Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver, D-Manhattan, rejected claims that Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s State of the State address leaned left more than his speeches have in the past, saying the governor is “not looking for labels.”
“I think the governor is calling it as he sees it,” Silver said Wednesday after the event.
During the 80-minute speech, Cuomo endorsed many liberal ideals, including the existence of climate change and the need to protect abortion rights. He also pledged to toughen gun laws in New York and decriminalize small amounts of marijuana.
“He’s seeing what’s necessary in the state,” Silver continued. “He’s appealing to businesses with his no-new-taxes, reduce workers comp and the cost of unemployment insurance, and he’s dealing with a social agenda that has pretty much always been his social agenda.
“He’s emphasized his own liberal social agenda, which he’s always had,” Silver said. “That hasn’t changed.”
Silver said the ambitious agenda that Cuomo laid out Wednesday will be fleshed out when the governor releases his budget later this month.
“Today is the blueprint,” he said. “And actually, in 2 weeks—January 22—the governor will present his budget, and he will give you the answers to those questions—how he’s going to pay for the things he promises to do.”