Yesterday’s State of State Address – Thoughts from County Leg. Jim Maisano

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I attended the State of the State address yesterday in Albany. Gov. Cuomo was excellent. He presented a bold agenda to reform Albany and substantially change how the state government operates. For about 3/4 of the speech, Gov. Cuomo sounded more Republican than most Republicans I know. He discussed plans to create a more pro-business climate, restructure the giant bureaucracy by making it more efficient and less wasteful, reduce spending, and pass a property tax cap. I was also impressed with his plans to attack corruption and reform the ethics laws.

What I was most happy to hear in the speech is that he plans to put the needs of New York first in his decisions – what will be best for the people of New York – not what is best for the Democrats or Republicans or special interests. This spirit of putting politics aside and doing what is best for our state has been missing in Albany for the past two decades.

Now comes the hard part as Gov. Cuomo has to make all these fine goals a reality. As they say, “the devil is in the details.” With a projected $10 billion deficit for the 2011 budget, he has a very difficult job ahead. The new governor will need real partners from the State Legislators. This remains questionable since, unfortunately, the Senate and Assembly have been controlled by special interests for way too long. Let’s hope they surprise us and genuinely support the governor’s reform effort.

I am pleased to see the Republicans back in control of the State Senate. It was clear to me, and I think to most objective people, that one party control of the entire state government was a disaster for the past two years. I believe the Senate Republicans will work well with Gov. Cuomo.

I wish Gov. Cuomo great success – because if he is successful – New York will be successful. We should always wish newly elected officials well (regardless if you voted for them). I am an optimist and always hope for the best from our democratic form of government. The New York State government has been on the wrong track for too long and many New Yorkers have lost faith and hope for real change. A door was opened yesterday by Gov. Cuomo, and I hope the State Legislature steps up and joins our new governor in ensuring that our leaders in Albany start doing what is truly best for New York and its great people.

County Legislator
Jim Maisano