Hear Cuomo's 2013
State of the State Speech
Like moths to a flame, state legislators and those who lobby them were quick to put out statements reacting to Governor Cuomo's State of The State Speech Wednesday. Here's a sampling
Gabryszak: Governor’s Message Promising for Western New York
Assemblyman Dennis Gabryszak (D, I , C, – Cheektowaga) attended Governor Cuomo’s “State of the State” address today in Albany, NY, where the governor outlined several initiatives including education, public safety, government reform and economic development.
“Several of the initiatives are of particular importance to Western New York such as the ‘Billion for Buffalo’ program and the efforts of the Western New York Regional Economic Development Council,” Assemblymember Gabryszak said. “These initiatives will help bolster the upstate economy and demonstrate a high degree of optimism for Western New York for the upcoming year.”
“I applaud Governor Cuomo for taking the initiative to make upstate job creation a priority, especially in the tourism industry,” Gabryszak added. “Under his leadership and guidance, New York State has seen many new jobs created and we have seen many new companies looking to locate here. Governor Cuomo is at the forefront of innovation in terms of making New York a more business friendly state.”
Assemblymember Gabryszak supports the Governor’s “Market NY” initative, which focuses on ways to market and expand the economy upstate by instituting new programs and initiatives that include:
- Taste- NY: To promote the sale New York State Products and create duty-free “Taste-NY” stores across the state
- A $5 million advertising campaign competition to be awarded to the best regional marketing plans to encourage counties to work together
- The Adirondack Challenge: A national whitewater rafting competition
- Destination Resorts/Casino Gaming: Three upstate casinos that will increase tourism, help fund education and lower local taxes
Assemblymember Gabryszak represents the 143rd Assembly District and is a member of the Committee on Tourism, Parks, Arts and Sports Development as well as the Committee on Economic Development.
Ranzenhofer: Statement on State of The State Address
Statement on State of the State Address
Albany, N.Y. – State Senator Michael H. Ranzenhofer (R, C, I- Amherst) has issued the following statement in response to Governor Cuomo’s State of the State Address:
“Over the last two years, the State Legislature has been able to work together – unlike the gridlock and partisanship in Washington, D.C.– to pass two on-time budgets that reduced overall spending, lowered middle-class tax rates to the lowest levels in 58 years and realigned investments towards job-creation initiatives, such as ReCharge NY and Regional Economic Development Councils. Despite our fiscal house being put back in order, difficult choices remain ahead since the State still faces a $1 billion budget gap.
The ultimate goal must continue to be making New York more business friendly and improving our State’s economy so that the private sector can create jobs. The Governor’s proposals to reform workers’ compensation and unemployment insurance programs and his commitment to avoid taxes as a way to balance the budget will further help companies lower the costs of operating a business in New York. I am also pleased that, after announcing a billion dollars in economic development incentives for the Buffalo region last year, the Governor has again recommended a series of initiatives to revitalize Upstate New York’s economy.
The private sector created over 210,000 jobs in New York State alone during the last two years, and I am hopeful that the State Legislature will be able to move New York’s economy in an even stronger direction by making the right investments and taking the right actions in the 2013 Legislative Session.”
Tourism Industry Supports Governor’s VisionAlbany, NY, January 9, 2013 – Following the 2013 State of the State Address, the hospitality and tourism industry continues to be encouraged by Governor Andrew Cuomo’s commitment to tourism. Tourism, with its track record of creating and sustaining jobs, and driving economic growth, has proven itself to be a cornerstone of the Cuomo administration. The industry remains encouraged by the Governor’s leadership, his passion for tourism, and his willingness to ramp-up multiple tourism initiatives.
“It is clear that this Governor continues to recognize the positive economic impact tourism has on our state. Tourism supports itself, and is a reliable job creator,” said Jan Marie Chesterton, President of the New York State Hospitality & Tourism Association. “The industry applauds the Governor’s willingness to showcase all of the great assets our state has to offer, and we agree with his idea that ‘if you show it, they will come.’”
The New York State Hospitality & Tourism Association (NYSH&TA) is a not-for-profit trade organization representing nearly 1,400 member businesses and individuals in the lodging and attractions industry.
Statement by State Bar President Seymour W. James, Jr.
"The New York State Bar Association has long supported the audio/visual recording of police interrogations and improving police identification procedures to achieve more accurate eyewitness testimony.
"We are eager to work with the Governor to turn our shared priorities into realities. These commonsense reforms will create a more just and safe society."
