Cuomo finally takes questions as overdue NYs budget comes together slowly

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QUEENS — The embattled New York governor appeared Monday for the first time in a week and a half as the state inches toward an overdue budget that would raise taxes on the wealthiest New Yorkers. 

“We are working on a plan that is reinvesting, reimagining, rebuilding, reuniting New York in a way never before,” Cuomo bragged at another carefully controlled COVID-19 vaccine event in Queens closed to the press. 

The massive $200 billion state budget is poised to include about $5 billion in new revenue, including taxes Cuomo has fought against for years.

According to the New York Post, there will be higher taxes on individual filers making over $1 million and married couples making over $2 million. Corporate franchise taxes will increase to 7.25%.

The state will rake in hundreds of millions from recreational marijuana sales, and perhaps a deal to legalize mobile sports betting, too.

In combination with more than $12 billion in federal budget relief, New Yorkers will get green infrastructure spending, increased education spending at the pre-k and public college levels, nursing home reforms, and a fund to help undocumented workers who’ve been excluded from federal relief during the pandemic.

Read more: State workers could see delay in paychecks if no budget is passed in NY Monday

Progressives have been protesting inside the State Capitol and are pledging to keep the pressure on for more taxes and more spending as the budget is finalized. They want $7 billion in new revenue. 

Later in the day on a phone briefing Cuomo defended the emerging budget deal as the right balance. He took only four questions over the phone. Reporters selected for those questions chose not to drill down into budget issues.

Cuomo didn’t face questions about the latest sexual harassment allegation from last week from Sherry Vill, or recent accusations he used his office to personally befit himself and his family during the pandemic either.

Senior aides and legal advisors to the governor have denied all recent allegations. 

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