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Governor Cuomo Delivers State of the State and Budget Address

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Governor Cuomo lays out an ambitious agenda in his combined State of the State and Budget address in Albany.

The Governor proposes spending $5.4 billion dollars in settlement money which includes one and a half billion to revitalize the upstate economy. Our Beth Russo was there when the Governor spoke and has more.

"Green jobs, an increase in minimum wage as well as a $1.1 billion increase in education spending are just a few of the items on Governor Cuomo's 2015 opportunity agenda."
Governor Cuomo says,"The days of when down state flourishes and upstate suffers are over."

With that the Governor proposes a $20 million business competition to bring green jobs to the southern tier along with $30 million to preserve farmland in the area. Local politicians say these are steps in the right direction.

Assemblyman Clifford Crouch says, "Economic development in the southern tier is going to be a big piece. Recognizing that we are on of the slowest regions to come back."

Assemblywoman Donna Lupardo says, "I'm very happy with what he's talking about for upstate New York. I think the southern tier has a good chance of benefiting from the budget the Governor has laid out."

The agenda also calls for an increase in the state's minimum wage to $10.50 an hour and $11.50 in New York City. As for the for the Governor's proposed education reform, many local officials are concerned about the controversial teacher evaluation and tenure reforms associated with the proposed $1.1 billion increase in education spending.

Senator Seward says, "As we look at ways of improving education I think we need to make sure that we do not put undue additional burdens on schools that are doing well and teachers that are doing well."

All of the officials that I spoke with say there's a lot of work to be done to the budget before it is submitted on March 31st.
Reporting in Albany, Beth Russo, Fox 40 HD News