Statement from NYS Assembly Minority Leader Brian Kolb (R,C, I Canandaigua)
“As we begin 2013, there is no shortage of critical issues requiring our attention. We must come together to make our state a better place to work, live and raise a family by fixing our economy and reducing government’s size and cost to taxpayers.
We need to continue working together and finish the people’s business, including:
- · Growing and creating more jobs, jobs, jobs;
- Reducing the size and cost of state government, including consolidating the Thruway Authority and the Department of Transportation.
- Providing local tax relief for municipalities and school districts by reducing Albany’s unfunded mandates; and
- Creating a better economic horizon for working families by making the 2011 Middle Class Tax Cut permanent.
Statement by New York State AFL-CIO President Mario Cilento
ALBANY, NY (01/09/2013)(readMedia)-- Governor Cuomo's commitment to boosting the state's stagnant unemployment benefit is welcome news to working men and women throughout the state. We commend him for recognizing this long term inequity and for his passionate call to address it this session. The Labor Movement has been fighting for an increase in benefits and a long-term solution for far too long – thirteen years, and look forward to working with the Governor and the Legislature to finally give unemployed workers the help they need to support their families, stay in their homes, and most importantly find new employment.
We are also pleased that the Governor continues to make raising the minimum wage a priority in his ambitious agenda. I know that working together with the Governor and the Legislature we can get it done.
Along with creating good jobs throughout the state and generating much needed revenue, these are real investments in growing and strengthening the middle class, and in turn the state's economy. I have great optimism that this legislative session will mean real positive change for working families.
Statement of the Hunger Action Network of NYS
The Hunger Action Network applauds Governor Cuomo for proposing in his State of the State address to raise the state minimum wage from $7.25 an hour to $8.75. This is slightly above the Assembly proposal of $8.50 an hour and slightly below what the Senate Democrats had proposed. Hunger Action and most New Yorkers want at least $10 an hour. However there was no mention of indexing the hike to inflation or doing the hike in just one step, both of which are critical. We look forward to additional details.
We also commend the Governor for recognizing in his written address the growing problem of hunger in New York and look forward to participating with, and hopefully in, the Statewide Anti-Hunger Task Force. We agree with the Governor about the need to expand participation in existing federal nutrition programs such as SNAP (Food stamps) and school meals, and to increase access to healthy, locally grown foods.
We hope that the Governor and the Legislature will also commit additional funding for anti-hunger programs in the upcoming state budget. Hunger groups are seeking a $10 million increase in funding for emergency food programs through HPNAP (Hunger Prevention and Nutrition Assistance Program).
Our recent statewide survey for EFPs (emergency food programs) found that 20% of the guests are senior citizens. This indicates the need for additional funding for Meals on Wheels programs for senior citizens.
There is a need for an increase in the state supplemental funding for the federal Women, Infants and Children program. We hope that a proposal to strengthen school meals introduced six years by Governor Spitzer finally gets enacted, including a long-delayed increase in state school meal reimbursement and stronger restrictions on the sale of junk food in schools.
NYC unfortunately ranks last in the country among large cities in terms of participation in the school breakfast program. City Council Speaker Quinn and many anti-hunger activists have been advocating that the optional Breakfast in the Classroom program become mandatory, at least in low-income schools. Universal school meals have long been a goal of anti-hunger advocates.
We have applauded prior initiatives by Governor Cuomo to fund pilot programs to match SNAP dollars used as Farmers Markets, and to make it easier for low-income New Yorkers to participate in Community Supported Agriculture programs that contract directly with local farmers. We look forward to a significant increase in funding for such initiatives.
We also hope that New York will continue to provide leadership in prodding Congress to reauthorize and improve the federal Farm and Food Bill. The recent 9 month extension passed ended funded for dozens of critical community food initiatives while ignoring critical reforms to support for Dairy Farmers. We also lost $100 million in new federal funding for healthy food initiatives (such as matching SNAP at farmers markets) that Senator Gillibrand and others had inserted into the earlier version of the bill. We need a farm bill that better helps family farmers, supports healthy food for all Americans, and ends hunger.
Statement from NYS Sen. Tim Kennedy (D- Buffalo) :
Kennedy applauds Governor Cuomo’s efforts to build comprehensive, progressive agenda for 2013 legislative session.
Governor’s plans to strengthen the workforce reflect concepts Kennedy proposed in his legislation to address the “skills gap” and create “Centers for Workforce Achievement” at community colleges across the state.
Kennedy organizing public rally for Friday at 10 a.m. at the Gloria J. Parks Center to urge Albany to raise the minimum wage.
