DiNapoli Report Finds Future Budget Gaps

A report released by Comptroller Tom DiNapoli’s office on Friday raised the possibility of potential budget gaps in coming years as a result of increases in spending, tax cuts and one-shot revenue sources in the current-year spending plan.

Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s Division of Budget rebuked the report, knocking the report as having ignored “key details.”

The report calls in to question the fiscal soundness of the enacted 2016-17 state budget. And even with capping spending increases at a 2 percent hike — as Cuomo has sought and successfully gained since 2011 — the deficits are still likely.

Current projections show the state on average faces potential budget deficits of less than $5 billion annually over the next three fiscal years starting in 2017-18, which begins April 1.

“New York is facing the prospect of outyear budget gaps,” DiNapoli said. “New York’s rainy day reserves are at low levels compared to many states and the use of temporary resources to meet recurring expenses contributes to the state’s potential outyear budget shortfalls. More must be done to promote long-term structural balance and ensure that taxpayers’ dollars are used cost-effectively.”

Education aid, one of the costliest items in the budget aside from health care, is expected to increase by 4.8 percent in the current fiscal year and grow by 5.3 percent on average over the next three fical years.

The current budget also relies on $5.9 billion in “temporary or non-recurring resources” otherwise known as “one-shot” revenue that can’t be relied upon year after year.

The Division of Budget, an arm of the Cuomo administration, contested DiNapoli’s findings.

“Once again the Comptroller is cherry picking data and ignoring key details in its reporting,” said DOB spokesman Morris Peters. “The truth is the State’s fiscal position is sound and it enjoys its highest credit rating in decades. The enacted budget held spending growth to 2% for the sixth consecutive year and the Governor’s commitment to spending restraint has led to higher reserves and reliable funding for key State programs, including education and health care.”

2016_17_enacted_budget_finplan.pdf by Nick Reisman on Scribd

AFL-CIO Endorses Stavisky, Bailey For Senate

The New York State AFL-CIO on Friday issued early endorsements in two state Senate races, backing Democrats Toby Ann Stavisky of Queens, an incumbent, and Jamaal Bailey, a Democrat who is seeking the Bronx-area district formerly represented by Ruth Hassell-Thompson.

At the same time, the labor group backed incumbent Assembly lawmakers Harry Bronson and Victor Pichardo.

Bronson is facing a closely watched primary from Rachel Barnhart, a former TV reporter in Rochester.

All of the candidates backed today by the AFL-CIO are facing primaries on Sept. 13.

“All of these candidates understand the priorities of the 2.5 million hardworking men and women of the NYS AFL-CIO,” said AFL-CIO President Mario Cilento. “They are committed to fighting hard for issues important to middle class families.

“With our early endorsements in place, we can now begin a grassroots campaign to get our members to the polls to ensure our endorsed candidates, and in turn an agenda that prioritizes the creation of solid middle class jobs and supports the vital public services all New Yorkers depend on, are successful.” added Cilento.

After Unpredictable Convention, GOP Insists Its Unified

From the Morning Memo:

It was a rollicking and unpredictable convention in Cleveland for national Republicans.

After a week that included charges of plagiarized speeches and a non-endorsement from the nominee’s former rival, New York GOP officials insisted the party is unified.

“Any convention is about unity,” said Sen. Tom O’Mara, a Republican from the Elmira area. “Everyone here from across the country has been fantastic. The convention has been fantastic. It’s all about coming together.”

But the remarks by Senator Ted Cruz this week highlighted fissures within the party nationally as well in New York, whose delegation included enthusiastic boosters of Donald Trump. State Republican Chairman Ed Cox had hesitated in endorsing Trump, but now is on board.

“No, it’s a problem with Ted Cruz,” said State Chairman Ed Cox, “and it’s his own problem.”

Other Republicans leaders agreed the issue isn’t with broad unity, but with Cruz himself.

“I think it’s an outlier, ultimately,” said Broome County Chairman Bijoy Datta. “I’ve talked to people all over the country over the course of this week and everyone is lining up behind Mr. Trump. He won the nomination, he won the primary. He got the official nod this week.”

Still, a number of Republicans from New York stayed away from the convention and some remain hesitant to embrace Trump’s candidacy. Assembly Minority Leader Brian Kolb says the unifying personality may ultimately be the presumed Democratic nominee, Hillary Clinton.

