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Capitol Bureau

The public comment period for the Cuomo administration’s proposal for natural gas hydro fracking is in its final hours. Opponents are left wishing they had more time, while supporters say they’d like to see drilling begin soon.

 

As the deadline neared for the end of the public comment period for the hydrofracking proposal, advocates and opponents staged events at the State Capitol, for one last chance to sway public opinion and influence policy makers.  

 

 

Things got a little heated at a meeting of a legislative task force on redrawing new district lines, when the Senate Democrat’s representative complained he’d been left in the dark about the creation of 63rd Senate district by Republicans.  Senator Martin Dilan condemned part of the process  as a “farce” and “waste of money”.

 

The legislative task force on redistricting met for the first time since Republicans, who are in charge of the Senate, announced that they would be seeking an additional 63rd Senate seat in the new district maps.

 

Senate Majority Leader Dean Skelos is defending his Republican Majority’s proposal to expand the Senate to 63 seats, while Senate Democrats are condemning the move.

Over the weekend, Senate Republicans posted a memo on  the legislature’s redistricting website from their legal counsel, justifying the creation of a 63rd Senate seat in the reconfiguring of district lines. Senate Majority Leader Dean Skelos says the extra district is legal, based on methodologies that were used ten years ago that withstood a court challenge.

Governor Cuomo, in his state of the state message, called for public financing of campaigns, based on a model currently in use in New York City.  Supporters,  including those who have studied the model as well as public finance systems in other states, believe it can work.

Cuomo would like to model the state’s system on the  New York City campaign finance system, which offers candidates matching funds, once they have solicited small contributions from individual donors.

 

In his State of the State speech, Governor Andrew Cuomo proposed a new commission to reevaluate the state’s education system.  One day later, it’s receiving a mixed response.

 

Cuomo set up a potential fight with the education establishment during an otherwise mostly congenial State of the State speech, when he chided them for what he says is putting their own interests before those of school children. He told the crowd that superintendents, principles, teachers, and janitors have their own lobbyists.

 

Governor Andrew Cuomo delivered a State of the State message that focuses on job creation, through infrastructure repair, expanded gambling, and energy improvements. The governor will also take on the education community in his second year in office, demanding greater accountability.

Cuomo, as part of his growth and jobs agenda, proposes building the largest convention center in the nation to promote tourism. He would replace the Javitts Center in Manhattan, with a larger venue at the Aqueduct race track in Queens.

Governor Cuomo will deliver his second State of the State message Wednesday. The governor faces continued budget deficits, and a soft economy as well as a looming redistricting deadline.

 Cuomo is expected to follow up on priorities he began during his very busy first year in office. He will likely try to close a remaining $2 billion dollar budget gap without raising any new taxes. In December, the governor agreed to increase taxes on New Yorkers making over $2 million dollars a year to gain needed revenue, and at the time said he did not endorse any further new taxes in 2012.

New York Governor Andrew Cuomo will deliver his second State of the State Address Wednesday, January 4th at 1:30 p.m.  WXXI will carry the speech live on WXXI-TV, WXXI-AM 1370 and WXXINews.org.

This will be Cuomo's first State of the State speech during which he can discuss a record of achievement as governor.  Last year's address came just days after his inauguration following a decisive election victory in November of 2010.

New York NOW's Matt Ryan put together the video montage below looking back at Cuomo's first year in office.

Governor Cuomo achieved a number of goals in his first year as governor, but Cuomo does not intend to rest easy during the upcoming  second year of his term.

Governor Andrew Cuomo has begun a count down clock to promote tax code changes approved in December that will lower taxes for the state’s middle class.

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