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Cuomo's Support of New Issues Could Help Democrats Take Control

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Rochester: Cuomo's Support of New Issues Could Help Democrats Take Control
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STATEWIDE -- As Governor Andrew Cuomo was endorsed by the Working Families Party this past weekend, he backed a number of measures he's either dropped or previously registered luekwarm support for.

However, the party may not get everything it wants.

"Will the governor do everything the Working Families Party wants him to do? Probably not," said Assemblyman Keith Wright.

Cuomo's reelection platform and the WFP's agenda does closely line up on several measures, including the public financing of political campaigns. But on Saturday, Cuomo made some concessions to the party, especially on the issue of the minimum wage.

"I support a minimum wage of President Obama's 10.10, indexed so you don't have to continually update it," said Cuomo.

He's also revisited the issue of decriminalizing small amounts of marijuana.

"We must pass the decriminlization of small amounts of marijuana which compound the injustices of abuses of the stop and frisk policy," said Cuomo.

He is also backing a full Democratic takeover of the state Senate. Central to the deal is the health care workers union 1199/SEIU, a key labor group that is among the most politically active.

"They are a major player. They're almost always in the top 10, if not the top. So a group of this magnitude draws a lot of water in this town," said Bill Mahoney, NYPIRG researcher.

1199 plans to help support the Democratic takeover, a switch from the union's usual support of Senate Republicans. While the GOP conference still is expected to raise large amounts of cash, the union's support of Democrats is not insignificant.

"If 1199 took all the money they gave to the Republicans and gave to the Dems instead, the Dems would still have been outspent by 22.5 million, but at this point they need all the help they can get," said Mahoney.

After 1199 helped broker the WFP endorsement for Cuomo, the governor introduced a bill that allows advanced home healthcare aides to perform certain duties. It's a measure that the union has pushed for in the last year. ClientIP:, UserAgent: CCBot/2.0 ( Profile: TWCSAMLSP