ALBANY, N.Y. – Westchester County Executive Rob Astorino (R) said Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s State of the State address was ambitious, but flawed. Astorino cited $25 billion in private-public spending and a lack of Medicaid reform as problems.
“I don’t think state spending is the problem. We spend plenty in this state,” said Astorino. “I’ll give him a pass for today, because he said they’ll be in the budget,” about specific proposals.
Astorino said pension reforms proposed by the governor could meet the mark for reforming entitlement programs, but that they needed to address immediate need. “We might need to start looking beyond the future.”
Cuomo also proposed an energy superhighway, which would bring alternative energy sources from Canada and western New York in the southern portion of the state. Although two sources of power were mentioned, Astorino called leaving out Indian Point Nuclear Power Plants in Buchanan a “glaring omission.”
Westchester Board of Legislators Chairman Ken Jenkins (D) was more optimistic about the governor’s proposals, clearly inspired by the speech.
“He’s been very inspiring for legislative leaders around the state,” Jenkins said. “The public-private partnership is the only way we’re going to do this.”
If proposals outlined by the governor go through, many of them would directly impact Westchester residents. Gambling and gaming reform, energy superhighways, improved flooding infrastructure, education, pension and mandate reform would all affect Westchester residents.
“We’re not doing more with less, we’re doing less with less, and the people of New York deserve better,” said Jenkins.