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Cuomo outlines ambitous plan in 2014 State of the State Address

(Source: Natalie Rubino)

ALBANY -- Thousands gathered as Governor Cuomo gave his fourth State of the State Address Wednesday in Albany.  While New York has come a long way in the past three years, the governor has big plans for the future.

In this year's address he set some pretty high goals for the state.

An agenda that includes taxes, casinos, jobs and education has some politicians skeptical of success.
   
It's very aggressive and like last year when we walked off I just wondered how we're going to pay for all of this," Assemblyman Clifford Crouch (R), said.
 
At the top of the list, jobs.
   
"In New York State, job one is jobs," Governor Cuomo said.
 
The governor wants to eliminate the corporate tax in Upstate New York and bring back manufacturers.
   
"Really send a strong signal to businesses saying this is a different day and we're doing it a different way," he said.
 
The governor also proposed a two year freeze on property taxes.  But, there is a catch.  Municipalities must stay within the two percent property tax cap in the first year, and in the second year they must show signs of consolidating or sharing services.
   
"Our community has been out front on this for years. We've shared services across the board. This will provide a greater incentive for us to do more of that," Assemblywoman Donna Lupardo (D) said.
   
As far as a casinos go, Gov. Cuomo named Mark Gearman Chair of the Gaming Commission.  You may also see one in the Southern Tier sooner than you think.
   
"We hope to make the selections in early fall," the governor said.
 
But one of the most costly investments the governor wants to make, a $2 billion smart school initiative.  This would upgrade the technology throughout state schools.
   
"Let's have the smartest classrooms in the nation because our children deserve nothing less than the best," he said.
 
Other topics on the agenda, rebuilding infrastructure, affordable housing, and tourism.  Aggressive?  Maybe.  But the governor is confident the work can be done.
 
"We are going to make a reality in this great state together," Governor Cuomo said.
   
As far as funding? Some of it will come from the state's $2 billion surplus. The rest?  We'll have to wait until Gov. Cuomo's budget address at the end of the month.

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