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Cuomo Gives State of the State/Budget Address

By Jason Weinstein.
A rowdy start to Governor Cuomo's joint State of the State and Budget Address. Brooklyn Assemblyman Charles Barron began shouting at Cuomo and had to be removed by security.

"OK, Assemblyman, let me finish and then you'll have your turn. OK, everybody sees you and everybody heard you," said Cuomo.

Cuomo laid out a $145 billion spending plan. Part of that includes a tax cut for small business.

"I propose a $300 million tax cut that will reduce the rate from 6.5 to 4 percent plus a 15-percent income exemption for partnerships and S-corporations. That's a tax reduction for one million small companies," said Cuomo.

Cuomo also proposed a $20 billion Upstate economic plan, including a plan to freeze tolls on the Thruway and cut them in half for the most frequent users.

"Cut tolls in half for all frequent users, and eliminate all tolls for our agriculture sector," said Cuomo.

Cuomo relayed emotional personal stories. He talked about giving an inaugural speech in Buffalo when he learned about his father's death. He used this to lead into a call for paid family leave.

He also talked about his girlfriend Sandra Lee's battle with breast cancer before calling for a $90 million program to support early screening.

"Three women who work with me in their 30s and 40s came to me and said, 'I heard what happened to Sandy. I went and got a screening.' Three women. All three had breast cancer," said Cuomo.

Cuomo ended his speech with a call for the Legislature to act in a bi-partisan manner during the upcoming budget negotiations.