Cuomo said holding the Jan. 5 address in the convention center will allow “regular” state citizens to attend and participate. General admission tickets will be provided through a lottery, but details were not yet available.
It is also unclear how many seats will be available to the public.
The speech will also be simulcast on the state’s legislative channel and on the Internet.
“The change in setting is a metaphor for the change we must undergo as a state,” Cuomo, a Democrat, said in a statement today. “We must reconnect with the people and rebuild a relationship of trust.”
The convention center is perhaps not the most TV-friendly backdrop as the ornate Assembly chamber, but the room can be cramped and overpacked with lawmakers, lobbyists and reporters watching the speech.
The release sent out by Cuomo’s transition also included quotes from Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver, D-Manhattan, and incoming Senate Majority Leader Dean Skelos, R-Nassau County, applauding the idea.
“We look forward to his first State of the State Address and to working with him to deal with this fiscal crisis and to reinvigorate our democracy,” Silver said.
Senator Skelos said, “I applaud Governor Cuomo’s decision to open up his annual State of the State message to the people of New York State. Senate Republicans look forward to working with Governor Cuomo, Speaker Silver and all of our colleagues in the Legislature to address New York’s fiscal crisis, make the 2011 session a successful and productive one, and restore the people’s faith in state government.”