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Cuomo calls for ethics reform, $145 billion budget in State of the State speech

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Gov. Andrew Cuomo admits he is laying out an ambitious agenda for New York state lawmakers this year.  In his State of the State speech today in Albany, Cuomo laid out plans to  spend money on roads, schools, the environment, transportation, homeless shelters and housing. He also asked lawmakers to consider an eight-point ethics reform proposal, a $15 minimum wage and a paid family leave program.

"At the end of the day, family matters," Cuomo said. "Intimate relationships matter. And in this 24/7 world, let this state make a statement of what’s really important. Those relations are really important. We should be there for one another especially in a family environment. Let’s pass family leave this session.”

Cuomo said lawmakers can do it, if they work together.

"I believe Sen. Flanagan and Assemblyman Hastie are not going operate as Democrats and Republicans," Cuomo said. "They’re not going to be partisans, they’re not going to be zealots. They’re going to act first as New Yorkers and do what’ s right for the state of New York."

Cuomo admitted that he had a bad year in 2015. His father died New Year’s Day and his girlfriend, Sandra Lee, was treated for breast cancer.

These experiences help mold some of his 2016 legislative agenda. He’s proposing that New York state become home to the most aggressive breast cancer screening program in the country.

Altogether, Cuomo is proposing a $145 billion state budget. Some of his proposals will be funded through continued settlements with banks and insurance companies the state is expecting this year. State lawmakers will begin considering the budget this month. Among other things, he’s proposing spending on transportation, the environment, and homeless shelters. He’s also asking lawmakers to pass ethics reform that would cap outside income.

Ellen produces news reports and features related to events that occur in the greater Syracuse area and throughout Onondaga County. Her reports are heard regularly in regional updates in Morning Edition and All Things Considered.