By Tom Precious
ALBANY – Gov. Andrew Cuomo is not happy that Senate Majority Leader Dean Skelos did not immediately roll over this week and embrace his “litmus test’’ agenda, which includes raising the minimum wage, relaxing marijuana possession laws and having a taxpayer-funded campaign finance system.
“If that’s true, then we’re going to have a problem … and we’re going to have a problem sooner rather than later,’’ Cuomo said on Albany’s WGDJ radio station this morning.
Skelos on Tuesday would not commit to passage of such things as the minimum wage, though he said his GOP colleagues would be happy to discuss the issue. And he raised concerns about spending $200 million in public funds to finance political campaigns at a time when the state is facing another period of red ink, though said senators are open to some changes in the campaign system that he did not detail.
While Cuomo acknowledged he did not read the full transcript of the remarks by Skelos at the Capitol Tuesday, it did not stop him from threatening to go after the GOP leader. “If Senator Skelos is opposed to the agenda of the people of this state then I will oppose him and then I will be involved, Cuomo said.
The governor also lashed out at "journalists with their own opinions" and "self-appointed advocacy groups'' whose sources of funding are uncertain. Albany's biggest such group this past year was the Committee to Save New York, a pro-Cuomo organization that has sought to keep its donor list secret.
UPDATE: Senate Republicans issued a quick reply this morning to Cuomo. The essential message: chill.
"If Senate Republicans have proven anything over the last two years, it's that we can successfully work with Governor Cuomo to pass an agenda that benefits all New Yorkers. The people want Democrats and Republicans to work together to get results, and we're going to keep getting the job done for them in the next legislative session,'' said Scott Reif, a spokesman for the Senate Republicans.