This Week in New York State Government



The Office of the Governor – Former Governor Mario M. Cuomo Passes Away

The family of former Governor Mario M. Cuomo announced that the Governor passed away from natural causes due to heart failure this evening at home with his loving family at his side.  He was 82 years of age.

The Fifty Second Governor of New York State, Governor Mario Cuomo served as New York’s Chief Executive from 1983 through 1994. He was credited with simultaneously improving the business environment of New York and the quality of life for its citizens, despite a national recession at the time.

Governor Cuomo presented eleven consecutive balanced budgets, reduced taxes, and implemented comprehensive governmental ethics and fiscal reforms. From the time Cuomo took office, New York experienced an increase of hundreds of thousands of jobs and tens of thousands of businesses.

Proclaiming the Decade of the Child, Mario Cuomo ushered in a multi-faceted effort to improve the lives of all New York’s children. His administration became the first in the country to develop an Energy Plan and to sign into law controls on acid rain among many undertakings.

Prior to his election as governor in 1983, Governor Cuomo served in the public and private practice of law for 18 years, simultaneously teaching as an adjunct professor for more than ten years at The St. John’s School of Law.

Mario Cuomo first gained public recognition for his resolution of the Forest Hills housing controversy in 1972. He was appointed to serve as the Secretary of State of New York in 1975 and in 1978 he was elected as Lieutenant Governor. He later received national attention for his 1984 Keynote Address at the Democratic National Convention in San Francisco.

Governor Cuomo’s Inaugural Address in New York City

In 2nd Term, Governor Pledges to Take On the Biggest Challenges Facing New York State Today: Restoring the Promise of Education, Creating New Economic Opportunities, and Securing Justice for All

Governor Andrew M. Cuomo and Lieutenant Governor Kathy Hochul today delivered inaugural addresses at a ceremony in One World Trade Center in New York City. With a renewed focus on the State’s most pressing issues and a signal of progress to come, the Governor’s address highlighted core pillars of his administration’s agenda:

  • Create economic opportunity for all;
  • Create the best education system in the world; and
  • Restore confidence and trust in the justice system both in perception and in reality.

Audio of the Governor’s remarks is available in MP3 here.

Governor Cuomo Grants Pardons

Governor Andrew M. Cuomo granted pardons to two individuals who have completed their sentences and contributed positively to society in the years since. These pardons, selected after a careful review of all applicants for clemency, were granted to address the deportation and reentry consequences of their convictions.
Governor Cuomo issued the following two pardons:

  • Antonio Argibay, 62, currently the sole proprietor of a New York City-based architecture firm, was convicted of criminal sale of a controlled substance in the second degree in 1979. An undergraduate student at the time, Argibay was sentenced to three years to life in prison under the Rockefeller drug laws. He graduated from university in absentia while incarcerated. After completing his minimum sentence, Argibay earned a master’s degree from the Pratt Institute in 1980 while under parole supervision. He has been a licensed architect in New York for over 30 years and is an active volunteer with Upwardly Global, a non-profit organization dedicated to helping immigrants re-enter their professions after moving to the United States. Originally from Cuba, Argibay is a legal permanent resident with concerns about the possibility of being separated from his family if he were to travel outside of the country.
  • Alvaro Khalil Cumberbatch, 33, of Springfield Gardens, Queens, was convicted of robbery in the first degree in 2003. After serving his prison sentence, he was released in 2010 and discharged from post-release supervision in 2012. Cumberbatch is a married father of two young children and, since his release, he has earned his bachelor’s and master’s degrees. He currently works with prison re-entry organizations including the Fortune Society, sits on the board of directors for the Alternatives to Violence Project, and owns his own social media consulting business. Cumberbatch is a legal permanent resident who immigrated to the United States from Guyana when he was four years old. He recently faced deportation proceedings which could be reactivated at any time.

Over the past few years, there has been a sharp decrease in applications for clemency from a high of 1,269 applications in 2010 to 171 applications in 2014. To that end, in addition to announcing today’s pardons, Governor Cuomo unveiled a new website,, to act as a central resource for those eligible for clemency to apply.

Under the New York Constitution and State law, the Governor has the authority to grant commutations and pardons. Together with the pardons announced last year, the Governor has pardoned five individuals since taking office.

Governor Cuomo Highlights Taste NY Participation This Year

Governor Andrew M. Cuomo highlighted Taste NY’s participation in 58 high-profile events in 2014, up from 28 events during 2013. At the State’s second Wine, Beer, Spirits and Cider Summit, the Governor outlined an ambitious goal of doubling the number of Taste NY events from 2013 to 2014, which the program succeeded in doing. Taste NY events promote New York’s topnotch agricultural products—including produce, cheese, yogurt, maple products, and beer, wine, cider and spirits through tastings at tourist attractions throughout the year.
This announcement comes on the heels of Governor Cuomo’s announcement in October of a major expansion to the already vigorous Taste NY program, which proposed to triple the gross sales of participating vendors by the end of 2015 through a multi-pronged approach. These strategies include new options for online purchasing, new Taste NY retail outlets and vending machines, a mobile application to help tourists locate Taste NY attractions, and a new Taste NY office in Brooklyn to help strengthen ties between upstate producers and downstate consumers.

