Photo: Anti-Fracking and Anti-SAFE Act protestors rally at Capitol. (NEWS10 ABC)
ALBANY, N.Y. – Governor Andrew Cuomo was greeted by a warm round of applause as he took the stage at the convention center to deliver his fourth State of the State address in Albany on Wednesday.
Outlining his priorities for this legislative session, economic development was one of his main themes. Cuomo reiterated his proposal to provide business and property tax breaks. He then turned to Upstate New York and that casino expansion.
The governor told the crowd the request for proposals would be out by March, bids would be due in June and selections would be made by this fall.
Education was another focus during the address. Cuomo called for building "smart classrooms" in schools across the state and he proposed paying for it with a $2 billion dollar bond referendum. He also proposed creating universal full day Pre-K, acknowledging that it already had the support of the New York State Assembly.
Finally, he suggested to give high school seniors who are in the top 10-percent of their class full scholarships to SUNY schools if they choose pursue a math or science degree and agree to work in the state for five years.
Driving also received attention during the address. The governor called for stricter regulations when it comes to drinking and driving. If someone is convicted of DWI three times, Cuomo wants the driver to lose his or her license.
Texting and driving was also touched upon on Wednesday. He explained that if a teenager is caught breaking the law, they should lose their license for one full year.
Cuomo announced Monday that he is moving forward with a tax relief proposal that includes simplifying the tax code to make it easier to do business in New York State.
Another proposal includes freezing property taxes for two years under two conditions. During the first year, homeowners must live in a jurisdiction that stays within the two percent property tax cap. In the second year, the homeowner must live in a location that will implement shared services or an administrative consolidation plan.
This proposal will provide nearly $2 billion in relief to homeowners across the state.
Check out Senate Republican Conference Leader Dean Skelos Response to the State of the State address here.
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