April 12, 2016
Albany

Video, Photos & Rush Transcript: Governor Cuomo Delivers Remarks at the Association for a Better New York Luncheon

TOP Video, Photos & Rush Transcript: Governor...
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This afternoon, Governor Andrew M. Cuomo delivered remarks at the Association for a Better New York luncheon in New York City. In his remarks, the Governor highlighted New York’s many successes achieved in the 2016-17 budget including a statewide $15 minimum wage, paid family leave, continued overall fiscal discipline, increases in education funding, historic tax relief for the middle class and unprecedented investments in infrastructure and transportation projects.

VIDEO of the Governor’s remarks is available on YouTube here and in TV-quality format here.

AUDIO of the Governor’s remarks is available here.

PHOTOS of the event will be available on the Governor’s Flickr page shortly.

A rush transcript of the Governor’s remarks is available below:

“Thank you. Thank you. Thank you very much. Please be seated. Please proceed with your lunch. I’m from an Italian family, I’m very accustomed to people eating and talking at the same time. It’s part of the tradition. First, to Bill Rudin and to the entire Rudin Family. We thank them for their commitment to this city and this state and his leadership. Thank you. The Rudin Family – they start grooming them young, huh? Great granddaughters. So it’s a special pleasure to be here again. As Bill mentioned, I was here a few months ago, but so much is happening so quickly and these times are so tumultuous that the more we meet and the more we talk, the better.

We just finished the state budget. They call it a budget but it’s more than a budget. A budget suggests just about a set of numbers or a plan. This is actually the entire operating document for the state of New York - $150 billion, where it’s going to go, by program and by region, and exactly what you’re going to do with the funding. We finished it and we started it at a time that probably has the most complicated political environment that I have ever experienced. They tend to talk about the candidates a lot and it’s a horse race and all the coverage is on the candidates and the personalities of the candidates. More than the candidates, what I find interesting in this political season, is the electorate – the citizens. The anxiety and the frustration that is out there, that is actually driving this election. Not the messengers, not the banner carriers, but the wind that is blowing the banner. And you see them on both sides of the political spectrum. You have people on the far right who are agitated and irritated and angry and they are showing up and they’re making their voice heard. Record turnouts at the polls and record turnouts at the rallies. And you also have it on the far left. Interestingly enough, they are only a couple of decibel levels apart but they are both fundamentally unhappy, irritated, government incompetence, government impotence and economic anxiety.

That was the environment that we started the budget in. But Albany is not New York City. In New York City you have a mayor, comptroller, you have a legislature, but basically, it’s all democrats. In Albany, it’s a much, much different day. You have the Assembly and the Senate. The Assembly is headed by democrats and the Senate is headed by republicans. You have the most liberal people in the country in the New York State Assembly. You have the most conservative people in the country in the New York State Senate. So when you have this political environment and this political tension, it does play out in Albany. And we had a decision to make. There are two ways we could have gone. One was genuflect to the political environment, and by the way, it is an election year in the state of New York right now and the Senate has a very tough contest, etcetera. So one option was genuflect to the political chaos and do a very simple budget that didn’t have any controversial issues and didn’t inflame the politics. The other way to go was exactly the opposite. The other way to go was the aggressive stance, which said let’s actually do a plan that speaks to the anger among the citizenry. Let’s actually do a plan that speaks to the economic anxiety and the economic frustration and let’s do a plan that actually speaks to the antagonism towards government the disillusionment with government.

Between the simple genuflect plan and the aggressive reach for the stars plan, can you guess which one we chose? We chose the aggressive course and it turned out to be the right one. If you could get it done, it was a better prescription for the state and that’s what I would like to run through with you a few minutes this afternoon.

First, it was our sixth budget and it was a timely budget. For those of you who paid attention, Albany had a tremendous case of gridlock before Washington ever had gridlock. Washington thinks they discovered gridlock. We discovered it in Albany and it’s actually a more ferocious form of gridlock than Washington had – a New York-style gridlock. But for the past six years, we have gotten the budget done on a timely basis. Of the six budget I have been a part of, this is by far the most ambitious and broad-reaching budget. Going back to the budgets that my father did – those twelve – and I was involved in many of the ones in the intervening years – I don’t believe there is a budget that has done this much work for the state as this budget actually does. The focus is on the economy and an ongoing challenge we have in this city and this state is to grow business – to attract business, expand existing businesses and to develop pro-growth policies that do that and at the same time, address this attitude that New York is an anti-business environment. It’s tough to do business, high tax, and high regulation. The best way to change the perception is to change the reality. Over the past five years we have done 48 different tax cuts, which have saved over $114 to the people of the state of New York. You want to change the attitude and change the impression that you’re a high tax state? Lower your taxes, that’s the answer, and that’s exactly what we’ve been doing.

