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Wednesday, January 13, 2016
By +Scott Leffler 
scott.leffler@eastniagarapost.com


One of Gov. Andrew Cuomo's proposals would freeze Thruway tolls and offer
discounts for those who use it frequently. (PHOTO COURTESY OF GOV.

ANDREW CUOMO / Flickr)
ALBANY -- New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo offered details this afternoon during his State of the State address, unveiling a $145 billion budget for fiscal year 2016.

“We stand stronger than at any point in recent history,” the Democratic governor said. “The Empire State is poised to grow and to lead.”

Many of Cuomo's proposals for the coming year had already been shared during an eight-day media release of 14 key proposals.

The budget bumps spending by 1.7 percent -- below the tax cap he initiated five years ago. There are five new tax credits offered under the fiscal plan, as well as $100 billion in capital projects proposed across the state.

Cuomo also renewed calls for raising the minimum wage to $15, cutting small-business taxes, freezing Thruway tolls, boosting the environmental protection fund, making significant investments in upstate infrastructure and low-cost housing, and dramatically improving Internet speeds -- particularly outside of New York City.

The governor also proposed limited the amount of money lawmakers can earn from sources outside their Albany paycheck, and allowing elected officials' pensions to be ripped from them if they're found to have committed sins against the state.

The governor's speech was interrupted by a New York City Democratic Assemblyman who challenged Cuomo on education and funding for those in need.

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