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Gov. Cuomo Remains Engaged In Budget Negotiations Amid Investigations

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Despite investigations into allegations of sexual harassment and cooking the books in regard to nursing home deaths, Gov. Cuomo sent a signal that he's actively engaged in the fiscal life of the state. CBS2's Marcia Kramer reports.

Video Transcript

- Another bombshell tonight. One of several women accusing Governor Cuomo of sexual harassment met with investigators for four hours today. Charlotte Bennett's attorney says she handed over 120 pages of records to corroborate her allegations. Despite continuing scandals, a majority of voters think the governor should keep his job.

According to a new Siena College poll, 50% of voters surveyed say he should not resign. 35% say he should. Now, all of this as the annual budget dance begins in earnest in Albany. CBS 2's political reporter Marcia Kramer has the story.

MARCIA KRAMER: Don't count Governor Cuomo out of state budget negotiations yet. Lawmakers may want him to step aside.

MICHAEL GIANARIS: This is the most important budget in a long time, and so to have a distracted governor at a time when we need engagement from our negotiating partner is why so many of us have called for his resignation.

MARCIA KRAMER: But despite investigations into allegations of sexual harassment and cooking the books in regard to nursing home deaths, the governor sent a signal that he's actively engaged in the fiscal life of the state.

ANDREW CUOMO: We are at a pivotal moment in this state. And what we do now will decide the trajectory. This is not a budget. This is the plan for recovery for the state of New York.

MARCIA KRAMER: The governor making the remarks at a no-reporters-allowed event on Long Island, where he couldn't be questioned or challenged, insisting he's been working, including negotiating a deal to legalize marijuana.

ANDREW CUOMO: I spent this past weekend on the phone with the Assembly Majority Leader Crystal Peoples-Stokes working through it.

MARCIA KRAMER: This as both houses of the legislature sought to increase taxes on the rich and corporations by $7 billion. Business leaders tell CBS 2 they're worried about the increase, that it could drive people and businesses out of New York, especially since President Biden is also talking about raising the federal tax rate.

MICHAEL GIANARIS: The wealthiest have had a banner year. They have done better than they've done in quite some time. And so the fair thing to do is ask those that are doing well to fund the recovery.

MARCIA KRAMER: One thing Senator Gianaris wants the money for is a $2 billion rent relief fund to help both tenants and the owners of commercial businesses.

ANDREW CUOMO: How you raise revenue can actually raise revenue or can cost you revenue. If you're not careful the way you do it, you may actually lose money for the state.

MARCIA KRAMER: But whether the governor can actually affect the budget process remains to be seen. I'm Marcia Kramer, CBS 2 News.