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Scozzafava delivers Regional State of The State in Massena

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MASSENA — Deputy Secretary of State Dierdre K. Scozzafava was at the Town Hall Friday morning to deliver what Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo’s office called a “Regional State of the State message.”

Ms. Scozzafava’s speech was one of 10 held around the state on Friday. Lt. Gov. Robert Duffy delivered a similar address in Watertown yesterday.

In the speech, Ms. Scozzafava touched on the governor’s progress over the past four years, noting unemployment is down and what was once a $10 billion budget deficit is now a $2 billion surplus.

Ms. Scozzafava spoke about the governor’s three-step plan to bring additional business to the region. Those steps, according to Ms. Scozzafava, are to reduce taxes, eliminate regulatory barriers and rebuild infrastructure.

Gov. Cuomo’s proposals to allocate $2 billion for improved technology in public school classrooms, implement a bonus program for the state’s top teachers, move to full-day pre-kindergarten across the state and offer scholarships to students studying math and science as long as they work in the state for five years, were also discussed.

Ms. Scozzafava also mentioned new initiatives in public safety, such as a three-strikes-and-you’re-out policy for drunk drivers and the legalization of medical marijuana.

In a question-and-answer session that followed the speech, Real “Frenchie” Coupal asked about Interstate 98 which, while mentioned in Gov. Cuomo’s State of the State address, was not mentioned in Ms. Scozzafava’s speech.

“The governor believes strongly in investing in infrastructure,” she said. “Let’s get that study done.”

Mr. Cuomo has called on the state Department of Transportation to conduct a feasibility study on the proposal to build an interstate highway connecting Interstates 81 in Watertown and Plattsburgh.

For additional coverage of Ms. Scozzafava’s speech, please see tomorrow’s edition.

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