“The race is being Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton,” said Brian Kolb, the minority leader of the state Assembly. “That’s the choice that voters are going to have across this country in November. That’s really anyone who has supported John Kasich or Marco Rubio or whomever, has to realize this is the race we are now dealing with.”

Democrats meet next week in Philadelphia and have their own primary wounds to close following a brutal primary contest between those who backed Clinton and Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders.

WFP Fundraises Off Flanagan’s Trump Endorsement

From the Morning Memo:

The labor-backed Working Families Party wasted little time in blasting out a fundraising email pointing to Senate Majority Leader John Flanagan’s backing on Thursday of Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump.

The email is a harbinger of what is expected to be a pitched battle over control of the Republican-led Senate this year, with the presidential campaign between Trump and Democrat Hillary Clinton playing a major, over-arching role.

Flanagan on Thursday at a breakfast meeting of the New York delegation in Cleveland reiterated his endorsement of Trump, but provided his most extensive comments to date supporting the party’s nominee.

“I’m going to make this unequivocally clear,” Flanagan said. “I’m supporting Donald Trump for president. I’m going to do so with grace, with diplomacy, with passion and with fervor.”

For the WFP, that’s not compatible.

“There is no way you can support a campaign based on racism, xenophobia, fear, and misogyny with ‘grace,'” the fundraising email states.

“There is no way you can support one of the most vulgar and uniquely unsuited and unqualified candidates ever to run for the office of President with ‘diplomacy.’ And there is no way you can credibly claim to represent our state if you fervently back a candidate who stands against so many of the values we all share as New Yorkers.”

Asking supporters for a $3 donation, the WFP says the election will be a key one for Senate control.

“For years, Senate Republicans have been one of the main obstacles to progress on some of the issues working families care most about, like fair elections, the DREAM Act, reforming our broken criminal justice system, and fighting climate change,” the email states.

“Now, they are showing their true colors by fully embracing a hateful, racist presidential campaign powered by fear.”

Senate Democrats this election cycle hope to compete in battleground races on Long Island and in the Hudson Valley. But Republicans are also playing offense in swing districts in western New York and in Westchester County.

Here And Now

Good morning from Cleveland! It’s a travel day for the Capital Tonight team as we head back to Albany this morning after spending the last four days here covering the Republican National Convention.

But there’s going to be little down time as we head to Philadelphia on Sunday to cover the Democratic National Convention. Stick with us for continued coverage of that and the New York Democratic delegation.

Your schedule:

Gov. Andrew Cuomo is in New York City and has nothing public planned.

At 9:30 a.m., Commissioner Basil Seggos and New York State Division of Homeland Security and Emergency Services Representatives will announce the start of ‘Operation Clear Passage’, a three-day, multi-agency Homeland Security exercise and water quality/navigational-boating enforcement event on Lake Champlain, Treadwell Bay Marina, 214 Bouchard Drive, Plattsburgh, NY 12901, west shore of Lake Champlain.

At 10 a.m., Lt. Gov. Kathy Hochul will deliver remarks at a ribbon cutting of the new Fairfield Inn & Suites, 643 Rainbow Boulevard
Niagara Falls.

At 11 a.m., Hochul will tout investments and an increase in tourism in New York. Niagara Falls State Park, Goat Island Carriage Complex, 332 Prospect Street, Niagara Falls

Headlines:

Donald Trump accepted the Republican nomination for president of the United States on Thursday, capping an unlikely and unpredictable year since he announced his candidacy.

Trump’s nominating speech for some pundits struck a dark, fear-based tone, warning that in a world of terrorism and violence, a strong leader is needed.

Trump pledged to be a “law and order” president and is the only person equipped to handle an increasingly dangerous world for the United States.

Trump’s speech “conjured up chaos and promised overnight solutions” but failed to escape his own caricature.

The remarks by the New York businessman “could mark the start of an American revival.”

The speech was also an attack on Hillary Clinton and the very political establishment Trump upended over the last 400-plus days of his campaign.

A fact check of Trump’s speech reveals some… issues with reality.

What does it look like behind the scenes at a national political convention? NY1 anchor Errol Louis gives you a tour.

Silicon Valley investor Peter Thiel tells the RNC — to cheers — that he’s proud to be gay.

Thiel’s speech was an especially strange one for Gawker, considering he helped fund a lawsuit against the online news site after a story outed him.

Former New York City Mayor Rudy Giuliani questioned Clinton’s feminist credentials in a speech to New York Republicans at their daily delegation breakfast.

