Wednesday, January 11, 2017

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Governor’s Hudson Valley State of the State gets mixed reviews

MID-HUDSON – Reaction to Governor Cuomo’s Hudson Valley State of the State message delivered at SUNY Purchase on Tuesday was a mixed bag.

The governor again brought up his proposal to provide free SUNY college education to children of households earning less than $125,000 a year. That has the support of Sullivan County Legislature Chairman Luis Alvarez.

“I’m a father. I sent my two kids to college and that was a lot of money. That cost a lot. A good education, getting our kids prepared for the future is not cheap. Anything he can do and it’s going to help us, why not?”

Also proposed was a statewide walkway, something Ulster County Executive Michael Hein embraced.

“This has the potential to further expedite Ulster County’s goal of creating a world-class trail system right next door to over 22 million people in the metro New York area.” Hein said it will “further boost our $532 million tourism industry while also helping to provide an amazing quality of life” for the residents of the county.

The Town of Woodbury roadway gridlock will also be a thing of the past and that is good news to Orange County Executive Steven Neuhaus.

“Before today what was on the street was that $90 million was allocated toward improving that whole interchange,” Neuhaus noted. “Today the governor announced $150 million, which would include add extra lanes to parts of Route 17 and other improvements. Instead of being out to bid in March, it would be out to bid in the next few weeks. Those are all positives.”

State Assemblyman James Skoufis (D, Woodbury) said the project will “ensure much-needed traffic relief from Woodbury Common is right around the corner for local residents.”

That area is the intersection of the Thruway, Route 17 and Route 32.

State Senator John Bonacic (R, Mount Hope) had mixed reaction to the speech.

“I am pleased that he is committed to investing $2 billion to improve critical water infrastructure, which will benefit the people of my district,” Bonacic said. “However, if he is more interested in burnishing his national credentials by advocating for progressive policies that don’t improve the economic conditions of New York, I believe he will find resistance.”

Westchester County Executive Robert Astorino, a Republican who ran unsuccessfully against Democrat Cuomo, said the governor is trying to set the stage for a White House run in four years.

The group Reclaim New York doesn’t see it all as a bed of roses.

“Like [Monday]. We again heard a like to New Yorkers about the potential staggering costs of his Bernie Sanders-inspired ‘free’ college tuition scheme,” said Reclaim New York Executive Director Brandon Muir. “College tuition will never be free. It will be paid by New Yorker.”     

Muir also criticized Cuomo’s claim that the state is better and stronger than it has been in decades. “But with the middle-class being taxes out of their homes and the New York holding the 49th best business climate in the country, the facts state otherwise,” Muir said.

 


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