Embattled New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo, facing investigations that he sexually harassed multiple women and covered up COVID-19 deaths at nursing homes, said Monday that he wants to restore the state’s “mojo” in a post-pandemic recovery.
Speaking to reporters after the conclusion of the state’s $212 billion budget, Mr. Cuomo said he wants to focus on creating jobs and expanding vaccinations.
“Vaccination is a major operation, rebuilding is a major operation, re-energizing, renewing the confidence in New York — renewing the mojo and confidence in New York,” Mr. Cuomo said.
The state’s budget increases taxes by $4 billion on wealthier New York residents and on corporations. It also creates a $2.1 billion fund for illegal immigrants affected by the pandemic who didn’t qualify for federal stimulus checks or unemployment benefits. State Republican Party Chair Nick Langworthy criticized the fund as “woke insanity.”
The new budget also spends billions on “green” infrastructure jobs. The state received $12.6 billion in direct budget aid from Washington this spring, and the budget is about 10% higher than last year’s spending plan.
“I don’t believe in the natural recovery process,” Mr. Cuomo said. “That only takes you so far. We have to do better than that.”
The state attorney general’s office is conducting an independent probe into allegations by at least 10 women, many of whom worked for Mr. Cuomo, that he sexually harassed them or engaged in other inappropriate behavior. Mr. Cuomo has denied the allegations but apologized if his actions made anyone feel uncomfortable.
The Justice Department also is investigating his administration for allegedly covering up the number of COVID-19 deaths.
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