Apr 28th - 5:06 pm
With time running out, Congress today easily approved a short-term spending bill that would prevent a partial federal government shutdown over the weekend, but departed in advance of the president’s first 100 day milestone (tomorrow) with addressing two of his top policy priorities: health care and a year-long budget deal.
“I loved my previous life. I had so many things going,” President Trump admitted to Reuters in an interview about his first 100 days in office. “This is more work than in my previous life. I thought it would be easier.”
Joseph Ponte, the correction commissioner brought to New York City to overhaul its troubled jail system, has been reprimanded in a Department of Investigation report that found he had spent 90 days outside the city last year, even as violence at Rikers Island was spiraling out of control.
Just past the seventh anniversary of the Deepwater Horizon oil spill, Trump directed the Interior Department to “reconsider” several safety regulations on offshore drilling implemented after one of the worst environmental disasters in the nation’s history.
U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions pledged “to demolish” the MS-13 street gang during a visit to Suffolk County today, assuring Long Islanders that he and the president “have your back.”
Sessions’ visit to Long Island drew some protestors.
Trump today became the first sitting president to address a National Rifle Association convention in more than 30 years when he spoke at the group’s annual meeting in Atlanta, GA.
Former President George H.W. Bush has been released from a Houston hospital where he received treatment for a mild case of pneumonia and chronic bronchitis during a two-week stay.
A federal judge delayed sentencing of Edward Walsh, and set a date for a pre-sentencing hearing on whether new assertions by federal prosecutors are accurate and should potentially increase the prison time faced by the former Suffolk Conservative Party leader.
Rep. Elise Stefanik is not a fan of a new provision in the American Health Care Act proposal that would exempt Congress from various tweaks states could make to mandated health coverage regulations, but isn’t saying how she would vote if it remains in the final version of the bill – or if changes she’s championing aren’t included.
Environmentalists will once again rally in the nation’s capital this weekend, this time for the People’s Climate March. The march takes place tomorrow – on Trump’s 100th day in office.
National Grid today asked state regulators to increase its delivery rates by $326 million a year for electricity and $81 million for natural gas. The rate hikes could have a “significant” impact on customer bills.
Former EPA Region II Administrator Judith Enck, who oversaw the Onondaga Lake cleanup for eight years, maintains Honeywell’s job there is far from over – no matter what the state and the company say.
Applause greeted Trump aide Omarosa Manigault when she approached the podium at Rev. Al Sharpton’s National Action Network convention yesterday, but the civil rights leader and political commentator Angela Rye offered a harsh reproach to her and her boss after she resumed her seat.
Requiring state agencies to adopt “green policies” has saved New York State tax payers $19.6 million over the past five years, Cuomo’s office announced.
One of Carl Paladino’s allies on the Buffalo School Board, Larry Quinn, revealed he voted for former President Barack Obama, of whom Paladino is decidedly not a fan.
Known as a Breathalyzer for distracted drivers, emerging technology that can detect actions on a smartphone is being promoted by state lawmakers.
The unexpected death of Court of Appeals Judge Sheila Abdus-Salaam has delayed the perjury case against a former Syracuse principal accused of lying about her role in an illegal time-out room.
Vote for your favorite new “I Voted” sticker design on the NYC CFB website.
Brother and sister duo Derek and Julianna Hough, of “Dancing With the Stars” fame, were spotted at Crossgates Mall in Guilderland.
Apr 28th - 2:16 pm
Count Syracuse Mayor Stephanie Miner among those concerned with the impact of federal tax reform.
In a letter sent to Republican Rep. John Katko, Miner raises two key issues with the proposed package of tax changes as backed by President Donald Trump: Ending state and local deductions and the tax-exempt status of municipal bonds.
On the deduction component, Miner notes 30 percent of Onondaga County alone takes advantage of it.
“This deduction helps keep money in the pockets of our residents, which in turn supports our growing local economy. This tax deduction is an additional incentive to those who make Upstate New York home to continue living in, and investing in, our communities,” she wrote.
High tax states like New York are concerned ending the deduction would hurt taxpayers and the proposal has raised alarms among Democrats and Republicans alike.
As for tax exempt municipal bonds, wrote the end of that arrangement could hamper the ability of investors to purchase them, which in turn would lead to a lack of infrastructure investment.
“This exemption makes bonds an attractive asset for investors looking to diversify their portfolio,” Miner wrote. “Removing this exemption makes it far more difficult to incentivize individuals to invest in municipal bonds and, in turn, for cities to finance our infrastructure.”
Miner, a Democrat, is leaving office at the end of the year and is term limited.
