ALBANY – Gov. Andrew Cuomo laid out a progressive-leaning agenda for 2020 during his 10th State of the State address Wednesday, reiterating his support for legalizing recreational marijuana and vowing to borrow $3 billion to fund environmental upgrades across the state.
The Democrat, who took office in 2011, mixed a series of policy proposals with elongated calls for unity in his agenda-setting speech, urging New Yorkers to come together in the face of turbulent political times and a recent string of anti-Semitic crimes in New York.
"This growing fear and division is an American cancer that this spreading through this country's body politic," Cuomo said during a roughly 75-minute address.
Here's a look at what Cuomo did — and didn't — say in his State of the State address and an accompanying 318-page written message, which touched on things he didn't get to in his speech.
1) Support for recreational marijuana
"Let's legalize adult-use marijuana," Cuomo said Wednesday.
It was the second year in the row Cuomo called for legalization of the drug. But he didn't offer up anything new from a policy perspective, instead reiterating his support for legislation he offered last year.
That proposal, of course, didn't become law, with some Democratic lawmakers upset that it didn't flag marijuana revenue for communities of color that had been adversely impacted by the state's previously strict drug laws.
Cuomo's office anticipates legal recreational marijuana would generate $300 million a year in revenue for the state when the program is fully up and running.
The governor wants to put the money toward a variety of programs, including regulation costs, data gathering, boosting traffic-safety measures, substance-abuse programs and a small-business development fund.
One item was new: A SUNY Global Cannabis Center for Science, Research and Education.
2) Borrowing $3B to pay for environmental projects
Cuomo wants to ask New York voters for their permission to borrow $3 billion to pay for a variety of environmental projects across the state.
In his speech, Cuomo for the first time laid out his vision for a "Restore Mother Nature" bond act, which would let the state sell bonds to pay for various infrastructure-based initiatives to bolster the state's land, water and air.
If approved by lawmakers, voters would have to approve the bond act at the polls in November.
Specifically, Cuomo wants to use the money to restore habitats for fish and wildlife, fight invasive species, protect against flooding, boost fish production at fisheries and double the state's artificial reef in the Atlantic Ocean and Long Island Sound.
"I am proposing an ambitious bond act — the Restore Mother Nature Bond Act — to be on the ballot this November to fund natural restoration and resiliency programs all across the state.
3) Making elected officials' tax returns public
If you hold state office — or even some local offices — Cuomo wants to force you to make your income tax returns public.
The very last proposal in the governor's 318-page written message is the "Nothing to Hide Act," a bill that would require the governor, lieutenant governor, attorney general, comptroller, all state commissioners and all 213 state lawmakers to publicly release their returns.
On top of the state offices, any other elected official in New York who makes more than $100,000 annually would also be required to participate.
It doesn't appear that Cuomo's proposal would apply to federal officials, including the president and congressional members, though we won't know for sure until he releases his proposal in full.
The full text was not immediately made available Wednesday; That's likely to come later this month when he proposes a state budget.
"Let New Yorkers know who is paying their officials and who their representatives actually work for, because you can't serve two masters," Cuomo said.
4) No mention of bail reform
Cuomo made no mention of one of the state's most-talked about issues of the moment: Cash bail reform.
The state's new law limiting judges' ability to hold people on cash bail while they await trial took effect Jan. 1, Police and prosecutors have been unrelenting in their criticism of the measure, which eliminated cash bail for misdemeanors and some felony charges.
Cuomo himself suggested Monday that he would be open to some tweaks, saying the state has to deal with some of the "consequences" of the new law.
But he didn't get any more specific in his agenda-setting address Wednesday, angering Republicans.
"I was very concerned and disappointed in the governor's State of the State," said state Sen. Joseph Robach, R-Greece, Monroe County. "Even with the outcry from law enforcement, district attorneys, everybody else, there was no addressing the very dangerous public policy practice they've done with bail."
5) A small-business tax cut
Cuomo proposed cutting the franchise tax for small corporate taxpayers from 6.5% to 4%, a proposal that would cut taxes for an estimated 36,000 small businesses across the state.
The governor also proposed boosting a tax credit for sole proprietors or small farmers with less than $250,000 in net business or farm income.
The state chapter of the National Federation of Business cheered the proposal, saying it would "create homegrown economic expansion from Lake Erie to Long Island."
What's less clear: How Cuomo would pay for it. We'll likely learn more later this month.
6) How is he going to pay for it?
In New York, governors have traditionally given two major addresses each January.
The first is the State of the State, where they lay out their agenda for the coming year.
The second, in mid-January, is the budget address, where they lay out how they'll pay for it.
Cuomo didn't offer many clues on how he intends to finance much of his agenda, particularly with the state also having to close a $6 billion budget gap caused primarily by rising Medicaid costs.
Cuomo's small-business tax-cut proposal, meanwhile, would lead to an additional drop in revenue that would have to be filled.
The date of Cuomo's budget address has not yet been set.
7) Fighting back against hate crimes
Cuomo spent large portions of his address speaking out against a string of anti-Semitic attacks in New York, most notably the Dec. 28 attack during a Hanukkah celebration at Rabbi Chaim Rottenberg's home in the Rockland County hamlet of Monsey.
The governor first proposed late last year a new crime that would allow hate crimes to be punishable by life in prison without parole if they result in mass casualties.
On Wednesday, Cuomo suggested schools should be required to teach more about cultural tolerance, and he vowed to increase funding for State Police's hate crimes task force.
Rottenberg delivered a blessing before Cuomo's speech, saying he will never forget the "terror" of the attack but praising the congregants for soon continuing their Hanukkah celebration.
"What happened to you and your community is intolerable," Cuomo said to Rottenberg. "We will not stand for it and we will defend you.”
8) Cell service for all
Ever driven along a major roadway in New York and lost your cell service?
In his State of the State message, Cuomo vowed to put an end to it.
The governor proposed naming a state cellular coverage director who will be tasked with bringing cell service to the estimated 1,950 miles of major roadways lacking it in New York, as well as major tourism sites with sparse coverage.
To do that, Cuomo wants to streamline parts of the permitting process for cellular projects.
9) Education funding
New York will be limited in how much additional aid it will be able to give to schools in the coming fiscal year because of the state's budget gap.
But Cuomo vowed to continue to try to close the funding gap between poor and rich schools, saying New York already distributes 70% of its funding to the neediest districts.
School groups want about $2 billion more in school aid in the coming budget. Last year, they got about $1 billion more, but may have to do with less than that for the coming year.
Additionally, Cuomo said he would seek additional state aid to expand pre-kindergarten programs -- which have been expanded mainly in New York City.
10) Not many surprises
In recent years, Cuomo has taken much of the suspense out of his State of the State, deliberately releasing dozens of proposals in the days and weeks prior in order to elongate the amount of media coverage each one receives.
It was especially true this year, when Cuomo's office rolled out 34 separate proposals — some old, some new — before he uttered a single word in his speech.
Among the previously released agenda items: A $300 million plan to revamp the Erie Canal, a ban on pricing women's products higher than similar men's products, a plan to preserve 4,000 acres of open space in the Hudson Valley and a measure legalizing gestational surrogacy.
Jon Campbell covers state government and politics for the USA TODAY Network New York. He can be reached at JCAMPBELL1@gannett.com and followed on Twitter: @JonCampbellGAN.