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Gov. Andrew Cuomo Seeks To End Turmoil Over Nursing Home Deaths

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Gov. Andrew Cuomo seeks to end weeks of bitter turmoil over nursing home deaths. The governor plans to ask lawmakers to work with him to pass budget, reform nursing homes and rebuild the economy; CBS2 political reporter Marcia Kramer has the story.

Video Transcript

- On offense and defense today, the governor seeking to end weeks of bitter turmoil over nursing home deaths.

- The governor plans to ask lawmakers to work with him to pass a budget, reform nursing homes, and rebuild the economy. CBS2's political reporter, Marcia Kramer, has the details.

MARCIA KRAMER: It was classic Cuomo, about to play whack-a-mole and go after anyone who he says wrongly accuses him of increasing nursing home deaths. Can you say Assemblyman Ron Kim?

ANDREW CUOMO: You have to knock it down and counter it, and counter it aggressively, otherwise people will believe it.

MARCIA KRAMER: At the same time, Cuomo realized that the ugly back-and-forth with the legislature has to stop.

ANDREW CUOMO: I said to the legislative leaders, we have a lot of work to do, and I want to take the tone down.

MARCIA KRAMER: And while lawmakers will certainly try to exact their pound of flesh by trying to curtail his executive powers, the governor and the legislature have a lot on their plate that will require cooperation. The budget is due April 1 and will require compromises on things like taxes, legalizing marijuana and sports betting, and how well New York will recover its past glory.

ANDREW CUOMO: We face probably the greatest challenge that this state has faced in modern history. We have to rebuild the economy. And right now, we have a hemorrhaging situation. We have New York City hemorrhaging people and revenue.

MARCIA KRAMER: It's not that the nursing home situation didn't come up. Health Commissioner Howard Zucker defended his decision to send COVID patients back to nursing homes, and the governor asked the legislature to enact much-needed reforms, including limiting nursing home profit margins to provide more money for staff and care.

ANDREW CUOMO: I will not sign the budget without this nursing home reform.

MARCIA KRAMER: The governor also offered an olive branch to those whose loved ones are in nursing homes. He lifted the visitation ban, reuniting families with loved ones they probably haven't seen in nearly a year.

I'm Marcia Kramer, CBS2 News.