Extras

A NYT investigation found Assembly Speaker Carl Heastie benefitted from his mother’s embezzling, failing to sell an apartment purchased with ill-gotten gains when directed by a judge, and then profitting when he finally did so.

The schedule for Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s 25-hour trade mission to Cuba includes a “working lunch” with Rodrigo Malmierca Diaz, Cuba’s Minister of Trade and Foreign Investments, and a meeting with the country’s first vice president, Miguel Diaz-Canel.

The governor’s Flickr page has some photos of his trip.

Onondaga County Republican Committee Chairman Tom Dadey was among Republicans blasting Cuomo’s trip to Cuba, calling it shortsighted and ill-advised.

Republican Assemblywoman Nicole Malliotakis, a Staten Islander whose mother is a Cuban exile, said any efforts to normalize relations must be accompanied by significant concessions from the Castro regime.

Former Spring Valley Mayor Noramie Jasmin was found guilty of selling her vote for a 50-percent ownership in a community center-catering hall offered by a Monsey developer working as an undercover FBI operative.

Was former Gov. David Paterson’s criticism of US Attorney Preet Bharara planted, encouraged or otherwise influenced by Cuomo?

New York City’s subway system carried 1.75 billion customers last year, as ridership grew by the highest annual amount in more than 65 years, according to new figures released by the MTA.

Supporting District Attorney Daniel Donovan’s bid for Congress and his handling of the explosive Eric Garner case, former Mayor Rudy Giuliani will host a fundraiser for the Republican candidate next weekend.

At least 14 former state lawmakers are currently collecting a state pension despite being convicted of a crime.

Kentucky Sen. Rand Paul is soliciting information regarding the Clinton Foundation’s acceptance of contributions from foreign governments in his latest move to cast doubt on the former secretary of state’s candidacy.

The New York Times, The Washington Post and Fox News have made exclusive agreements with a conservative author for early access to his opposition research on Clinton – a move that has confounded members of her campaign and some reporters.

Assemblywoman Margaret Markey wants Pope Francis to meet with survivors of sexual abuse when he visits New York in September.

Republican Assemblyman Anthony Palumbo has told county Republican leaders he is taking a “hard look” at challenging Democratic County Executive Steve Bellone this fall and will make a final decision by next week.

The Shooters Committee on Political Education wrote an open letter to Senate Republicans, accusing senators of reneging on their pledge to not support a budget that includes SAFE Act funding.

Declaring traffic tie-ups of up to three hours “unacceptable,” Sen. Chuck Schumer vowed to wield his “clout” to help fund a $64 million proposal for widening the U.S. plaza at the Lewiston-Queenston Bridge.

Two LLCs connected to Leonard Litwin’s Glenwood Management donated a total of $5,000 to state Assembly candidate Shirley Paterson, who is running for former Assemblyman Karim Camara’s seat and is backed by the powerful Brooklyn Democratic Party.

The fight against mixed martial arts has escalated, with a group of prominent New York Jewish leaders saying that legalizing the controversial sport could benefit a major anti-Israel force.

Here are this year’s Pulitzer Prize winners, which include Buffalo News cartoonist Adam Zyglis, who won for editorial cartooning.

POLITICO publisher Robert Allbritton has set a goal of tripling the size of the company in four years, POLITICO co-founders Jim VandeHei and John Harris said in a staff memo today.

A Saranac Lake teacher finished a 150-mile protest march to the state Capitol today.

New York Democrats Fundraise Off Walker Fundraiser

The New York Democratic state committee on Monday blasted a fundraiser being held in Manhattan today for Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker — and sought to raise some money themselves.

Walker, a likely Republican candidate for president, is common fodder for liberals after he gained national prominence for his fights with labor unions in his state and his support from Charles and David Koch.

“He is an enemy of hard-working American families, and his values are NOT New York values. It’s that simple,” wrote the party’s new executive director Basil Smikle. “He stands against the rights of workers in his home state and everywhere. Although everyone is welcome here in New York, his wrongheaded, ultra-conservative policies are not.”

Walker has pursued tough policies against organized labor.

