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Governor Andrew Cuomo has completed his 2012 State of the State address during which he discussed environmental issues, education, Hurricane Sandy relief, and called for higher state minimum wage at $8.75.

In regards to Upstate New York, the Governor discussed job creation which he called “sad” and “unacceptable,” in the region.

“I know helping the Upstate economy is hard," the Governor said. " I know it’s been decades of decline. Can you imagine how successful our economy’s going to be when that Upstate economic engine is running at full speed --and Utica and Buffalo and Syracuse and Rochester and Albany are at their full game?”

The Governor also emphasized aggressive marketing efforts to exhibit activities and events Upstate. He wants regions to work together to develop and market assets in those areas, instead of counties competing against each other.  

“Our challenge is to reintroduce people to the beauty and value of Upstate, and people will come back.”

Casinos, he says, will also be a good magnet for New York City residents to come to Upstate areas for gaming instead of New Jersey or Connecticut

At the end of his 80-minute speech, the Governor made an impassioned plea for gun control legislation.

“We are proposing today common sense measures," Cuomo said. "And I say to you, forget the extremists. It’s simple. No one hunts with an assault rifle. No one needs 10 bullets to kill a deer. Too many innocent people have died already. End the madness now! Pass safe, reasonable gun control in the state of New York. Make this state safer. Save lives! Set an example for the rest of the nation. Let them look at New York and say, ‘This is what you can do and this is what you should do.’ This is New York, the progressive capital – you show them how we lead.”

Cuomo has called for stiffer bans on assault weapons and wants the state to lead the nation in gun control legislation following the Newtown, Conn., school massacre.

Before the official speech, Cuomo helped honor the families of the fallen firefighters in the deadly Webster ambush Christmas Eve and presented them with the state flag.

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