There will be much coverage of Andrew Cuomo's first State of the State speech all over the media. But if you're just looking for a quick overview of what he said, or just enough to not have a blank look when someone says, "hey, how about that State of the State? -- here's a quick scan...
Silver and Skelos
Sheldon Silver and Dean Skelos had an opportunity to speak before Cuomo. The most notable thing about those speeches was that Sheldon Silver said he was willing to "work together" to cap property taxes.
"Very really sense we can turn this crisis into an opportunity."
"We must transform our government to once again be the progressive capital of the nation and seize the opportunity before us."
"Change is possible in Albany, believe it or not."
Called attention to economic growth (or lack of it) upstate.
"The state of New York spends too much money. It's that blunt and it's that simple."
Acknowledges budget gap is $10 billion this year -- but it's $14 billion next. Not a one year problem. State spending is on an unsustainable rate of growth.
Don't get enough return on spending. Spend a lot on education, health, economic growth, but not seeing results.
"We must use this moment to transform our government ... transform it to a government of integrity, performance and pride."
Reforming state government
"This is a fundamental realignment of the state ... We're going to have to reinvent government."
"The old way wasn't working, anyway, let's be honest."
Four principles to guide transformation of government:
+ Pay for performance
+ Results in real time
+ People first, not special interests
+ A government that's "an icon of integrity, one that New Yorkers can be proud of"
Start with transforming state's economy.
"We have to put up a sign that says New York is open for business."
Going to have 10 regional economic councils, focused on creating jobs. Councils will coordinate all levels of government in economic development.
"Property taxes in New York are killing New Yorkers ... New York has no future as the tax capital of the nation."
"We will pass a property tax cap, Geraldine, once and for all." (Geraldine is an elderly woman who had to go back to work to pay her property taxes.)
Pointed to growth of layers in state government. The Department of Health has 87 other organizations attached to it.
Proposes setting up commission to formulate government re-org that the legislature could vote up or down (like the Berger commission).
Calls for a wage freeze for state employees. And a state spending freeze. And a property tax cap. And no borrowing.
"Not a budget cutting or trimming exercise -- we need to redesign state Medicaid program. ... It's dysfunctional on many, many levels."
Emphasizes trying to find better services for less money.
In talking about education and funding, "competition works." Looking to "incentivize" performance.
Suggests offering bonus fund for governments that consolidate, with part of the money to "property tax relief."
"We have to transform the ethical environment and clean up Albany."
"This issue is black and white, there is no gray. The people of the state have lost trust in the government ... it is time to pass ethics reform now!"
Proposing ethics reform plan:
+ end pay-to-play
+ full disclosure of outside income
+ listen to Ed Koch on independent redistricting
+ public financing of campaigns
Says state could have done better job monitoring banking, investment and insurance industries. Proposes consolidating regulatory agencies (currently 3 of them) into one.
Proposing competitive grant program for "green" jobs.
Wants to double women/minority-owned share of state business contracts to 20 percent.
Compares modern juvenile justice facilities to Willowbrook. Says approaches being used are not working. Keep using the programs because of fear of losing state jobs by closing facilities. Says current programs violate the civil rights of people in them.
"Don't put other people in prison, to give other people jobs! ... That's not what this state is all about! That has to end this session!"
"Let's pass marriage equality this year once and for all."
Proposing "urban green markets" program to get healthy foods into urban areas (didn't use term food desert, but that's probably what he was referring to).
States all across the nation are "re-calibrating."
In all the previous transitions, New York led the way. "We can win in the transition again."
"We can make January 5, 2011, the day we seized the opportunity and the State of New York strikes back."
Recalls how back in the day (in this case, the 90s) New York was the best. Referring to all the recent dysfunction, "This recent past has been an aberration."
"The people of this state desperately need it, they need the government to work in a way that it hasn't worked in 20 years."
We're New Yorkers! Rah, rah, rah!
"We're not just going to build back, we're going to build back better and stronger than before!"
We'd really like you to take part in the conversation here at All Over Albany. But we do have a few rules here. Don't worry, they're easy. The first: be kind. The second: treat everyone else with the same respect you'd like to see in return. Cool? Great, post away. Comments are moderated so it might take a little while for your comment to show up. Thanks for being patient.