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Cuomo makes pledges ahead of first policy speech

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Cuomo Photo Credit: Getty Images

Newly installed Gov. Andrew Cuomo got down to business Sunday, on Day 2 at the helm of the state, drawing up a “reinvention plan” to pull New York out of financial distress and a looming $10 billion budget deficit.

Crafting the plan, which he will unveil Wednesday during his State of the State address, is one of several pledges he made Saturday during his inaugural speech in Albany.

“He needs to think about what changes can be made positively that won’t cost a lot of money,” said Grant Reeher, director of the Campbell Public Affairs Institute at Syracuse University.

Cuomo’s address this week shouldn’t skimp on specifics and must set a list of priorities for the public to follow, Reeher added. Cuomo’s pledges to create a property-tax cap and run a more transparent government are good places to start, Reeher said.

Cuomo, a Democrat, will have to tackle a statewide unemployment rate of more than 8 percent and a state government — and office – embroiled in past scandals.

Dan Gerstein, a Democratic strategist, said Cuomo, through his role as state attorney general, has already set a tone of credibility with the public.

“Voters expectations are so low that Cuomo can succeed by not being corrupt,” Gerstein said. “If he lives up to standards that he sets up for himself, he’ll have a fair amount of latitude and goodwill that he can draw upon.”

Other promises Cuomo made during his inauguration speech include:

•Creating ethical reform in Albany and restoring public trust.

•Not governing in a “partisan way.”

•Lifting “the veil of secrecy” in Albany, including giving the public access to the governor’s floor in the State Capitol building.

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