Governor Cuomo delivered his 2020 State of the State address yesterday (January 8), in which he laid out dozens of ambitious proposals that include a 40% tax cut for small businesses, the legalization of cannabis, an expanded free college tuition program and many more.
Entitled “Making Progress Happen,” the governor’s agenda also contained a new domestic terrorism law to address the spike in hate crimes in New York.
He also introduced a $3 billion environmental bond act to fight climate change, along with historic infrastructure and economic development investments like a reimagined Erie Canal project.
Additionally, the governor’s agenda includes protections for gig economy workers, as well as paid sick leave and tax cuts for middle class New Yorkers and small businesses.
“New York has demonstrated the progressive philosophy for generations,” Cuomo said. “From its birth in the early 19th century, New York demonstrated a true progressive movement. What does it mean? It is the advancement of social, racial and economic justice, in an effective manner, to bring about meaningful improvement in the lives of aggrieved people and to further the collective interest. That is our definition of what it means to be a progressive.”
Here’s how Cuomo’s speech fared with some of our area representatives:
State Senator James L. Seward (R/C/I – Oneonta):
“New York State is losing population at an alarming rate, we are facing a $6 billion deficit, and public safety concerns due to so-called bail reforms are making headlines. Unfortunately, the governor’s message did not offer any remedies to these serious matters.
To turn the tide, we need to focus on the priorities that people talk to me about every day – cutting taxes, holding the line on spending, and ensuring that our region of the state receives its fair share of state resources for education, infrastructure, and other vital needs.
An agenda focused on improving our economy, helping our farmers and small business owners succeed, and making sure New York is affordable for all is what we need.
Where the governor meets those standards, I will work with him, and where he falls short, I will stand up to him.”
SUNY Chancellor Kristina Johnson:
“On behalf of The State University of New York, I am proud to offer my strong support to Governor Cuomo. The Governor knows, as we do, the changing landscape on the horizon, one in which brings forth the promise of economic growth for states like New York that continue to invest in our people, our infrastructure, and in protecting our environment.
At the same time, he has clearly developed a strategy to mitigate the challenges ahead. Consider the escalation of climate change, and our need to rapidly adjust where we get our energy and how much we use.
We are excited that the Governor has charged our Nobel prize laureate Binghamton University Distinguished Professor M. Stanley Whittingham to lead the panel to create a road map toward electric vehicles. SUNY is also well positioned to meet the Governor’s ambitious energy goals and to provide ongoing research and training to meet the needs of the clean energy industry.
We are extremely excited about the Governor’s proposals to expand the first in the nation Excelsior Scholarship program, boost workforce development training across our state, and make a further financial commitment to higher education opportunity programs. College is indeed essential, and more New Yorkers will have access through this even stronger support.
At SUNY, we are proud to serve the Governor and New York State, and we look forward to the work that lies ahead.”
NY Farm Bureau:
“Governor Cuomo recognizes that this will be a challenging year in Albany. Many challenges also exist in rural communities across New York State as farm families look to rebound following years of low commodity prices, extreme weather events, trade barriers and mounting regulations.
Fortunately, Governor Cuomo is proposing significant tax cuts in his State of the State that are priorities of New York Farm Bureau. These include tripling the Current Income Exclusion for farmers who file under the personal income tax. The Governor estimates that this will reduce taxable income and liability for estimated 4,000 farmers.
He is also proposing to make the Investment Tax Credit refundable for taxpayers whose primary source of income is from farming operations, allowing farm families to receive the full benefit of their credits earned.
The Governor is also looking to expand the procurement of New York farm products in schools by expanding the New York Thursday program. New York Farm Bureau also supports further deregulating craft beverage laws and expanding broadband and cell service to rural areas.
New York Farm Bureau believes that by working together, we can accomplish many of the goals that unite us all to benefit agriculture, a leading economic engine in this state that we all need.”
State Comptroller Thomas DiNapoli
“Governor Cuomo put forth dozens of proposals to tackle big and small issues. His ambitious proposals hit on some important issues that we can address here in New York, in contrast to the gridlock we are witnessing in Washington.
The focus now turns to how the state will pay for these proposals and the Executive budget will be released soon. There are tough decisions to be made to balance the budget while addressing the growing costs and cracks in the Medicaid program.
We mustn’t push these challenges off to future years. We need long-term solutions.”