Back in January, Governor Andrew Cuomo gave his State of the State message in Albany. Since then, he and his staff have been traveling to different towns and counties. About a week after his speech,Cesar Perales, Secretary of State of New York, detailed Cuomo's plan at Ramapo Town Hall where he presented a powerpoint and fielded questions.
On Tuesday, Cuomo stopped in Nanuet at the Pascack Community Center to address a crowd mixed with local elected officials, residents, non-profits and many more. Patch did live video coverage during the meeting. Check out the short 30-second snippets here. The shortened version of Cuomo's powerpoint from Perales' meeting is attached to this article as well.
This event was open to the public with a required RSVP. Some residents said they had called in their RSVP that morning, but were not on the list to be allowed in.
Outside were protestors for two different causes: fracking and the East Ramapo School District. Nanuet Resident Scott Walters was outside and since he did not RSVP, he could not go inside. He was there that day to ask Cuomo more about community development acts as well as gasoline tax.
Inside the community center, Clarkstown Supervisor Alex Gromack introduced Cuomo. Cuomo's big push was “NY one-two punch: Jobs and Education.”
“The national economy is not doing what it needs to do and we’re feeling it here in this state. Also, our children in our state are not being educated to the best of their capacity and mother nature has not been that kind to us,” said Cuomo.
He added that the state is going to get the budget passed this year on time “with a pledge to New Yorkers that we’re going to do it without raising taxes. There will be no new taxes in this budget."
“We stopped the political gridlock. Yes we’re democrats and we’re republicans, but we are New Yorkers first … we have a government now in Albany that is working for the people once again,” said Cuomo.
The four core elements of Cuomo's plan are:
- Attract good jobs and economic growth.
- Create a world-class education system that prepares the next generation for the future.
- Establish fiscal integrity and discipline.
- Restore NY as the progressive capital of the nation.
Cuomo addressed the state’s $1.3 billion deficit.
“$1.3 billion sounds like a lot of money and it is a lot of money. Last year we had a $3 billion deficit, the year before we had a $10 billion deficit, so compared to where we’ve been, this is ok, this is manageable.”
He added that without the changes made in the past two years, the state would be looking at a $17 billion deficit.
“But because we balanced our books the first two years, it’s gone to a $1.3 billion deficit,” he said. Cuomo said that he plans on closing the $1.3 billion budget gap by finding the savings and efficiencies within the state government.
“We’re not going to pass it on to local governments, we’re not going to pass it on to not-for-profits and we’re not going to pass it on to the taxpayers. We’re going to manage our state government better than before and we’re going to make up the deficit all within that regard,” he said.
"There is no New York State economy," he added. "There are regional economies, depending on where you are in the state. You have to build regional economies. You want to build a Rockland economy, you have to build it in Rockland. The state can be a partner, but you have to realize that you have to take an regional, individualized approach.
The economic challenge with technology is its transfer from academia to commercialization.
“The schools of higher education and academic institutions are teaching young people and coming up with great innovative tech-related ideas. Those tech-related ideas then become businesses. New York currently loses in that situation. It’s not because we don’t come up with the ideas … We generate the ideas, but they go to other states to become businesses … that has to stop.”
Cuomo’s now plan is “innovation hot spots” where the state teams up with colleges, academic institutions and private businesses to incubate start up businesses.
“When they come up with these ideas, we will have a … physical place for start up businesses, give them the support services, the lawyers, the accountants, whatever they need in terms of support and invest in those start up companies … and they will be tax free zones.”
One condition: “They start the business, they succeed the business and the business stays in New York and they hire New Yorkers.”
For current businesses, Cuomo says he plans to overhaul workers comp and unemployment insurance.
Read more about these technology initiatives in this Patch article.
“We had a manufacturing economy and a generic worker training program … that’s what we do in the SUNY and CUNY system.”
Cuomo is proposing a Job Linkage program to address the 210,000 unfilled New York jobs. Those open positions are due to a lack of workers with the “skillset to fill those jobs. These are highly technical jobs.”
In this program, the process is: “Find the employer first, identify the job, identify the skill set and then have the community college train for that job specifically.”
Read more about the Job Linkage Program in this Patch Article
Cuomo also said state is looking to raise the minimum wage to $8.75. Read more about it in this Patch Article
“We’re also going to challenge the regions to come up with their own marketing campaigns for their regions. We have so much beauty to offer upstate.” He added that the millions that live and visit NYC, “we need to get those tourism dollars north” so that the tourism boost will positively affect the state’s economy.
In Cuomo’s Casino Gaming Plan, he plans to change the state constitution to turn ‘racinos’ into casinos “and use these casinos as the heart of a resort destination that can spur regional economic growth.”
“Because they are not casinos, we don’t regulate them as casinos, we don’t tax them as casinos and we don’t really have the results and product we would have if we were in the casino business. (Surrounding states) have casinos and … are stealing our business.”
Read more about NY marketing and casinos in this Patch article
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