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Thiele: Governor Seeks to 'Re-Imagine' Government

The Governor’s 2012 State of the State Address set forth an ambitious blueprint.

Gov. Cuomo and the State Legislature formed a successful partnership in the 2011 Legislative Session enacting the 2 percent property tax cap, a balanced, on-time state budget, and state income tax reform among other achievements. The question I was asked most often in recent weeks was what would Gov. Cuomo do this year to top 2011?

The governor’s 2012 State of the State Address set forth an ambitious blueprint that will top 2011, if it is enacted.

First, the governor has correctly focused on what must be the top priority for everyone, jobs and the economy. The governor has outlined an economic blueprint for substantial investment in the state’s economy that will yield the kind of good paying jobs that will return New York to its role as the Empire State. Most notable are the governor’s announcements for a $200 million second round of economic development awards as well as the New York Works Fund to leverage capital investment in the state’s infrastructure. On the East End, the renewal of and the reconstruction of Montauk Highway are two key projects that could benefit from these programs.

The governor also outlined key initiatives to “re-imagine” government. The governor has pledged to balance the 2012 State Budget with no new taxes or fees.

As a former local government official, the governor’s call for mandate relief is overdue. We must enact pension reform in 2012 as well as mandate relief this session to cut the costs of school districts and local governments. Further, the governor’s call for an education commission to work in key areas such as management efficiency is also welcome. However, such a commission must act quickly to provide recommendations to the Legislature. We must make government most cost effective and reduce the burden of state and local taxes.

The governor has also called for the creation of a tax reform and fairness commission to close loopholes and improve the business climate. This will provide the perfect forum to consider changes to existing law in the Barker case that discourage vacation homeownership.

Finally, I fully support the governor’s call for Campaign Finance Reform by instituting a system of public financing. The corrupting force of a political system awash in special interest money must be reversed.

I look forward to working with the governor and my legislative colleagues for another successful legislative session.

This post is contributed by a community member. The views expressed in this blog are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Patch Media Corporation. Everyone is welcome to submit a post to Patch. If you'd like to post a blog, go here to get started.

Hazel Wilkonson the First January 06, 2012 at 07:07 PM
"The governor has pledged to balance the 2012 State Budget with no new taxes or fees." Will he do this on the backs of education and middle income workers, as he has to date? Why not reinstate the millionaire tax? Like his republican counterparts, and unlike his father, Cuomo is a 1 percenter.
IJ MEYER January 06, 2012 at 10:19 PM
You forgot to mention that you were one of the main players in keeping the New York State Government from accomplishing anything for such a long time. Why shouldn't we expect the same thing from you again. What party are you clinging to now?
Joan Tutt January 07, 2012 at 02:35 PM
Renweal of Southampton College~ sooner, not later, please!
Penny Quince January 10, 2012 at 01:02 PM
Excellent report! Many thanks.
Preliator January 11, 2012 at 04:16 PM
Oh please, stop the us vs. them nonsense, stop the class warfare, stop the entitlement mentality; nothing is going to get done with that attitude.

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