Governor Andrew Cuomo was in Central New York today, swinging by three state colleges as part of his whirlwind tour promoting his â??Start-Up NYâ?? initiative.
At Onondaga Community College, Cuomo addressed the tax-free incentives in the initiative as one way that the struggling upstate economy can break free from what he called a decades-long â??downward spiral.â?? Another prong in the plan highlighted is the Upstate NY Gaming Economic Development Act, which calls for resort-style casinos to be strategically placed throughout portions of upstate to help increase revenue by increasing tourism. Money taken in will be shared with all upstate counties, according to Mr. Cuomo.
The third prong includes a plan to form a restructuring board in order to financially merge some of the 10,500 upstate governments, saving money that can be spent on tax relief, among other things.
Mr. Cuomo also touched on his approval of the Supreme Courtâ??s decision to overturn the Defense of Marriage Act, citing that New York was the first large state to enact marriage equality.
The New York Marriage Equality bill was passed in 2011.
Finally, the governor was asked about the defeat of the Womenâ??s Equality Act, a proposal that bundled ten equality measures, including the expansion of abortion rights, into one bill. The State Assembly passed the bill, while the Senate separated the legislation into ten separate parts. Mr. Cuomo abandoned his all-or-nothing approach to the bill after he saw that the â??right to chooseâ?? portion of the legislation was doomed to stall in the Senate. For now the entire bill is dead, but the Governor expressed his hopes that the state legislature would find a way to pass the nine pieces of the Womenâ??s Equality Act that everyone agreed on.
"There are a number of people in the Assembly that are disappointed that choice didn't pass, but at the end of the day, we have to get the nine that did pass implemented because they're going to fundamentally protect rights that women desperately need,â?? Mr. Cuomo said.