A listing of 2014 Taste NY events is as follows:

2014 Events

Event: Winter Jam, 1/25
Event: Super Bowl Week, 1/28 to 2/2
Event: Edible – Good Spirits, 2/13
Event: International Restaurant and Food Service Show, 3/2 to 3/4
Event: Craft NY Beer Fest, 3/22
Event: Empire Golf Expo, 3/28-3/30
Event: Wine, Beer, Spirits & Cider Summit, 4/8
Event: Tribeca International Film Festival, 4/16-4/27
Event: Manhattan Cocktail Classic, 5/9-5/13
Event: Getaway Day, 5/14
Event: New York By Rail Day, 5/15
Event: Edible – Brooklyn Uncorked, 5/29
Event: Americade, 6/2-6/7
Event: Westchester Food & Wine Weekend, 6/3-6/8
Event: Belmont, 6/7/2014
Event: 75th Anniversary Baseball Hall of Fame, 6/12/2014
Event: Fathers Day BBQ, Bronx Botanical Gardens, 6/14-6/15
Event: Xerox Rochester International Jazz Festival, 6/20-6/28
Event: Summer Fancy Food Show, 6/29-7/1
Event: NYS Brewers Buffalo Canalside, 7/17
Event: Saratoga Race Course, 7/18 – 9/2
Event: Adirondack Challenge, 7/20
Event: 75th Anniversary Baseball Hall of Fame, 7/25-7/28
Event: Edible – Good Beer, 7/31
Event: Edible – 30th Anniversary Spiedie Fest & Balloon Rally, 8/1 – 8/3
Event: Wine & Food Classic (Governor’s Cup), 8/13 & 8/23
Event: LPGA Championship, 8/14 – 8/18
Event: Altamont Fair, 8/16 – 8/17
Event: State Fair, 8/21-9/1
Event: NYS Brewers Rochester, 8/22
Event: BASS Masters, 8/23
Event: Hampton Classic, 8/24-8/31
Event: Schaghticoke Fair, 8/27
Event: Farm2Fork Festival, 8/30
Event: I Fish NY Summer Fishing Challenge, 9/1
Event: 5th Annual Pig Island, 9/6
Event: Honey Week – Queen Bee Cocktail Classic, 9/8
Event: Gold Cup Horse Show, 9/10-9/13
Event: Southern Westchester Food & Wine, 9/19 – 9/20
Event: Farm on Foundation (Friends of Farmer HV), 9/27
Event: Cider Week, 10/2014
Event: Locktoberfest, 10/4 – 10/5
Event: Hudson Valley Restaurant Week Kick-Off, 10/7
Event: HV Beer, Wine, Spirits & Cider, 10/9
Event: GrowNYC Union Square (Italy Night), 10/10
Event: NYS Liquor Store Assn. (Albany), 10/14
Event: Edible – Celebrate Long Island Food and Drink, 10/15
Event: GrowNYC Times Square Pop-up Market, 10/16
Event: NYC Wine and Food Festival, 10/16-10/18
Event: NYS Liquor Assn. (Rochester), 10/16
Event: Belmont/Empire Days, 10/18-10/19
Event: NYS Brewers Brooklyn Craft Event, 10/21
Event: Crain’s Event 10/23
Event: GrowNYC – Cider Event, 10/24
Event: International Chefs Congress (Brooklyn Expo)
Event: Harvest Fest (Syracuse), 11/1-11/2
Event: NYS Brewers Event Syracuse, 11/22
Event: NYS Museum – Holiday Expo, 12/7

Governor Cuomo Announces More Than 200 Reforms to Directly Help Businesses in New York State

Governor Andrew M. Cuomo announced that more than 200 administrative and regulatory reforms have been advanced since 2011 to help New York State businesses increase revenue, expand operations and become industry leaders.

Under Governor Cuomo, more than 25 State agencies have implemented administrative and regulatory reforms to remove barriers that have historically prevented businesses from reaching their full potential. State agencies developed and implemented these business reforms through a community-driven approach that included recommendations and feedback from external stakeholders such as business owners, business advocacy organizations, private sector unions, and local municipalities. The Governor’s goal is to use a holistic approach to implement sustainable policies and practices that address the needs of New York State businesses. A new publication that showcases the wide range of reforms that may help businesses succeed in the marketplace can be viewed here.

Governor Cuomo Announces 13 More Businesses Will Create More Than 260 New Jobs in New York State Under START-UP NY

Governor Andrew M. Cuomo announced that 13 additional businesses will expand or locate in New York State as a result of START-UP NY, joining the more than 40 companies already participating in the new initiative that creates tax-free areas sponsored by colleges and universities across the state.

The 13 businesses announced are projected to invest more than $11.4 million and have committed to creating at least 268 new jobs in tax-free areas sponsored by Canisius College, Keuka College, Stony Brook University, SUNY Downstate Medical Center, SUNY Ulster and University at Buffalo. This latest group of companies joining the program brings the total number of businesses participating in START-UP NY to 55, representing commitments to create more than 2,100 new jobs and invest over $98 million across the State.

Governor Cuomo Announces More Than $16.5 Million For Four Major Affordable Housing Projects

Governor Andrew M. Cuomo announced more than $16.5 million has been awarded for the construction of 240 new units of affordable housing across the State. In addition to increasing the State’s supply of affordable housing, these four shovel-ready projects are helping rebuild communities affected by natural disasters, create supportive housing for people with special needs, and develop workforce housing close to transportation options. This round of awards will also leverage $47.1 million in investment from other funding sources.

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