Apr 28th - 12:58 pm
Assembly Speaker Carl Heastie on Friday touted the provisions in the state budget that address criminal justice reforms, which range from raising the age of criminal responsibility to 18 and providing funds for the public defense of indigents.
Heastie had made the push for the raise the age campaign a key policy goal in the budget negotiations. The indigent legal services funding, which provided for a six-year plan aimed at boosting publicly provided legal defense, had also been backed by a coalition of suburban and upstate lawmakers.
“Ensuring everyone has access to adequate legal representation, regardless of their economic standing, is our moral responsibility,” Heastie said. “Protecting our children from a criminal justice system designed for adults is our moral obligation. I’m thankful to Assemblymembers Joe Lentol and Pat Fahy for their long standing commitment to these issues.”
Not everyone got what they wanted on either issue. The raise the age agreement was the product of multiple years of contentious negotiations with Senate Republicans, ultimately coming down to a discussion over the definition of a violent crime.
County governments had sought the indigent legal services funding as a way to satisfy a lawsuit over state support for public legal defense. A plan is being developed by the Office of Indigent Legal Services that is aimed at providing counsel at arraignment, establishing caseload standards and providing attorneys with necessary training. All told, by 2023, funding will reach $250 million a year.
Apr 28th - 12:14 pm
More than a dozen state and city lawmakers on Friday signed on to a letter aimed Bloomingdale’s chairman and CEO Tony Spring urging a fair contract to 2,000 unionized retail workers.
The contract issue has united some unusual bedfellows: Rival Sens. Mike Gianaris and Jeff Klein, the leader of the Independent Democratic Conference in the Senate, are both signatories.
The letter is a boost to the Retail, Wholesale and Department Store Union, which has sought to expand its political clout over the years at both the state Capitol and at City Hall.
“Ever since its opening in 1886, Bloomingdale’s has been synonymous with New York City— a flagship department store for both New Yorkers and visitors. For eighty years, RWDSU and Bloomingdale’s management have negotiated contracts that provided decent wages, job security, good medical, dental and pension benefits, and a voice in the creation of respectful, healthy and safe working conditions,” the letter states.
“With a contract extension date of May 1 looming, we are concerned that the labor-management cooperative history is being threatened.”
Large retailers across the country have come under increasing pressure from online competitors. In the letter, lawmakers wrote the push by Bloomingdale’s to increase online sales has hurt workers when it comes to earning commissions on sales.
“What makes Bloomingdale’s profitable is its workforce—a workforce that provides excellent customer service and introduces thousands every day to the Bloomingdale’s and New York experience,” the letter states. “Bloomingdale’s workforce is an investment in building a brand that impacts sales in New York City, across the country and online.”
Apr 28th - 11:48 am
Supporters of a bill that is aimed at making it easier for the survivors of sexual abuse to file lawsuits is once again being pushed as part of the post-budget legislative session.
On Friday, supporters of the Child Victims Act pointed to the latest reports of child sexual abuse in New York, including allegations from the Emma Willard School in Troy and a children’s camp on Long Island.
“Last week, the New York State Senate shamelessly broke its own rules and refused my formal request for a vote and public hearing on the Child Victims Act to allow child sexual abuse survivors more time to file claims against their abusers,” said Sen. Brad Hoylman.
“The Senate has shown its hand by bending over backwards to protect the abusers and the institutions who harbor them. The status quo is unacceptable. Unless the Senate acts, justice will continue to be denied to survivors and abusers will remain free to commit their despicable crimes against our kids. We should not rest until the State Senate acts in the best interests of children and moves the Child Victims Act forward for a vote.”
A public service announcement video was released on Friday as well featuring survivor testimonies.
“It’s time for the Governor to show lawmakers what courage looks like and finally get this done. We need to send a clear message: ‘Stand with children, or stand with those who harm them,” said Michael Polenberg, VP of Government Affairs at Safe Horizon.
Apr 28th - 6:00 am
From the Morning Memo:
Republican Senate Majority Leader John Flanagan in a statement to Capital Tonight said he has “grave concern” over the federal proposal to eliminate state and local tax deductions as part of a broader effort to cut taxes.
The move would hit high-tax states like California, New Jersey and New York the hardest.
In the statement, Flanagan said he shared the broad goal of cutting taxes for individuals and businesses as backed by his Republican counterparts in Congress and laid out this week by President Donald Trump’s top advisors.
“I certainly share the President’s goal of cutting taxes and revitalizing the economy so businesses can create jobs and bring about a more prosperous future for middle-class families,” Flanagan said. “There is no more quintessential Republican issue than cutting taxes.”
