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Cuomo Lauds Fiscal Progress Made In State of The State Address

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Governor Andrew Cuomo used his annual State of the State address Wednesday to commend his administration on reducing spending and pushed for a host of smaller initiatives, including a new medical marijuana pilot program and $100 billion towards affordable housing. NY1's Zack Fink filed the following report.

ALBANY - Governor Andrew Cuomo's State of the State speech Wednesday had plenty of reminders about his accomplishments over the last three years.

He also offered some new proposals, like a plan for the state to take control of LaGuardia and John F. Kennedy International airports from the Port Authority for a major renovation of both transit hubs.

"LaGuardia Airport is ranked as the worst airport in America, believe it or not," Cuomo said. "That is a disgrace, my friends."

As expected, the governor outlined a plan to allow medical marijuana, although it would be limited in scope, with no growing of cannabis allowed in the state.

"He has indicated he's going to try it this way, in a more controlled setting, and see if it's appropriate and it works," said Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver.

The governor also proposed $2 billion in bonding to upgrade school facilities, specifically to increase student access to technology.

"There are some schools where the most sophisticated piece of electronic equipment is the metal detector that you walk through on the way to the classroom, and that is just wrong in the state of New York," Cuomo said.

"We can't expect our young people to compete for jobs in the 21st century if they don't have 21st century technology," said state Senator Jeff Klein, the leader of the Independent Democratic Conference.

With the governor facing re-election this year, Republicans dismissed aspects of the speech as pandering.

"Big words, little performance," said state Republican Chairman Ed Cox. "It's an election year. This is more politics than reality."

Now comes the hard part. Now that Cuomo has laid out his initiatives for the upcoming legislative session, he must sit down with legislative leaders and figure out how to fund them.

Web Extra: Watch the governor's full address


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