ALBANY, N.Y. (AP) — New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo used his annual State of the State address Wednesday to advocate for a mix of “practical” progressive goals and urgent responsibilities, including waging war on hate crimes, spending $3 billion on environmental protection and legalizing recreational marijuana.
The third-term Democrat touted past achievements and trumpeted a long list of policy initiatives, many of which he previewed in a series of announcements over the past month. Cuomo also stressed the need for fiscal restraint, with the state staring at a $6 billion budget gap, caused largely by soaring Medicaid spending.
The agenda Cuomo outlined in the speech includes plans for expanding anti-discrimination protections in the state constitution, an overhaul for New York City’s Penn Station and a proposed ban on foam food containers. Cuomo also outlined another ban that would cover marketing flavored e-cigarettes to children, initiatives intended to lower the cost of prescription drugs, guaranteed paid sick leave time for more New York workers and expanded universal pre-kindergarten.
“New York at her best is the progressive capitol of the nation, and we must fulfill that destiny again this year,” Cuomo said.
Cuomo delivered his address at the Empire State Plaza Convention