Governor Eliot Spitzer says New York is facing tough choices.
But, he's not backing away from an agenda that will cost billions.
Walking into a joint session of the legislature, Governor Eliot Spitzer hoped to repair rifts and reinvigorate his vision.
A vision to make New York the best place to live, work, and raise a family.
"We can't abandon our ambition to pursue our goals at full throttle. On the other, we must adapt to the fiscal realities that are now upon us," says Spitzer.
Spitzer says it is time for the state to get real about property taxes.
"From Mamaroneck to Binghamton, wherever I go I hear the same thing, property taxes are too high," says Spitzer.
But the Democratic Governor is not embracing Republican calls to provide billions more in school property tax relief.
He says rebate checks won't solve the problem.
Instead, Spitzer is creating a commission to make recommendations for a property tax cap.
"A tax cap is a blunt instrument but it forces hard choices and discipline when nothing else has worked," says Spitzer.
Spitzer wants lawmakers to make a choice to invest in New York.
1 billion to revitalize Upstate.
"Create an Upstate whose best days are not behind it but are yet ahead of it," says Spitzer.
And create a 4 billion dollar endowment to fund higher education.
"Higher Education funding must no longer be a budgetary pawn or yearly battle. It must be a permanent priority," says Spitzer.
Fully funding the Child Health Plus Insurance Program is on Spitzer's spending list.
He ended by reaching out to lawmakers after a year of tensions over Trooper Gate and Drivers Licenses.
"We have work to do, a lot of work, for the people that sent us here," says Spitzer.
Spitzer did not touch on how he wants to pay for his plans or where he sees making cuts.
He did suggest the tapping into the value of the New York Lottery through private investment or other financing for the High Education Endowment.