In New York, Democratic Gov. Andrew Cuomo has a decidedly mixed record with labor unions as well. Cuomo has bolstered support among private-sector unions that represent builders, construction and health-care interests like 1199 SEIU as well as the Hotel Trades Council.

However, Cuomo was not endorsed by the AFL-CIO’s state chapter. He remains at odds with the statewide teachers union, NYSUT, over his education policies included in the state budget that seek to weaken tenure.

At the same time, Cuomo angered rank-and-file public employees at the Civil Service Employees Association and the Public Employees Federation for pushing less generous labor contracts that expire or have expired this year.

Cuomo in 2013 also pushed through a new, less generous pension level, Tier Six.

Still, Cuomo has not pursued labor measures to the extent that Walker has, such as right-to-work laws.

Good-Government Groups: Don’t Stock Review Panel With ‘Usual Suspects’

A coalition of good-government groups on Monday urged Gov. Andrew Cuomo and legislative leaders to not stock a review commission charged with reporting on the workings of the ethics regulators with the “usual suspects” who will rubberstamp any findings.

In a letter to Cuomo and Senate and Assembly leaders, the groups write that the review panel should be conducted in a transparent process and put the public interest first in conducting its work.

“In making these recommendations, we urge you to go beyond the “usual suspects” that are often appointed on public commissions, and ask that the appointees publicly pledge to put the interests of the public ahead of their appointing authorities,” the groups write. “Moreover, the review panel’s work must be conducted as openly as possible in order to help build public support for whatever measures the panel recommends.”

The panel would review the workings of both the Legislative Ethics Commission and the Joint Commission on Public Ethics. The commission would be charged with reviewing how effective those institutions are and what changes can be made.

The good-government groups see room for improvement.

“Even when compared to the rest of the nation, New York’s ethics enforcement ranks poorly: In a 2012 comparison of state ethics laws, New York’s ethics enforcement received a grade of ‘F,'” the groups wrote.

Ideal commission members would be those who have not been lobbying or working for a lobbying shop for the last five years, have been involved in political consulting in the last five years or have held elected office during that time.

The review commission was actually supposed to be in place in 2013, with a report due more than a year ago. The state budget agreement last month included new deadlines of forming the panel by May 1, with an eye toward releasing a report by Nov. 1.

Merged Release and Letter Review Panel by Nick Reisman

Funke Bill Would Repeal The Yacht And Airplane Tax Break

When it comes to the tax breaks for boats and aircraft in the state budget, Rochester-area Republican Sen. Rich Funke appears to be having some buyer’s remorse.

Funke on Monday announced he was introducing a bill that would repeal the tax break, which exempts sales tax when it comes to the purchase of boats and aircraft of more than $230,000.

In a legislative memorandum attached to the bill, Funke notes sales tax breaks can serve a justifiable purpose when contributing to a greater societal good, such as clean energy.

“Sales tax exemptions should not be used however, to provide benefits to a very few New Yorkers who can afford a particular product, while producing no discernible job creation benefit,” the bill memo states. “The sales tax exemption for certain yachts and planes is bad public policy. Tax reductions should be broad based and above-all they should provide benefits to average
hard working New Yorkers.”

Senate Majority Leader Dean Skelos has defended the tax break, which he said could help generate jobs and make New York more competitive with states like Florida.

At the same time, the tax break is seen as a potential boon to boat builders and airplane manufacturers, as well as those who operate marinas and airports around the state.

The measure is seen as considerably bad optics as lawmakers did not take up a minimum wage increase in this year’s budget — a fact that hasn’t escape liberal critics who had pushed for the wage hike.

Senate Democrats, too, noted that Funke backed the budget as whole before calling for a repeal of the sales tax break.

“I’m not sure who Senator Funke thinks he is fooling,” Senate Democratic spokesman Mike Murphy said. “Less than a month ago he voted for this outrageous tax break rather than a minimum wage increase and now he is trying to fool the voters into thinking he wants to repeal it. In four short months Funke has proven he will say one thing in his district and then once in Albany he will go along with his Republican colleagues no matter how much it hurts the people of New York.”

Updated: Jesse Sleezer, a spokesman for Funke, responded to the criticism from Senate Democrats.

