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The Call Blog: Governor Cuomo Addresses Pre-Kindergarten, Taxes, Medical Marijuana

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A State of the State is Act 1, Scene 1 of the legislative session. It sets the stage. Hold your applause until the curtain closes. Trust me.

During the last State of the State address of his first term, Governor Cuomo outlined a list of initiatives for the upcoming year. Cuomo proposed freezing property taxes for two years, lowering the corporate tax rate to levels not seen since 1968, and launching a program that allows 20 hospitals to provide medical marijuana to patients being treated for serious illnesses.

Mayor Bill de Blasio traveled to Albany for the speech and met with Governor Cuomo for an hour. De Blasio asked the Governor to support his plan to tax the wealthiest city residents to raise revenue for universal pre-Kindergarten. During the speech however, Cuomo said he believes in pre-K access for all children, but he's undecided on the best way to pay for it. What do you say?

Are you pleased or disappointed that Governor Cuomo didn't support a funding source for universal pre-Kindergarten? Have you considered moving out of New York State because of high taxes? How would you grade Cuomo's leadership in Albany? Are his initiatives taking New York in the right direction?

Send your thoughts using the link above.

I don’t mind paying for Universal Pre-K since it benefits all New Yorkers as a whole. However, I wish there were more ways for middle income New Yorkers buy a home - I really could use some down payment assistance, but I make about $5,000 too much to qualify.


Look at the reality, all talks and promises, no action or results. The high price of rent in ny queens or all ny. The minimum wages can hardly paid your rent. The school system and educational sucks, all gang dress code fill with sexual abuse. On TV programs filled with violence and sex. Nothing about God and love or even good teaching with loves and respect. We in ny worse than the third world country. So much I can list, got tired and don't care anymore.


I don't trust Cuomo. In a state that has some serious economic inequalities, closing hospitals, overcrowded and underfunded schools, an aging infrastructure, and a host of other real problems, the first answer should not be "tax cuts." He chooses the popular, fuzzy and warm answers to problems that require real work and planning. He'll get re-elected, but he won't actually fix anything.


The only people I know who are leaving New York are middle class people who can't afford to live here anymore -- and I think most of them would be happy to be in a position to complain about having incomes so high they had to pay more taxes. It's the general cost of living -- what the dollar buys here compared to what it buys in other places that's driving people out.

I am very disappointed in Cuomo -- if he wants to freeze property taxes then how about exacting something very specific in exchange, like merger of school districts, fire districts, police districts, water districts and on and on. Not to mention important amendments to state employee benefit plans -- like limits on inclusion of overtime in pension calculations.

Ellie - Turtle Bay

Dear John,

First, I would give Gov. Cuomo a passing grade for his outstanding performance.

Next, assuming the fact that Gov. Cuomo keeps his promise for Universal Pre-K, Mayor deBasio only concern is how the Governor plans to provide the needed funding, and stop worrying about taxing more New Yorkers who pay enough taxes already.

Clifton, New York

I give Cuomo a big fat D!!!....People r delusional, the rich has no reason to leave, they've been living off the FAT OF THE LAND for 12 YRS, what they're asking from them a year to get these programs off the ground...I pay more than that a month in a studio apartment... PAY UP RICH PEOPLE!!!! don't want to just want to RECEIVE!!!

McGriff from Bklyn


A life long NYer, for the first time am looking to buy a place in Marco Island, Fl.


No one is really addressing the economic mess many middle class gen x New Yorkers are wrestling with. Many of us are earning 50% less than we made a decade ago. Our savings are depleted and new job prospects are drying up. No one is standing up for us!! We have become the generation nyc has forgotten about.

harlem nyc...

Hey John,

I liked the fact Cuomo is addressing the lack of transit options for my brothers and sisters in the Bronx (i.e. 4 new Metro North stops to Penn) and he realizes La Guardia and JFK Airport are awful ("We are not the greatest city in the world without a one seat ride IMHO!").

But at the end of the day he must go after the folks who have benefited from the recent stock market boom to fund these proposals and to fund ones which are grander...

If he wants to compete in 2016, he can't be undone by the mayor DeBlasio; right now DeBlasio feels more presidential to me! Cuomo's ideas (save for the transit) were a bit flat....

Antonio from Bayside


Andrew Cuomo loves to hear himself talk. He always comes across holier than thou. I’m sure he will pull rank on de Blasio and try to steal Big Bill’s thunder at the first opportunity. Taxing the rich in NYC? Do you honestly believe this will happen in our lifetime? As they used to say on the Sopranos, Forgetaboutit.

Brooklyn Hgts.

Can Governor Cuomo explain how come we cannot afford universal pre-K, if there are going to be Las Vegas style casinos all over the state?


Andrew has been a huge disappointment being more concerned with making his fat cat business contributors happy than helping the poor and homeless.


