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November 4, 2010

By: Jerry H. Goldfeder

Although the results of Tuesday's elections undoubtedly circumscribe President Barack Obama's opportunities for the next two years, New York voters gave Gov.-elect Andrew Cuomo a clear mandate for fundamental reform.

Cuomo has not said that everything will change on Day One, but he did promise that, in four years, the public will know that state government is more honest, efficient and democratic. That is a big challenge, given the glacial speed at which change has come to New York state government. And tough economic times, which necessarily limit funding for experimental programs, make reform even more difficult.

Nevertheless, there is one action that Cuomo can take on Jan. 1 that would signal both his seriousness of purpose and his determination to succeed: appointing a constitutional commission, with 90 days to issue a preliminary report on how to bring state government into the 21st century.

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