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