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The Steuben Courier Advocate
  • Cuomo committed to education in N.Y.

  • New York Lt. Gov. Robert Duffy said Saturday, August 4 that the Cuomo administration is committed to maintaining a strong public education system in the Empire State.

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  • New York Lt. Gov. Robert Duffy said Saturday, August 4 that the Cuomo administration is committed to maintaining a strong public education system in the Empire State.
    In Hornell to attend a Democratic Party event, Duffy defended the administration's handling of public education spending. The governor's budget included a $400 million spending increase for the state's public schools, however many local educators claim the increase is tied to attaining cost-cutting marks that poor, rural school districts have no hope of reaching.
    Duffy indicated that spending more is not necessarily the answer, repeating an administration mantra that became familar to followers of the state public education debate last spring: "New York is number one in spending and number 38 in results."
    Duffy said the administration may be willing to "revisit" state aid formulas. Local school administrators, including those in Hornell, insist current aid distribution models unfairly penalize low-wealth, high-need districts.
    Meanwhile Saturday, Local Democrats were enjoying the attention of a top state party official.
    Duffy praised the efforts of local Democratic Party officials and volunteers during a brief trip to the Maple City for the Steuben County Democratic Party picnic at James Street Park.
    Duffy shook hands, posed for photos and mingled with party regulars during a brief stop in town. He also took time to praise Hornell Mayor Shawn Hogan, thank party volunteers and plug Gov. Andrew Cuomo's economic policies.
    Duffy noted the importance of volunteers to the party's effort to elect Democrats, noting that they spend a large "chunk of their free time" working for candidates, passing petitions, and advocating for Democrats locally and across the state.
    "(Gov. Cuomo and I) can't say thank you enough," said Duffy, the former mayor of Rochester who chairs the state's ten regional economic councils.
    Duffy saved his highest praise for Hogan, who he called a "tireless advocate" for Hornell and Steuben County.
    "When the mayor calls, we pick up (the phone)," Duffy said.
    "When he raises issues, people listen," he added.
    Wellsville Mayor Judy Lynch said she found her discussion with Duffy very useful. Lynch said she brought up problems with the Burrous building in downtown Wellsville, discussing financial help from the state for demolition, if that happens. Duffy was non-committal, but Lynch was pleased with the exchange.
    "The fact that he seemed interested in helping Wellsville out was great," Lynch said.
    While the state Labor Department noted that New York has regained the jobs it lost during the recession, Duffy said the Cuomo administration remains focused on growing the economy. Duffy said Cuomo's ability to work across the aisle with Republicans has paid off for the state. He said the governor is aware of the important role agriculture plays in the state's economy.
    Page 2 of 2 - Hogan said Saturday's event was highly successful, raising as much as $9,000 for local Democratic coffers.

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