Senate: Cuomo Budget Adds $803M In New Fees

Last week, Gov. Andrew Cuomo asserted his $152 billion budget proposal included only one new fee through the Department of Motor Vehicles.

An analysis expected to be released later today by the Republican-controlled state Senate paints a different picture of the spending proposal: $803 million in new surcharges.

By 2021, those fees fully phased in would actually cost $4.5 billion, according to a Senate spokesman.

Cuomo’s budget also includes an extension of the millionaires tax, which is due to expire at the end of the year.

 

Legislature Introduces Its Own Outside Employment Rule

The Republican-led Senate on Monday and Democratic-controlled Assembly on Friday introduced a rules resolution that lays down its own terms for seeking an advisory opinion for outside employment developed by the Legislative Ethics Commission.

The measure appears to largely mirror what Gov. Andrew Cuomo sought as part of his slate of ethics legislation unspooled in the State of the State this month.

There is one crucial difference, however: The proposed Senate rule is silent on the inclusion of having a member of the Office of Court Administration, such as the chief administrative law judge, be included in crafting the advisory opinion alongside the Legislative Ethics Commission.

The LEC is composed of current elected lawmakers appointed by the Senate and Assembly.

Like the Cuomo-backed proposed that was folded into his $152 billion budget proposal sets the threshold for outside employment income at $5,000.

Lawmakers, especially in the Senate, have been generally resistant to efforts that would place limits or bans on outside employment.

Cuomo sought a constitutional amendment in December that would ban outside employment in a special session that failed to coalesce.

A Senate spokesman on Monday said the measure is yet to be discussed within the GOP conference, but a vote could come by Tuesday.

Conservative Party: Most Want ‘Bag Tax’ Repealed

There’s majority support for scrapping a surcharge on plastic bags in New York City, according to a poll released this weekend by the state Conservative Party.

The poll found voters in New York City by a margin of 62 percent to 36 percent oppose the tax, with even a narrow majority in Manhattan — 50 percent to 49 percent — also opposing it.

“This poll clearly shows that New Yorkers are tired of taxes and tired of fees,” said Chairman Mike Long. “They’re saying that New York is already unaffordable, and all the bag tax passed by Mayor de Blasio and the City Council does is make things worse. At the end of the day no one wants another tax, especially this one.”

The release of the poll, conducted by BK Strategies, comes days after the state Senate moved to block the tax from being enacted. The measure now goes to the Democratic-led Assembly.

NY State Dems Fundraise Off Trump’s ‘Indirect’ Call

From the Morning Memo:

New York state Democrats in a fundraising email had a short response to President Donald Trump’s reportedly “indirect” call to unseat top elected officials in New York: “Bring it on.”

State Democratic Chairman Byron Brown is releasing a fundraising email this week that seizes on the report Trump called on State Republican Chairman Ed Cox to work to unseat both Gov. Andrew Cuomo and New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio (Cox in subsequent interviews downplayed the initial headline’s claims that Trump is actively seeking to unseat both the mayor and the governor).

The Democratic Committee is ostensibly controlled by Cuomo, who has feuded with de Blasio publicly for more than a year.

The email from Brown, the Buffalo mayor, references the need to keep both Democrats in office.

“So let us remind him: New York is the progressive capital of the nation,” the email from Brown states. “And if he and President Trump want to kick us out of office in favor of their policies, I have just three words for them: Bring It On.”

Cuomo met with Trump in Manhattan just last week, emerging to insist the meeting wasn’t a contentious one and that both men discussed the need for infrastructure investment.

Still, Cuomo has raised his profile nationally in recent weeks with calls for phasing out college tuition costs at public universities and pledging to make New York a haven for immigrants under the new administration.

Cuomo is believed to be on the bench for potential 2020 presidential candidates for the Democratic Party nationally.

“In New York, Democrats are united and we’re only going to get stronger,” the email states. “Just this weekend, millions of people across the nation turned out for Women’s Marches to protest the backwards policies of the New York State GOP and the Trump administration.

“Here in New York, we marched in Utica, we marched in Albany, we marched everywhere across the state from Buffalo to Sag Harbor. And in the largest mass protest in New York City history, hundreds of thousands of New Yorkers took to the streets to stand up for what we believe.”

De Blasio is up for re-election this year; Cuomo runs for a third term in 2018.

Push To Add Environmental Amendment To Constitution Continues

From the Morning Memo:

A push by good-government advocates and environmental groups to add an Environmental Bill of Rights to the state constitution continues this week with the release of a pair of videos highlighting the issue.