Why are we so worried if the rich leave the city? They don't pay taxes anyway and they aren't hiring. It's funny, my daughter said if she doesn't get a funding source for Universal Pre-K she's going to take her toys and run away from home. At least with her the reaction is age-appropriate.

-- David from Bay Ridge


Pre K is de Blasio's idea. Why shouldn't he pay for it out of his pocket?
Why should anyone be forced by government to pay for the education of someone else's children?

Port Richmond, SI

I like Cuomo and feel he's done a good job. I am very happy about the medical marijuana initiative. I think he will find a way to make universal Pre-K happen for us; I feel he is committed to it.

Jackson Heights

I think Deblasio is wrong. Everyone should pay tax according to the tax rate. Do people who have lower wages pay a lower tax rate? No. When the wealthy start leaving the city, where will Beblasio get the money then? These politicians cannot think of one solid way of doing anything. They are the most dysfunctional group I have ever saw. Bloomberg raises taxes on cigarettes and he not only loses the tax money but the purchase price of the cigarettes as well.

Park Hill

Cutting taxes means cutting services, especially to the most vulnerable. cutting taxes for corporations is insane, they're making record breaking profits. But if cutting corporate taxes is what Republicrat Cuomo is going to do, I want to know something: if corporate taxes are lowered to 1968 levels, are these corporations going to replace all of the jobs outsourced overseas since 1968? Is all of the infrastructure that has aged since 1968 going to be repaired or replaced? Corporate tax cuts should only be granted to companies that create jobs in NY State. Unconditional corporate tax cuts will only create more jobs overseas and less services for the rest of us.

There are also ads touting "no taxes for 10 years" for new businesses in NY State. Is that for new businesses that create jobs in NY State? Cuomo and Bloomberg conspired to cut pension benefits for city and state workers, and now Cuomo is cutting corporate taxes? What is this state, and country, coming to? The gap keeps widening.

Meryl from Manhattan

Hi John,

First of all DeBlasio has the nerve to even mention that we the tax payers are responsible for everyone's pre-k which is only a glorified baby sitters venue for the children. He, DeBlasio should inform his hand picked new speaker to pay her taxes like everyone else does before he commits other peoples funds to make him look good. Do all of these children speak English or even understand the language of our America when they attend the pre-k classes ? It’s as though all of the people ask for all their wants and needs, don’t get it and then expect the so called rich to pay. So what makes anyone think that because they make a for instance $500 K a year that they can afford to pay for someone else’s children's education. How do any of us know if they are not obligated to pay loans, insurance and all the other wants and need to run their families and also we have this added Obama care to contend with. In my opinion they don’t know it. We all cannot assume someone else’s pocket. Everyone has expenses of one kind or another. Some of us have been in their shoes many times until we could get on our feet again and again and it’s as though we have committed a mortal sin because we have a little bit more than others. Make no mistake about it. Many of us in this city have come up the hard way.


Thank you John,

Hi John

I'm glad the Govenor is on board with Mayor Diblasio's plan for UPK but he should use the Mayor's plan for funding so other programs for the kids can be implemented like after school progams and teaching kids how to use the internet. Every child should know how to use the internet it's educational and informative, if another snowstorm happens and the Mayor and school's chancellor have to close the schools the child can email their teacher and the teacher can email them the work for the day. The Govenor is taking the city in the right direction now its up to the parents to get involved with their kids education because the kids are our future all parents should want their child to succeed.

the next thing the Govenor have to do is sit down with the unions and make sure they get fair and decent contracts I dont mind paying a little more for carfare if my buddies st the MTA will get a fair and decent contract people dont understand they have families to support and bills to pay too

upper west side

Hi John;

Cuomo is going to make a decision to raise taxes on the "wealthiest" NYers and not to legalize Medical Marijuana after November 4, 2014 when he will roll over and give his good friend Mayor DeBlasio,whatever he wants.

Just when I thought politicians could not get any worse. Geez.

Midtown East

I have been thinking about moving out of nyc due to the taxes and expenses that the city have to all of us. Is true that there are many or maybe too many of the wealthiest people living in Manhattan. But how about the ones that are not even making the $50 K that everybody is talking about? Is that the people that make even lower than $ 40K doesn't exist? I have no idea about what do the government think about those that work in a restaurant and just making the minimum wage. WOW I guess nobody thinks about those ones, guess that people doesn't even count. I think one of the reasons that there are many uneducated people in NY is because the large and huge business that education has become. That is what I think it is. A big business. Thinking that because is a real need to have a degree, you have to pay the prices of education not matter what. Otherwise the only place that you can be considered to work is in McDonalds and a few other companies that hire new people just with a high school diploma. I will support a 100 % tax for the wealthiest the same as we all pay. Not tax credits for them, after all they can always afford it not matter what.

Alberto from Hamilton Heights


I think Cuomo is doing the best.he can under the circumstances. Things have not gotten worse & some of.his initiatives look promising. The pre- k thing is up in the air.

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