Finishing out 2012 with a high approval ratings with New Yorkers, Governor Andrew Cuomo has had a busy year. But with billions of dollars in damage from Superstorm Sandy, he has a lot to accomplish when the calendar turns. Our Nick Reisman has more.
ALBANY, N.Y. -- With 2012 winding down, Governor Andrew Cuomo called a cabinet meeting at the Capitol Tuesday to tout the past year's accomplishments even as new, complicated challenges lie on the horizon.
“It wasn't about one accomplishment. We had a very diverse set of accomplishments. We had a very diverse set of accomplishments. You could look around this table, agency by agency and there's been outstanding work all across the board,” Cuomo said.
Cuomo is finishing the first two years of his first term with a high approval rating, but come January, the governor will have to deal with a number of question marks. Chief among them is whether New York will get billions of dollars in federal aid in order to rebuild from the damage caused by Superstorm Sandy.
“My interest here is a very simple pragmatic bottom line, we need the funding and we need that legislation passed,” Cuomo said.
Legislatively, the governor wants to pass a decidedly liberal agenda that includes a minimum wage hike and campaign finance reform. But with the State Senate, led by a coalition of five independent Democrats and at least 31 Republicans, it's unclear if Cuomo can get all that he wants.
“I'm ready to support any legislation that's positive for the state of New York. If they bring forth legislation that's proper minimum wage with indexing, I intend to vote for it. And if there's more credit to the Republicans then so be it,” said State Senator Neil Breslin.
And that coalition could be tested if Cuomo pushes hard for stronger gun control laws in the wake of the Connecticut school shooting that left 27 dead. On Tuesday, Cuomo called for progress on the issue, and to set politics aside.
Cuomo said, “It's one of those issues where the extremes once again win and you have arguments from the extremes that stop any progress.”
Over the last two years, Cuomo has shown a knack for getting the legislature to do what he wants. But he has fewer carrots to offer lawmakers and a re-election to think about in two years.