Karen DeWitt, NY Public Radio
Governor Cuomo cast further doubt on issues like campaign finance reform and increasing the states minimum wage to become law this year, and says he’s “shifting” to a new phase of governing instead.
Governor Cuomo, in remarks to his cabinet, says he expects a “relatively quiet” end to the legislative session. He says campaign finance reform, including public campaign financing, are measures that he supports, but says that they are “controversial” and “polarizing” issues in the legislature.
“It’s an election year, so there’s not a tremendous appetite for them to take on campaign financing,” said Cuomo.
Assembly Democrats back public campaign financing and have introduced a bill, Senate Republicans do not support the measure.
Cuomo says there continues to be a wide “gap” between the two houses on the issue of increasing the minimum wage. Democrats are in favor of the measure, saying it’s the morally correct thing to do, while Republicans warn it could cost some New Yorkers their jobs.
The governor, who says he got most of what he wanted on his agenda during state budget talks, says he’s instead pivoting to a new phase of his term, and will focus on improving government function, including adopting green energy initiatives, and promoting the state’s new friendliness to business. Cuomo says an ad campaign is planned, but he says he won’t be personally appearing in the commercials.
The governor says the ad campaign will be “basically the analog to the I love New York ads” with focus on business growth instead of tourism.
Cuomo’s remarks came on the same day that the New York State Court of Appeals was hearing a challenge to the legislatures’ newly drawn district lines. Specifically, the Senate’s creation of a 63rd district was in dispute. The governor says if the court were to throw out the lines, which the governor recently signed into law, then, the end of the session might not be so tranquil.
“Oh that would complicate it,” said Cuomo. “If that happens, take back everything I said before.”
And the governor may have some other unexpected issues to deal with in the coming days and months, as well. The Albany Times Union is reporting that the New York State Police is investigating whether at least one state trooper in the Buffalo area has been engaged in promoting a prostitution ring. The paper reports the trooper, Titus Taggart, has been suspended without pay. The Buffalo News reports that the allegations include transporting prostitutes over the Canadian border.