ALBANY - Gov. David Paterson delivered his first State of the State address in front of the Legislature Wednesday, calling for action and shared sacrifice in the face of a terrific economic challenge.
The governor outlined three objectives for the legislative session; balance the budget, ensure access to health care, education and jobs and ensure clean air. Paterson says New Yorkers fell into a recession in August 2008, which was exacerbated by the collapse of Wall Street. New Yorkers need to feel confident enough to invest, Paterson says, so the state can dig itself out of an economic hole.
Among the major themes Paterson addressed were the need to reduce the cost of doing business in New York, the child obesity epidemic, energy and health care. Specifically, Paterson wants to tax sugary drinks, remove unnecessary taxes and regulations on businesses and expand health care access and renewable energy. The governor called for the creation of an institute for New York energy policy.
Paterson is calling on the U.S. Congress to pass a fiscal stimulus package devised by himself and other governors, by the end of the month. He says the state has many projects that can move forward as soon as money comes in from the federal government.
The governor also addressed recent hate crimes in Brooklyn and Suffolk County, in which immigrants were targeted. ?Hate has no place in the Empire State,? Paterson told the audience.
Paterson also hailed New York?s law enforcement community for reducing crime in the state for 17 years in a row.
Read the text of Paterson?s speech Read the press release on Paterson?s address
To watch Paterson?s full speech, go to channel 612 on your iO digital cable box and select iO Extra.