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 The $4 billion project would replace the outdated Jacob Javits Convention Center on the West Side.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.