Tedisco, Steck: State of the State needs to be at Capitol

January 11, 2017 10:16 PM

ALBANY - It's not because every previous governor, including his father Mario Cuomo, did it in the state capitol building.

That's not why some lawmakers are objecting to Governor Andrew Cuomo turning his State of the State message into a traveling road show.

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"What citizen is going to be able to leave work at 2:00 pm?" Senator Jim Tedisco (R - Glenville), asks rhetorically, "By the way, you're not invited any way as a citizen. This is by invitation only.

Tedisco believes Governor Cuomo's State of the State is nothing more than six carefully crafted political rallies, that's not his main objection.

"We'd like him to work with us but he doesn't work with us," Tedisco states, "He doesn't work well with the legislature right now."

Tedisco isn't alone. Democrat Assemblyman Phil Steck (D - Colonie) thinks Cuomo is thumbing his nose at the state constitution.

"The State of the State is supposed to be an address to the legislature," Steck, a lawyer, opines, "That's what the constitution says and it's supposed to be about what are we going to do to work on together in the upcoming session."

Steck and Tedisco are teaming up in a bipartisan manner, proposing legislation for a constitutional amendment that would force future governors to deliver their annual address in the assembly chamber.

"The governor thinks he can give the address from the top of Whiteface Mountain," Steck jokes, "We kind of disagree. the purpose of the State of the State is not to propagandize and then blame the Legislature for what is not accomplished. Converting the State of the State into a dog and pony show, and now taking that show on the road, is unnecessary, inefficient, and a waste of taxpayer dollars."

"We want him or her to understand there are three branches of government so it's not only about him," Tedisco says, "It's about the future. New Yorkers don't need a 'Hunger Games' style State of the State. Let's hope no President of the United States decides to deliver the State of the Union Address in our four different continental time zones."

Meanwhile, Richard Azzopardi, a spokesman for the governor, issued a response to the Tedisco/Steck legislation.

"The Governor is bringing his action plan to help the middle class, make college affordable, make it easier for parents to pay for childcare and move New York forward directly to New Yorkers. It's good to see Jim Tedisco is focused on the important stuff. With cheap stunts like this, it's no wonder 70 percent of New Yorkers don't think legislators deserve a raise."


Dan Levy

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