We have cut taxes for every New Yorker, everyone in the state of New York pays a lower tax rate today than they did the day I took office, period. We have the lowest corporate tax rate since 1968, the lowest manufacturing tax rate since 1917, believe it or not. So if state taxes are so low, why does it feel that we’re still in a high-tax state? Because the taxes in New York are actually not the state taxes that are a problem. FDR used to rail about this all the time. People would come up to FDR and complain about the state taxes as if he was responsible. He would rail about how it’s not the state taxes and that it is actually the local taxes in New York, which are the burden. By about four to one, believe it or not, it’s the local taxes – the property taxes – that are the main tax burden in the state of New York. So we’ve lowered the state tax burden dramatically, but people still feel the tax burden from property taxes and local taxes. We, for the first time, capped the growth of the local property taxes which had been going up six, seven, eight-percent every year and we capped them at two percent. The state legislature must approve most local tax increase, so that the city can’t just increase their taxes without getting a piece of state legislation, and we have stopped dozens and dozens of local tax increases.

All in all over the last five years, we’ve made great economic progress. It is undeniable on the numbers. We walk in the door, we had a $10 billion deficit, we had 9.6-percent unemployment. Six years later we have a $2.7 billion surplus, 4.8-percent unemployment. That is progress. We have the highest number of private sector jobs in the state of New York than we have ever had before, 7.9 million jobs believe it or not.

So the essential formula to government and now a days, not just the state but I believe local governments, I believe the federal government, you have to manage the government. Politicians are good at many things and they have a skill set but they don’t often focus on or have the skill set to actually manage the government. And managing the government in this state starts with financial management which means controlling spending. And if you don’t understand what happened to the state of New York, it is very simple. Spending in the state of New York was out of control, for many, many years and it wasn’t the democrats and it wasn’t the republicans it was everybody, it was everybody, when you look at the past 50 years in this state, we have had every political combination you can imagine. You have had republican governors, you have had democrat senates, republican senates, we have had all types of political combinations but this one chart tells you the story of New York period. 50 years these were the rates of spending for the state of New York okay? Governor Rockefeller, big republican, I am not making any derogatory statements about republicans, but boy can republicans spend a lot of money huh? Tell the truth. 11 percent more on average per year over sixteen years, by far in a way set the record. And it did a lot of good things but spent a lot of money. Hugh Carey twelve years, 7.9 percent, Mario Cuomo, 6.9 percent, George Pataki, republican conservative comes in gets it down to 5.2 percent, which is interesting to me. The difference between Mario Cuomo, a raging liberal and George Pataki, a diehard conservative republican is 1.7 percent. All of that Drama over 1.7 percent. Elliot Spitzer, short stay but 5.3 percent.

Now that takes you about 50 years okay? During that period of time the inflation rate was 4 percent, so for that entire 50 years, the spending in state government was going up at a higher rate than inflation. So you wonder why people in New York feel like government is putting a bigger and bigger hand, deeper and deeper into their pockets. That is because it is and it has been for many, many years and again not as a partisan affair. When we came in we said we would get spending down and our spending rate is now 1.4 percent over 6 years, we did this the first year and they said you got lucky, you could never do it again. Over 6 years, 1.4 percent. When you get the spending down good things happen. You want to lose weight, you get the calories down and good things will happen. Now getting the calories down is the trick and it requires discipline, but when you get that done good things happen and that is what is happening with the state of New York. To compare our spending rate, 1.4 percent with other states, this is how it stacks up. California went up 4.7, Colorado, Florida, Iowa, Ohio, good guy, good governor, running, fiscal conservative spends more than the state of New York. Texas always comparing themselves to the state of New York, in a friendly banter of course. 4.7 percent, the city of New York went up 5.9 percent. So our spending rate is lower compared to the history of New York State, but it is also low when you compare it all across the board.