The videos highlight Albany residents — a 10-year-old named Lawrence and A Village Inc. Director Willie White — that point to the issue of the oil trains passing through the city’s South end as well as diesel truck emissions.

The videos are being released Monday by the Environmental Advocates of New York and EffectiveNY, the group founded by businessman and political activist Bill Samuels.

“The fact that less than a mile and a half away from the Governor’s Mansion in Albany, 200 of New York’s children can be allowed to live in the toxic conditions so vividly illustrated in these videos is unconscionable,” Samuels said in a statement.

“Governor Cuomo and the State Legislature must take immediate action to pass a Constitutional amendment guaranteeing the right to fresh air and clean drinking water so the residents of Ezra Prentice Homes and all New Yorkers can finally get the environmental justice they deserve.”

Cuomo Moves To Bolster Reproductive Rights Through Regulation

From the Morning Memo:

A politically charged piece of legislation can’t make it through the Republican-led Senate, so Gov. Andrew Cuomo issues guidelines through executive action.

It happened in late 2015, with Cuomo announcing plans to enforce the Human Rights Law in New York to cover aspects of the Gender Expression Non-Discrimiantion Act in order to provide legal protections for transgender New Yorkers.

Over the weekend, Cuomo once again announced plans to take on an issue through his office: Access to contraception and abortion services.

The state through regulatory action will require access to contraceptive drugs and devices are available through insurance policies without co-pays or deductibles. At the same time, the administration will set policies that ensure medically necessary abortion services are covered by commercial health insurance under the same stipulations.

The move comes days after the Democratic-led Assembly approved a two measures aimed at bolstering abortion rights in New York: Access to contraceptives and the Reproductive Health Act. The latter measure, which is aimed at codifying Roe v. Wade in state law, has stalled in the Republican-controlled Senate.

More broadly, Cuomo’s regulatory move coincided with the anniversary weekend of the Roe decision as well as the Saturday march for women, which drew millions protesting Donald Trump’s election.

Cuomo has shown a willingness over the years to set policy through his administration. In addition to transgender measures, Cuomo began the process of moving juvenile offenders out of adult facilities, satisfying part of a key criminal justice reform debate in Albany over raising the age of criminal incarceration.

This regulatory action would provide a bulwark against the expected unwinding of the Affordable Care Act and like all regulations, it does not have the force of law.

Here and Now

Gov. Andrew Cuomo has not yet posted a public schedule for the day.

At 8:30 a.m., the Educational Alliance unveils a mural featuring the opening lines of the Declaration of Independence in five languages at its flagship community center, Manny Cantor Center, 197 East Broadway, Manhattan.

At 9:45 a.m., Senate Majority Leader John Flanagan will be speaking to the New York State Association of County Clerks during their annual Legislative Conference, Desmond Hotel, Fort Orange Room, 660 Albany Shaker Rd., Albany.

At 10 a.m., SUNY Chancellor Nancy Zimpher delivers her annual – and final – State of the University Address, Lewis A. Swyer Theatre at The Egg, Empire State Plaza, Albany.

Also at 10 a.m., the New York Department of State hosts a public meeting of the State Fire Prevention and Building Code Council, to discuss updates of the State Uniform Fire Prevention and Building Code and the State Energy Conservation Construction Code, Empire State Plaza Convention Center, Albany.

At 11 a.m., the state Thruway Authority holds a board meeting, Thruway Authority Headquarters, 200 Southern Blvd., Albany.

At 12:30 p.m., NYC Mayor Bill de Blasio will deliver remarks at the will deliver remarks at the New York Building Congress’ annual meeting, Pierre Hotel, 2 E 61st St., Manhattan.

Also at 12:30 p.m., the State Gaming Commission meets, 317 Lenox Ave., Manhattan.

Also at 12:30 p.m., the SUNY Board of Trustees holds an executive session, State University Plaza, 353 Broadway, Albany.

At 1 p.m., Sen. Diane Savino and Assembly members Amy Paulin and Richard Gottfried announce reintroduction of Medical Aid in Dying Act, outside of Senate Lobby, state Capitol, Albany.

At 2 p.m., Assemblyman Michael Blake holds his annual State of The District Address, V.I.P. Community Services, 1870 Crotona Ave., the Bronx.

At 2:30 p.m., the Tourism Advisory Council meets, Empire State Development, 633 Third Ave., Manhattan.

