Gov. Cuomo’s List of Gov. Cuomo’s First Year Accomplishments

Yesterday, the governor’s staff gave a list of the Cuomo administration’s first year accomplishments to the Albany press corp.  The list isn’t on the governor’s website. Our copy is from Liz Benjamin’s State of Politics blog.


1. Closed $10 billion deficit and balanced the budget on time without raising taxes.
2. Cut taxes for middle class families with the lowest tax rate in 58 years.
3. Passed the State’s first-ever property tax cap.
4. Passed a comprehensive ethics reform package to restore integrity to State government.
5. Passed marriage equality to extend full marriage rights to same-sex couples.
6. Eliminated the onerous MTA payroll tax on 700,000 small business and self-employed taxpayers.
7. Redesigned State’s entire economic development and job creation system.
8. Enacted the strongest rent regulation changes in nearly 40 years for 1 million residents.
9. Reached landmark fiscally prudent agreements with the state’s two largest employee unions.
10. Secured 7,000 jobs in $4.4 billion tech investment by Intel, IBM, Global Foundries, TSMC, Samsung.
11. Passed the Power NY Act to invest in clean power and allow community input in siting plants.
12. Created the NYSUNY 2020 Challenge Grant Program making the State University of New York an engine of economic development with world-class centers of research and innovation.
13. Created two $250 million funds to incentivize school efficiency and student performance.
14. Directed a comprehensive, rapid, and targeted response to Hurricane Irene and Tropical Storm Lee, providing more than $100 million to help affected residents, towns and businesses recover.
15. Mounted 30 statewide New York Remembers´ exhibits for 10th anniversary of September 11th
16. Approved $286 million in development grants to create 16,000 new jobs and retain 45,000 existing jobs
17. Created $1 billion New York Works Agenda investment program to create jobs and rebuild infrastructure.
18. Restructured State’s Medicaid program achieving billions of dollars in savings.
19. Expedited State Capitol restoration achieving savings of $2.3 million
20. Eliminated Pay-to-Play in the State Pension Fund.
21. Launched “Help Your Neighbor” campaign generating holiday season donations to regionalfood banks.
22. Replaced flawed Power for Jobs program with Recharge NY´ low-cost power contracts for businesses.
23. Fought for and secured $354.4 million in federal high-speed rail funds.
24. Reduced electricity rates and prevented $300 million increase in New Yorkers’ annual electricity costs.
25. Expanded effort to grow minority/women-owned business contracts with state government.



Statement In Support of “NY Performs” and Recent SAGE Recommendations

Thumbs Up for “NY Performs”
Public Online Performance Management System

Reinvent Albany supports many of the December 15, 2011 recommendations recently approved by Governor Cuomo’s SAGE commission. We applaud the thoughtful work of the SAGE commission and its goal of  “Building a Culture of Performance and Accountability” within New York State government.

Strong support for “NY Performs,” public online performance management system
Reinvent Albany strongly supports the proposed creation of NY Performs, a public online Performance Management System, and the creation of a dedicated staff to manage and maintain that system. State agencies and the public will benefit from the proposed system-wide reporting and standardized performance metrics. the website mock-up of NY Performs includes a smart, three layered approach, which will help the governor, legislature and public better understand the priorities and effectiveness of state agencies.

Reinvent Albany Support for other SAGE recommendations

1. Transportation Merger of Bridge Authority into Thruway Authority, and combined DOT and Thruway/Bridge management. Ultimately, this merger will improve the state’s transportation planning and operations and save money. It is important that the merger helps increase transparency and management accountability, and make finances clearer, especially regarding the Tappan Zee Bridge and Dedicated Highway Bridge and Trust Fund.

2. Innovation Fund. This will pay for small, quick “efficiency-creating technology projects” and is itself an innovative idea that we strongly support. We hope for initial investments in an “OpenFOIL” tool to make Freedom of Information Law requests easier for government to respond to, and a tool for guiding the release of non-personal government data.

3. Lean Management Training worked well in Ohio, and is the kind of initiative NYS government needs more of.

No position on remaining SAGE recommendations.
Reinvent Albany supports the intent of the other recommendations, but we lack the expertise to adequately assess their implications, and we neither support nor oppose them.


