A quick read of Paterson's State of the State

Paterson State of the State 2009

The state of our state: perilous.

Sure, David Paterson spent 60 hours memorizing today's State of the State speech. But who else has that kind of time? Here's a quick paraphrase/recap of Paterson's speech...

Much of this is paraphrased and some of it has been re-ordered for organization. We also cut out a few of Paterson's asides. The entire prepared text is posted here.

The state of our state: perilous.

The challenge...
Poem encapsulates our situation: "Opportunity" by Edward Roland Sill. Snippet:

Then came the king's son, wounded, sore bestead,
And weaponless, and saw the broken sword,
Hilt-buried in the dry and trodden sand,
And ran and snatched it, and with battle-shout
Lifted afresh he hewed his enemy down,
And saved a great cause that heroic day.

An historic economic challenge.

Greatest contraction of the economy since the Great Depression.

Budget deficit has been increasing by $60 million a day.

It is time to lead. We shouldn't make promises we can't keep or resort to extremes.

We should think about who we are, who we can be.

But we have this going for us...

We should feel steeled for this situation because New Yorkers won at the Battle of Saratoga, built the Erie Canal, built the Empire State Building. And the legislature found funding for stem cell research and brownfields last year.

No time for fear, this is a time for courage, action and hope.

Courage and hope are the birthright of every New Yorker.

A moment for leadership and not partisanship.

New Yorkers rise to the occasion, it's in our DNA. This is our generation's opportunity.

If we can't spend more, we have to spend more effectively.

Health care

Proposing to allow parents to keep their adult kids on their health plan (at their own expense) through the kids' 20s.

Should focus on preventive medicine. It's a good investment.

We need to pay attention to the "epidemic" of childhood obesity.

A short course on how obesity affects homocysteine levels, which in turn affect levels of bad cholesterol.

When parents find out the next generation is not projected to live as long as they are, they will come down to the capitol demanding why government didn't do something about it.

Proposing a five point program to reduce childhood obesity -- headed up by my wife.

We want to ban trans-fat from restaurants, have chain restaurants post nutritional info and put a tax on sugared soda.

Need to computerize medical records in this state.


We need to build the world's greatest educational system. We can do it, but we'll have to work hard. We need public/private partnerships. More scholarships for college. And proposing a new higher education loan program for more affordable school loans.

Economic stimulus

Teaming up with a bunch of other governors to offer suggestions for federal economic stimulus.

There's never been a new president like Barack Obama.

The American public has wised up and stopped spending. But we need it to spend.

New York has 40 shovel-ready infrastructure projects ready if the funding from Washington shows up.

If the feds don't reform regulation of Wall Street, we will.

Business in New York

We have to lower the cost of doing business in this state.

Property taxes are too high. We should cap them.(This got big applause, to which Paterson joked: "Maybe I should change parties.")

Local governments need to be more efficient.

The Empire Zone program needs reform. If companies get a tax break, they should be investing to create jobs.

We should be investing savings from the program in manufacturing. Some of those jobs are coming back.

Blah blah blah upstate development blah blah blah.


Energy is too expensive -- disastrous for our economy. Energy is our new rate of exchange. Short, somewhat mangled explanation of total cost planning.

We need updated energy infrastructure. We're coming to a turning point.

By 2015, we want 45% of electricty needs to be met by clean, renewable energy and energy efficiency. Calling it 45 By 15 program. Part of the plan: the "greening" of schools.

We need incentives for people to be more efficient.

The future rests on a plug-in hybrid vehicle. Key piece of technology is a rechargeable electric battery. Upstate New York has the research infrastructure to develop this battery.

We're setting up an upstate consortium for the development of this technology.

The roads to economic recovery are I-88, I-90 and the Northway.

We need an energy policy institute in upstate.


"A community... is the notion of coalesced dreams" We have lost this paradigm over the past few months in hate crimes around the state. Hate has no place in the Empire State.

Crime is down in New York State 17 years in a row.

New York is the safest of the "large" states and the fourth safest state in the nation.

Building state-of-the-art crime analysis centers in cities around upstate (but not the Capital Region, yet... though one is on the way).

Rockefeller drug laws have been successful. We have to expand treatment services and allow low-level offenders to opt for treatment. We have to separate addiction from criminality.

In conclusion

This legislative session will reveal a lot about your government.

The best political decisions come from the best ethical considerations.

No New Yorker will be exempt from making sacrifices.

Rah Rah Rah! New York State! Rah Rah Rah!

We are prepared to emerge from this situation.

image grabbed from video by state.ny.us


> Property taxes are too high.

Cutting state education funding is a great way to solve that problem!

And where did you go to school Sarah? Done with your education and don't think that others should have the same opportunity? Oh good --You own your own home. It will give undereducated people a job to do: rob you. They won't have the education to get a good job and own their own homes.

Maybe Gov. Paterson could have saved himself the 60 hours of memorizing the address by just having Fred Armisen from SNL step in and read the address for him...

("I can't read the speech. Since I'm not totally blind, I never learned Braille, so I can't read the speech by hand and then recite. So, I basically have to memorize it," he said. )

They should cut government spending.

Stop hiring contractors to do the job of already hired state workers. Stop hiring state workers.

Take a page from Toyota, GE, etc. and implement lean practices where you study the process and see where the "fat" is, then cut the fat.

Too much fat in NYS.

I have enjoyed AOA's wit but find the tone of your summary of the State of the State address offensive and distasteful. It's easy and cheap to sit back and take glib,snippy pot-shots.

To paraphrase Bill Clinton "any jackass can kick down a barn; it takes a skilled carpenter to build one."

KM is totally right. AOA should know when to be serious. It's really annoying when people poke fun for no reason. Like the time I tried to save money by waxing my own eyebrows and I took them right off, and people on the bus kept pointing and laughing at me. You know who else had no eyebrows? The Mona Lisa. That's right. Who's laughing now you fools?

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