Governor Andrew Cuomo on Tuesday unveiled a $178 billion spending plan that he says is in many ways a rebuke to President Donald Trump's administration.
“We have a federal government that is assaulting our values, our liberties, our rights and our economy,” said Cuomo.
Cuomo released his long-awaited plan as well for adult use marijuana, including a three-tiered tax system, with the estimated $300 million revenue going toward substance abuse program and cannabis studies. An individual would not be allowed to grow their own marijuana.
Cuomo wants the program to aid poor communities impacted by harsh drug sentences.
“Let's create an industry that empowers the poor communities that paid the price and not the rich corporations who come in to make a profit,” said Cuomo.
On health care, Cuomo wants to codify aspects of the Affordable Care Act, also known as Obamacare, like the individual mandate and the insurance exchange.
“We want to protect affordable health care,” said Cuomo. “We want to codify the ACA and safeguard pre-existing conditions in our law.”
And Cuomo proposed a $985 million increase in education spending, which would reach $27.7 billion. That won't be enough for education advocates who are pushing for $4 billion in spending.
But Cuomo wants to target individual schools he says are not receiving enough aid.
“The problem with our education system is the inequity in the funding and the differential in funding between rich schools and poor schools,” said Cuomo. “This is a topic that we have been talking about for 30 or 40 years.”
Cuomo also seeking more control over the Metropolitan Transportation Authority as well as congestion pricing to shore up the transit system's finances. The move he says would lead to $15 billion.
“Almost half the people in the state of New York ride the MTA, believe it or not,” said Cuomo. “Now, we propose a reliable funding stream so they don't have to fight about this every year and they can plan.”
But unlike in year's past, so much of the policy in the governor's budget, from gun control, to aid for undocumented immigrants and LGBTQ rights, is expected to be done by lawmakers outside of the negotiations -- enabled by large Democratic majorities in both the Senate and Assembly.