ALBANY, N.Y. (AP) — Gov. Andrew Cuomo outlined his agenda for 2019 on Monday, putting the legalization of recreational marijuana and fixing New York City's crumbling subway system among his top priorities for the start of his third term.
In a 45-minute speech with 32 references to Franklin D. Roosevelt, a fellow Democrat and former New York governor, Cuomo touted liberal accomplishments while vowing to continue to fight Trump administration policies he says are detrimental to New Yorkers.
"My friends, let this agenda be New York's Declaration of Independence," Cuomo said during a speech delivered at the New York Bar Association in Manhattan. "We declare independence from this federal government's policies."
The 20-point agenda Cuomo touched on included joining neighbors Canada, Massachusetts and Vermont in legalizing recreational pot use by adults, a move he was against a year ago but has since embraced.
"Let's legalize the adult use of recreational marijuana once and for all," Cuomo said, while challenging state lawmakers to act on his agenda within the first 100 days of the 2019 legislative session, another reference to FDR, who pushed through several major initiatives during his first term as president in 1933.
With a Democrat-controlled Senate to be seated along with the already Democrat-led Assembly when the Legislature reconvenes next month, Cuomo is optimistic about moving forward with what he referred to as his "justice agenda." Other top priorities include strengthening the state's gun control laws, protecting affordable health care, codifying reproductive rights and boosting the state's spending on infrastructure to $150 billion.