Highlights From The State of State

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Here’s some of the highlights of Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s State of the State Address yesterday.

Infrastructure: A New York Works Fund and Task Force to leverage public and private funds to repair roads and bridges, including the Tappan Zee Bridge.

Energy: An “Energy Highway” system to use excess fossil-fuel energy from western New York downstate and tap into upstate’s potential for renewable energy. A $2 billion plan that includes solar power expansion.

Pension and mandate reform: A new pension tier for new state workers. A mandate-relief council will hold public hearings and make recommendations this year.

Education: A bipartisan commission to strengthen teacher accountability and student achievement and bolster efficiency.

Gambling: A constitutional amendment to legalize non-Indian casinos, along with a $4 billion plan for the world’s largest convention center at Aqueduct racetrack in Queens.

Economic development: A $1 billion package for Buffalo and a pledge to continue $200 of regional economic development awards.

Hydrofracking: Not mentioned in speech, but in briefing book to lawmakers, Cuomo says state is reviewing comments and continuing to study the controversial drilling practice.

Independent redistricting: Not mentioned in speech, but in briefing book Cuomo says he would veto any lines for legislative districts not independently drawn.

SUNY: Sixty campuses can compete for three $20 million grants.

Crime: A bill to require the collection of a DNA sample from any person convicted of a felony or penal law misdemeanor.

Taxes: A Tax Reform and Fairness Commission to propose changes to corporate, sales, and personal-income tax systems.

Campaign finance reform: Proposed public funding of elections and lower contribution limits.

Women’s rights: Support for Reproductive Health Act, which protects a woman’s right to choose.

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