Rest assured, Sandra Lee: The significance of tomorrow has not been lost on Gov. Andrew Cuomo.
“I think people don’t understand the relationship between the governor and the Legislature, or people just have a different lens for the relationship,” Cuomo told host Susan Arbetter. “The relationship is not based on love. Tomorrow is Valentine’s Day. It’s not about chocolates and candies and love.”
Cuomo went on to say that the relationship is “functional” and “collegial.”
“We have a functioning relationship, we have a respectful relationship, we have a cordial relationship,” Cuomo said. “But many of the things I am trying to get done are difficult for them to do.”
Lawmakers in both the Senate and Assembly have expressed skepticism about a number of caveats in Cuomo’s proposed budget that would give his office greater ability to move money from agency to agency. Comptroller Thomas DiNapoli has also warned about language that would shift oversight of contracts away from the Comptroller’s Office.
Cuomo said the tension is the product of both he and the Legislature doing their jobs, and he hopes the end result is productive.
“I would not be doing my job and they would not be doing their job if everyone said, ‘OK, just do whatever the other guy wants and forget my institutional role,” Cuomo said. “That’s not why you have a Legislature; it’s not why you have an executive.”
When asked about a different topic that has divided the Legislature — the date of New York’s state primaries — Cuomo again declined to take a stance. Assembly Democrats prefer June; Senate Republicans want August.
“I’m really in the tension management business at the end of the day,” he said. “That tension is really a tension between the two houses, and part of tension management is if you don’t have to get involved, don’t get involved. Or don’t get involved until you have to.”