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Cuomo commits state workers, resources to Puerto Rico

Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo leads a delegation to

Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo leads a delegation to Puerto Rico on Monday, Sept. 7, 2015, to meet with local officials and discuss the Puerto Rican government's ongoing health care crisis and economic challenges, as well as the need for Washington to act. Credit: Office of Governor Cuomo / Philip Kamrass

ALBANY - Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo on Tuesday committed state workers and resources to help Puerto Rico emerge from fiscal crisis.

Cuomo, in Puerto Rico with his political delegation, announced that he would dispatch a team of senior officials to help the U.S. territory decrease dependence on energy sources off the island, send an agriculture team including state Agriculture and Markets Department workers to help Puerto Rico's farming, and will propose spending $5 million more on the "I Love NY" tourism campaign to encourage travel between New York and Puerto Rico.

Cuomo also promised a "commercialization summit" connecting New York colleges with entrepreneurs in Puerto Rico.

The governor's two-day tour complete with online YouTube reports comes as the island faces a severe fiscal crisis. Puerto Rico is also a frequent and important stop for New York Democrats because of the significant voting bloc primarily in New York City.

Cuomo spokesman Rich Azzopardi said the use of state workers and resources is appropriate for the U.S. territory because "we send workers to other states to assist in crisises all the time, and this is a crisis."

He didn't immediately provide an overall cost of the assistance.

Cuomo is paying for his trip through his campaign account.


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