Groups Assail Nullification of Transit Lock Box Bill

Amalgamated Transit Union, Citizens Committee for NYC, Common Cause/ NY,
General Contractors Association
, League of Women Voters of NY State, 
Natural Resources Defense Council, NYS Council of Machinists, 
NY League of Conservation Voters, Reinvent Albany, Straphangers Campaign NYPIRG,
Transportation Alternatives, Tri-State Transportation Campaign,
TWU Local 100


December 8, 2011

Our groups are disappointed that Governor Cuomo, Senate Majority leader Skelos and Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver used this special session to effectively nullify the provisions of the transit “lock box” bill that was overwhelmingly passed during the regular session. We thank State Senator Marty Golden and Assembly member Jim Brennan for their leadership sponsoring the original bill.

The original legislation made it more difficult for the governor to unilaterally divert MTA dedicated transit funds, and required an impact statement detailing the effects on transit service if dedicated funds were taken. The “lockbox” bill (S.4257C/A. 6766C) was a reaction to the diversion of $260 million in dedicated transit funds over the last three years. These diversions contributed to the worst metropolitan-area transit service cuts in memory.

We do not support the substitute legislation passed in this special session. It does not constrain future raids on transit funds, and deletes the requirement that the impacts of the diversion of transit dedicated funds be reported.

The strong principle of the original legislation – that MTA dedicated transit funds should be spent on transit, attracted a wide range of supporters, listed below, and editorial endorsements from the New York Times and Crain’s.

Groups endorsing the now nullified “Transit Lockbox” Bill

Amalgamated Transit Union, ATU Local 726, ATU Local 1056, ATU Local 1179 ATU Local 1181-1061, American Council of Engineering Companies of New York Asian Americans for Equality, Center for Working Families, Citizens Committee for NYC, Common Cause/NY, Construction Industry Council, CUNY Institute for Urban Systems, DC 37, DC 37 Local 375B, DC37 Local 1655, Empire State Transportation Alliance, Environmental Defense Fund, General Contractors Association of New York, League of Women Voters of the City of NY, League of Women Voters of New York State, Long Island Contractors’ Association, Inc. (LICA), MTA Coalition of Unions, National Conference of Firemen and Oilers, New York Building Congress, NY League of Conservation Voters, NYPIRG Straphangers Campaign, NYS Council of Machinists, NY State Legislative Conference Board, NYS Transportation Equity Alliance, PCAC to MTA, Pratt Center for Community Development, Regional Plan Association, Reinvent Albany, Teamsters Local 808, Transit Riders Action Committee, Transportation Alternatives, TWU Local 100, TWU Local 252, TWU Local2001, TWU Local 2054, Transport Workers International Union of America, Tri-State Transportation Campaign, UPROSE, We Act for Environmental Justice, Women’s City Club.

Albany’s Sausage Stuffing Festival

Take your pick, today was about making sausages or lemonade, or both, in Albany.  It was one of those Albany mega-deal days when everything happens at once after months of nothing, and a week or so of furious backroom deal making. In his video message to the public Governor Cuomo says “We are New Yorkers. Give us lemons and we will make lemonade.” He seems to be talking about bad economic times and Washington gridlock. But, the double meaning is his ability to produce political winners out of the kind of super-secret “Three men in  a room” deals he decried as a candidate. The reality is that Andrew Cuomo is a true master of Albany’s dysfunctional political culture in which public transparency and participation are viewed as nuisances, and obstacles to actually getting things done.  And, to his credit, Cuomo does know how to get things done, and satisfy important constituencies. He also knows that tomorrows headlines are going to be about income tax reform, and cuts to the MTA’s Payroll Mobility — not backroom deal making, and rubber stamp voting. Albany loves feast and famine lawmaking  because it makes public scrutiny and accountability almost impossible.  The press doesn’t have enough space to cover all of the bills and agreements being reached, and the public doesn’t have the attention span to parse through a dozen complicated things at once. Who does? Sausage and lemonade, it’s tonight’s nutritious dinner in Albany.