At 3 p.m., the state Senate is in session, Senate Chambers, state Capitol, Albany.

Also at 3 p.m., NYC Councilman Ydanis Rodriguez celebrates the Big Brothers Big Sisters National Mentoring Month and launches the 2017 citywide campaign to recruit more volunteer mentors, The Morris-Jumel Mansion, 65 Jumel Terrace, Manhattan.

At 5 p.m., the Campaign for Alternatives to Isolated Confinement calls on Cuomo and the state Legislature to pass the Humane Alternatives to Long Term Solitary Confinement Act, 101 E. Green St., Ithaca.

At 6 p.m. – The Campaign for Alternatives to Isolated Confinement calls on Cuomo and the state Legislature to pass the Humane Alternatives to Long Term Solitary Confinement Act, Pacific Street and Flatbush Avenue, Brooklyn.

Also at 6 p.m., the state Business Council holds its annual Legislators’ Reception, Hilton Hotel, Albany. (State Comptroller Tom DiNapoli will be among those attending).

At 6:30 p.m., the Unitarian Universalist Congregation at Shelter Rock holds vigil for New Yorkers in solitary confinement and hosts an opening of “Behind These Prison Walls,” an exhibit by photographer and former New York City Correction Officer Lorenzo Steele, Jr., UUCSR, 48 Shelter Rock Road, Manhasset.

At 7 p.m., de Blasio will appear live on NY1 for “Mondays With the Mayor.”

Headlines…

The first major lawsuit against President Trump’s alleged business conflicts is being filed by some of the nation’s top legal and ethics scholars today.

The suit alleges violations of the U.S. Constitution’s Emoluments Clause, which bans payments from foreign powers to government leaders to avoid any influence that could be gained from gifts and payments, via Trump’s hotels and the money they receive from foreign governments.

The legal team filing the lawsuit includes Zephyr Teachout, a Fordham University law professor and former New York congressional and gubernatorial candidate who has been studying and writing about the Emoluments Clause for nearly a decade.

Businesses around the world bearing Trump’s name face an increased risk now that he is in the White House, security experts warn, especially as several are in areas previously targeted by violence.

Trump’s “running war” on the media is continuing into his presidency, with statements over the weekend calling into question the extent to which information from the White House can be trusted.

To the extent that there was a plan to take advantage of the first days of his administration, when a president is usually at his maximum leverage, Trump threw it aside with a decision to lash out about crowd sizes at his swearing in and to rewrite the history of his dealings with intelligence agencies. The lack of discipline troubled even senior members of his inner circle.

Trump this weekend invited Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to Washington next month, making the Israeli one of the first foreign leaders with whom the new president will have met after taking office.

Trump offered a scattershot response to the sweeping post-inauguration protests against his new administration, sarcastically undermining the public opposition and then defending demonstrators’ rights a short time later.

Organizers of the Women’s March on Washington, DC, the largest protest of a presidential inauguration in history, are now doing everything they can think of to make sure first-time marchers don’t melt away after the weekend.

Counselor to the president Kellyanne Conway said she “didn’t see the point” to the Women’s March. She said she “briefly” talked to Trump about the march, adding, “We certainly respect people’s First Amendment rights.”

Trump’s plan to replace the Affordable Care Act will propose giving each state a fixed amount of federal money in the form of a block grant to provide health care to low-income people on Medicaid, Conway said.

Trump is soon expected to seek sharp changes in U.S. immigration policy by using his executive power, echoing the politically contentious approach taken by former President Barack Obama.

Trump gave a big “thank you” to law enforcement officials at a ceremony yesterday, but none bigger than to FBI Director James Comey — the man many credit with giving Trump the White House after his last-minute decision to re-open an investigation into Hillary Clinton’s emails.

Retired Lt. Gen. Michael Flynn is reportedly the first member of the Trump administration to garner the probing eyes of intelligence and federal law enforcement agencies for communications with Russia.

Two vocal Senate skeptics – Sens. John McCaind and Lindsey Graham – threw their support behind Rex Tillerson yesterday, clearing a path for his confirmation as secretary of state.

WikiLeaks spent the final weeks of the 2016 presidential election leaking information harmful to Clinton’s campaign – but now they’re not happy with the man who beat her, saying he broke his promise about releasing his tax returns.

The former press secretary for Clinton’s presidential campaign, Brian Fallon, says White House press secretary Sean Spicer should have resigned rather than claim that Trump drew a bigger inauguration crowd than former President Barack Obama.

