Cuomo Is Happy Happy Happy
Andrew Cuomo is one happy, happy, happy governor.
Cuomo in a radio interview tossed out “Duck Dynasty” reference when asked about the progress on finalizing the state’s $143 billion spending plan for the coming 2013-14 fiscal year.
“Hap-hap-hap as the man says on the new show ‘Duck Dynasty.’ I’m hap-hap-hap happy, he says,” Cuomo joked when asked about the progress of the budget in a radio interview
“Budgets are hard because that’s where the money is, as Willie Sutton said,” Cuomo told Susan Arbetter on The Capitol Pressroom.
The spending plan must still be completed by the Democratic-led Assembly, which plans to take up most of the budget bills on Thursday.
The coalition-led Senate last night and early this morning completed voting on the budget in a late-night marathon voting session the concluded at 4:30 in the morning.
Cuomo said in the interview though he’s proud of three on time budgets in a row after a string of late spending plans failing to be approved by the April 1 deadline, sometimes well into the summer.
“These three years in a row getting the budget passed on time and the integrity of the budget is better, I think it is irrefutable proof that government is working. Is it perfect no. But it is functioning and working,” Cuomo said.
If the Assembly completes its work by Thursday, which seems like a heavy lift considering the lengthy debate that’s expected, the passage would be the earliest since 1983, when Cuomo’s father Mario was governor.
Cuomo seems content that he struck a middle ground on a variety of issues, including the minimum wage increase, which phases in to $9 by the end of 2015, but does not include an indexing to the rate of inflation.
Like Senate IDC Leader Jeff Klein, Cuomo took the talking point that the proposal is the same as President Obama’s on the federal level, save for the indexing component.
“Some people say it’s too little; some say it’s too much. Usually means you’re just about right,” Cuomo said.
The budget was the first Cuomo had to negotiate with the Legislature that included a split Senate, which is led by a coalition of Democrats and Republicans. Instead of the infamous “three-men-in-a-room” dynamic, Senate Co-President became the fourth during the talks.
Cuomo said the addition of a third legislative leader did make things more complicated as he wasn’t just seeking to strike deals with simply the Senate and Assembly.
“”It’s more different than I thought it would be. In the old orientation there were two sides … and everyone has to have something to get the package done,” Cuomo said.
Still, the arrangement at least as far as the budget goes seems to be working.
“It worked. They passed the bill,” Cuomo said. “I don’t think people care if it was more difficult for the governor or the parties.”
As for the budget passing the Senate in the wee hours of the morning, Cuomo said he would “periodically check my Blackberry” during the night before falling back to sleep “fitfully.”
Senate leaders have defended the late-night vote, insisting that it could get them out of town early in order to accomodate the week’s various religious observances.
“They had to do it at night because they had families and vacations,” Cuomo said.
|Print article||This entry was posted by Nick Reisman on March 27, 2013 at 12:36 pm, and is filed under Andrew Cuomo. Follow any responses to this post through RSS 2.0. Both comments and pings are currently closed.|