Cuomo Pledges To Boost Raise The Age, SUNY Tuition Plan

“Gov. Andrew Cuomo on Sunday in Albany during a reception at the executive mansion pledged to push for a long-stalled effort to increase the age of criminal responsibility in New York as well as his own proposal to provide free tuition at public colleges and universities.

Cuomo tied both efforts to his desire to see New York be “always the first” — especially as liberals and Democrats remain fearful the gains made under President Barack Obama’s administration will soon be swept away by the new Republican leadership in the federal government.

“When it came to progressive leadership, New York is always first,” he said.

Cuomo hosted the event at the New York State Association of Black and Puerto Rican Legislators caucus weekend, an annual Albany gathering of lawmakers that draws honorees and activists.

The event was held to honor the newest member of the Court of Appeals, Rowan Wilson, whose confirmation this month marks the first time two black judges are serving simultaneously on the state’s highest court.

But Cuomo also sought to reiterate his own 2017 agenda at the event and his own push to have New York be a “progressive leader” in the country.

At the mansion gathering included Cuomo cabinet officials, members of the Court of Appeals, former Gov. David Paterson and nine members of the Democratic-led Assembly, including Speaker Carl Heastie.

Cuomo over the last several months has had a rocky relationship with both chambers of the Legislature following the lack of an agreement for a special session that could have led to a legislative pay increase, the first in nearly 20 years.

Still, Heastie was introduced to the audience by Alphonso David, Cuomo’s top legal aide, as a “true friend of the administration.”

In turn, Heastie praised Cuomo’s push to get liberal policies enacted, even jokingly suggesting Cuomo approved the state’s increase in the minimum wage in order to beat California by taking advantage of the 3-hour time difference.

“A year ago this time, a many people weren’t sure whether we’d get the increase in the minimum wage or paid family leave, but here we are,” he said.

Cuomo himself alluded several times to Donald Trump’s administration, though did not criticize the president by name.

Nevertheless, he suggested the Trump administration remains a foil for him in getting his agenda through the Legislature.

“With that new conservative administration in Washington,” he said, “we’re going to go the other way and we’re going to go even harder.”

Original Link (NY State of Politics):

Cuomo Pledges To Boost Raise The Age, SUNY Tuition Plan