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Cuomo proposals prove popular among New York State voters, poll finds

Many of the proposals Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo outlined in his budget and State of the State messages are widely popular among New York State voters, according to a Siena College poll released Monday.

Four Cuomo proposals won the support of at least 74 percent of voters in the poll. Those most popular proposals include creating a $2 billion clean water infrastructure fund, giving preference to American-made goods in state purchases, allowing ride-sharing services such as Uber and Lyft to operate across the state, and extending a tax on millionaires.

“There is also bipartisan support for the middle class child care tax credit, renovating JFK Airport, and constitutional amendments to limit state legislators’ outside income and implement term limits,” said Siena pollster Steven Greenberg.

A narrower 60-27 percent majority supports Cuomo's plan for free tuition at state colleges and universities for families earning less than $125,000 a year, although Republicans oppose that proposal by nearly two-to-one.

By a narrower margin, a majority supported closing the limited liability corporation loophole that allows some companies and individuals to give unlimited campaign contributions.

Narrow majorities also supported closing the Indian Point nuclear reactor and passing the New York Dream Act, which allows undocumented aliens in the state to receive financial aid for college.

Two Cuomo proposals proved to be unpopular among most poll respondents.

Some 49 percent of respondents opposed a proposal to raise the age for criminal responsibility from 16 to 18, while 46 percent supported it.

And by a nine percentage point margin, voters opposed completing a 750-mile biking and hiking pathway from New York City to Canada and from Albany to Buffalo

Siena conducted the poll of 812 registered voters in the state from Jan. 22-26. The poll has a margin of error of plus/minus 3.9 percentage points.

The poll found that Cuomo has a 56-37 percent favorability rating, which is almost identical to his 56-36 percent in December.

But voters still disapprove of the job he is doing. Some 45 percent gave him a positive rating, while 54 percent gave him a negative job performance rating. That, too, is almost identical to his ratings from December.

The poll found that 47 percent said they were prepared to elect Cuomo, a Democrat, to a third term in 2018, but 44 percent said they would prefer someone else. That, too, was unchanged in the past month.

“While voters like his proposals and he traveled the state promoting them, it did not help boost Cuomo’s ratings, which continue a two-year trend of little fluctuation," Greenberg said.

Perhaps most surprisingly, the poll found record high approval ratings for both the State Senate and the Assembly.

The State Senate has a 49-36 percent favorability rating, up from 48-39 percent in December. Meanwhile, 45 percent of poll respondents said they viewed the Assembly favorably, while only 35 percent viewed the Assembly negatively.

“Perhaps it’s a result of coming off an election season where legislators were successful in promoting themselves and their accomplishments," Greenberg explained. "Perhaps it’s because no legislator has been indicted or convicted with a new scandal in the last few months."

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