ALBANY — A state legislator said Thursday he’ll introduce a bill to force Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo to deliver the annual State of the State address at the Capitol, a reaction to the governor skipping the legislature this year and taking the show on the road.
Assemb. James Tedisco (R-Schenectady) said he thinks the Democratic governor is avoiding Albany because of growing tension between the executive and the legislature. Cuomo announced he’s eschewing the annual speech in Albany in favor of delivering six “regional” addresses the week of Jan. 9.
Tedisco said the governor’s piecemeal presentation “diminishes the checks and balances of representative democracy” by not giving the State Senate and Assembly the full picture in one sitting. A U.S. president, Tedisco contended, would never get away with such an approach.
“Would we expect any president of the United States to give a State of the Union address . . . in each of the four time zones?” Tedisco said. “Nobody would think that’s appropriate.”
Tedisco went further on Twitter, calling Cuomo’s plan a “dog and pony show” that would cost taxpayers’ money to stage around New York.
“It’s good that Assemblyman Tedisco, who is best known for dog and pony shows, is focused on the important stuff,” countered Cuomo spokesman Rich Azzopardi. “We’ll leave that to him while the governor is taking his message on how to move New York forward directly to New Yorkers.”
Tedisco is known for sponsoring anti-animal cruelty laws and has staged news conferences, with animals, to tout his proposals.
Tedisco said his proposal would return the annual State of the State address to its traditional date and setting: The first Wednesday after the first Monday of the year in the Assembly chamber, with the Assembly, State Senate and Court of Appeals present.
One of Cuomo’s speeches will be given on Long Island, though no time or location has been disclosed.