But the proposal to eliminate state and local deductions could have a wide-ranging impact on New York, especially to taxpayers who deduct property taxes in New York, home to the highest levies in the nation.
“It’s important to remember that any final tax reform plan will be the subject of negotiation and compromise between the President and both houses of Congress, but I have grave concern about a provision eliminating the state and local tax deductions because it would harm the hardworking, overburdened taxpayers who live here,” Flanagan said.
“I look forward to supporting an agreed-upon plan that provides meaningful tax relief to those who need and deserve it, while not negatively impacting New Yorkers in any way.”
Flanagan isn’t the only New York Republican to raise issues with the proposed deduction elimination. Reps. John Faso and Claudia Tenney — two upstate Republicans elected last year — said on Thursday they were also concerned with the impact on New York residents of eliminating deductions.
Gov. Andrew Cuomo, a Democrat, has said he raised the issue with Trump late last year during a one-on-one meeting with the then-president-elect at Trump Tower.
Apr 28th - 5:45 am
From the Morning Memo:
The Erie County Legislature has one more small request for members of the state Senate and Assembly: Move up the effective date for ride-hailing just a few days.
As part of the budget, the state legislature finally approved a regulatory structure for the industry in Upstate New York. The rules don’t officially go into effect until July 8 though, 90 days after the Senate signed off.
That’s bad timing.
“Unfortunately, that takes us past the Fourth of July holiday, which historically has seen a spike in DWIs and fatal accidents caused by drunk driving,” Majority Leader Joe Lorigo said.
Lorigo believes businesses like Uber and Lucy should be able to be up and running by July 1. The county legislature unanimously approved a resolution asking their state counterparts to speed things up.
“While I’m excited for ridesharing to finally be in Erie County, we need to have services operational before July 4th. Being one of the busiest holidays in terms of alcohol consumption, it is a common sense initiative that could help save lives. I hope our state government will make the adjustments necessary to ensure Western New York has access to ridesharing before the height of the busy summer season,” Legislator Ted Morton said.
Before the budget was approved, state Senator Tim Kennedy, D-Buffalo, did express an interest in putting the ride-hailing bill into effect sooner than 90 days.
Apr 28th - 5:11 am
Good morning and happy Friday!
Gov. Andrew Cuomo is in New York City with nothing public planned; Mayor Bill de Blasio on WNYC at 10 a.m. taking listener questions.
At 9 a.m., SUNY Poly hosts the final round of the 8th annual New York Business Plan Competition, SUNY Poly’s Albany NanoTech Complex, Zero Energy Nano (ZEN) Building – 201 Fuller Road, Albany.
At 11 a.m., Assembly Speaker Carl Heastie will join members of the Assembly at a press conference hosted by advocates applauding legislative victories including Raise the Age and Indigent Legal Service reforms, 1 Centre Street, New York City.
At 11:15 a.m., Mayor de Blasio will meet with senior homeowners at Trump Village, 2928-30 W. 5th Street, Brooklyn.
At 11:30, Assemblyman Angelo Santabarbara holds an Earth Day/Arbor Day event, Schalmont Middle School, 1 Sabre Drive, Rotterdam.
At 11:45 a.m., Sen. David Carlucci will announce that the recently enacted State budget contains $100,000 that has been secured for the Rockland County Task Force on Water Resources Management. Suffern Free Library, 210 Lafayette Avenue, Suffern.
At noon, DEC Commissioner Basil Seggos, Albany Mayor Kathy Sheehan and state lawmakers will hold an event in recognition of Arbor Day and announce poster contest winners. Empire State Plaza, East Capitol Park – North End – Across from the Capitol – State Street Side, Albany.
At noon, Lt. Gov. Kathy Hochul will deliver remarks at STRIVE’s Annual Women’s Empowerment Lunch. The New York Metropolitan Club, Ballroom, 1 East 60th Street, New York City.
At noon, Assemblyman Francisco P. Moya; Councilmember Paul Vallone hold a press conference to call for additional flexibility from SCRIE/DRIE in order to provide additional assistance for seniors seeking more accessible living arrangements. Corona Senior Center: 108-74 Roosevelt Ave, Corona.
At 1:15, de Blasio will make remarks at the Sheraton Hotel, 811 7th Avenue, New York City.
At 2:30, de Blasio will attend a tribute to Dwight Gooden, City Hall Steps, New York City.
