the University of Rochester and a university spin-off called Clinical Insights (CI), reports the Democrat and Chronicle. CI claims that the U of R broke a contract by not paying for software owned by the firm. It's an interesting case to watch as more and more economic development stock is placed in the ability of academia to commercialize its work and create private firms.
Consumer confidence drops
Siena College's consumer confidence poll showed declining confidence in December, reports the Democrat and Chronicle:
The statewide confidence index slipped 1.5 points in December to a reading of 65.6, going in the opposite direction as the nation as a whole, where last month's reading increased 2.9 points to 74.5. Those overall readings include people's responses to separate questions asking how they feel right now about the economy and how they view the future. When just the current confidence level is examined, the gap between New York and the nation gets much larger — 18 points.
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