Year Two of the Cuomo era started out, surprisingly, with a bang.
Not content to rest on his laurels, Gov. Andrew Cuomo unveiled a list of big-ticket items in his State of the State speech last week. Among them: a plan to build the largest convention center in the United States, the legalization of casino gambling, a call to create a public campaign finance system and billions of dollars leveraged toward improving the state’s crumbling infrastructure.
“Last year, we learned to walk,” Cuomo said. “This year, we run.”
But in his quest to build on the successes of his first year in office, Cuomo is sure to run up against those entrenched interests he is so fond of deriding, the “cynics and naysayers” who regularly serve as straw men in the governor’s speeches. Already, some business leaders—and even the usually Cuomo-sympathetic New York Post opinion page—have cast a skeptical eye on the governor’s plan to build a convention center next to the Aqueduct racino in Queens. And backroom fights over redistricting and the state budget deficit may spill out into the open if Cuomo is unable to broker a deal with legislative leaders.
There are still many reasons to remain hopeful; Cuomo has already proven to be a master at coaxing the latent functionality out of New York’s government. How fast he can run with this new agenda will define what lies ahead for Albany and the rest of the state.
For more on Cuomo’s Blueprint, pick up the latest issue of City & State, or click here.