BUFFALO, N.Y. – Senator Tim Kennedy, D-Buffalo, applauded the comprehensive plan that Governor Andrew Cuomo outlined in his 2013 State of the State address. Specifically, Kennedy highlighted proposals to address the “skills gap” and strengthen the state’s workforce, raise the minimum wage and grow the Upstate economy.
“Over the past two years, our state has started to move in the right direction. We’ve made progress, but there’s more work ahead,” Kennedy said. “I applaud Governor Cuomo for the efforts he’s already led and the plans he has laid out to grow our state’s economy.
“I’m thrilled to see the focus on bridging the skills gap and strengthening our workforce. Each month, it’s estimated at least 1000 local manufacturing jobs go unfilled, even though many Western New Yorkers are out looking for jobs every day. Action is needed to bridge this gap. Over the summer, I proposed a plan to establish Centers of Workforce Achievement at community colleges across the state. The concepts I proposed in our initial plan are built into the program that Governor Cuomo outlined in his State of the State.
“It’s a model that will work: community colleges and local businesses will work in collaboration to develop a skilled workforce to match the needs of our regional economy. For example, ECC, Ford and others have identified an urgent need to prepare local workers for advanced manufacturing. Once we re-invent our community colleges and workforce development programs, we will help ensure Western New Yorkers get the skills they need to secure good-paying jobs.”
Kennedy also reiterated his commitment to push for legislation to raise the minimum wage. The Senator is planning a public rally urging action to “raise the people’s pay” Friday at 10 a.m. at the Gloria J. Parks Community Center in Buffalo.
“The current minimum wage just doesn’t cut it for local families. At $7.25 an hour, it’s just $290 each week and barely $15,000 a year for full-time work. That’s simply not enough to put food on the table and raise a family,” Kennedy said. “Raising the minimum wage will help lift families from poverty, and it will reduce the strain on safety-net programs caused by inadequate wages. An increase in the minimum wage will also act as an economic stimulus, since more families will have greater purchasing power, spending their higher wages at local small businesses,” Kennedy said.
“Now that the Governor has laid out his comprehensive plan to move the state forward in 2013, it’s time for us all to get work,” Kennedy added. “I look forward to working with the Governor and my legislative colleagues to deliver on the progressive agenda that New Yorkers are expecting. In addition to raising the minimum wage, strengthening our workforce and growing our economy, we’re committed to making our communities safer, improving our educational system, revamping gun laws, reforming campaign finance laws, achieving fair and equitable pay for all and fighting poverty and hunger across the state.”
Statement from NYS Sen. George Maziarz (R- Newfane)
"First I want to again thank the constituents of the 62nd District for allowing me the opportunity to serve them again this year in the New York State Senate. Last year, under the leadership of the Senate Majority and of Governor Andrew Cuomo, we accomplished a great deal, including an early budget, enacted property tax caps and reduced tax rates on the middle class. While last year was a success, there is still a great deal to be done to keep this State moving in the right direction.
I am pleased to be a member of the new Senate Coalition, where the chamber will not be run by Republicans or Democrats separately, but where both parties will work together to put the priorities of the people above those of each party. This morning, in the spirit of bi-partisanship, I was delighted to attend the swearing-in ceremony of Senator Jeffery Klein. I believe today is the start to a great year focusing on common ground as opposed to political agendas.
As the Senate Energy Chair, I was pleased that Governor Cuomo made energy initiatives a major part of his 2013 agenda. Energy is the engine of any modern economy. Without it, everything comes to a halt. As our recent storms have shown us, we need a more resilient energy infrastructure; we need to reduce our consumption of energy and, we must do all of this while keeping rates down. To achieve this goal we must develop a self-sustaining clean energy economy that will deliver both new jobs and cleaner air. New York has immense resources, nationally recognized clean energy programs, and some of the smartest, most innovative, and hardest-working people in the world.
To plan and execute this strategy, Governor Cuomo has asked Richard Kauffman to join his Cabinet as Chairman for Energy Policy and Finance. Mr. Kauffman has worked in energy and finance at the highest levels in both the public and private sector. A senior advisor to the nation’s Secretary of Energy Steven Chu, Mr. Kauffman is one of the country’s leading experts in private sector investment in clean energy. Mr. Kauffman will direct the state’s energy policy through a newly formed energy subcabinet. One of his first responsibilities will be to develop the Governor’s newly proposed NY Green Bank. Mr. Kauffman will be a significant addition to State government, and I look forward to working with him.
The proposed NY Green Bank, will invest $1 billion in financing clean energy projects and create jobs. This will include collecting from various clean energy funds to get matching private investment for clean energy projects. While I am interested to see how this program will be implemented, I am cautiously optimistic that it will continue to put NY at the energy forefront.
