Cuomo Says Housing, Ethics Reform At Top Of 2016 Agenda

January 14, 2016 at 8:51 pm

New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo on Wednesday announced his top priorities for this upcoming year and proposed a $145 billion budget. “New York NOW” Host and MetroFocus Contributor Matt Ryan shared some key areas where the governor is proposing to spend your tax dollars:

Education spending:

    $24.2 billion in school aid

Ryan says this is a 4.3 percent increase from last year and part of a two-year plan to pay back $443 billion of cuts that happened during the Great Recession.

“During Gov. David Paterson’s tenure in ’09 and ’10, the education budgets took a drastic cut, and so some of the funding for that is going to be restored,” he told MetroFocus Host Rafael Pi Roman.

Transportation funding:

Housing plan:

    $20 billion over 5 years for expansion of housing and homelessness plan

“As you know Raf, this is an issue that’s divided Gov. Cuomo and the mayor for a few months now,” Ryan told Pi Roman. “Mayor de Blasio met with the governor yesterday and approved what he heard initially.”

Ethics, family leave
Calls for ethics reform have increased recently after the state’s top two legislative leaders were found guilty of corruption in separate trials late last year.

At his joint State of the State address and budget unveiling, Cuomo proposed limiting lawmakers’ outside income to 15 percent of their base salary, which is $79,500.

“This is very similar to the Congressional model,” Ryan said. “We’ll see how that goes over.”

Ryan said the governor also called to close a loophole that corporations to skirt some campaign finance laws.

Additionally, Cuomo announced his support for 12 weeks of leave for family. Ryan says the governor spoke of his experiences with his girlfriend, who had breast cancer, and his father, who died last year, to emphasize the need for time off from work.

Sharing the personal accounts was “something that the governor doesn’t do often,” Ryan said.

The New York State Legislature will assess the governor’s spending plan at budget hearings to begin next week.

Funders

MetroFocus is made possible by James and Merryl Tisch, Sue and Edgar Wachenheim III, the Sylvia A. and Simon B. Poyta Programming Endowment to Fight Anti-Semitism, Bernard and Irene Schwartz, Rosalind P. Walter, Barbara Hope Zuckerberg, Jody and John Arnhold, the Cheryl and Philip Milstein Family, Janet Prindle Seidler, Judy and Josh Weston and the Dr. Robert C. and Tina Sohn Foundation.

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