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The Berkshires

Governor Cuomo calls for change in State of the State

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Albany/HV: Governor Cuomo calls for change in State of the State
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Governor Andrew Cuomo delivered his third State of the State speech outlining his vision for New York State in the New Year. Capital Tonight's Nick Reisman has more on the speech and what it means for New Yorkers in 2013.

ALBANY, N.Y. -- A raise in the minimum wage, tougher gun control laws and bringing casinos to boost the upstate economy where among the dozens of proposals Governor Andrew Cuomo pushed in his third State of the State Address. Behind the scenes, Cuomo has been negotiating with lawmakers on a gun control measure, which he clearly wants sooner rather than later.

“We need a gun policy in this state that is reasonable that is balanced, that is measured, we respect hunters and sportsmen. This is not taking away peoples guns,” Cuomo said.

Cuomo wants to update the state's assault weapons ban, limit high-capacity magazines and require gun permit renewals. He is also pushing tougher sentences for criminals who use illegal weapons and restrict the mentally ill's access to guns. On the economy, Cuomo is backing a minimum wage increase to $8.75 and a plan that would place casinos in the upstate region, but not New York City.

“I believe casinos in upstate New York could be a great magnet to bring the New York City traffic up,” Cuomo said.

The casino plan is a shrewd move for Cuomo. Powerful Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver has opposed placing casinos in New York City, but signaled his support after the speech for Cuomo's proposal.

Silver said, “I don't think that people should be able to go out to lunch from working and lose a month's pay on their lunch hour, so I'm all for destination casinos where it's not densely populated.”

As Cuomo heads into the third year of his four year term, he's pursuing policies that are friendly to his Democratic base, such as a women’s equality act that would require equal pay and a strengthening of reproductive rights.

Cuomo said, “Maybe it's a man's world. But it's not a man's world in New York, not anymore.”

But Republicans say they're willing to work and compromise with Cuomo both on the gun control issue, as well as women’s rights.

“I think our conference is willing and ready to consider and discuss with him, but it can't be we find common ground here. It can't be one forces the other into a position,” State Senator Joe Griffo said.

How Cuomo will pay for his agenda, including an extended school day or year and new teacher training, without breaking his no tax increase pledge will have to wait for when he gives his budget address later this month. ClientIP:, UserAgent: CCBot/2.0 ( Profile: TWCSAMLSP