By Kerry Longobucco.

Lt. Governor Kathy Hochul (D) was the special guest at Tuesday's Southern Tier Regional Economic Development Council (STREDC) meeting at Binghamton University.

Hochul stopped by the Southern Tier to congratulate the STREDC on its $500 million Upstate Revitalization Initiative win -- and review the highlights of the governor's state of the state agenda.

Earlier this month, Cuomo unveiled a $145 billion budget. That includes $22 billion to update infrastructure upstate, and a $25 million strategy to combat poverty.

Hochul responded to critics of Cuomo's proposed budget -- who say New York can't afford such an expensive spending plan. She says she's proud of the governor for laying out a plan so ambitious.

"Clearly, he understands that we need to pay for this. That is why he took the first three or four years of his administration, and made tough decisions to get us on good, solid, fiscal footing," Hochul said. "We were not there before. There was a $10 billion deficit when the governor was first elected. We now have over a $5 billion surplus."

The deadline to approve Cuomo's final budget is April 1, 2016.