Cuomo and Duffy's first 100 days
Joseph Spector has a pair of pieces for Gannett about the Cuomo administration's first 100 days in office. In his profile of the governor, Spector notes that Cuomo has had some impressive initial wins - an on-time budget, a 70 percent approval rating - but still faces tough hills to climb:
But Cuomo has a challenging task ahead as he now seeks to score legislative victories. He faces a divide within his own party over his fiscally conservative approach — an agenda that has led to cuts in school aid and social-service programs that will likely hit poor communities the hardest. The cuts were coupled with an expiration of higher incomes taxes on the wealthy, which is salt in the wounds of progressive Democrats. "I don't understand it and I'm very frustrated about it," Assemblywoman Barbara Lifton, D-Ithaca, said of letting the higher income taxes expire at the end of the year. "To me, being a Democrat means you stand for a fair tax system, and I don't think our tax system is fair right now."
Spector’s angle on the lieutenant governor is the expanded role that Robert Duffy has taken on:
When Duffy signed on to join Cuomo, questions abounded about whether Duffy would be tasked only with the ceremonial duties that have long been designated for lieutenant governors. But Duffy has been utilized in various ways by the administration so far. He hit the road to tout Cuomo's cost-cutting agenda in speeches across the state and was dispatched last month to Washington to meet with the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission over concerns about the Indian Point facility in Westchester County. He came to Albany with a deal to make the facility the agency's top priority in its review. Duffy is heading Cuomo's plan for regional economic development councils across the state. Duffy said details about their makeup will be released in the coming weeks.
High speed rail
Infrastructurist has two recent posts up about high speed rail. In the first, Eric Jaffe runs down a new report from the American Public Transportation Association, that argues that rail will create jobs, and boost economies and energy efficiency. In an earlier post, Jaffe details all of the states jockeying for Florida's abandoned high speed rail cash - including New York.
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