NY State Budget Reflects Cuomo's Weakening Influence Amid Scandals (Seth Wenig/AP)
Thursday, 08 April 2021 04:54 PM
Scandal-plagued Democrat New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo is reportedly ''virtually neutered'' — allowing state lawmakers not only to push through $4 billion in new taxes, but also kill about a dozen bills Cuomo proposed as part of the budget process.
The New York Post reported one source called Cuomo — who is fighting both sexual harassment allegations as well as a probe into his alleged cover-up of nursing home COVID-19 deaths — ''an incredibly shrinking governor.''
Cuomo has denied any wrongdoing.
''He can’t get anyone to stand with him and he can’t get anything done on his own,'' the unnamed source told the news outlet.
Cuomo has said the state faced a $2.5 billion deficit, then caved to the Legislature and agreed to tax high earners and big businesses as part of the $212 billion budget that passed both the New York state Senate and Assembly.
''Allowing the tax increases was a big sign,'' Democrat political consultant George Arzt told the news outlet. ''He was always against increasing taxes.''
Meanwhile, legislators rejected a host of initiatives that Cuomo included in his January budget proposal on grounds they’re policy issues that should be dealt with on a case-by-case basis, the news outlet reported, citing unnamed political insiders at the state’s capital of Albany.
Two Cuomo plans got tabled: to let landlords create affordable apartments in Manhattan’s midtown office buildings and hotels, and to redevelop the area around Penn Station.
Baruch College political science professor Doug Muzzio summed up Cuomo’s predicament by saying: ''Machiavelli said it’s better to be feared than loved — but not hated.
''The lawmakers are no longer afraid of him now that he’s partially disabled by two crises — the nursing home deaths scandal and sexual harassment scandal,'' Muzzio said.
''He can’t instill fear. He’s virtually neutered.''
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