I am extremely pleased to see that the Governor plans to extend and expand the NY-Sun Program through 2023. Providing incentives to expand solar energy in the state is extremely important, because it will create jobs and provide cleaner, domestically produced energy. I support this proposal and I look forward to seeing its extension and expansion to residential units.
I was also happy to see the inclusion of Energy Sector Workforce Development. This program would work with NYPA and NYSERDA and the investor-owned utilities to create a training program in order to recruit a new generation of utility workers. The current utility workforce is aging and NYPA alone has 30% of its workforce 5 years from retirement. The education and development of the utility workforce is a must and I look forward to the development of this program.
While these are just a few of the energy proposals presented today by the Governor, I am looking forward to the challenge of working with him to continue to drive Energy Legislation in the right direction for New York.
In addition to proposals to drive our energy economy forward, I was also pleased that the Governor acknowledges the importance of Upstate New York and agriculture in this state through his Taste-NY Initiative and the $5 Million Dollar Advertising Campaign. Agriculture is an important part of our local economy and therefore I am very supportive of any and all efforts to promote New York State products.
Governor Cuomo set forth a very aggressive and in-depth agenda for 2013. I am looking forward to hearing more about his specific proposals, and augmenting it with the Senate’s agenda to provide the citizens of this state with the policies that they deserve. Now it is time for us to ensure that we take this State to the next level in a way that is best for the people.
Statement from NYS Attorney General Eric Schneiderman:
“In the year ahead, New York faces many hurdles, including continued rebuilding from Hurricane Sandy, growing our economy, strengthening our democracy and protecting our communities from gun violence. In today’s State of the State speech, Governor Cuomo laid out important steps to address these challenges. I look forward to working with the governor and all of our state’s leaders to make New York safer and stronger for all our communities.”
Statement from The Alliance For Quality Education, a lobbying group fighting for changes in education funding formulas:
"Governor Cuomo's State of the State contains positive educational initiatives including a proposal for full-day Pre-K, longer school days and school year, and community schools. Reforms of this type have a track record of success," said Billy Easton, Executive Director of Alliance for Quality Education.
"We look to the state budget to see how the proposals can move from ideas to reality. One of the most effective ways to reform education is through investment in Pre-K, especially full-day programs. By putting full-day Pre-K on the map and targeting the investment to high need schools, it’s clear that Governor Cuomo has heard some of the most critical needs of the children of New York. The proposal will build on the long-standing commitment to universal Pre-K that Speaker Sheldon Silver championed and will help make New York State a national leader in early childhood education. ”
From Mike Durant, NYS Chapter of The Federation of Independent Business
Small Business Reacts to Cuomo’s State of the State Address
NFIB Pleased by Governor’s Call for Workers Comp and Unemployment Reform
"NFIB is pleased that Governor Cuomo remains committed to fiscal responsibility and economic development. NFIB remains staunchly opposed to any and all efforts to increase the minimum wage and we are disappointed that the Governor used his address to make that a priority.
“We applaud the Governor's focus on regulatory reform, particularly on unemployment insurance and workers compensation. We remain committed to working with the Governor to revitalize our great State and help small business flourish."
From SUNY Board Chairman H. Carl McCall & Chancellor Nancy L. Zimpher
“Today, Governor Cuomo outlined a bold vision for New York that looks to fundamentally reshape the scope of our community colleges while incentivizing, among other measures, workforce training carried out in partnership with local employers. With a number of these programs already underway to meet the state’s workforce needs, we are confident that SUNY is equal to the task.
“As the nation’s premiere system of public higher education, the Governor is right to place SUNY at the center of New York’s education reforms, from cradle to career, and we could not be more pleased to see the New NY Education Reform Commission recommendations moving forward, especially the replication of successful collective impact efforts such as Strive.
“For the third consecutive year, Governor Cuomo has helped to raise SUNY’s capacity for economic development throughout New York with the introduction and extension of NYSUNY 2020. We look forward to engaging in the third round of this visionary legislation.
“Additionally, we join the Governor in his commendation of SUNY leadership at Monroe and Finger Lakes Community Colleges in developing and implementing a workforce training programs that have become a model for the entire system; and we applaud his choice of SUNY Vice Chancellor for Research and Research Foundation President Tim Killeen as a member of his Innovation New York Network, which will help more of our research and innovation transition from the laboratory to the marketplace.
“The SUNY system is flush with exemplary leaders and innovators, all of whom stand ready to assist in the rebuilding of New York. SUNY embraces the challenges put forth by the Governor, and we thank him for his continued support.”