“Every single Democrat Senator had the opportunity to take-on the Yacht Tax Break after the Budget and only Senator Funke stepped to the plate. Talk is cheap, especially when it’s hot air, so while partisan Democrats play political games in Albany, Senator Funke will be busy standing up for Monroe and Ontario counties.”

2015 Yacht Tax Break Repeal Memo by Nick Reisman

Cuomo: Isolation Of Cuba Is Not Working

Gov. Andrew Cuomo on Monday defended his trade mission to Cuba, telling reporters on a plane ride there that decades of isolation haven’t moved the country toward improvement on both economics and human rights.

“After 50 years of isolation with no change, maybe you start to think we should go to plan B,” Cuomo said.

The trip is part of a suite of trade missions Cuomo plans in the coming months, with trips being set for countries like Italy, China and Mexico later on.

Cuomo’s trip is meant to expand business opportunities for New York-based companies, though he reiterated today that he hopes the Communist-led country begins to change its posture on human rights issues.

“There is no doubt that Cuba has more progress to make on human rights,” Cuomo said. “There is no doubt that Cuba has progress to make on LGBT rights and relationships.”

But for the most part, Cuomo does not expect human rights discussions to dominate the 24-hour trip to the country.

“When it comes up and its appropriate, we will,” he said when asked if he will initiate talk on human rights with Cuban leaders. “The business people on this plane are not diplomats. They’re here to talk about business.”

Cuomo had previously insisted the trip would focus strictly on business and expanding New York companies into the new Cuban market.

Cuomo today is due to meet with Rodrigo Malmierca Díaz, the Cuban minister of trade and foreign investments. In addition, he is expected to hold a private meeting with First Vice President Miguel Diaz-Canel.

Cuomo is traveling with a contingent of New York business representatives, including MasterCard, Jet Blue and Chobani.

The governor said he expects that as the U.S. begins to normalize relations with Cuba, the emerging market will be a fast one to open.

“I have no doubt that Cuba is going to be an exciting market to be in for business,” Cuomo said, adding, “I believe the unfolding of the market will happen in a shorter period of time than a longer period of time.”

Cuomo noted that his late father, former Gov. Mario Cuomo, called for an end to the embargo of Cuba in 1996.

“Isolation is not working,” Cuomo said. “It’s not having the desired effect. Go to plan B.”

Paterson: Preet’s Great, But…

Former Gov. David Paterson in a radio interview on Monday qualified his recent criticism of U.S. Attorney Preet Bharara’s tactics, calling the hard-charging prosecutor “fantastic” when it comes to pursuing public corruption.

But at the same time, Paterson criticized Bharara on Fred Dicker’s Talk-1300 radio show for his public comments critical of Albany writ large.

“The U.S. attorney in my opinion has been fantastic,” Paterson said in the interview this morning. “He has an excellent grasp of when to take matters forward and when not to.”

But Paterson, the state Democratic Committee chairman, reiterated his criticism of Bharara, first made on a Binghamton radio station last week.

Paterson noted he’s not the only one to criticize Bharara: A federal judge knocked the prosecutor for public comments made after the arrest of Assemblyman Sheldon Silver on corruption charges, saying they walk “up against the line” of appropriate.

Bharara has criticized what he sees as a culture of pervasive corruption in Albany as well as the so-called “three-men-in-a-room” style of budget negotiations.

“Some of his comments were beyond the pale,” Paterson said. “The way government works is something prosecutors always seem to want to talk about but they’ve never seemed to be in these positions.”

Paterson added: “I think the prosecutors play to the media sometimes.”

Paterson’s comments come as Senate Majority Leader Dean Skelos has confirmed he’s cooperating with a federal investigation being conducted by Bhararas office.

The former governor, who led the Senate Democrats as minority leader before running on Eliot Spitzer’s gubernatorial ticket, called the Skelos news “sad.”

A factor in the investigation is Glenwood Management. The New York Times reported last week the company itself is not under investigation, but its longtime principle is Leonard Litwin, a prolific campaign donor.

Paterson praised Litwin as a “gentleman” and “one of the best dressed men you’ll ever meet.”