New York’s delegation, sitting front and center for the RNC at the Q, have been the most vocal and boisterous supporters for Trump during the last week.

Sen. Ted Cruz faced a sharply divided delegation from his home state of Texas after he refused to endorse Trump in his convention speech on Wednesday night.

Overall, it was a convention in which Republicans may have been divided on policy and ideology, but not when it comes to take on Clinton.

While the RNC this year may have had its ups and downs, the mistakes are unlikely to doom Trump’s campaign.

Virginia Sen. Tim Kaine has emerged as the heavy favorite to join Clinton on the Democratic ticket as the vice presidential candidate.

Liberals within the Democratic Party are not happy with the potential selection of Kaine, as they had hoped for a more left-leaning running mate, like Sens. Elizabeth Warren or Sherrod Brown.

Another name floated for the ticket is Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack, a one-time presidential candidate and former governor of Iowa.

Either way, Clinton’s VP selection process is pretty much down to the wire, and a final pick, plus announcement could come by today or Saturday.

At least four potential Republican gubernatorial wannabes were roaming the convention hall in Cleveland over the last several days.

New York state Republicans say the party needs to be more inclusive of minorities, but they don’t believe Trump’s more passionate rhetoric is a problem for the GOP.

Outside the arena and among the many demonstrations and protests has been dirty tricks operative Roger Stone and conspiracy theorist Alex Jones holding court.

In non-convention news:

Gov. Cuomo has signed a bill that would make it easier for people living near Superfund-declared sites to sue, aimed at providing some relief to the people who live in Hoosick Falls and Petersburgh.

New York officially lifted its tax on tampons, which supporters say is a matter of fairness and justice for women.

For the average woman, the repeal of the tax could mean a savings of $140 over a lifetime.

Mayor Bill de Blasio’s non-profit, the Mayor’s Fund To Advance New York, has raised more than $25 million.

Teachers and principals unions are criticizing de Blasio’s policies of eliminating suspensions and metal detector policies as making schools in the city less safe.

Often hailed as a miracle drug for reversing heroin overdoses, Naloxone is less effective when it comes to synthetic drugs, the latest scourge to reach upstate New York.

Congressional lawmakers are touting a bill that would fight heroin addiction by addressing the prescription of pain medication.

More than 200,000 people are impacted by a water main break in the western New York town of Amherst.

As a result of that water main break, bottled water is not surprisingly flying off the shelves.

An anti-discrimination lawsuit filed against the Utica School District by state Attorney General Eric Schneiderman’s office has been settled.

State Police officers have arrested a man for spreading feces at the Department of Environmental Conservation building in downtown Albany.

Investigators have started their review of why a crane collapsed onto the Tappan Zee Bridge, snarling traffic and causing minor injuries.

Rupert Murdoch is taking over at Fox News as its once-powerful chairman Roger Ailes resigns under a sexual harassment cloud.

The NBA All-Star game will not be held in Charlotte next year as the controversial HB2 legislation viewed as anti-LGBT still stands.

How an anti-missile pact with Poland could impact apple farmers in upstate New York.

 

Extras

Day 4 – the final day of the 2016 Republican National Convention, which will bring us to the coup de grace of this entire event: Donald Trump’s formal acceptance of the GOP presidential nomination.

It’s not going too far to say this is the most important moment of Trump’s political career, a moment that could significantly alter the course of his general election battle with the presumptive Democratic presidential nominee, Hillary Clinton.

Trump will be introduced by his daughter, Ivanka, a frequent campaign trail for her father and the final adult Trump child to be speaking at the convention.

We haven’t seen his youngest child, 10-year-old Baron, who is Trump’s son with his third wife, Melania, but he might make a post-speech appearance, as it’s traditional for the entire family to join a nominee on stage for the big balloon drop.

And yes, there are balloons, which are a convention standby. Some traditions are indeed being preserved here at this unconventional convention. How Trump plans to top his Day 1 reveal – with fog machines pumping and Queen’s “We Are the Champions” blaring over the speakers – remains to be seen.

Also we’ll see how Trump plans to take back the narrative and top off a convention that has been marked by controversy and upheaval. Will he go into more detail about his various policy proposals? Will he deliver a message of unity from the stage? Or will he continue to be defiant and divisive, belittling his critics and those who continue to have reservations about his candidacy.

Here are some headlines to peruse while we await the final show…

Just hours before accepting the preisdential nomination, Donald Trump taunted his party during a speech to top donors, ripping into his rivals and joking that, had he run as an independent, he could have defeated the GOP.

