Gubernatorial Candidates Governor Andrew Cuomo (left) and Rob Astorino (right)
Gov. Cuomo managed to defend his position—here’s a recap at what could’ve been had Rob Astorino or Howie Hawkins won last night’s election. What was the most pressing issue to you?
• Cuomo pushes for the implementation of the Smart Schools Bond Act, which would invest $2 billion in the technological modernization of New York schools and classrooms.
• Astorino wants to abolish 2009’s nationwide Common Core initiative and replace it with locally controlled standards developed and influenced by New York educators.
• Hawkins wants to implement “quality education for all” by fully funding all public schools with an all-encompassing state formula while abolishing all tuition fees at CUNY, SUNY, and community colleges.
Budget & Economy:
• Cuomo has been expressing intentions to implement the “Start-Up NY” initiative, which offers 10 years of tax-free status for new or expanding businesses—something he argues will help the declining upstate economy.
• Astorino intends to stimulate business by reducing the corporate franchise tax to 5.9% by 2019, eliminate estate tax by 2020, and reduce the tax rate for all income under $200,000 by 4% and all marginal income above $200,000 by 6%.
• Hawkins supports a statewide minimum wage of $15/hour while implementing tougher taxes for the top 5% of earners in order to grant the remaining 95% personal tax cuts.
• Cuomo wants to allot $5 billion to the expansion of renewable energy sources. While stalling his decision on hydrofracking, Cuomo has promised that an extensive study on the controversial drilling method for natural gas will be disclosed after the election, according to the Syracuse Local.
• Astorino suggests that hydrofracking could revive a failing upstate economy by bringing energy costs down and thereby attract more business to the area but asserts that the local communities should have final say on the matter, according to the Syracuse Local.
•Hawkins wants New York to run on 100% clean energy by 2030 by developing extensive solar, wind, wave, tidal, and geothermal energy production systems for all homes, offices, and factories. Furthermore, Hawkins argues that hydrofracking should be banned while the construction of fossil fuel infrastructure should come to a complete halt.