Cuomo lays out $163B state budget during meetings at governor’s mansion

ALBANY, N.Y. (NEWS10) – Governor Andrew Cuomo broke the mold again on Tuesday by presenting the state budget to lawmakers in groups at the governor’s mansion.

Senate republicans met with the governor during the day Tuesday, and democrats met with him in the evening.

Senator George Amedore said the governor provided a fiscally prudent budget.

“There was a lot of questions, there was a lot of answers, and some of the questions are tough,” he said.

Some things outlined by the governor include more legislation to fight the opioid epidemic.

“Adding fentanyl on the list, which is a big issue right now which is a synthetic drug,” Amedore said.

Cuomo is also calling for more money for water infrastructure.

Prior to the evening meeting, Senate Democrat Neil Breslin said he hoped to get answers to his questions.

“The process isn’t always perfect, but I have every expectation we’ll have enough time,” he said.

Breslin hopes to learn more about health care, education, and ride sharing. He said it’s important the money goes to the right places.

“It depends on if the $163 billion goes to the wrong spot and not going where I want it to go,” he said.

RELATED: NEW YORK STATE FY 2018 EXECUTIVE BUDGET LEGISLATION

The bills are due to draft at midnight, and Breslin said that’s when the hard work really starts.

After meeting with lawmakers Tuesday evening, Cuomo held a press briefing at the mansion. During the fast paced meeting, the governor laid out several big ticket items.

The budget stands at $163 billion, including federal money. The state operations budget is at $96.2 billion.

Other important items he went over included a middle class agenda, which would cut income taxes, reduce property taxes and create more jobs.

Cuomo plans to invest $1 billion into education, including $153 million going towards free education.

There was also a six-point plan to continue combating the opioid epidemic, and a 10-point plan on ethics reform.

One of the largest distributions of money was $2 billion going to water infrastructure, including safe drinking water.

In addition, $70 million will go toward I Love New York advertising and bringing more tourism to the state. As part of that plan, Cuomo is proposing some fun things for the state such as movie theaters being able to sell wine and beer and turning the bridges in the New York Harbor into a light show.

In a surprise announcement, Cuomo said he’s meeting with President-elect Donald Trump on Wednesday because he said Trump “knows New York.”

 

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