Trump’s speech needs to be the performance of a lifetime. It will cap off a convention that has so far been a rolling disaster of infighting and poor planning – all playing out on the national stage at a time he desperately needs a boost to compete against Democratic frontrunner Hillary Clinton.

Clinton, the presumptive Democratic nominee, has featured at least as prominently at the convention so far as Trump. For a convention that’s supposed to be all about the GOP nominee, his opponent is getting more than her share of the attention.

Onondaga County GOP Chairman Tom Dadey said he feels like “a little kid on Christmas Eve” ahead of Trump’s big moment, adding: “”I can’t wait to see him tonight. I’m ecstatic.”

Speaking to his home state delegation this morning, Texas Sen. Ted Cruz pointedly and repeatedly refused to endorse Trump, saying that he was not “a servile puppy dog.”

Donald Trump Jr. said his father does not need Cruz’s endorsement going into the general election. “We got it de facto from the people that matter,” he told CNN’s Erin Burnett. “Those are the voters the people that my father has been speaking to directly. The hardworking people in this country that have been left in the dust.”

“The New York delegation was engaged in a way I’ve never seen,” said Rep. Tom Reed, a Corning Republican who joined in the “Endorse Trump” chants of Cruz’s speech last night. “The boos kept getting louder. There was just more and more energy.”

The guest lists for six suites at the Republican National Convention in Cleveland this week offer a peek into the VIP access enjoyed by the party’s most important financiers.

The Trump campaign’s sharp attacks against Ohio Gov. John Kasich this week may have imperiled a crucial behind-the-scenes effort to build out the Republican nominee’s meager operation in the battleground state.

Trump and Clinton are deadlocked in Ohio, according to a new Suffolk University poll that shows the crucial state very much in play.

Trump’s campaign says it set a new record for its money-raising effort, garnering $3.5m from online fundraising today. Also, Trump fulfilled his promise to forgive the $47.5m he loaned his presidential campaign on the way to securing the GOP nomination.

Ivanka Trump sent out a fundraising appeal on her father’s behalf hours before her big convention appearance introducing his acceptance speech.

Trump may be the nominee, but here in Cleveland, his children are the attraction.

Former NYC Mayor Rudy Giuliani misstated Clinton’s home town by several hundred miles during his speech to the NY delegation, saying she lives in Chappaquiddick (Massachusetts), not Chappaqua (Westchester County).

21st Century Fox today announced that Roger Ailes, Chairman and CEO of Fox News Channel and Fox Business Network, and Chairman of Fox Television Stations, has resigned from his role effective immediately.

Sen. Al Franken of Minnesota – a comedian-turned-politician – traveled to Cleveland to deliver a few jabs to the Donald Trump-Mike Pence ticket, while another Democratic senator, Cory Booker of New Jersey, made the case for fighting with love.

Gov. Andrew Cuomo has signed legislation to exempt feminine hygiene products from sales and use taxes. The bill, dubbed the “tampon tax” bill, passed with broad support at the end of May.

Also signed into law by the governor: a bill that gives state employees up to four hours each year to receive prostate cancer exams. Previously, only those outside of New York City were offered paid leave.

The Erie County Water Authority knew by 3 a.m. yesterday that a huge water main break may have exposed more than 100,000 residents to contaminated water, but no public advisory was sent for at least three more hours.

The chair of the Assembly Energy Committee, Amy Paulin of Westchester, is questioning the Cuomo administration’s plan to subsidize upstate nuclear reactors and its potential cost to New York residents.

The Late Late Show Starring James Corden traveled to 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue in Washington, D.C., to shoot a very special episode of Carpool Karaoke with Michelle Obama

Paladino: Cruz Can Mow The Lawn At The White House

Cn6k-_SUIAArLKfRepublican Carl Paladino, the co-chairman of the state campaign co-chairman for Donald Trump, blasted an email out Thursday afternoon with a meme suggesting Sen. Ted Cruz would mow the lawn at a Trump White House.

“After I move into the White House,” the image states. “I’ll hire you to mow the lawn.”

At the same time, Paladino included this text:

“He could have blown the roof off the building, attained statesman status and be appointed to the Supreme Court in January but he chose to implode with self love and be one of those timid souls who knows neither victory or defeat.”

Cruz drew the ire of Republicans at the convention in Cleveland on Wednesday and into today when he refused to endorse Trump in his speech.