When you keep spending under 2 percent good things happen, you have revenues when you can do proactive investments and you can do more tax cuts and that is just what we are doing we have additional tax cuts and additional investment plans. This year we did a middle class tax cut, the middle class defined as up to $300,000 and in. So this is a very expansive very of the middle class. I don’t know that congressman Crowley and I from queens would say $300,000 you are still in the middle class but it is a big middle class. $4.2 billion tax cut and bringing the rate down from 6.85 to 5.5, the lowest tax rate for the middle class since 1947 in the state of New York, just think about that. So the tax rates are literally going to be at a historic low. And we have more money for a very robust and record breaking investment agenda. We invested more in primary education than has ever been invested in the history of the state of New York, $24 billion, period. What does that mean for a city like New York? The state contributes about half the education funding to the city. We pay for about half the system and our increase in education is actually a greater increase in education than what New York City did last year. So we are aggressively funding and we are pushing our local partners and governments to increase funding at the same time.

The education funding also eliminates something called the GEA which is a gap in the richer school districts, we funded charter schools with additional money. I believe in charter schools, I don’t believe that charter schools will be of a scale that it will replace the public system but I believe it poses a viable alternative, experimentation that there are parts of this city were you have failing schools and they have been failing for ten and fifteen years. Our answer has been to just keep sending kids to that same failing school. Try something new try something different. Try a charter school, they are not perfect but over all their track record is good and healthy and if you are continually failing it is insanity to keep doing the same thing over and over again. We increase the funding for charter schools and we also increased the funding to nonpublic schools, if the nonpublic schools, the religious schools fail, which the Catholic Church is closing many of them, that increase in children into the public system will overwhelm the public system. So supporting the religious schools is even in the best interest of the public system and we are directing our funding to the neediest of schools in the poorest districts across the state to finally understand that it is not just an education issue in these communities it is all of the above.

It’s nutrition, it’s mentoring, it’s family counselling because it is not just about a teacher in a classroom. We passed a record $20 billion for affordable housing and to combat homelessness. The homeless situation as you know has only gotten work it is continuing to get worse. The state is going to make the largest contribution that we have made we now pay over half the cost of the shelter system in the city of New York. We will have the funding if we put it together with good management and people who can actually operate the system we can make a real difference.

I started my career helping the homeless when I was in my 20s I ran not-for profits that did it I then did it as Secretary of Housing and Urban Development we know how to do this. This is not a new situation for us, we have done it nation-wide we have done it in other city jurisdictions, we just have to do it. We’ll now have the funding to do it, if we have the management expertise we can make a difference. This is a human tragedy you know the numbers when you say homeless, think children because that is 75% of the population – not going to school going from shelter to shelter – it deteriorates the quality of life in this city like nothing else. Whatever your perspective, you want a healthy New York City, you want a New York City that is healthy for tourism and for inviting for tourism. Seeing homeless people on the streets – I think – is one of the most frightening symbols of the bad old days in New York that you could have. Doing something about this issue on a human level, an individual level, on a civil level is important and I am so proud of the legislature for putting in this money and I believe it is going to make a significant difference.

We also have the highest funding for the environmental protection fund and conservation fund in history. We also spent $54 million more to combat terrorism, most of it in the New York City area. We are investing more in our upstate revitalization initiative. Why do we care about upstate New York we are in downstate New York? Because we care. We care. We are one state, we are all linked, we care about our brothers and sisters in upstate New York on a moral level. On a pragmatic level, upstate New York, downstate New York, you are on one balance sheet. If upstate New York is not self-sufficient downstate New York is going to subsidize it anyway. Intelligent investment in upstate New York is in everyone’s best interest. We have made great progress in upstate New York that has languished for decades. We started with the toughest situation in upstate New York which was Buffalo. Howard Zemsky was a private-sector businessman in Buffalo, we invested in Buffalo New York for five years the city has done a 180 degree turn. It is a different city and region than it was just a few years ago. We want to continue those investments.

We also stimulated the economy to expand growth, fairness and opportunity and we led the nation in raising the minimum wage and I am so proud of this and we should all be so proud of this. Sometimes you don’t need a calculator, you can’t afford to raise a family in New York on $9 an hour, you can’t. You can’t do it on $18,000 a year. We want to raise it to $15 an hour, $30,000 a year, which is till frankly, on the borderline of being able to support a family with any level of decency which is what the minimum wage was supposed to be. FDR passed the minimum wage law and FDR said in his wisdom, “we want everyone to work. We respect everyone’s work whatever you do, we respect it. If you do it you should make a decent living.” Those were his words, a decent living. $9 is not a decent living, $15 is a decent living and we are going to do it in a way that is calibrated, monitored, regulated, we are going to watch the economy. Some doomsayers say it could actually have a negative impact – we’ll watch it, we’ll monitor it – and if it does have a negative impact we can stop it but I am very excited about this.

