Gov. Cuomo delivers State of the State address - WCAX.COM Local Vermont News, Weather and Sports-

Gov. Cuomo delivers State of the State address

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You could say Gov. Andrew Cuomo came out firing in his third State of the State address. He launched a seven-point plan that would give New York the strictest gun laws in the country.

"We must stop the madness," said Cuomo, D-New York.

The plan would:

  • give the state the toughest assault weapon ban in the nation
  • require federal background checks on private gun sales
  • ban high capacity magazines
  • tougher penalties for illegal gun use
  • keep guns from the mentally ill
  • ban direct sales of ammunition online in New York
  • and closely monitor all ammo sales in the state

"We need a gun policy in this state that is balanced and reasonable. We respect hunters and sportsmen, this is not about taking away people's guns," Cuomo said.

Also on the governor's agenda-- improving education. His plan is to require kids spend more time in the classroom. He wants pre-kindergarten students to spend a full day in the classroom. Also, Cuomo is asking all school districts to either extend the school year or school day, or a combination of both.

"If they do it, the state will give them 100 percent of the additional costs to give them an incentive to actually do it," Cuomo said.

A potential big economic boost for the North Country-- the governor wants to build three casinos in the upstate region. The idea is stop the 8 million New York City residents and 50 million annual visitors to the city from going to neighboring states to gamble. Towns would get to weigh in on whether they want a casino in their community. Ninety percent of the profits would go to the state education fund; the other 10 percent would provide local tax relief.

"As I have said before, if they visit, they will come back. And I believe casinos in upstate New York will be a great magnet to bring the New York City traffic up," Cuomo said.

"Spent time talking about full day pre-K which is just a critical piece of our education system, being prepared for storms certainly, talked about gun control, see how those bills come out and what that legislation is," said Assemblywoman Janet Duprey, R-Peru.

"I was encouraged by what the governor said and what he would like to see for upstate New York, putting a focus there, if there are going to be casinos there to focus visitors that way," said Assemblyman Dan Stec, R-Queensbury.

Cuomo also urged lawmakers to increase the minimum wage from $7.25 an hour to $8.75 an hour, decriminalize small amounts of marijuana and tighten up campaign finance rules.

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