Cuomo vows to rebuild after Sandy in budget speech

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In a budget he vowed included no new taxes or fees, Gov. Andrew Cuomo outlined how he would rebuild the state after Sandy and invest in education for the 2013-2014 fiscal year today.

The governor increased aid to education by $889 million, a 4 percent increase, which he hopes will fund a full-day pre-K program and extend the school day by 25 percent.

In an effort to woo great teachers, the budget also includes $11 million to give $15,000 in stipends to the most effective educators.

And Cuomo announced a $50 million fund to convince tech companies to stay in New York.

Cuomo focused on Sandy during his speech, highlighting the devastated parts of the state that still need help to rebuild. About 300,000 properties were wrecked, he said.

“Just think about that number for a second,” Cuomo said. “This is going to be years and years and years. And, it has to happen fast.”

More than 2,000 miles of roads were ravaged, he added. He also announced $6 billion in damage to the MTA and Port Authority, urging a smarter rebuilding with bladders that fill up and block subway entrances as well as vent covers.

“You can’t let the subway system flood,” he said.

Tackling the question of how, and even whether to, rebuild coastal property, he suggested stilts or other ways that avoid rebuilding the same houses after every storm.

He also said the state could even purchase land where people did not want to rebuild.

“Pay a little bit more, do it right, keep people safe and save money in the long term,” he said.


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