Gov. Cuomo delivers state of the state and budget messages

Jan 15, 2019

ALBANY, N.Y. (AP) — Gov. Andrew Cuomo released his annual state budget proposal Tuesday to a New York Legislature that is controlled by his fellow Democrats for the first time in a decade.

Cuomo presented what’s expected to be an approximately $170 billion spending plan to the Assembly and Senate in a theater in the Empire State Plaza in downtown Albany.

After a mid-December speech and a New Year’s Day inauguration address in which he outlined his agenda for 2019, the third-term governor is combining the traditional State of the State speech with the mandated release of his spending plan for the fiscal year that begins April 1.

Cuomo said during an interview on WAMC public radio Monday that his agenda is the “most aggressive” he has formed during eight years in office. He and the Democratic leaders of both chambers have vowed to get long-stalled legislation on everything from voting reforms to legalized recreational marijuana approved over the next three months.

With Democrats in control of the governor’s office and Legislature, Cuomo said they’re poised to have “the greatest progressive accomplishments in 100 days that this state has ever seen.”

The Assembly and Senate upheld their end Monday, the 2019 legislative session’s first full day, by passing a voting reform package that revamps the state’s antiquated electoral system.

Democrats have controlled the Assembly for decades and gained control of the Senate for the first time in a decade in the November election. Senate Republicans were able to hold power in the chamber since 2011 thanks to eight rogue Democrats who conferenced with the GOP. But the Independent Democratic Conference dissolved last spring, paving the way for Democrats to regain control.

Cuomo announced Tuesday morning that he’ll include safety reforms for limousines in his state budget proposal in response to the October crash of a stretch limo that killed 20 people in an upstate town.

Cuomo’s proposals include a ban on reconfigured limos like the modified SUV that crashed into a store’s parking lot in Schoharie on Oct. 6, killing the driver, 18 passengers and two pedestrians.