Congestion Pricing And Legalization Of Recreational Marijuana Just Some Of His Many Proposals


ALBANY, N.Y. (CBSNewYork) — From tax cuts to legalizing marijuana, Gov. Andrew Cuomo on Tuesday unveiled a muscular something-for-everyone agenda designed to make him the strong man in New York state.

CBS2 political reporter Marcia Kramer has more on the governor’s State of the State and budget speech.

The very first thing Cuomo did was show how he exploded the last remnants of the Tappan Zee Bridge, an event that took place Tuesday morning on the Hudson River.

“So, we’re off with a bang,” Cuomo said.

WATCH: Gov. Cuomo delivers State of the State budget address: 

And then it was off to the races with a lengthy list of proposals for the first 100 days of his third term, proposals that pundits say will serve him in good stead if he enters another race — the one in 2020.

Cuomo called for:

  • Middle class tax cuts
  • Increased aid for poor schools
  • A green new deal — 100 percent clean energy by 2040
  • Eliminating the statute of limitations for rape
  • Legalizing sports betting

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Andrew Cuomo

(credit: CBS2)

He also put his imprint on legalizing the recreational use of marijuana for those over the age of 21.

“Counties and large cities can opt out,” he said.

And passing congestion pricing, which the governor said would go into affect in 2021.

Cuomo did not say what the fee would be to enter the Central Business District below 60th Street in Manhattan, but he did say it would raise $15 billion for the Metropolitan Transportation Authority.

“Is that enough money, the $15 billion, to solve the problems? We don’t think so,” Cuomo said.

He said the city and state should split the shortfall 50-50.

WATCH: David Birdsell analyzes Cuomo’s State of the State address:

Staten Island Republican Sen. Andrew Lanza was just one of the lawmakers raising questions.

“Don’t charge the people of Staten Island for the privilege of traveling throughout their own city,” Lanza said.

Many saw the speech as a Cuomo attempt to move further to the left.

“The governor is competing not only with Bill de Blasio, but with, apparently, Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez as well. He wants to be the most progressive governor in the state of New York,” Assemblywoman Nicole Malliotakis, R-Brooklyn/Staten Island, said.

“Politically, the governor was playing leapfrog with Mayor (Bill) de Blasio and the progressive members of the new Democratic Senate. He came out with a number of very progressive proposals, some old, some new, some borrowed, but all very, very blue,” Hofstra University political pundit Larry Levy said.

For the record, Mayor de Blasio applauded many of the governor’s liberal pronouncements, even taking part in standing ovations, but he didn’t move a muscle when the governor said he should pay more for the MTA.

The governor also pointed out that schools in poor New York City neighborhoods get 16 percent less money than schools in wealthier neighborhoods.