continued Cuomo also talked about the damage resulting from Hurricane Irene and Tropical Storm Lee. He praised volunteers who responded to the emergencies and touted the state’s multi-million response.
“I’m glad he mentioned flood relief,” said Douglas, whose county and town were hard hit by Irene. “The governor and his staff have been extremely helpful as we recover. I can’t say enough, but we need grant funding to fully recover — not loans. We need major work on our roads, bridges, water, sewer, youth facilities...and we’re in debt. We can’t afford more loans. We need grant money.”
Other highlights of the speech include a call to build the world’s largest convention center hotel at a New York City racetrack; a push to expand gambling in a bid for more state tax revenue and jobs; and a project to replace 100 bridges and repair 2,000 miles of roads.
Little believes the proposed road work is a good idea.
“I like the governor’s ideas to invest in road and bridge infrastructure as well as energy use and transmission and look forward to more detail in the budget proposal,” she said. “These are worthwhile investments that will create economic activity today while building for the future. And, I am eager to learn more about increasing tourism promotion, which will benefit the North Country and all of New York.”
The governor spent much of his speech touting the accomplishments of state government in 2011 — the property tax cap, ethics reform, gay marriage, a middle class tax cut and more.
“By all accounts, last year was a tremendous success.,” Cuomo said. “There are many reasons why, including one simple one: We changed our attitude. We had a constructive impatience for government dysfunction and a disregard for the political extremists on the left and the right, we believed in the people, and we had a mutual respect, both institutional and personal.