We also passed Paid Family Leave, which is also the best in the nation. This is also the best law of its kind in the nation. This is going to transform the way people live. It is purely employee funded so there is no cost to business but it allows people to live their life during critical moments without having to give up a paycheck. It is long overdue and I am proud that New York did it.

We have the most ambitious construction and development agenda that has been proposed probably in over 100 years. We set the bar very high a record $60 billion in development and construction, a very ambitious goal – not just rebuilding what is – that is where we have gotten our mindset now, we rebuild what is, you see a pothole you fill the pothole, a bridge is crumbling you patch the bridge. That is only half the job, building is a proactive exercise. The Port Authority, Pat Foye is here, was formed because we had the intelligence at one time to say, “the way you build is what you will be and where you build is what you will be.” You put a subway into the Bronx and then people follow. You build the Long Island Expressway, Robert Moses, you build the Grand Central Parkway, and then people follow. We lost that somewhere along the way. We repair but there is no vision to build further, to spur development, to spur growth. You want the New York City economy to grow at one point you get maxed out by the number of people you can transport and we are right up near that cap. You want to continue to grow, you want business to continue to grow, the region to continue to grow? You need a transportation system that can do that. You need to have economic centers besides just Manhattan, you have to develop the outer areas as economic centers of themselves. Long Island has fantastic potential, you have great R&D centers. You put together Brookhaven, Cold Spring Harbor, Stony Brook University, Northwell, they are a great research triangle in and of themselves. They are doing extraordinary work for the department of defense, etc. We are going to invest in Long Island and in those institutions and connect them to be a modern day research triangle.

Long Island also needs a better transportation system, people cannot be getting on the Long Island Expressway, the Grand Central Parkway and driving into the city. Well, frankly nowadays, even driving back and forth on Long Island, you can't do it. We need to get people out of cars, clean the environment, increase the time. The Long Island Railroad basically has one track, - Tom Prendergast is here from the MTA – basically has, I'm sorry, in most areas two track, but one track always has a problem. I don’t know what it is, it rains, whatever reason, something happens, one track is always out, which then leaves you with one track and that is the constant string of delays, etc.

We have to build out the rest of the Long Island Railroad. We have to build what they call the second track and the third track, so you have more capacity on the Long Island Railroad, it's a faster ride, when there's a problem it doesn’t stop the entire system. There's no reason why we can't do this. We've been talking about it for years. NIMBY was a deterrent. Yes, NIMBY is a problem. You're not going to build anything, especially on Long Island and everyone says, "Great. It's exactly what I wanted, where I wanted," but you can't have a pebble stop a bulldozer either and we have to move forward and we have to build and we have to get the rest of the Long Island Railroad constructed and we're doing that right now.

We're also exploring out of the box ideas. Why can't you have a bridge that goes from Nassau to Westchester or the Bronx? You're on Long Island and you're coming in from Long Island and you want to go north, you have to come all the way into Queens over the Throgs Neck Bridge, Whitestone Bridge, all through the Bronx to get north. You bring all that traffic into the city, just so they can go north. Why not have a bridge from Nassau across the sound to the Bronx or Westchester? "Well, that's a crazy idea, you can't do that." Rockefeller was talking about doing just that. "Well, it's impossible. It's too far." Really? Chesapeake Bay Bridge 23 miles, built in 1964. Don't tell me we can't do it. Don't tell me it's not economic. Cars and trucks would save hours, literally, with that one modification. It's only 12 miles, it can be done. It's the kind of thinking that we're going to need to start getting our head around.

From the north, we're going to have four Metro-North stops in the Bronx. The Bronx is, if you want to look at the outer boroughs that are lagging in development, it is the Bronx. Again, where you build transportation, is where people will go. Four Metro-North stations are going to transform the Bronx. We're redoing 16 bridges in Westchester County. From the west, we have a critical problem. The Hudson River Tunnels are in critical condition. Hurricane Sandy made it worse. If we lose one of these tunnels, you're talking about a backup on all trains coming from the New Jersey side into Penn, which would be a serious, serious problem. From the moment you hit go on the tunnel, it's probably 10 years if it's a day. So, we already are in a bad place when it comes to the tunnel. We’ve been talking about it for 20 years. We gave it the go ahead. The Port Authority is going to fund it. The federal government is going to fund it and we just started an expedited environmental review.