The image calls to mind the stereotype of Hispanic landscapers and gardeners; Cruz is of Cuban descent.

The former Republican nominee for governor in 2010 has had a history of making racially tinged comments and jokes, most recently tweeting “Lynch Loretta Lynch” — a post Paladino said was sent in error by an assistant.

Cuomo Signs Hoosick Falls Legislation

Gov. Andrew Cuomo signed a bill on Thursday that would make it easier for those who live near Superfund-designated sites to sue over water contamination.

The measure was approved in the GOP-led Senate in the final days of the legislative session in the wake of a drinking water contamination in Hoosick Falls.

The new law will also impact those who live in Petersburgh, where a separate chemical contamination in drinking water has been found.

Cuomo’s approval of the bill is good news for Republican Sen. Kathy Marchione, the lawmaker who represents the area in the chamber.

Marchione had been under pressure from Hoosick Falls residents to push for a Senate hearing on the contamination issue. Ultimately, Republicans announced a public hearing in the village next month.

Assembly Democrats have scheduled hearings for September on water quality issues in New York, to be held in Albany and on Long Island.

“This new state law means residents in Hoosick Falls, Petersburgh and elsewhere will now receive more time to have their day in court and fully pursue civil justice,” Marchione said in a statement. “I am thankful for the support our bill has received and that it will become law.”

Democratic Assemblyman John McDonald, who backed the measure in his house, called the approval a bipartisan victory.

“The far-reaching impact of this legislation will bring fair and resolute legal recourses to members of the Hoosick Falls community and to New Yorkers across the state that have suffered or may suffer from undetected toxins in their water supply,” he said.

Cuomo’s approval of the bill, which removes the statute of limitations for lawsuits to be filed in water contamination sites, comes as a Republican-led oversight committee in the House of Representatives is investigating the federal and state response to the issue.

Cuomo’s office sought and received a deadline extension for turning over documents related to the contamination.

The bill’s approval was also cheered by environmental organizations.

“The signing of this bill into law is not only a huge moral and legal victory for Hoosick Falls and Petersburgh residents, but an important step in holding polluters accountable,” said Liz Moran of the Environmental Advocates of New York. “For too long, when crises like this occurred, residents were left reeling from the public health and economic consequences, while those responsible were allowed to slink away.”

Six NYers To Speak At DNC

A half dozen New York Democratic elected officials are scheduled to speak at the party’s national convention next week in Philadelphia.

Convention planners on Thursday announced the slate of speakers, which will including Gov. Andrew Cuomo and his rival, New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio as well as the state’s two junior and senior U.S. senators, Kirsten Gillibrand and Chuck Schumer.

Two House members, Reps. Nita Lowey of Westchester County and Joe Crowley of Queens, are also due to speak at the convention.

Cuomo kept a relatively low profile at the last Democratic National Convention in 2012 held in Charlotte, staying for less than a full day and not holding a speaking role (He did attend the last night to watch President Obama speak).

This year, Cuomo will chair the New York state delegation to the convention, which is due to nominate Hillary Clinton for the presidency.

Giuliani To Hillary: ‘We’re Going To Kill You In Upstate New York’

Add former New York City Mayor Rudy Giuliani to the list of prominent New York Republicans who think Donald Trump can win Democratic-heavy New York.

Giuliani, speaking to the Republican delegation breakfast on Thursday morning, said Trump’s chances of a victory are especially good in the upstate region, which has more GOP voters per capita.

“We’ve got some pretty good surrogates for him in New York and we are not going to give up New York,” Giuliani said, his hoarse voice increasingly rising. “Hillary, we are going to kill you in upstate New York. You are finished. Hillary, you are finished in Nassau and Suffolk and Westchester and Putnam and Orange.”

Polls have shown Clinton, a former U.S. senator from New York who moved to state in 2000, leading Trump by double digit percentage points.

Giuliani also made a plea for allowing high-volume hydrofracking in the state, saying it would restore upstate New York’s industrial might.

Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s administration moved to ban the natural gas extraction process in 2014, but Giuliani did not mention the governor by name.

“How about putting people back to work with tracking, hydraulic drilling? How about we rebuild upstate New York the way it used to be, one of the great industrial capitals of the world,” he said.

“God has put the resources in our Earth to do it. Pennsylvania is doing it and they did it under a Democratic governor, Ed Rendell. He cared about his people more than he cared about out of the control environmentalists.”