He also decried the amount of money in politics, which he said has an impact on politicians.

“When people give you a lot of money and they call you on the phone and you’re not listening more clearly than usual, I think you’re kidding yourself,” Paterson said. “You tend to react to people who are filling your campaign coffers.”

Paterson’s own tenure as governor ran afoul of ethics violations, including the acceptance of complimentary Yankees tickets. But Paterson questioned some public corruption cases in general for their level of severity.

“All I’m saying just so people understand — there are crimes, they’re easy to understand, I think some of these charges are so complicated that it’s hard to figure out if they’re crimes or ethics violations that the person should be punished, but not put behind bars,” Paterson said.

Republicans Pounce On Cuba Trip

From the Morning Memo:

The New York State Republican Committee on Monday plans to staunchly criticize Gov. Andrew Cuomo for taking a state delegation of business representatives and lawmakers to Cuba.

In a statement to be released later this morning, the GOP committee is turning to its finance chairman, Arcadio Casillas, whose family left Cuba after falling victim to the Castro regime.

“Years ago, my father was murdered by the Castros and I risked my life to escape,” Casillas says in the statement. “People continue to do so today. To give this regime legitimacy is counterproductive to the global cause of advancing human rights and human dignity and does not belong on the agenda of any governor or elected official, regardless of the insensitive, amoral and unilateral position of the White House. We urge the governor to rethink this adventure in light of his constituents and of its far-reaching negative implications.”

Casillas called the trip an “amoral disaster” that remains “a police state, political dissidents are imprisoned and tortured, and the Castro regime has suppressed Cubans and created poverty and disharmony.”

The statement underscores the tricky politics of Cuba’s trip the country as the U.S. begins to normalize relations.

Cuomo has faced previous questions about Cuba’s history of human rights abuses as well as its past discriminatory policies toward gays and lesbians.

In his own statement released on Sunday night, Cuomo acknowledged the country must change, and that by opening it as a new market can be a new start.

“Like other places around the world that the U.S. engages with, there are strong policy disagreements between us on issues like human rights,” Cuomo said. “The U.S. shift in policy recognizes that engagement is far more likely to lead to change in policies we disagree with. Our trade mission is part of that new engagement. New York has proudly long been a leader on issues of equality and human rights and I agree with the President that engagement is the best way to promote democracy and bring about positive change, rather than continuing a failed policy of isolation.”

Cuomo is bringing a contingent of business representatives from New York-based companies, including Jet Blue, MasterCard, Chobani and Pfizer.

A trio of Democratic lawmakers are also set to go: Assembly Speaker Carl Heastie, Senate Minority Leader Andrea Stewart-Cousins and Senate IDC Leader Jeff Klein.

Republican Senate Majority Leader Dean Skelos, the state’s highest elected Republican, is not joining the delegation on the trade mission.

The Cuba trip is one several trade missions Cuomo is planning in his second term, with trips also planned for Israel, Japan and Mexico.

Top Lawmakers Often Under Prosecutors’ Scrutiny

From the Morning Memo:

The job of Senate Majority Leader is not an easy one.

And in recent years, the lawmaker occupying the top post in the state Senate has faced serious legal problems. Just ask Republican Joe Bruno.

“In my mind and in my heart it is not over until it’s over. And I think it is far from over,” Bruno said at the time of his second trial.

Bruno was eventually acquitted of the theft of honest services.

The same can’t be said for Democrats Malcolm Smith or Pedro Espada, both of whom were sentenced to jail time in separate corruption scandals. Senator John Sampson, meanwhile, is under indictment for embezzlement. All three happen to be former Senate leaders as well. Republican Deputy Senate Majority Leader Tom Libous faces a charge of lying to the FBI.

“We’re going to fight them. We’re going to fight them because I’ve spent the last 26 years working very hard for the people of the Southern Tier. I’m going to continue to do that,” Libous, a Binghamton Republican, said.

And then there’s Assemblyman Sheldon Silver, the former speaker who is under indictment and accused of taking bribes and kickbacks he masked as legal referrals.

“I am very confident I will be successful in the legal action and I will be exonerated,” Silver said in January.