The mass transit system is the key. The MTA is at record numbers, literally, it is at capacity on the numbers. The city is continuing to grow, people are getting out of their cars, that's the good news. Bad news is we are at full capacity at the MTA. Tom Prendergast, god bless him, he does a beautiful job, let's give him round of applause. We have record funding for the MTA, $27 billion and not even that can make Tom Prendergast smile. $27 billion, record funding. $1.5 billion to expand the Second Avenue Subway, which is going to open up an entire part of Manhattan which we're very excited about. Plus, you have to invest in the system. You have to increase the capacity of the system and that is relatively straightforward and it's a financial commitment. We are building and buying 1,000 new subway cars, 14,000 new busses, 300 new commuter rail cars for the Long Island Railroad and the Metro-North. Replacing old equipment and increasing capacity.

And all these people then are coming into the transportation hubs. Penn Station, simply said, Governor's usually use polite etiquette, it's a disgrace. It really is a disgrace. It was designed by Dante. It is the original seven levels of hell at Penn Station. I mean you get used to it after a while, but just imagine the poor person who came to New York for the first time, all excited, "Hey! I'm going to New York," you get off the train and you’re in Penn Station, right? Now, it has gone on for many, many years. In fairness, New York doesn't own Penn Station, it's Amtrak that owns Penn Station. It doesn't make them bad people, but they do own Penn Station. Long Island Railroad leases from Penn Station, but right across the street is the Moynihan-Farley Complex which has also been going on for 20 years. We say, let's combine them. Let's make them one massive transportation hub. Listen to this, Penn Station, more people go through Penn Station in a day than come through Newark, Kennedy and LaGuardia combined. It is the most heavily traveled transportation hub in the hemisphere coming through Penn Station.

We have Moynihan-Farley across the street. We've been talking about doing it for 20 years. Let's build out Moynihan-Farley, connect it to Penn Station, double the capacity, make it a humane welcoming experience, like we did with Grand Central many years ago. There's no reason why we can't do it, we just have to make it happen. We have a RFP that is out now. We are very excited about it. There's been a high level of interest. We believe it's going to be about a [$3 billion] project. We're going to do it as a public-private sector partnership. The most important thing to know in life is to know what you don't know. Government doesn't know how to build. Government shouldn't be in the construction business. We're all in favor of design-build. Bring in a private sector partner. You build it, you develop it, and God bless you. Time is of the essence. You give them an incentive for early delivery, a penalty for late delivery and that’s the way we are approaching Penn-Farley and every major complex that we have.

Grand Central Terminal, we have to finish east side access. And La Guardia Airport is also a disgrace. It really is. God bless Joe Biden. He just says, it, you know? I never said it was a disgrace because I was afraid that if I said it was a disgrace, somebody would say something, and my mother would call me up and say: “You know, that’s Queens. It’s not nice that you said that.”

Joe Biden, Vice President. Queens people are very sensitive. You criticize anything in Queens and you’re going to have trouble. The Vice President came and said: “LaGuardia Airport” – plus he has a beautiful, colorful way of saying it – “If you were blindfolded and you landed in LaGuardia Airport and they took off the blindfold, you would think you were in a 3rd world country.” That was a little tough, but it made the point that LaGuardia is long overdue. He was right.

We’re building a new airport at LaGuardia. We’re not going to rebuild LaGuardia. We’re not going to patch and fix LaGuardia. We are done with the patch and fix mentality. Build a new infrastructure, for a new generation, and not what was built 50 years ago. Build for the next 50. LaGuardia is coming down. There will be an entirely new airport. It is being done through public-private sector partnerships. LaGuardia Gateway Partners is just about to go out with their private financing and complete that. Construction will start in June. Delta is going to build an entirely new terminal. They’re going to be synched up at the end of the day.

We’re talking about 4 years, and we will have a new airport that we can be proud of. It will be the first new airport since Denver. We have to connect LaGuardia by an AirTran to Manhattan, because it’s inexcusable that you can’t take a train to an airport from Manhattan.

John F. Kennedy – we’re going through a total design review as we speak. Dan Tishman has been a volunteer who has been extraordinary in doing it for us and he is going to come back with ideas to improve Kennedy.

