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Gov. Andrew Cuomo delivers the 2018 State of the State address at Empire State Plaza Convention Center (Credit: Philip Kamrass, office of Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo; governor's Flickr page)
Gov. Andrew Cuomo delivers the 2018 State of the State address at Empire State Plaza Convention Center (Credit: Philip Kamrass, office of Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo; governor's Flickr page)

Cuomo outlines 2018 agenda: Realizing promise of progressive government

Press Release

Wed, Jan 3rd 2018 06:00 pm
In 8th State of the State address, Cuomo advances far-reaching agenda to build on 7 years of progressive policy; PDF of official 2018 State of the State book available HERE
Press Release from the Governor's Website
Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo on Wednesday delivered his 2018 State of the State address at the Empire State Plaza Convention Center in Albany. The governor's far-reaching 2018 agenda delivers on the promise of progressive government by advancing a slate of critical social and economic policies to improve the lives of New Yorkers. The bold agenda includes a full package of legislative reforms, robust investments and targeted actions - from a comprehensive women's rights agenda to a first-in-the-nation plan to fight the federal tax assault to nation-leading criminal justice reforms - that will increase opportunity for New Yorkers and ensure the Empire State continues to serve as a beacon of equality, unity and fairness for the nation.
These sweeping proposals build on seven years of strong progress under Cuomo - passing a $15 minimum wage, tuition-free college, marriage equality, paid family leave, gun safety, infrastructure and landmark criminal justice reforms, all while lowering taxes for the middle class, capping property taxes and keeping spending increases to the lowest levels in generations. In the face of a concerted federal assault from Washington, New York will continue to lead the way in 2018, fostering shared values of opportunity, equality, fairness and hope, and proving the competency of progressive government.
Cuomo said, "New York believes that there is no future built through division - but only through unity. The New York way is that tolerance is expected from all, inclusion is our operating principle, and forging community is the ultimate goal. For too long in this country, government has promised too much and delivered too little. This administration understands that effective government requires citizen confidence and management competence.  To better society, government leaders must be dreamers and doers; visionaries and achievers. We are facing unprecedented challenges to women's rights, our immigrant community, the environment and our economy. New York is unwavering. We will continue to lead the nation by fighting to protect and advance the rights of all women, ensuring the integrity of our elections, safeguarding New York's natural resources, creating the jobs of tomorrow, combating the federal assault on our tax code and reforming our criminal justice system so that wealth does not dictate outcome." 
Highlights of the governor's 2018 agenda include the following:
  • Keeping New York economically competitive
  • Upholding the New York promise
  • Expanding educational opportunity for all
  • Continuing economic opportunity and growth under NY Works
  • Providing a cleaner, greener and healthier New York: The Wellness Agenda
  • Leading the fight against climate change
  • Advancing the democracy agenda
  • Building a stronger, safer New York
The governor's 2018 policy book is available HERE
Locally, Cuomo said:
•He wants to expand cashless tolling to the entire New York State Thruway and Port Authority crossings: By eliminating the need to stop at a toll, this technology improves the driving experiences, expedites traffic flow and benefits those who live near tollbooths by reducing congestion-related emissions.
The governor championed the implementation of cashless tolling at MTA bridges and tunnels, which was completed in 2017, and also announced that same year the expansion of cashless tolling to the Thruway's Harriman and Grand Island toll facilities. To expand these benefits across the state, Cuomo plans to implement cashless tolling technology on all toll collection points along the Thruway.
Additionally, the governor has also urged the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey to study the possibility of installing cashless toll collection on all PANYNJ operated bridges and tunnels. When complete, users of the Thruway, from New York City to Buffalo, will experience reductions in traffic congestion and improvements in travel times.
The project will utilize design-build construction to reduce costs and accelerate the construction schedule. Cashless tolling throughout the Thruway system will be operational in 2020.
•Following visible releases of dark water discharges from the Niagara Falls Wastewater Treatment Facility, Cuomo directed the State Department of Environmental Conservation to hold the Niagara Falls Water Board accountable and to take actions to protect water quality at this iconic tourist attraction. To ensure the Niagara Falls wastewater facility's problems are resolved in a comprehensive fashion, Cuomo will invest over $20 million to launch phase one of the wastewater system overhaul to complete comprehensive infrastructure and operational improvements at the Niagara Falls Wastewater Treatment Facility.
The governor's proposal also provides $500,000 to expedite two engineering studies to evaluate both the plant's discharges and treatment systems, which are required by the new consent order with the Niagara Falls Water Board.
To read more about the State of the State, click HERE.

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