2011 a busy first year in office for Gov. Cuomo

WOODBURY - Gov. Andrew Cuomo's (D-N.Y.) first year in office saw the legalization of gay marriage and the passage of a tax cap as just two of his accomplishments, which raises the question if he'll be able to extend his winning streak into the new year.

Since Cuomo was sworn in as governor in January, the state legalized same-sex marriage, passed a property tax cap and closed a $10 billion deficit without raising taxes.

Political analyst Larry Levy, of Hofstra University, says what makes Cuomo's achievements so remarkable is that for years, the state government was considered to be hopelessly dysfunctional.

"He has brought all that experience and an innate intelligence and a vision for what the state needs to do," Levy says.

State Senate Majority Leader Dean Skelos (R-Rockville Centre) says one reason so much got done in Albany this year was Cuomo's ability to find common ground among political adversaries.

In less than a week, Cuomo will deliver his State of the State address in which he will outline his goals for next year. Among the main objectives in 2012 will be pension reform and mandate relief.

For an interview with state Senate Majority Leader Dean Skelos about Gov. Cuomo's first year in office, go to your digital cable box and select iO Extra on Ch. 612.

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