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Cuomo notes need for a "functioning'' state Senate

ALBANY – Gov.-elect Andrew Cuomo continued his “recalibrate" Albany theme today, saying there’s really very little to argue about over the upcoming state budget because the state's economic realities are going to cause widespread fiscal pain.

“It’s all math," Cuomo said on an interview with WOR radio in New York City this morning.

The state is facing a projected $9 billion deficit for the fiscal year beginning April 1 –- driven in part by spending demands already set in law, slower tax revenues and higher Medicaid spending because of the down economy and the end to a two-year federal stimulus aid package for the states.

“It’s not a question of ideology. It’s a question of numbers. … Government has to go through a recalibration," Cuomo said. He has not been specific about what that means for things like state agency functions, workforce size or state aid to programs like public schools or Medicaid; that will be known, for certain, when he unveils his first budget at the end of January.

Cuomo, repeating a theme in a television ad his campaign will air tonight, said he alone cannot take on the Legislature and Albany’s special interests. “The people of this state have to stay involved," he said.

With three seats still in play in the state Senate -– and the GOP on the verge of retaking the chamber after two years of being out of power –- Cuomo noted he supported the Democrats staying in control. But Cuomo also clearly realizes the potential for complete dysfunction if the power struggle is not resolved by the time he takes office Jan. 1 and neither side can claim at least 32 votes to elect a Senate leader.

“I want a functioning State Senate. These are very big choices that we have to make, and we need to actually act, so I need a body that performs and a body that can function," Cuomo said.

 -- Tom Precious

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About Politics Now

Robert J. McCarthy

Robert J. McCarthy

A native of Schenectady, Robert J. McCarthy came to The Buffalo News in 1982 following a six-year stint at the Olean Times Herald. He is a graduate of St. Bonaventure University, and has been covering local, state and national politics since 1992.

[email protected]


Tom Precious

Tom Precious

Tom Precious joined The Buffalo News in 1997 as bureau chief at the state Capitol, where he covers everything from statewide politics and state government fiscal affairs to health care, environmental and municipal government matters. Prior to The News, he worked for news outlets in Albany and Washington, DC.

[email protected]


Jill Terreri

Jill Terreri

Jill Terreri is an Amherst native and has covered politics and government in upstate New York since 2003. She joined The Buffalo News in 2012 and covers City Hall.

@jillterreri | [email protected]


Jerry Zremski

Jerry Zremski

Jerry Zremski, The Buffalo News Washington bureau chief, has reported from the nation's capital since 1989 after joining The News as a business reporter in 1984. A graduate of Syracuse University, Zremski is a former Nieman fellow in journalism at Harvard University. In 2007, he served as president of the National Press Club.

@JerryZremski | [email protected]

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