Cuomo has regional lawmakers feeling optimistic

New York Governor Andrew Cuomo did his best to mix optimism with realism during his inaugural State of the State address Wednesday afternoon.

Those positive vibes seem to be contagious, as area lawmakers are expressing optimism that Cuomo will be able to right the ship in Albany and get New York's economy back on track.

Republican state Senator Betty Little says that while the rampant optimism may sound like political rhetoric to some, it's critical if leaders plan to accomplish anything in 2011.

"If we aren't optimistic about the future, the fortitude to make the

tough decisions will be lacking," she said following Cuomo's speech. "The divisiveness of hyper-partisan politics has to end and be replaced with a constructive dialogue that leads to sensible policy decisions."

Little notes that closing a projected $10 billion budget deficit will require significant and painful cuts, but she's confident Cuomo has a firm grip on the challenges that lie ahead.

"I think he realizes that we have to make some drastic change here," she said. "The reality is the money is no longer available. You can't continue the way we've gone in the past. We have to cut spending, taxes, and create jobs - and it's not going to be easy. But I think the governor is looking in a very bipartisan way to work with everyone."

Little says she'll do her best to work with the new administration.

"I certainly am willing to work with him on reducing the size of the government, creating jobs here in the North Country, and trying to transfer our economy from one that is based upon and dependent upon government jobs to one that will be dependent upon private sector jobs."

Republican Janet Duprey, who represents New York's 114th Assembly District, says Cuomo seems to be focused on reviving a stagnant upstate economy.

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