At 6 p.m., Education Commissioner MaryEllen Elia will deliver remarks at the event to present Matilda Raffa Cuomo with the first-ever Liberty Partnerships Program (LPP) Lifetime Achievement Award. King Street Ballroom, 660 Albany Shaker Road. Albany.
Republicans are scrapping a vote to repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act, lining up in punt formation to pass a temporary measure to keep the federal government funded.
The vote is scheduled for today, but Democratic resistance adds some uncertainty to the mix in Congress.
The lack of a health care vote comes as White House officials had scrambled to get the president a win on health care within his first 100 days.
The president warned a “major, major conflict” with North Korea is becoming possible but insisted in an interview he was seeking a diplomatic solution.
The debate in Congress over eliminating state and local tax deductions — generally to the detriment of high-tax states — is blurring party lines.
Fox News personality Sean Hannity on Twitter publicly defended and supported the embattled top executive at Fox News.
A bizarre swipe by New York City mayoral candidate Bo Dietl at a judge could imperil his already long-shot bid.
The Pentagon is opening an investigation into the foreign payments made to former National Security Advisor Michael Flynn.
Trump’s tax proposal won’t end tax breaks for 401(k) retirement accounts as administration members clarify comments made by White House Press Secretary Sean Spicer.
Trump backed off his threat to pull the United States out of NAFTA after speaking with the leaders of Canada and Mexico, saying he’d be able to extract concessions from them and make the agreement better.
Amtrak’s work on track upgrades at Penn Station is expected to significant hamper weekday service at the hub this summer.
Former President Barack Obama has scored another $400,000 speaking fee amid criticism of his planned speech to a financial firm.
Federal investigators are reportedly probing a college run by the wife of Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders.
Driving the 1932 Packer that was used by former Governor and President Franklin Delano Roosevelt, Gov. Andrew Cuomo took the ceremonial first drive along the new Kosciuszko Bridge.
Cuomo invoked the president’s legacy while doing so. He had borrowed the car from the State Museum earlier this month for the occasion.
Thousands gathered on Long Island on Thursday to pay their final respects to a Queens firefighter killed in the line of duty.
Cuomo’s absence from the funeral was felt on Thursday by some of the attendees.
Sen. George Latimer says Democratic Senate Minority Leader Andrea Stewart-Cousins told him she is considering a bid for Westchester County executive, a post he’s also running for this year.
Nearly 900 affordable housing units in New York City are sitting vacant, according to a survey by city officials.
A civil rights activists plans to protest Attorney General Jeff Sessions’s visit to Long Island.
A preliminary first batch of New York City Police officers were outfitted with body cameras.
The New York City Council held a hearing that assesses the dangers of hookah smoking.
An internal report obtained by NY1 show violence and arrests at New York City homeless shelters has jumped in 2016.
New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio is largely ignoring the declared Republican candidates for mayor but focusing his ire on Presidnet Donald Trump.
There’s a statewide effort underway to crack down on drivers who don’t stop for school busses.
State lawmakers unveiled legislation on Thursday that would bar Level 1 sex offenders from becoming licensed ride hailing drivers, calling it a loophole in the recently approved state budget.
Democratic state lawmakers from western New York are not fans of the latest proposals from Washington to overhaul health care.
It’s a delicate balancing act in Niagara County between protecting homes and wildlife from rising waters.
A patient walked into Rochester General Hospital in March with, among other things, the first documented case in upstate New York of a rare and dangerous fungal infection.
A new era could be dawning for Onondaga Lake as an ambitious restoration project there is starting to take shape.
Republicans in Washington have introduced the Concealed Carry Reciprocity Act, which would allow people who have concealed-carry permits in their home states to take their weapons to other states that have laws allowing people to carry their weapons hidden with them.
Attorney General Eric Schneiderman unveiled plans to combat heroin dealers and distribution networks in New York in suburban and rural communities.
Western New York alone is set to receive $16 million in funding that is earmarked to combat the heroin and opioid crisis.
Rep. Louise Slaughter has introduced legislation aimed at combatting a stock price deal that benefitted Rep. Chris Collins and Health and Human Services Secretary Tom Price.
How Trump’s first 100 days as president intersected with five political fights in his home state.
An Auburn-based company may lay off its entire 118-person workforce this summer due to the sale of its business and a possible plant closing.
Honeywell, which has an airplane brake factory in Green Island and about 260 retirees in the Capital Region, is eliminating health care coverage for its retirees starting in June.
Hillary Clinton has a nephew who is a rising star in the world of modeling.
Apr 27th - 5:20 pm
President Donald Trump unleashed a tweetstorm of criticism of Democrats involved in tense negotiations on a spending bill to keep the government open, accusing them of trying to close national parks and jeopardize the safety of U.S. troops over demands to provide Americans with health care.
