Update, Jan. 5, 7:45 a.m. - This story has been changed to clarify Cuomo's plans for a convention center.
ALBANY, N.Y. – Before 2,000 onlookers, New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo outlined economic growth measures, pension reform, mandate relief, and public education reform this afternoon, in his second State of the State Address.
He also announced plans to lay out a blueprint for economic development. Cuomo’s job creation measures were described as “$25 billion in state, federal and private economic activity,” through private-public partnerships. He described plans to rebuild the Tappan Zee Bridge, an 18-acre convention center, and proposed an energy superhighway, among other proposals.
Meanwhile, Cuomo proposed amending the state’s constitution to further regulate and allow casino gaming.
He also proposed governmental overhaul, including a state-wide emergency responder network, public education overhaul, a plan to create new teacher evaluations, and communication among state agencies for capital projects.
“We need a new blueprint for education, I want to form a commission to come up with a blueprint,” Cuomo said about education overhaul. “We need to demand management efficiency.”
The governor also cited mandate relief, pension reform and tax reform as major parts of his legislative plan in the coming year.
SUNY campuses around New York will be eligible for statewide grants under Cuomo’s plan. The schools will compete for the grants to become more academically competitive.
Other plans included ending fingerprinting for food stamps, citing that about 30 percent of those eligible in the state don’t apply. He also proposed expanding the DNA databank to all crimes, which would make New York the first state in the nation to do so. He also proposed campaign finance reform.
In addition, Cuomo lauded the passage of the New York State Tax Cap, ethics reform, marriage equality, and the repeal of the MTA payroll tax for small businesses.
“The cynics don’t know us, and they don’t know New York,” said Cuomo, ending his speech. “We have just started to explore the limits of our imagination. We’re going to make the dreams of this state a reality.”