Roughly 120 of the Democratic Party’s high-level donors and strategists who spent the weekend tucked away at a peaceful golf resort in Florida came no closer to a consensus on what went wrong for their side in the 2016 presidential election.

Trump told a gathering of White House senior staffers that he found the letter former President Barack Obama left for him in the Oval Office — a tradition among presidents on their final day in office — but, as did his predecessor, he won’t divulge its contents.

Chelsea Clinton tweeted her support for Trump’s 10-year-old son, Barron, saying he “deserves the chance…to be a kid,” but also questioned his father’s policies that she believes may harm children.

Jeh C. Johnson, who has stepped down as secretary of Homeland Security, is rejoining the New York law firm Paul, Weiss, Rifkind, Wharton & Garrison, where he formerly worked. He will be a partner in the firm’s litigation department.

More >

The Weekend That Was

Local governments have begun preparing for a nor’easter blowing ashore tomorrow even as the governor ured New Yorkers to prepare for the coastal storm expected to have a strong impact on New York City and Long Island.

President Donald Trump won’t be releasing any of his tax records now that he’s in the Oval Office, according to one of his top advisors, Kellyanne Conway.

Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer said he’s willing to block Republicans from confirming Trump’s Supreme Court imminent nomination. “If the nominee is not bipartisan and mainstream, we absolutely will keep the seat open,” the senator said on CNN’s “State of the Union.”

Activists and politicians rallied huge crowds who descended on Washington, D.C. Saturday for the Women’s March on Washington this morning, the biggest of hundreds of similar marches taking place around the world, including New York City, Albany, Buffalo.

Trump tweeted his displeasure about the marches, saying: “Watched protests yesterday but was under the impression that we just had an election! Why didn’t these people vote? Celebs hurt cause badly.”

The D.C. rally featured speeches from women’s rights activist Gloria Steinem, Planned Parenthood president Cecile Richards, Madonna, actresses Ashley Judd and Scarlett Johansson and director Michael Moore among others.

Crowds for the Women’s March on Washington, as the rally was known, stretched more than 14 blocks down Independence Avenue near the National Mall by midday – a turnout so large that some pockets of attendees began marching in place.

Former Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton tweeted out her support for the Women’s March.

In Chicago, the size of a rally so quickly outgrew early estimates that the official march that was scheduled to follow was canceled for safety, though many paraded through downtown, anyway.

Several Canadians and British and French nationals were denied entry into the United States at the Northern New York border last week after revealing to border agents that they planned to attend women’s marches in the lower 48.

On the day of the marches, Gov. Andrew Cuomo announced he will require health insurance companies in New York to cover medically necessary abortions and most forms of contraception at no cost to women.

Beyond preserving parts of the Affordable Care Act, the state will now also require insurers to cover a three-month supply of contraception the first time a woman obtains it, and then a supply for up to 12 months, at no cost. At the moment, only a one-month supply at a time is typically available.

“We are entering a new political era in which women across the country may feel that their reproductive rights will be threatened, and all states – not just New York – will have an opportunity to take the lead in improving the status of women through their respective legislatures,” Cuomo wrote in a CNN OpEd.

The women’s march in Washington was roughly three times the size of the audience at President Trump’s inauguration, crowd counting experts said. They estimated that at least 470,000 people were in the areas on and near the mall at about 2 p.m. Saturday.

Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand was among Democratic elected officials at the D.C. march, her name is mentioned as a possible 2020 contender, along with Massachusetts Sen. Elizabeth Warren, Cuomo, and New Jersey Sen. Cory Booker.

Gillibrand led some Senate Democrats in an ill-fated push against giving a waiver to allow retired Gen. James Mattis to become defense secretary, arguing the principle of civilian control of the military should not be violated. She was the lone vote against his confirmation.

Press Secretary Sean Spicer delivered a fiery broadside against the Fourth Estate from the White House Briefing Room Saturday evening, claiming that reporters had engaged in “deliberately false reporting” in the past 24 hours since Trump took the oath of office.

“This was the largest audience to ever witness an inauguration, period,” Spicer said, contradicting all available data. Aerial photos have indicated that former president Barack Obama’s first inauguration attracted a much larger crowd. Nielsen ratings show that Obama also had a bigger television audience.

Spicer took no questions at the press conference. Here’s the transcript of his comments.

Conway defended the administration’s contention that the inauguration drew the biggest crowds of all time, saying the White House spokesman was simply offering “alternative facts” to make his case.

