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Legislators pan Cuomo's speech plans

Jan 04, 2017 12:02 am
Jimmy Vielkind reports in Politico New York that as the legislature goes back into session in Albany this week, some lawmakers are working out their feelings about Gov. Andrew Cuomo. “Of course people are angry, and he deserves it,” State Sen. Ruben Diaz Sr., a Democrat from the Bronx, said. “We’ve got to send the governor a message: you have to respect us.” A supposedly independent commission was expected to increase their $79,500 base pay for the first time since 1998, but the governor’s appointees instead punted. Cuomo then attempted to hold a special session to pass ethics reform in exchange for the pay raise. But Republicans refused to hold the special session. Then Cuomo announced he would not face legislators with a State of the State speech, instead planning six speeches around the state. Diaz Sr. said Cuomo was “afraid to face the legislators,” and State Sen. Jim Tedisco, a Republican from Schenectady, wants to introduce a bill requiring the governor give the speech in the Capitol. Senate Republican leader John DeFrancisco says the multiple speeches are, “an early beginning of his [re-election] campaign, and anybody else who looks at it differently is, I think, looking through rose colored glasses.” Even the Democrats are criticizing Cuomo with former Assemblyperson Jack McEneny saying, “He’s moved away from the message to the Legislature and made it the message to the media, the message to the people. Now the legislators will be watching it on TV. Where are they going to show up? Which one do they go to? Moving this State of the State out is probably not a good way to build bridges in preparation for a new budget or legislative year.” An anonymous Cuomo aide responded, “They didn't get their pay raise so now they threaten they are going to be dysfunctional? It's extortion and they wonder why 70 percent of the public wouldn't give them a raise.” Read the full story in Politico New York.