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Gov. Cuomo proposes several initiatives for NYC in State of State

Orchard Beach Pavilion at Pelham Bay Park in

Orchard Beach Pavilion at Pelham Bay Park in the Bronx. New York Governor Andrew Cuomo announced during his State of the State address on Monday Jan. 9, 2017, that he seeks to put $10 million toward the historic Orchard Beach pavilion. Photo Credit: New York City Parks

Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo used his State of the State address Monday in lower Manhattan to tout several initiatives he said would expand opportunity and access in the five boroughs.

He listed plans for the outerboroughs that included $50 million for affordable care at Montefiore Health System in the Bronx, permanent Verrazano-Narrows Bridge toll reductions for Staten Islanders and healthy-eating and wellness programs in Brooklyn.

“We will not stop working until the bright light of opportunity shines on all New Yorkers,” Cuomo said at One World Trade Center in his first of six speeches statewide about the year ahead, lauding what he called the state’s “progressive principles.”

Mayor Bill de Blasio, a fellow Democrat who is often at odds with Cuomo, called the plans for the city “promising” but reserved judgment until he sees the state budget proposal that determines their viability.

“We still don’t have the details,” de Blasio said in Chinatown later Monday. “ . . . At the last moment, we’ll be told what the budget looks like and then we’ll be able to analyze what it means.”

Cuomo must present his budget proposal by Jan. 17.

He spoke broadly about funneling more state aid than ever before to city schools, adjusting the bail and trial processes to keep people out of the Riker’s Island jail complex — “an insult to Lady Justice” — and pressing the state Legislature to pass $20 billion for affordable and supportive housing statewide.

Homelessness is “most dire” in New York City, he said. The city shelter population is at a record 60,000.

Christine Quinn, a former City Council speaker who is now president of the Women in Need, or WIN, shelter system, said the governor is prioritizing homelessness.

“Everybody needs to do more,” she said after the speech, when asked whether the mayor or governor should be responsible.

Cuomo’s speech touched on two recreation area redevelopment projects in the Bronx that Borough President Ruben Diaz Jr. applauded. The governor seeks to put $10 million toward the historic Orchard Beach pavilion and $108 million into what will be the Kingsbridge National Ice Center.

“We continue to see a lack of partnership and enthusiasm for them from City Hall,” Diaz said in a statement. “Strong backing from Albany will allow them to prosper.”

De Blasio responded to the criticism: “That’s just not true. I will always be wary of people with political agendas.”

Quinn, a former special adviser to Cuomo, ran against de Blasio for mayor in 2013 and has been floated as a 2017 challenger.

Diaz also is a potential opponent to de Blasio’s re-election bid.

Asked about Cuomo seizing the progressive banner that de Blasio has long waved, the mayor joked, “They say imitation is the sincerest form of flattery,” adding, “The more, the merrier.”

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