Reaction is coming fast to Gov. Andrew Cuomo's State of the State address this afternoon.
Rockland County Executive C. Scott Vanderhoef:
While the County Executive applauded the Governor for an ambitious message, he was disappointed that a viable state initiative was not included that would assist counties and municipalities deal with the increasing costs of unfunded state mandates. Of course, we will look to the specifics when it comes to a 'task force' to advise counties on financial pressures. - Vanderhoef spokesman Ron Levine.
Assemblyman Kenneth Zebrowski, D-New City:
Today the Governor set out a broad agenda that will continue to move New York forward. The Governor’s speech touched on a host of issues from education to economic development; tourism to women's equality; infrastructure to public integrity; utility reform to public safety. I congratulate the Governor on presenting big ideas and am ready to craft legislation, with the input of my constituents, for a better New York.
Over the past few years we have made major strides in right-sizing the State Budget. Now, we need to ensure that we foster an economic recovery that truly creates jobs and fosters private innovation and investment. I am excited to work with the Governor on his new economic programs to ensure they reduce the cost of doing business and get people back to work.
This year I believe New York must re-invest in education to ensure our children get the instruction they deserve from Pre-K through college. The Governor outlined many interesting education proposals and I pledge to work with him and my constituents to enact innovative proposals that give our children the skills to achieve in the workplace.
Ramapo Town Supervisor Christopher St. Lawrence:
"Once again, Governor Cuomo has demonstrated that he is the right person to lead the Empire State at this critical juncture. Although our state is facing a multitude of challenges, Governor Cuomo is clearly prepared to overcome those hurdles through the application of sound strategies and smart solutions.
As our state continues to grapple with the aftermath of Hurricane Sandy, I commend Governor Cuomo for his herculean efforts to guide New Yorkers through this unprecedented challenge. With families and communities still reeling from the effects of the storm, Governor Cuomo's commitment to ensure that we have the financial wherewithal to rebuild our communities and restore our neighborhoods gives us confidence that New York will be able to bounce back from this devastating natural disaster.
The Governor displayed great foresight by advocating the need for a disaster preparedness plan that will help ensure that New York is ready for whatever challenges nature throws at us in the future. I also commend the Governor for his call to create greater oversight of our state's utility companies. As an outspoken advocate for the ratepayers in numerous rate cases before the Public Service Commission, and someone who has actively opposed the utilities' requests for rate increases on many occasions, I welcome Governor Cuomo's call to hold the utility companies' feet to the fire and make them more accountable for their performance. The utility companies have a responsibility to the people of New York State and a failure to perform cannot be an option.
As our state and our nation continue to mourn the twenty-six victims who tragically lost their lives in the deadly massacre at the Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Connecticut, I applaud Governor Cuomo's call for tougher gun control measures and a ban on assault weapons.
We have all watched in horror over the past two years as innocent people lost their lives in a number of mass shootings, including the Sandy Hook massacre, the movie theater shooting in Aurora, Colorado in July 2012, the shooting in the Sikh temple in Oak Creek, Wisconsin in August 2012, and the shooting in Tucson, Arizona in January 2011.
Because of the recent uptick in gun violence, the national debate over gun control has taken on a greater urgency, yet the issue has become embroiled in heated political rhetoric. Governor Cuomo knows that we cannot let partisan politics preempt public safety, and his commitment to pass tougher gun control laws will make New York State a safer place for all of us.
It was also refreshing to hear the Governor's call for an increase in the state's minimum wage, his recipe to continue restoring the state's fiscal health, and his goals for New York schools and the education of our children.
Governor Cuomo's vision for New York is the right one, and his plan to continue making this state a better place to live, work, and raise a family is exactly what New Yorkers need. With Governor Cuomo at the helm, New Yorkers can rest assured that even better and brighter times are in store for the Empire State."
Supervisor Christopher St. Lawrence, a 6-term Supervisor of the Town of Ramapo in Rockland County, is also a member of the Mid-Hudson Regional Economic Development Council and the Mass Transit Task Force, which is a newly formed panel that is charged with studying ways to implement mass transit on a new Tappan Zee Bridge. In addition, St. Lawrence is a 2-term Rockland County Legislator, Chairman of the Rockland County Solid Waste Management Authority, Chairman of the Ramapo River Watershed Council, and Vice Chairman of the Rockland County Sewer District #1.
In Albany, Attorney General Eric T. Schneiderman today issued the following statement:
“In the year ahead, New York faces many hurdles, including continued rebuilding from Hurricane Sandy, growing our economy, strengthening our democracy and protecting our communities from gun violence. In today’s State of the State speech, Governor Cuomo laid out important steps to address these challenges. I look forward to working with the governor and all of our state’s leaders to make New York safer and stronger for all our communities.”