Eliot Spitzer’s style may be humbler, but his goals aren’t.
In his second State of the State speech to lawmakers in Albany, Spitzer stuck to his vow to cap property taxes while at the same time providing free S.U.N.Y. tuition for veterans, expanding S.U.N.Y.’s teaching ranks by 2,000 professors, building $400 million of housing for cops and teachers, and expanding health care coverage for children.
The speech won praise from people like Michael Bloomberg, who told reporters afterwards, “I thought that a lot of his proposals were big ideas that are the kind of thing that we need to try. That’s what leadership is all about.”
Some lawmakers, though, weren’t happy.
Assemblyman Richard Brodsky of Westchester said Spitzer’s plan to fund the S.U.N.Y. endowment by selling off future proceeds of the state lottery will create “hundreds of millions of dollars” in transaction fees that would be siphoned away from the state coffers. “Every time we sell off a state asset, the private sector makes out and we get burned.”
State Assemblyman Ruben Diaz, Jr. of the Bronx, a Democratic ally of the governor, said he was happy to hear about the investment in S.U.N.Y., but “telling more and more of our folks to buy lottery tickets in order to pay for it? I don’t’ know how well that is going to fly.”