And now another legislative leader is in the crosshairs of federal prosecutors, Senate Majority Leader Dean Skelos. Last month, Skelos didn’t directly negotiate ethics reforms with Gov. Andrew Cuomo, and instead let the talks be conducted by other lawmakers.

The investigations by U.S. Attorney Preet Bharara are seemingly targeting Albany’s proverbial three men in a room: the Assembly Speaker, the Senate Majority Leader and the governor. earlier this year Bharara criticized how power in state government can be centralized in only three men.

“If you’re one of the three men in a room you keep people in the dark because you can. You punish independent thinking, because you can. You demand lock step loyalty because you can,” said U.S. Attorney Preet Bharara in February.

Skelos hopes to avoid the fate of his last four predecessors and said in a statement this week he’s cooperating with the investigation.

Here and Now

Gov. Andrew Cuomo departs this morning for a two-day trade mission to Cuba, and will be in NYC and Havana. LG Kathy Hochul is in charge during his absence. She’ll be in Genesee, Monroe and Onondaga counties today, and will return to Albany this evening.

Hillary Clinton takes her 2016 campaign to New Hampshire today, after being the target there for potential GOP candidates over the weekend.

At 9:15 a.m., Hochul speaks at Genesee County Criminal Justice Day 2015, Genesee Community College, Conable Technology Building, 1 College Rd., Batavia.

At 9:45 a.m., Hochul tours PW Minor Company, which has plans to “re-shore” 100 jobs from China to Batavia, 3 Treadeasy Ave., Batavia.

At 11 a.m., SAGE chief of staff Patrick Aitcheson, AARP members and officials, Assemblywoman Linda Rosenthal, the public policy vice president of the Alzheimer’s Association’s city chapter, Hillary Stuchin, and residents who care for the elderly promote a proposal that would fund training of residents who care for the elderly at home; steps, City Hall, Manhattan.

At noon, Sen. Leroy Comrie, Assemblyman William Scarborough, NYC Council members and other community and government officials, promotes a legislative proposal that would prohibit advertising on state-owned property that includes “provocative content” that might promote risky behavior, underage drinking or unprotected sexual activity by minors; Hollis Avenue and 190th Street, Queens.

Also at noon, the NYS GOP hosts a lunch with Wisconsin Governor and potential 2016 candidate Scott Walker, Union League Club, 38 East 37th St., Manhattan.

At 2 p.m., Hochul and NYS DCJS officials make an announcement to protect vulnerable New Yorkers during Crime Victims’ Rights Week, Monroe County Public Safety Building, 6th Floor, 130 South Plymouth Ave., Rochester.

At 3 p.m., the 2015 Pulitzer prizewinners for 2015 will be announced, Columbia University, Manhattan.

At 4 p.m., NYC Mayor Bill de Blasio holds public hearings on, and then signs, Intros 421-A, 689-A, 690-A, 656, and 497-B, Blue Room, City Hall, Manhattan.

At 4:30 p.m., Hochul tours the Willis Carrier Recreation Center project, corner of Grover and Roby Avenue, East Syracuse.

At 6:30 p.m., Lawrence Lessig, Van Jones, Zephyr Teachout and MoveOn.org will host a talk on political corruption and why Massachusetts Sen. Elizabeth Warren should run for president, Civic Hall, 156 5th Ave., 2nd Floor, Manhattan.

At 7:30 p.m., local and state emergency officials and state National Guard troops lead a session of the governor’s “Citizen Preparedness Training Program”; On Your Mark Inc., 475 Victory Blvd., Staten Island.

Headlines…

Critics of Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s whirlwind Cuba trade mission say its timing – he’s the first US governor to visit the Communist country since the start of a thaw between the two nations – may diminish its economic value. Supporters say being first in line is key for New York, as is planting the seeds of a relationship that will blossom over time.

On the even of his departure, Cuomo issued a lengthy statement defending his trip, saying: “I agree with the President that engagement is the best way to promote democracy and bring about positive change, rather than continuing a failed policy of isolation.”

Though the Obama administration has started to normalize relations with the Communist country, it will take an act of Congress to repeal the trade embargo with Cuba, and most likely years for Cuba and the US to decide what shape their relationship will take. “This is going to be a process and not a fast process at that,” said Stefan M. Selig, the Commerce Department’s undersecretary for international trade.

