During Governor Cuomo's speech last night at the Association of Black and Puerto Rican Legislators, Councilman Charles Barron and his wife, Assemblywoman Inez Barron, stormed up the aisle chanting "Tax the rich!" and "Shame on you!" at the governor. Cuomo was forced to stop his speech and, peering out from the podium, inquired, "How are you tonight, Charles?... I don’t see who it is, but I know who it is." Speaking to reporters after the dinner, Cuomo didn't seem shamed into changing his plan to let an income tax surcharge on New Yorkers earning over $200K a year expire.
"I don't believe in increasing taxes," Cuomo said afterward. "I believe it's counterproductive for the state. I believe more people will leave the state and you'll have less revenue." Cuomo's proposed budget would cut $1.5 billion in education aid and $2.8 billion from health care, which the Association of Black and Puerto Rican Legislators strongly opposes. Before the event, Barron told reporters, "It is cutting us to the bone. Tax the rich. Don't come to the table saying the only thing you're going to do is cut."
Cuomo, the Assembly and Senate must agree on a state budget by April 1st, a deadline they haven't exactly taken too seriously in the past.