From the Morning Memo:

Gov. Andrew Cuomo his proposed 2019-20 state budget today at 2 p.m. in Albany. It’s the first spending proposal of his third term and his ninth overall during his tenure as governor. The day kicks off a two-and-half month ride of negotiations and haggling over how the state will spend roughly $170 billion. Here are four things to watch for:

1. What surprises will there be?

Cuomo has already begun rolling out a series of budget proposals for banning plastic bags, expanding the bottle deposit law, raising the age of buying tobacco products to 21 and dropped hints about his plans for adult-use marijuana legalization. Many of these proposals themselves are yet to be fleshed out. But Cuomo also likes to hold back one last major piece in his budget presentation to secure headline-capturing issue. This year is a bit different, however, given the Democratic-controlled Legislature march to passing a series of long-bottled up bills, including voting law changes on Monday. Coming up next, lawmakers will be tackling LGBTQ issues, gun control and abortion rights — all provisions that won’t have to be included in the budget. Perhaps this is music to the ears of state budget traditionalists, since this will leave remove a lot of policy from the budget talks.

2. What will Cuomo do for health care?

The governor has already indicated he wants to find a way to thread the needle on the call for single-payer health care by some Democrats in the Legislature. Cuomo has questioned the cost a single payer bill would have on the state. Instead, he’s called for the codification of the U.S. Affordable Care Act, also known as Obamacare, that would set in law the state’s health exchange and bolster the provisions of a law under constant challenge on the national level, but increasingly popular, especially with Democrats.

3. Will education be the marquee fight?

Aside from health care, spending for schools remains the next costliest item in the state budget. Cuomo is once again being prodded to boost education spending by $4 billion in direct aid to schools, as per advocates who say the state isn’t fulfilling the terms of a lawsuit from the previous decade. Cuomo contends the state has settled the matter, but what’s to turn the page from the decision, known as the Campaign For Fiscal Equity. Cuomo in recent weeks has pointed to what he calls an inequity in district-level school funding, which he wants to remedy. But will that be enough, especially for advocates and lawmakers like Sen. Robert Jackson, a plaintiff in the initial lawsuit?

4. An MTA plan?

Cuomo in a radio interview Monday once again insisted he doesn’t control the Metropolitan Transportation Authority, pointing to the veto power held by the members he doesn’t appoint to the 14-member board. He compared the push for more control over the MTA to Mayor Michael Bloomberg’s effort to consolidate power over New York City schools in the 2000s. The conversation indicates Cuomo will be seeking a firmer hand over the MTA, more than he has now, in order to tackle the transit crisis many advocates blame him for ignoring over the years.