Cuomo's State of the State: Upstate casinos and minimum wage hike on the agenda

Above: Video of Gov. Andrew Cuomo's 'State of the State' address on Wednesday afternoon.

In his 2013 'State of the State' address, Gov. Andrew Cuomo laid out an ambitious policy agenda that touched on a wide range of issues, from education to gun control to women's rights.

Among the ideas Cuomo is seeking to turn into state policy:

-Three casinos located "upstate," with 90 percent of state revenues to go toward education, and 10 percent toward local tax relief.

-A raise in the minimum wage, from $7.25 to $8.75 an hour.

-New state gun laws that would end "private" sales of weapons, ban high-capacity ammunition magazines, introduce a reporting system for mental health professionals who believe a firearm owner is likely to harm others, and make New York's assault weapon ban "the toughest in the nation."

-A Women's Equality Act that would address pay inequity and pregnancy discrimination, strengthen order of protection laws for victims of domestic violence, and guarantee New York women's right to abortion and contraception in the event that Roe v. Wade is overturned.

-New incentives for startup businesses, including tax-free "hot spots" located near higher education centers and access to venture capital.

-New investments in "green" technology, and a lowering of New York State's cap on carbon emissions through the nine-state Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative -- a cap the state is currently well below.

-A new upstate economic development project dubbed "Market NY," which would promote New York State products, launch a $5 million advertising competition for regional marketing plans, and fund a new whitewater rafting competition in the Adirondacks.

-Sweeping education reforms, including a longer school day, more access to full-day pre-kindergarten programs, and a new "bar exam" and performance incentives for teachers.

-Decriminalization of smoking marijuana in "public view," making the offense a violation rather than a misdemeanor.

-Requiring all police interrogation of people accused of serious crimes -- such as homicide, kidnapping and serious sex offenses -- to be videotaped.

-New best-practices requirements for hospitals, modeled after a proposal by physician/writer Atul Gawande, to combat sepsis in hospitals.

-An array of campaign finance and election reform measures.

-Help for Sandy victims who need assistance to relocate, and a new state buyout program for disaster-struck property.

Not mentioned in Cuomo's speech: Hydrofracking. From a Times-Union story on the address:

The governor avoided several topics in his speech, most notably natural gas hydrofracking, which is undergoing a state review. Hundreds of people opposed to the process — and several proponents of drilling — demonstrated outside the speech.

More information about Cuomo's agenda -- and how he intends to pay for it -- will emerge later in the month, when Cuomo proposes his budget for the 2013-2014 fiscal year.

For more details on the proposals made today by the Governor, see the press release on Cuomo's 2013 'State of the State' address -- or read the full document published by his office, embedded below.

2013 Sos Book by Watershed Post