Albany, NY (WBNG Binghamton) Governor Andrew Cuomo delivers his 2014 State of the State address with an election year agenda designed to appeal to social progressives and fiscal conservatives.
"For 2014, we have put forth the most comprehensive plan for the future of New York yet," Cuomo said. "This agenda will grow the economy and provide fiscal relief to taxpayers, give our schools the classrooms of tomorrow, reimagine infrastructure across the state to face the new climate reality, and take steps to make our communities safer, fairer, cleaner and more progressive."
He proposed using a projected $2 billion dollar surplus projected by the 2016-2017 budget year to reduce taxes for New Yorkers and businesses in the state. The plan includes a one year freeze on property taxes where local governments stay within the 2 percent property tax levy cap. The freeze would extend to a second year if concrete steps are taken to share services and reduce costs.
Calling the state's power transmission infrastructure antiquated, Cuomo wants to expedite projects built within existing transmission corridors or buried along existing state-owned rights of way.
There would be a fourth round of Regional Economic Development Grant competitions to fund projects to create jobs and attract international investment.
Cuomo announced the state will appoint a Gaming Facility Location Board to select among bidders for regional casinos to increase tourism and economic growth Upstate.
He would have the state assume management of construction from the Port Authority to upgrade both JFK and LaGuardia airports.
Cuomo affirmed his plan to use executive authority to launch a pilot program to allow up to 20 hospitals to provide medical marijuana to patients being treated for serious illnesses.
A Commission on Youth, Public Safety & Justice will be formed to make recommendations regarding the criminal and juvenile justice systems. New York is one of only two states that sets the age at which youths can be treated as adults in the criminal justice system at 16 years old.
He proposed a "Three Strikes Your Out" law to include a five year suspension of drivers licenses for people with two convictions for driving while intoxicated or while impaired within in a 3-year period and lifetime revocation for people convicted of three drunk driving offenses.
The governor's education agenda includes a $2 billion dollar Smart Schools Bond vote to provide all schools with high-speed, high-tech classrooms. Also, establish Full Day Pre-K for all schools.
In the wake of devastating Hurricanes and Tropical Storm impacts, Cuomo proposes a $17 billion plan for upgrading infrastructure, transportation networks, energy supply, coastal protection, weather warning system and emergency management.
Cuomo would once again work to pass the Women's Equality Act introduced in 2013 which includes provisions to achieve pay equity, stop housing discrimination for victims of domestic violence and protects freedom of choice.
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