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Governor Cuomo facing fire from liberals

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Buffalo: Governor Cuomo facing fire from liberals
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He's helped pass same-sex marriage and kept taxes on wealthy New Yorkers. But as YNN's Nick Reisman tells us, some democrats are upset with Governor Cuomo's more recent record.

NEW YORK STATE -- Governor Andrew Cuomo was the driving force behind the legalization of same-sex marriage, but also a new less generous pension tier. He's raised taxes on the wealthy, but also put in place a property tax cap. It's a record that's concerned liberal Democrats, who now point to the governor not endorsing a full Democratic takeover the Republican-led Senate.

“We suspect he doesn't want a Democratic majority because said majority stands ready to pass a whole raft of incredibly important ground breaking progressive legislation including public financing for elections, marijuana decriminalization and a minimum wage hike among others,” said MSNBC host Chris Hayes.

It was only last year that Cuomo faces pressure to keep a tax on those making $250,000 and more. In the end, he engineered an overhaul of the state's tax code, which partially kept that tax for millionaires. Now he's under pressure for increasing the minimum wage, a goal Cuomo supports.

“This is a relatively simple issue: Are you going to raise it or not? Bring the Senate back, you could do it in an extraordinary session. Bring it up, five minutes, up or down, yes no, and frankly if comes up for a vote it wins,” said Mark Dunlea, Hunger Action Network Executive Director.

But Cuomo has chartered a moderate path in a high-tax state, pushing forward with a legislative agenda when it's clear he has the votes in a famously recalcitrant legislature. Still, business groups hope he will hold the lines this year on the push for a minimum wage hike.

“I think the governor has made it a point since he took office that he was going to deal with the significant problems that the state faces regardless of whether they are social or economic and he's tried to govern that way working with Republicans and Democrats and if you think even as it relates to small business, and the uncertainty now, that's something I'm going to have to do as will everyone else,” said NFIB State Director Mike Durant.

A special session of the legislature next month that would seen a minimum wage increase, along with a pay hike for lawmakers, appears increasingly unlikely.

“The governor has very persuasive powers. I think the governor can take action, I think he has a lot on his plate right now with hurricane and the recovery,” said Michael Kink, Strong Economy for All Executive Director.

And if the restlessness on Cuomo's left flank weren't enough, the governor now faces complaints from the natural gas industry that he isn't moving fast enough on approving regulations for high-volume hydrofracking, a controversial natural gas extraction process.

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