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Cuomo in Lake Placid to outline legislative agenda

Cuomo is calling for mandate relief and Douglas says he's confident that specific action is forthcoming.

In addition to a property tax cap, Cuomo also wants lawmakers to pass real, meaningful ethics reform in this session.

That means establishing an independent ethics commission and mandatory disclosure of outside business dealings.

"My bill says, disclose to the public private clients that you represent before the state government," Cuomo said. "And disclose how much they pay you for that service. And my point is that when you refuse to answer that question, you just did answer that question."

With pictures of disgraced politicians like Alan Hevesi and Joe Bruno flashing across a screen to his right, Cuomo said the notion of a self-policing legislature is outdated - laughable even.

"Self policing is an oxymoron," he said. "By definition there's no such concept as self-policing. We need an independent monitor to restore faith, so people know that's a government that works for them in Albany and you deserve that and you're going to get it."

This week's event had all the flair and energy of a campaign stop - while speaking on a tax cap and ethics reform, the entire room burst into applause, interrupting Cuomo's speech.

But when Cuomo spoke of marriage equality, pockets of spectators were noticeably reserved.

And this particular agenda item might prove to be the biggest challenge for a governor who, up to this point, has experienced nothing but victory. Passage of a gay marriage bill is a sure bet in the Democrat-controlled Assembly - but the Senate's GOP majority could represent a major roadblock for Cuomo.

Cuomo says legalizing gay marriage would restore New York as a leader in progressive politics.

"Five, ten years from now, we will look back and say, 'We can't believe there were states that didn't allow gay people to marry just because they were gay,'" he said.

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