And we are bringing more people and tourism into the city. We want to expand the city’s destinations. One of the great destinations is the Jacob Javits Center. It was a great vision when the state built it and opened it. It’s done very well. It’s been a great economic generator. Unfortunately, you have to continue to build and grow. It’s the busiest convention center in the country right now. But we are not getting the big shows, because we can’t fit the big shows, believe it or not, they’ve gotten so large.

So we proposed a 1.2 million square foot expansion of Javits. In this budget: $1 billion to expand the Jacob Javits Convention Center. We believe 4,000 additional full-time jobs, 2,000 part-time, 3,000 construction jobs makes Gary LaBarbera very happy, 200,000 more hotel rooms, $393 million in economic activity. Let’s build. Let’s grow. Let’s move. And we’re doing that with Javits.

The RFQ – I want to thank Chairman Henry Silverman who moved it along so quickly. The RFQ for Javits is going to come out today. May 10 the RFQ response is due, end of May a selection, June the RFP will go out, fall constructions begins. So we’re accelerating all of these timelines. This is not going to be government process. It’s going to be private sector timelines, private sector incentives.

All of this – tax cuts, $4 billion; education, $24 billion record amount; economic development $6 billion; development and construction, $60 billion, record – all of this, still under the 2% spending rate for the state of New York. One of the lowest spending rates in the United States. Why? 5 years of financial management is paying off. We cut the costs, we cut the fat, we cut the waste – it’s not that New York State government is doing less, frankly we’re doing more than ever before, but it’s all within the financial constraints that we set.

And with all the political chaos and the inflamed Democrats and the inflamed Republicans, this plan passed both houses with overwhelming majorities. Virtually unanimous in the senate, and overwhelming in the Assembly. Why? Because it’s a plan that has balance. I understand that we have a Republican Senate and a Democratic Assembly. I understand that we have liberal people and conservative people. And to move this state forward you have to have a plan that addresses everybody’s need. You have to talk to Upstate, you have to talk to downstate. You have to talk to people who are concerned about anti-poverty and inner city and minority rights, and you have to be able to talk to people who say it’s about business, which is the engine that drives the train.

We have the minimum wage – best, first in the United States of America. Paid family leave – best in the United States of America, for basically the Democrats, progressives, who are very proud of this. And for the more business-oriented, conservatives, $4.2 billion, income tax rate going down to 1947 levels. We did both ends of the equation because both were valid. This is a major overhaul for the state. Working together, I believe the best is yet to be, and I want to leave you with one last point.

Somebody said to me this morning, you know – I said “how’s it going?” He said “from government all I want is that government does no harm.” That, my friends, is not only a cynical attitude, which I understand, but it’s a losing attitude. Government today has to do more than no harm. New York City – New York State – this is what we made it to be. This is all a built environment. This is our aggressiveness. This is our competence. This is our initiative. This is our vision. None of this happened. You didn’t build, happen to build, hundreds of miles of subways and dozens of miles of aqueduct to get water and the tallest building and the longest bridges and the most inspired tunnels. It didn’t just happen. We made it happen. We made it happen. No one person – we made it happen. We came together and we made it happen. And the vehicle that brings us together, how we operate, is government. That is government. You don’t do it; it doesn’t happen, unless we do it together. And therefore it doesn’t happen unless government makes it happen. So “just do no harm” is not enough. You either build and grow, or they pass you by.

I was HUD Secretary, used to fly into a city, I would speak to the local chamber of commerce, and I would say “count the cranes. Count the cranes. How many cranes are working? Because if you’re not building your city, the city up the coast is building their city, and they’re going to pass you by.” You all travel around the world. Everyone has a better airport than we have. Everybody has a better transportation system than we have. Nobody is sitting in a car for two hours to get to an airport during traffic anymore. We have lost a gap of time, and we have to make it up – and we can.

But it is us, believing in us, and getting back that New York mojo, that New York edge, that New York spirit that said let us show you how we’re going to do it. Because nobody tells us no. And nobody tells us we can’t. And you’ve never given us a challenge that we haven’t met. And hence, the greatest state on the greatest planet in the only world we know – that’s the New York story. That’s what made us once. It was this. It was this. It was the spirit. That’s what we have to regain. That’s what we will do together. And this is us. Thank you and God bless you.

Contact the Governor's Press Office
Contact the Governor's Press Office