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Long Island native identified as person who set himself on fire outside Trump trial in Manhattan

Cuomo: State’s priority must remain defeating the pandemic

Gov. Andrew Cuomo says New York is at war, and the crisis we are facing and the way we respond to it are historic.

News 12 Staff

Jan 11, 2021, 10:57 PM

Updated 1,193 days ago

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Some big proposals were rolled out by Gov. Andrew Cuomo Monday in his State of the State address due in part because of the ongoing economic crisis due to the pandemic.
Gov. Cuomo says New York is at war, and the crisis we are facing and the way we respond to it are historic.
The announcement comes at a time when New York is facing a $15 billion deficit, however, the governor says the priority must remain defeating the pandemic.
"We must defeat the enemy, if we tire before the enemy tires we will lose," says Cuomo. "We simply cannot stay closed. We must open the economy but we must do it smartly and safely."
The governor says that includes protecting hospital systems so they are not overwhelmed.
The governor called for a medical supplies act to encourage New York companies to make the PPE needed to keep front-line workers safe. He says vaccinating all New Yorkers is also a top priority.
Cuomo says the state is taking steps to expand its vaccine distribution and open new coronavirus testing facilities.
The governor added that it is the federal government's job to help with the economic devastation from the pandemic. Cuomo also called for an end to the Trump administration cap on state and local tax deductions.
The Republican-controlled Senate has blocked any stimulus aid from going directly to state and local governments. But with Democrats soon to be in control of both chambers of Congress, there is hope money could soon be on the way.
Cuomo says beyond the pandemic, he's looking to invest in the state's economic future by investing in infrastructure and green energy initiatives.
"It's a really big deal for us if we can get a good chunk of money for the Long Island Rail Road and for our schools and our local villages and towns. We could do a lot more." says state Sen. Todd Kaminsky (D-Long Beach).
The governor again pushed for the legalization and regulation of marijuana. It's Cuomo's third attempt in as many years to approve the recreational use of marijuana by adults. He's also looking to legalize online sports betting as a way to generate money for the state.
But Republican critics says the state shouldn't solely rely on federal funds.
"I would like to see some smart spending. You know, New York state doesn't have a revenue problem, we have a spending problem. I'd like to see some smart spending," says newly elected state Sen. Alexis Weik (R-Sayville).
The governor is due to unveil his proposed budget later this month.


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