Local elected state officials reacted to Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s State of the State address Wednesday, with one calling it “liberal” while another said it was “long.”
State Sen. Catharine M. Young, R-Olean, said the governor said little about the $4 billion state budget gap.
“Our priorities are in contrast to those of the governor, who laid out a very liberal, New York City-focused agenda in his speech,” Young said. “Particularly in a year when the state is facing a significant budget gap, there is no room for wish-list items designed to appease narrow political interests.”
Young said it is crucial that infrastructure investment and economic development dollars are “distributed equitably, strategically and to regions of our state that need the greatest stimulus.”
She said her fellow Republicans in Albany will work to ensure such goals are met.
“When the governor releases his executive budget in two weeks, we will get a stronger idea of exactly what he is proposing and who it would benefit,” Young added.
Assemblyman Joseph Giglio, R-Gowanda, was unable to attend the governor’s address in Albany due to a death in the family, but watched it online.
“It was a real long speech,” was Giglio’s first reaction. “I never get too excited about the State of the State. It’s a dog and pony show. It’s the budget document that matters.”
Like other New Yorkers, Giglio had already heard many of the issues Cuomo talked about on Wednesday. The governor’s office has been releasing points that would be in the address for weeks.
Giglio said he liked some of the initiatives, such as no funding of settlements over sexual harassment complaints against state officials with taxpayer dollars and no secret non-disclosure agreements.
Regarding economic development and infrastructure, Giglio asked where the funding will come from. “(Cuomo) tended to go off on national affairs and took some shots at the federal government.”
Giglio said the state faces a growing number of challenges. It will take both parties working together to continue to address the opioid crisis, he said. The next step is to help addicts after they get out of rehab with housing and jobs.
“We’ve got to give them some alternatives,” Giglio said.
The governor didn’t talk much about mental health problems, which is why many of the people are in local jails, Giglio said.
“It was pretty much his usual speech,” Giglio said.
U.S. Rep. Tom Reed, R-Corning didn’t miss an opportunity to take a verbal shot at the governor’s State of the State.
"It is disappointing that Gov. Cuomo cannot put his own self-interests and political ambitions aside for the benefit of New York,” Reed said. “Tax reform works and hardworking New Yorkers deserve to keep more of their money. Our state has one of the highest tax burdens in the country. I call on the governor to follow our lead and cut taxes at the state level, rather than sling misinformation to try to deflect from his poor record as governor.”
Cattaraugus County Legislature Minority Leader Susan Labuhn, D-Salamanca, said in a statement, "As a woman on the county legislature's leadership, I appreciate the efforts of Gov. Cuomo to expand protections for our daughters and granddaughters in his bold agenda for 2018.”
She said, “I also support his fight for taxpayers in the face of foolhardy federal cuts and double taxation on New Yorkers, the overhaul of a broken prison system, and I support elections reforms like early voting and same day registration that will make it easier for our hard-working citizens to participate at the polls at a higher percentage.”
(Contact reporter Rick Miller at email@example.com. Follow him on Twitter, @RMillerOTH)