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Cuomo in annual address pushes casinos, economic growth


cuomo Credit: Office of the Governor

Starting his second year in office Wednesday, Gov. Andrew Cuomo rallied Albany lawmakers and said the 2012 legislative session would be about economic growth, government streamlining and building a "New York vision for a progressive future."

The Democratic governor peppered his State of the State address in Albany with more modest political goals compared to a year ago while also ticking off items that appear to favor the political left.

His proposals include:

• Amending the state constitution to allow casino gambling. Any constitutional amendment would have to be approved twice by the Legislature, then once in a public referendum - which could not occur any sooner than 2013. Cuomo did not express site preferences for locating non-Indian-run casinos.

• Building the state's largest convention center at the Aqueduct Racetrack in Queens, which is home to the Resorts World racino. The $4 billion project would replace the outdated Jacob Javits Convention Center on the West Side.

• Other measures would include strengthening abortion rights, investing in solar power and opening offices for "tenant protection" and "new Americans" - the latter would help immigrants navigate citizenship and find job training.

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