Gov. Andrew Cuomo will combine his annual address to New York lawmakers in mid-January with proposals for 2016 initiatives and a budget for the fiscal year that starts in April.
The State of the State address on Jan. 13 will also cover the governor’s executive budget presentation. Governors traditionally have separated the two speeches by weeks.
“Frankly it made little sense to lay out a vision and then keep everyone in suspense for weeks on how you plan to pay for it,” Cuomo said. “Just because that’s the way we’ve always done it in Albany, isn’t a good enough answer.”
Cuomo delayed his State of the State last year when his father died, delivering it instead together with his budget speech. He said Monday that he intends to merge both Albany traditions in future years as well.
One issue that some anticipate will be in the budget blueprint is a tax credit for private school tuition payers, a top priority for yeshivah advocates.
Last year, Cuomo did not insert it in the budget although the Senate put it in theirs. Amid an outcry by the Catholic and Orthodox communities, Cuomo then called for passage of both a tax credit for tuition aid and for free college for illegal immigrants, combining Senate and Assembly priorities. Both ultimately did not pass.
In a last minute pitch, Cuomo proposed a comprehensive bill, which combined a tuition tax credit for private school donors and an earned income tax credit for tuition paying parents. It was defeated in the Assembly.
Some other topics almost certain to be included is the growing homelessness problem in New York City, something Cuomo has relished ever since Mayor Bill de Blasio accused him publicly of “vendetta” politics in July. He has also spoken about raising the minimum wage to $15 an hour, possible changes to the Common Core school curriculum and how it impacts on teacher evaluations, and imposing clean energy standards.