The Daily Gazette
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UPDATE: State of the State reactions

Joint Statement From SUNY Board Chairman H. Carl McCall & Chancellor Nancy L. Zimpher on Governor Cuomo’s State of the State Address
“Today, Governor Cuomo outlined a bold vision for New York that looks to fundamentally reshape the scope of our community colleges while incentivizing, among other measures, workforce training carried out in partnership with local employers. With a number of these programs already underway to meet the state’s workforce needs, we are confident that SUNY is equal to the task.

“As the nation’s premiere system of public higher education, the Governor is right to place SUNY at the center of New York’s education reforms, from cradle to career, and we could not be more pleased to see the New NY Education Reform Commission recommendations moving forward, especially the replication of successful collective impact efforts such as Strive.

“For the third consecutive year, Governor Cuomo has helped to raise SUNY’s capacity for economic development throughout New York with the introduction and extension of NYSUNY 2020. We look forward to engaging in the third round of this visionary legislation.

“Additionally, we join the Governor in his commendation of SUNY leadership at Monroe and Finger Lakes Community Colleges in developing and implementing a workforce training programs that have become a model for the entire system; and we applaud his choice of SUNY Vice Chancellor for Research and Research Foundation President Tim Killeen as a member of his Innovation New York Network, which will help more of our research and innovation transition from the laboratory to the marketplace.

“The SUNY system is flush with exemplary leaders and innovators, all of whom stand ready to assist in the rebuilding of New York. SUNY embraces the challenges put forth by the Governor, and we thank him for his continued support.”

In response to Governor Cuomo’s State of the State Address, Karen Scharff, Executive Director of Citizen Action of New York, said:

Reform isn’t reform without publicly financed Fair Elections. That’s why Governor Cuomo reiterated his support for a small donor matching system that ends the status quo of pay-to-play politics in Albany.

With the eyes of the nation on New York, if Governor Cuomo is able to achieve this goal, he will have proven that it’s possible for the people to wrest control of their democracy back from CEO campaign contributors.

Recent polling shows that more than three quarters of New Yorkers, even when informed of the cost, want a voluntary small donor matching system because they know that limiting the influence of big money in elections is the only way we can truly achieve a representative government.

That public sentiment was mirrored in electoral victories this past November when candidates for state Senate ran on a Fair Elections platform and, despite the heavy odds against them, won their elections. Now, Governor Cuomo has the reform-minded Legislature that he needs to win public financing in 2013.

The only way to reduce the corrupting influence of big money in politics is through publicly financed Fair Elections. Anything less isn’t the real reform that New Yorkers are demanding.

We look forward to working with Governor Cuomo and leaders in the Legislature to make sure that the people’s reform agenda - publicly financed Fair Elections - is passed into law this session.


New York State Defenders Association Welcomes Governor's Call for Ensuring Fairness in the Justice System

Governor Andrew Cuomo's State of the State address included proposals to ensure fairness in the justice system that the New York State Defenders Association (NYSDA) greatly welcomes. These included the use of sequential lineups and other improved identification procedures to avoid even inadvertent suggestion to witnesses and the recording of police questioning of suspects in serious cases. NYSDA has long advocated for these measures and applauds their inclusion on the Governor's list of things to accomplish in 2013.

Senate Democratic Conference Leader Andrea Stewart-Cousins Supporting Governor Cuomo’s Call for the Women’s Equality Act

“I was thrilled to see the Governor’s 10-Point Women’s Equality Act. This package of bills will help break down the barriers and inequality women face every day. It is outrageous that in New York in 2013 women are paid less than men for the same work, face discrimination in the workplace based on family status and pregnancy and in housing because of their source of income or domestic violence status and still don’t have complete control of their own health decisions.

As I said yesterday, New York has always led the way on progressive issues and this must be the case again. The Senate Democratic Conference will work tirelessly with the Governor to have this entire package passed as soon as possible.”

Eric Whalen, field organizer for Environment New York

"We applaud Gov. Cuomo's call for strengthening RGGI, the region's cap on carbon pollution from power plants, and a more durable commitment to solar energy. We have a lot of work to do helping people put their homes and their lives back together. At the same time, let's heed nature's latest reminder of what a warming planet has in store for us and take action to reduce carbon pollution, shift to renewable energy, slow global warming, slow the rise of our oceans, and leave our children a safer planet."

"The majority of New Yorkers have connected the dots. Most of us understand that more extreme weather is becoming more common, the planet is warming, and fossil fuel pollution is behind much of it. Most of us also know that we -- as Americans and as New Yorkers -- can do better. We can reduce the pollution that's behind global warming and there is broad support for building on the state's progress by strengthening RGGI."

"We look forward to working with Gov. Cuomo and other New York leaders to move the state toward more solar energy and more wind power and less dependence on oil, gas and coal."

Friends of Democracy Co-Founder Jonathan Soros:

"At the conclusion of 2012, Governor Cuomo rightly called for serious changes to our campaign finance laws during this year’s legislative session. I was pleased to be in Albany today for Governor Cuomo’s State of the State Address, in which he took the first steps to that goal by outlining a plan that will help to make New York State a national leader in the reform of our broken political system."

"New York’s lax political contribution and spending laws have effectively shut small donors out of the process, silencing the voice of everyday people in favor of corporate interests and wealthy individual donors. Real campaign finance reform must include matching funds for small contributions. Disclosure or lower limits alone won't break the corrosive hold that special interests have on Albany, and I will work with the Governor and press state legislators to ensure that the New Yorkers get the reform they want and deserve."

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