Over the last four days, Gov. Andrew Cuomo rolled out plans for reviving the economy through rapid COVID-19 tests, investing in green technologies and energy and pushing long-gestating infrastructure projects.
But there are big questions that remain for Cuomo's agenda in the new year. Traditionally the State of the State are the broadstroke ideas; the state budget unveiling provides meat on the bones.
Even that, however, will be different this year. Cuomo said as much on Thursday when he concluded his fourth and final address focusing on infrastructure.
"Acting on our own we have created the largest state infrastructure program in the nation," Cuomo said. "After years of broken promises from Washington we now finally look forward to working with a new partner in President-elect Joe Biden, long a champion of national infrastructure investment."
Mike Elmendorf, the president of the Associated General Contractors, called the focus on infrastructure "music to our ears."
"He's been saying for sometime that infrastructure is one of the key things that will drive our economy for recovery as we hope we're looking at the light at the end of the tunnel of the pandemic and really the economic mess it has wrought on the state," Elmendorf said.
But he also acknowledged a lot of blanks will have to be filled in by the incoming administration and an expected $2 trillion stimulus package being proposed.
"It's going to be an interesting process this year because what the governor has made clear repeatedly is a lot of what New York is going to do in this space depends on what Washington does," Elmendorf said.
Many of the proposals, initiatives and ideas Cuomo announced this week won't cost the state much money, relying instead on private-sector investment.
Cuomo is once again backing the legalization of marijuana and embracing mobile sports betting to raise revenue. He laid out a marker on tax increases on the rich that will leave progressives in the state Legislature and advocacy community wanting a lot more.
The stuff that does cost money and a lot of it -- health care and education -- were glancingly remarked on by Cuomo over the last four days.
"The road to New York’s economic recovery does not lie in being able to go to football games, or betting on the game online," said the Alliance for Quality Education, a group that has been at odds with Cuomo. "We know that for New York to get to Cuomo’s vision of a better, stronger and more just New York we have to invest in our most valuable asset, the people of New York, especially our children."
The pandemic has made for a lot of uncertainty -- certainty that may not come until Congress acts weeks from now.