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On November 29th we hosted a campaign roundtable looking at the Governors race and the Attorney Generals race this year. And at that event we heard some high level campaign strategists and the journalists who covered them, many of whom are with us today, about their plans of winning and then also takes them along the way. What was striking about our review which we held just 2 weeks ago was that the campaign for Governor and even though we had an in surmount I believe it was really about policy, about issues. It was it was a campaign that was not full of campaign gas or a lot of sort of political infighting that we might have expected. So it seemed particularly fitting that we today at Milano would host and organize today's conference. Governing change, Policy Politics In The Spitzer administration. Now I have to say we did have a working title for this that we discarded early on but it was such a good title but it just seemed too appropriate another part. We actually, were initially were going to call this regime change but we figured that that title had been taken by another entity in another theater. Now the Governor of New York also holds outside influence on the country. And just think for a moment we had both Governor Roosevelt, Governor Dewey, Governor Cleveland who became president, Alfred E Smith to name just a few who had an influence well beyond the borders of this state. New York State is also home to financial markets, media, fashion, live entertainment to name many others that have an influence way beyond the borders of our state. And on January 1, Governor Spitz will be the Governor of the largest blue state in the country and also not be lost on that, a state that is on the same time zone as Washington DC. So there is always a national platform that comes with being the Governor of the State of New York. So what happens here really will have impact way beyond this state and way beyond the citizens and borders of this state. And the policy issues that Governor Spitzer addresses and the relative success or failures that we have will also an influence way beyond the borders of New York. So it's for all of those reasons that we organize today's conference. And Governor Spitzer comes to office with a huge level of expectations. I cannot think of a person I have met who does not take it as a given that big change will happen in Albany, both in how the state is governed, its governance issues and the entire range of issues that can be addressed by the new Governor. This coupled with the fact that we have a change after 12 years and a change of political parties. Thousands of jobs are going to change hands and powerful agencies are going to be run by entirely new team of people. I also see this transition as a teaching moment. It's a moment that we as a school and our students can look more carefully at state politics and it's also a time that demands our public be more engaged in what's going on in the state. And I really want today's conference to help to both of those things. Now one of the things that we do at Milano was look carefully at policy issues and management issues. And our academic programs provide our students we have both the theoretical view and a practical hands on view and that's really what we are trying to do at the school. Our graduates go on some may actually go on to work in Albany and many of many of them are actually working in City Hall right now in the Governor in the Mayors office. So I also want to take this moment for a paid advertisement that those of you who may be interested in changing careers, thinking of a new career or perhaps joining us at Milano there are brochures outside and please talk to us during one of the breaks. Let me just give you a quick outline of the day. We have organized each panel to begin with a brief and I really mean brief, 10-minute overview that will be provided an expert in the field. Then a reporter from New York Times who is our co-sponsor today will moderate a discussion with 3 or 4 experts on the subject. Regrettably today, the legislature was called back into session and we lost a few of our legislatures who were going to be with us to add that perspective. But our goal today is to have a very lively conversation. There will be no opening statements by panelists and we I am encouraging questions from the audience. And I am also going to ask, we are recording today's advice (ph) and we will be publishing it, so to act as a guide for events in the next few months. So when you do have a question please be sure to use the two mics we have. And I am hoping we have a lively debate here that will reveal some of the pros and cons of different policy solutions have an understanding, what might proceed, what could proceed, what might be the political obstacles but really as a public had a greater understanding of those issues. But before we start to have a couple of Thank You's. One, I want to thank our underwriter Edison Properties. Edison Properties is lead by Steve Nislick who is a - an old and long standing friend, a progressive guy we actually met in a gym 25 years ago. So it is a long standing friendship built around health and being up early in the morning. He is a very progressive guy, he really cares passionately about the state and making it a better place and it would not have been possible without his influence. Can we just give Steve and his entire team from Edison Properties a round of applauds. And I have also asked Michael Field who is the Executive VP of Edison Properties to just say a few words of welcome and Michael is right here. So let me introduce Michael Field. Thank you Fred and Milano for asking Edison Properties to participate this morning. Milano has always made a big impact not only understanding urban issues but making urban communities better places to live and so this seemed a natural partnership for Edison. In 2006 Edison celebrated our 50th anniversary. Many of you know us as Edison ParkFast at Manhattan mini storage, but this year we broke ground on our first residential development and 80, 20 actually a 75, 25 on the lower east side. We hope to develop at least several more rental housing projects with affordable components in the next several years. Affordable Rental Housing is critically important to New York City and New York State, and we look forward to the discussion this morning on the subject and to all of the discussions. We are very excited about the transition and about the prospect of an informed and engaged public speaking out about policy solutions to the critical issues facing us today. I also want to thank the Milano Foundation for the continuing support of our work. I like to thank Rick Burke and Jennifer Polly of the New York Time for helping us with