In a visit to the CIA intended to showcase his support for the intelligence community, Trump ignored his own repeated public statements criticizing that community, a group he compared to Nazis just over a week ago. He also called journalists “among the most dishonest human beings on earth,” and he said that up to 1.5 million people had attended his inauguration – a claim photographs disproved.

Trump sent messages from both his personal account early Saturday and the official @POTUS one, praising reviews of his speech — and possibly breaking the law by twice deleting a tweet that include a misspelling.

Hours after Trump took his oath on Friday, the Justice Department issued an opinion saying that his appointment of his son-in-law, Jared Kushner, as a senior White House adviser would be lawful despite a federal antinepotism law.

Trump’s incoming administration has wasted no time setting as official policy the renegotiation of the North American Free Trade Agreement and the withdrawal from the Trans-Pacific Partnership, moves send shock waves through the automotive industry.

Upstate activists are trying to rename Binghamton’s Main Street in honor of the 45th president. The proposal was first floated by Binghamton resident John Solak, who told a local radio show that the city should provide balance to its existing “Clinton Street.”

After three years as US ambassador to Japan, Caroline Kennedy is coming home to New York and has big plans: a political run and penning a memoir, Kennedy insiders tell The NY Post.

Pope Francis is taking a wait and see approach to President Trump. The Pontiff said he doesn’t believe in “judging people early,” in an interview published Saturday night in the Spanish newspaper El Pais. “We’ll see what Trump does,” he said.

Schumer is concerned about airlines charging passengers for the ability to use space in the overhead bin.

The troubled Utica Nano project has strained what was an otherwise decent working relationship between Cuomo and his fellow Democrat, Assemblyman Anthony Brindisi.

The long-standing upstate-downstate divide is still alive and well.

Cuomo’s proposed budget legislation contains numerous non-budgetary matters, including changes to state Freedom of Information Law that would, among other things, make the state Legislature subject to the same level of disclosure as the Executive Chamber, state agencies and other public entities.

As the state grapples with a $3.5 billion budget gap for the fiscal year that starts April 1, how $9 billion worth of settlement money from 22 Wall Street entities that first arrived in 2014 is being spent is again drawing scrutiny and criticism.

Cuomo is still planning to trot the globe to promote New York businesses despite Trump’s threats during the campaign to start a trade war with China and Mexico.

On Wednesday, plans to build 15 wind turbines off the shore of Montauk, Long Island – enough to power 50,000 homes – will come before the utility board, and if approved, could usher in several other turbine projects in the area.

Cuomo’s ambition to develop enough offshore wind energy by 2030 to power 750,000 homes will require 280 square miles of ocean starting 12 to 15 miles from the Long Island shore, state officials said.

The preliminary budget that NYC Mayor Bill de Blasio will release next week is basically a rough guess at upcoming costs, since there’s so much uncertainty under Trump, the mayor said.

De Blasio has championed other types of public health initiatives — most notably to promote mental health — but for the most part, he has not advanced the anti-tobacco legacy of his predecessor, former NYC Mayor Mike Bloomberg.

A black FDNY rookie expecting a warm welcome at his new firehouse was instead sexually hazed and humiliated by a band of naked firefighters, according to a shocking federal discrimination lawsuit.

Richard Haste, a New York police officer facing dismissal for his actions in the fatal shooting of an unarmed man in the Bronx, expressed remorse at his disciplinary trial on Friday, but said his actions were justified.

Speaking at a fan forum before a game against Utica, Syracuse Crunch owner Howard Dolgon said he hopes to hear by the spring on a “significant” request for funding from New York State that would be put toward building upgrades at the War Memorial for next season.

Hundreds of Nassau businesses have filed lawsuits against the county in state court, contending hundreds of thousands of dollars in fines imposed on them by the county assessor are excessive and illegal.

Brookhaven, Long Island officials are planning to revamp the town’s policy for dealing with dangerous dogs after attacks last year killed two canines and left another injured.

Extras

“This American carnage stops right here and stops right now,” President Donald Trump declared in a forceful 16-minute Inaugural Address. “The time for empty talk is over. Now arrives the hour for action. Do not allow anyone to tell you it cannot be done.”

Here’s the full transcript of Trump’s (rather brief) speech.

During the speech, Trump briefly quoted the Batman villain Bane from “The Dark Knight Rises” movie. (Presumably, he did not do this on purpose).

