In response to Cynthia Nixon’s challenge, Gov. Cuomo continues to lurch left — and boy, is it getting awkward.
The latest came Monday: Hours after Nixon assailed his environmental record at an Albany rally, the gov came out in favor of a statewide ban on plastic store bags.
Huh? Last year, he joined the Legislature to block the city’s planned five-cent tax on the same bags. And the task force he created then to study the issue came out with a “report” in January that listed options but made no recommendations.
Yet now Cuomo wants to not just discourage the bags but outlaw them?
This follows his odd announcement last week that CUNY and SUNY students can earn college credit for doing volunteer Puerto Rico relief work. Sorry: The gov has no power to order that policy.
It turns out both universities are happy to set up such programs, and a few SUNY Maritime College kids are already getting credit for Puerto Rico work under a longstanding program. But anything larger is still being developed — and the school year’s nearly over.
And that followed his questionable move to use an executive order to give parolees the right to vote. Any such change should come via the legislative process, and executive clemency is supposed to be granted on a case-by-case basis — but the gov just wants his headlines.
This all follows Cuomo’s lurch left on pot legalization and state grants to the city’s Public Housing Authority, as well as a major boost in state school aid — a longtime signature Nixon issue.
Yes, some of Cuomo’s moves are small or even empty, but others are big deals: Notably, he’s also talking of drastically tightening the rent-control laws.
At this rate, New York’s gov is going to make Vermont socialist Bernie Sanders look like an Alabama Republican by the time the Sept. 13 Democratic primary finally comes around.
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