Spitzer calls for jobs, 'real' property tax relief

Gave State of the State in Albany Wednesday
January 9, 2008 3:09:32 PM PST
Governor Spitzer is seeking to mend some fences in the state Legislature. Not so. Bloomberg praised the governor's optimism, but noted that while many of Spitzer's priorities are ambitious, he made significant strides across the aisle.

"I thought a lot of his proposals were big ideas that were the kind of thing that we need to try," Bloomberg said. "That's what leadership is all about. You can be a cynic and say `Oh, it will never get through the Legislature.' Well if you don't try it, for sure it isn't going to get through ... If he fails on some of them, at least he'll be able to look in the mirror and say `I was a real leader and I tried."'

Bloomberg agreed with the governor's comments that New York City has an obligation to the upstate economy, just as the upstate region supported the city during economic challenges in the 1970s.

"Some of these things will be great for New York City and some, obviously he's going to have to help upstate where they have economic problems, and some of that money obviously comes from New York City," Bloomberg said. "New York City exports dollars to Albany and that's exactly what you should expect. After all, we are the economic engine and we have a responsibility. But the details obviously have to be worked out."

Spitzer discussed the state's success in K-12 education over the past year, citing the Contract for Excellence and universal pre-K among those triumphs. He also said in the next year, a great deal of the focus would be shifted toward higher education - which he envisions as the engine driving the future of the upstate economy.

Bloomberg, who has long been proud of his commitment to education, said he didn't take the change of priorities as a bad sign for New York City schools.

As for Spitzer's call for a greener state, New York City has a number of challenges to reduce energy consumption, Bloomberg said.

"We can do only so much to reduce energy consumption in our city," he said. "If we're going to really green our city and reduce our carbon footprint, we have to be able to have newer power plants. We have to be able to have more power, which is obviously something that New York City needs if we're going to grow."