Gov. Andrew Cuomo skipped the funeral for FDNY firefighter William Tolley for a photo op on the new Kosciuszko Bridge, drawing ire from Bravest who say the self-serving spectacle was in terrible taste.
Cuomo invoked the spirit of Franklin Delano Roosevelt to ceremoniously open the new span connecting Brooklyn and Queens, arriving at the ribbon cutting ceremony driving Roosevelt’s 1932 Packard.
Liberal icon and Massachusetts Sen. Elizabeth Warren said she was “troubled” that ex-President Obama will pocket $400,000 for a speech to a top Manhattan investment firm.
A congressional committee asked the Justice Department to consider criminally prosecuting a technology services company that was involved in maintaining a private email server for Hillary Clinton.
Republicans say they will kill a provision in their new ObamaCare replacement bill that would have exempted members of Congress and their staffs from some of its effects.
Rep. John Katko says he won’t support the new Republican proposal to repeal Obamacare that could head to a vote in the House of Representatives as early as Friday.
Villanova announced that Michael Bloomberg, former three-term mayor of New York City, will deliver the May 19 commencement address to the Class of 2017.
On the same day she told reporters she was not running for Westchester County executive, Senate Democratic Minority Leader Andrea Stewart-Cousins informed one of her members who is already running for the post – Sen. George Latimer – that she is indeed considering getting in the race.
NYC Mayor Bill de Blasio’s ambitious plan to gather $700 million from Albany and Washington D.C. to fund the lion’s share of his new 3-K for All plan faces opposition from his would-be allies in the Democratic-led Assembly. Assemblyman Ken Zebrowski, of Rockland County, called it an “absolute nonstarter.”
De Blasio said he’s not worried yet about Trump’s plan to eliminate state and local tax exemptions on federal filing, referring to the the proposed national reform package as a “pipe dream.”
Independent NYC mayoral candidate Bo Dietl, in the course of defending Wednesday night remarks about First Lady Chirlane McCray, offered a blanket apology for comments he’s made over three decades on Don Imus’ radio show.
Bronx Borough President Ruben Diaz Jr., who has repeatedly teased he might take on de Blasio in this fall’s Democratic primary, is now openly raising money for re-election to his current post, ending speculation of a mayoral run this fall.
The Senate health committee voted 14-9 – with two Democrats joining all the Republican members – to approve physician Scott Gottlieb to be the next commissioner of the Food and Drug Administration, sending the nomination to the full Senate.
Barbra Streisand said it was “heartbreaking” to see Clinton lose the 2016 election, and she believes misogyny “totally” played a role in the outcome of the race.
After a failing congressional bid last year cost him his state Senate seat, Republican Jack Martins launched his campaign for Nassau County executive, promising to “rewrite the county’s history” and restore its ingenuity and financial prosperity.
Robert Siegel, whose career with NPR has spanned more than four decades, will be stepping down as co-host of NPR’s All Things Considered next year after 30 years on the job.
Onondaga County Executive Joanie Mahoney has heard criticism of the $15 million aerial gondola that’s funded in this year’s state budget. With state legislators and observers slamming Cuomo for the investment, she wants to make one thing clear: The gondola was a local idea, not an Albany idea.
Jesse Watters, the Fox News host who took heat this week for making a joke about Ivanka Trump that was criticized as lewd, is taking a family vacation until Monday. The move came just three days after his show began airing in a new high-profile time slot.
Apr 27th - 4:34 pm
The political action committee that supports the passage of the Child Victims Act has endorsed Democratic Assembly hopeful Christine Pellegrino in the May 23 special election.
The PAC, Fighting for Children, was formed by Greene County businessman Gary Greenberg to push for the passage of the bill that makes it easier for the survivors of sexual abuse to file lawsuits.
“We are proud to endorse candidates committed to reforming the state’s statute of limitations for child sex abuse to better protect the children of New York,” said Gary Greenberg, founder of Fighting for Children. “Christine Pellegrino will be a great addition to New York’s Assembly. Her tireless commitment to families in Nassau and Suffolk county prove she will be a strong ally in our efforts to protect all children from evil predators.
Pellegrino is running for the seat vacated by Republican Joseph Saladino, who is now the town supervisor of Oyster Bay.
“We stand today with victims and their families, for justice,long denied and overdue,” Pellegrino said in a statement. “I commend Fighting for Children PAC for their advocacy on behalf of victims of child sexual abuse and for raising awareness about this critical issue to protect all of our children.”