our co-sponsorship which added enormously to the conversation we are about to have. And further more I would be remiss if I don't also acknowledge I am not going to list every name, but in the front page, on page two, there are number of thank yous to people both in the new school and outside the new school for whom without their support we would not have had this staged. Let's also give them a round of applause. And now to kick things off I am really delighted that my good friend Paul Francis is able to join us. I met Paul about five years ago when I returned from Washington and he and his wife become good friends and I am delighted that he was able to join us today. Paul was very recently and in fact subsequent to his invitation was appointed Budget Director and a Senior Council to the new Governor. This is without question one of the most critical jobs in Albany and one of the closest job to the Governor. He was the Policy Director of the campaign since February 2005 and a friend and a colleague of the Governor Eliot Spitzer many more years before that. So Paul also joins us from a successful career in business including price line for those of who have enjoyed shopping online. So let me introduce Paul Francis for us, provide the welcoming and then we will go on to the first panel. Paul. Thank you and good morning. Eliot asked me to extend his appreciation to his good friend Fred Hochberg and the Milano School and all of you for participating in today's event. Eliot did run a campaign of ideas; he gave over 20 policy speeches that were serious, I believe, for any campaign and especially for the candidate who had a large lead. I remember after Eliot gave his first major speech which was a 30-minute long 4500 word speech on healthcare that on the show, Albany weekend review, Jerry Benjamin's daughter Liz who writes for the Albany Times Union rolling her eyes and saying, well, that was really dense and I realized that we needed to lighten these speeches up a little bit, but I think overall Eliot has laid out a significant platform for governing and the topics that you would be talking about today address many of those issues. Now, I Eliot likes to say that on Day 1 everything will change but I think we all know that there is a great deal of continuity in government. The issues that you are talking about today won't be solved in one administration or even two and in many ways this is really a relay race and in that context I want to acknowledge the man who I will be succeeding as Budget Director John Cape. Thank him for the excellent transition that he has helped create in the budget division. I am very pleased and proud to be taking up the time for the next leg of the relay race from John. The issues that you will be talking about today, housing when considered in the context of economic development, health care, government reform and education really form the core of Eliot's 100-day agenda. I and I would like to say just a very few words about each of those. With respect to housing the state is really the junior partner to New York City an affordable housing and one of our challenges and goals in the next administration is to increase the role of the state in helping to provide affordable housing. This is an issue across the state, whether it's providing housing for soldiers at Fort Drum or for providing housing for middle class Home Owners in New York City who are being priced out by the market. If we don't have a significant increase in affordable housing both the character of the city will change and even more significantly the economic growth on which this whole region depends will be chopped off. With respect to health care I think there is no issue in which Eliot has both a greater challenge and a greater opportunity to really make his mark in the next four years. Healthcare as a share of the budget over the last 20 years has grown from 14 percent of the general fund to about 37 percent of the general fund and in the process it has crowded out other government priorities in education and infrastructure, higher education and like. In Washington the debate on healthcare is primarily about who pays, but at the state level the challenge and the opportunity really is to restructure the entire healthcare delivery system to make it more efficient, more affordable and of higher quality irrespective of who pays. Eliot was clear throughout the campaign that he would take the hard decisions that are necessary to restructure our healthcare system, the ideas that will be discussed by Ken Raske and Jennifer today, I think, will describe the problems that we face and in the coming session, I think, you will begin to see the outlines of a fundamental restructuring of health care that will take into account the changes in technology and society in the 21st century. This is an opportunity for New York State really to lead the Nation and how to provide one of the most critical services that Government has involved in. With respect to government reform there really is no issue that better defines what Eliot is all about and there is no one better than Jerry Benjamin to speak on that topic. Early in Eliot's 100 Days I think you will see significant initiatives with respect to lobbying reform, and ethics reform, campaign finance reform, campaign finance and ultimately redistricting which is clearly a critical part of any serious restructuring of Government in New York State. And finally Education: The decision of the Court of Appeals in the last weeks of the campaign to reverse a prior decision that required the State to provide substantial additional money for education in New York City clearly changed the political dynamic of that issue. However Eliot continues to believe that we must provide significant additional funding and tie that funding to substantial reform and accountability if we are going to significantly improve education of New Yorkers, both in New York City and around the State. The panelists that will be speaking on education today will be both describing the problem and in laying out some of the solutions that we will be considering in the days ahead. About nine months ago I met with someone who had served under both Governor Kerry and Governor Cuomo and he said you need to think now because when you get an office you don't have time to think. This transition period really represents our last opportunity before Eliot takes office. We will soon call him Governor Spitzer but for now he is still Eliot to me and everyone who meets him. And I very much appreciate as does Eliot, the efforts that you are making today to help the campaign think about the various serious problems that face New York, so that when Eliot takes office he can hit the ground running, because as you know on day one everything changes. Thank you