American law enforcement and intelligence agencies are examining intercepted communications and financial transactions as part of a broad investigation into possible links between Russian officials and associates of Trump, including his former campaign chairman Paul Manafort, and veteran GOP consultant Roger Stone.

Stone dismissed this report and vigorously denied any wrongdoing. “As far as I am concerned, this is unadulterated bullshit,” he said. “I have no ties to Russia. I have no Russian clients. I’ve never worked for the Russians. I don’t work for them now. The deep state needs to cut the shit.”

Trump performed his first official acts as commander in chief at a signing ceremony attended by lawmakers. He signed a law passed by Congress granting a waiver allowing retired Marine Gen. James Mattis to serve as secretary of Defense, and also signed documents making his Cabinet nominees official, and proclaiming a national day of patriotism.

Rep. Pete King, a Long Island Republican, said Trump had to walk a fine line during his address today, and felt the new president “set the right tone” by standing by what he had said during the campaign.

Protests in the nation’s capital turned violent as Trump assumed the presidency. Activists wearing all black smashed store windows and car windows and fought with police in riot gear, according to Reuters. Police responded with pepper spray and stun grenades.

Just as Trump was sworn in, the official White House website was updated with his portrait and his policies, which include many changes from what the site had said earlier this morning. Among the first changes noted was the elimination of all mentions of “climate change” and the posting of Trump’s America First Energy Plan. Also gone: Sections on LGBT, civil rights, and health-care.

House Democratic, including Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, sported a blue button with the hashtag #ProtectOurCare at the inauguration, speaking out against the effort to repeal the Affordable Care Act.

Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer delivered remarks outside the U.S. Capitol before Vice President Mike Pence took his oath, insisting that the country’s best days are yet to come.

Speaking at Joint Base Andrews shortly after the swearing-in ceremony, former President Obama’s final farewell address was uncharacteristically brief and at times echoed the populist tone of Trump’s inaugural speech.

Obama is back tweeting from his old Twitter handle, since @POTUS now officially belongs to Trump.

Michelle Obama is also back to her old Twitter handle, and @FLOTUS belongs to Melania Trump. (No word on whether the new first lady will be composing her own tweets – or following her husband’s lead and tweeting at all hours of the day and night).

Hillary Clinton’s pre-inauguration tweet: “I’m here today to honor our democracy & its enduring values. I will never stop believing in our country & its future. #Inauguration.”

Clinton sported a white ensemble to the ceremony, making a not-so-subtle reference to the suffrage movement on the eve of the Women’s March on Washington.

Trump’s daughters, Ivanka and Tiffany, also wore white; while First Lady Melania Trump opted for baby blue.

After greeting Clinton at the inauguration, Rep. Jason Chaffetz, House Oversight Committee chair, later said that the investigation into her email use while Secretary of State “continues.”

Melania Trump gifted outgoing First Lady Michelle Obama with a present from Tiffany & Co, which has a store located next to Trump Tower on Fifth Avenue in Manhattan.

True to form, former VP Joe Biden and his wife, Jill, chose to take an Amtrak train back home to Delaware after the inauguration. (A far cry from the Obamas’ helicopter ride).

CUNY trustees would take 10 percent of the annual revenue raised by dozens of foundations affiliated with the system’s colleges to fund tuition assistance programs, under Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s executive budget released earlier this week.

Cuomo’s budget proposal to allow movie theaters to serve alcohol wouldn’t limit them to just beer and wine, despite the governor saying otherwise.

Did you know that they allow llamas – and alpacas, and also doves – on the D.C. metro?

Pataki: Trump Will Have ‘A Soft Spot’ For NY

Former Gov. George Pataki pledged to help the newly sworn-in President Donald Trump, telling reporters in Washington, D.C. last night he expects the new president will have a “soft spot” for his home state.

“He’ll do his best to lead the whole country but have a soft spot in his heart for New York,” he said. “I’m extremely hopeful and whatever I can do to make President Trump’s four years a success I’d be happy to do it.

Pataki, a Republican former three-term governor, launched his own bid for president in 2016, but withdrew before the New Hampshire primary.

He was sharply critical before and after he suspended his campaign, saying at one point in a Capital Tonight interview he regrets Trump’s name on the signs for a defunct state park near the Taconic Parkway.

Pataki however has largely been positive of Trump since he won the nomination. On Thursday night, Pataki noted he had hoped President Obama would be successful as well.

“Let’s hope that as Americans he has a great term,” he said.