If Gov. Andrew Cuomo is willing to back down on his pension smoothing proposal in the state budget plan, he showed no signs of it in his afternoon news conference.

Cuomo called the move a “financially intelligent” option — and he repeeatedly stressed that it was an option — to help local governments in the near term.

The move has split local government leaders with prominent mayors like Tom Richards of Rochester backing the proposal, but Cuomo’s own Democratic Party co-chairwoman Stephanie Miner questioning the plan for her city of Syracuse.

Miner has urged the Legislature and Comptroller Tom DiNapoli to reject the proposal, which allows municipalities to lock in pension rates in the Tier Six plan against future savings.

Cuomo has defended the plan, but has refrained from criticizing Miner directly.

“The pension smoothing idea is a financially intelligent way to get them short-term financial assistance,” Cuomo said at the news conference.

Despite the criticism of the proposal, Cuomo has expanded it in his 30-day budget amendments last week to include three county hospitals and the BOCES program.

Cuomo also defended his record on reducing required state spending or “mandates” on local governments through efforts like the new pension tier and a partial assumption of Medicaid costs.

“We have provided more mandate relief than any state administration has in modern political history in this period of time,” he said.

Still, local governments remain financially strained as the aftershocks of the great recession drag on and tax revenue remains scarce. Cuomo says the state can’t provide more money, however.

“The fundamental fact is Localities have to deal with their finances … and we can’t do it for them and unless the economy turns around rapidly and the tax revenues go up right away, they have to make hard decisions,” he said.