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“We talked about it, but we decided not to change in the last year,” Mr. Riley said. “Not to do it this year seemed a little disingenuous.”

It’s a long-standing tradition for both the University of Alabama and Auburn University to provide tickets and free parking to state leaders for the annual Iron Bowl. The Birmingham News reported that at least 28 officials turned down the 2010 tickets. Some gave them away.


Cuomo moves first big speech to convention center

ALBANY | Gov.-elect Andrew M. Cuomo has shifted the venue for his first major policy speech from the state Assembly chamber to the Empire State Plaza Convention Center, roughly doubling the capacity with about 1,000 more seats.

Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver says requests for invitations to the Jan. 5 State of the State Address have exceeded the Assembly capacity.

Mr. Cuomo says he wants more of the public to attend. General-admission tickets will be distributed through a lottery process. Details were not immediately disclosed.

The address, where governors often lay out plans for the coming year, are usually attended by legislators, lobbyists and reporters.

Mr. Cuomo said Wednesday that Mr. Silver, a Democrat, and Republican Senate Majority Leader Dean Skelos will also speak.

From wire dispatches and staff reports

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