ALBANY, N.Y. (WROC) — Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s 2021 State of the State Address continue Thursday for the fourth straight day, with an emphasis on infrastructure development, and the need for federal aid.
“As I said on Monday, these are no ordinary times,” Gov. Cuomo said. “We are at war my friends, but we are clear-eyed about the path ahead and we are committed to victory. We have detailed our plan to stop the spread of COVID and manage our hospitals. We discussed the challenges post COVID, the reconstruction period, using testing to reopen our economy and bring the arts back to our cities.
“We’ve established that the state’s short-term $15 billion deficit must be addressed by Washington,” Gov. Cuomo said. “We must demand justice and fairness from Washington, finally. New York is justly tired of subsidizing other states with our tax dollars. New York subsidizes 42 other states. Why should we subsidize other states to keep their taxes artificially low so they can then appeal to our citizens and businesses to relocate? And its only going to get worse. Basic fairness is all we ask, but basic fairness we demand.”
Confident about the new federal administration’s willingness to work with state and local government, the governor announced new construction and develop initiatives to spur economic activity.
‘Today we will discuss a broadband economic stimulus building a new New York,” Gov. Cuomo said. “History teaches us that when the private economy is lagging, the public sector can spur activity. Building new progress, enhancing day-to-day life, seeing new projects also lifts people’s spirits. No one appreciated this more than Franklin D. Roosevelt, as demonstrated in the New Deal. The New Deal not only built buildings, the New Deal build confidence, it raised the physical structures and it raised spirits. The new deal was born in New York state during Roosevelt’s governorship.
“Somewhere along the way, this nation lost its ambition,” Gov. Cuomo said. “We sat by and we watched our infrastructure crumble. Meanwhile the world developed around us. Once a world leader, this country lost vision and political willpower to build boldly and bravely. We lost sight of the connection between today’s construction and the prosperity of 1,000 tomorrows.
“Acting on our own, we have created the largest state infrastructure program in the nation,” Gov. Cuomo said. “Going forward, I believe that New York capacity and federal resources could be a potent combination to do even more.”
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The governor touted projects both upstate and downstate as achievements by the state in regards to recent development, including in the Rochester area.
“In Rochester, more than half of the ROC the Riverway projects will be completed by the end of the year, including the expansion of the Blue Cross Arena,” Gov. Cuomo said. “We will also complete a total overhaul of the 390 interstate exchange, with a new fly over and noise reduction.”
The governor detailed ongoing and future projects for New York City, Buffalo, Syracuse and more.
“All together, including the new airports and roads and bridges and housing in every corner of the state, we are expanding our infrastructure plan to invest $3.6 billion in New York,” Gov. Cuomo said. “We will make these investments at a time when the interest rates are low and when New Yorkers are looking for work.
“We will learn from the past as we move forward,” Gov. Cuomo said. I’m not sure history repeats itself, but I believe, as Mark Twain said, that it rhymes. It’s not the building and programs themselves that turn around the economy, it was the people, the behavior, and the relief that turned the tide. Building with bricks and mortar was building public confidence, that is the key.”
On Wednesday, the governor announced a $26 billion private-public partnership initiative, involving wind and solar projects throughout the state. The governor said it will be the largest green energy program by any state in U.S. history.
MORE | Gov. Cuomo’s 2021 State of the State: Beat COVID, invest in future, address systemic injustice
Resurrecting New York’s arts and culture, reopening business sectors with a rapid testing network, and expanding broadband internet were the focus on day two of the address.
Monday’s State of the State Address laid out New York’s goals for the calendar year, including beating COVID-19, navigating the short-term fiscal crisis, investing in the future, and addressing systemic injustice.
Check back with News 8 WROC as we continue to update this developing story.