Samples of treated wastewater, including those taken from six Western New York plants, show that plastic “microbeads” washed down sink and shower drains are passing straight through the facilities and into area waterways. That’s according to a first-of-its-kind study being released today by AG Eric Schneiderman.

A potential showdown is looming over a pair of NYC Council proposals that would decriminalize a host of offenses — including fare-beating, drinking on the street and public urination — in an overhaul that could dramatically impact the NYPD’s “broken windows” approach to policing.

Manhattan DA Cyrus Vance Jr. called on law-enforcement agencies to battle Apple and Google over software that makes it impossible for authorities to “decrypt” cellphones seized in criminal investigations.

It has not gone unnoticed in Albany that US Attorney Preet Bharara has been going after the children of his legislative targets in corruption cases – perhaps in hopes of getting some leverage over them. “The only time I’ve seen it this prevalent is when they’re going after organized crime families, and they’re trying to squeeze the bosses,” a former federal prosecutor said.

Despite repeated claims to the contrary, NYC Mayor Bill de Blasio is positioning himself to be the leftist “progressive” alternative to Hillary Clinton as the Democratic candidate for president, a national party operative told The NY Post’s Fred Dicker.

In his first public remarks since his wife announced her second White House run, former President Bill Clinton said: “I’m proud of her.”

An audit by the state comptroller’s office acknowledged that the state Education Department’s failure to pay state aid in a timely fashion was the leading cause of the Niagara Wheatfield Central School District’s recent fiscal crisis. But the Board of Education and past district administrations bear some blame because of their own financial decisions, too.

As Buffalo is mulling mayoral control of its troubled public school system, NYC provides a blueprint for how that might be successful. but other cities – like Detroit and Cleveland – have had disappointing results.

More >

The Weekend That Was

Gov. Andrew Cuomo is heading to Cuba tomorrow. He’ll be the first American governor to visit Cuba since the recent thaw in relations with the communist nation. Whether his trade mission generates anything more than headlines, however, remains to be seen.

While in Cuba, Cuomo will find himself in far more delicate diplomatic territory than he has ever encountered.

Hillary Clinton won’t be in New Hampshire for two more days, but she was the star of the show on Saturday as Republican presidential aspirants capped the state GOP’s two-day summit that attracted nearly the entire field to Nashua.

Former Maryland Gov. Martin O’Malley said his “executive experience” would make him a better president than Clinton.

Clinton is maintaining her years of silence on the Keystone XL pipeline — and environmental groups are increasingly divided on how hard they should push her to take a stand.

Clinton’s campaign has staffed up in South Carolina.

The former secretary of state’s recruitment of Gary Gensler, a former top federal Wall Street regulator, as her campaign’s chief financial officer was meant to show donors she is serious about avoiding the overspending that plagued her 2008 presidential campaign

Former Senator Jim Webb of Virginia, who formed an exploratory committee in November, jabbed at Clinton’s fundraising power, carefully constructed image, and lengthy public career during an appearance on CNN’s “State of the Union.” He said the country is suffering from “incumbent fatigue.”

Long Island Rep. Pete King, who is mulling a potential bid for the 2016 GOP nod, made yet another appearance in New Hampshire.

John Podhoretz thinks NYC Mayor Bill de Blasio’s refusal to endorse his former boss, Clinton, and his early criticism of her will backfire in the long run.

NYC Comptroller Scott Stringer says his “intention is to run for re-election” in 2017, and not to challenge de Blasio is a primary.

US Sen. Chuck Schumer is continuing to “withhold judgement” on the Obama administration’s nuclear deal with Iran until he learns both sides “carefully.”

The state test controversy has turned into the latest and bloodiest scrum between Cuomo and the state’s teachers’ unions. This time, experts say it could cost the governor some political clout in the Lower Hudson Valley and Long Island – the suburban birthplaces of a rapidly expanding movement that has mobilized thousands of parents and teachers.

The city of Yonkers and Cuomo are heading for a higher-stakes confrontation more than state-aid and the future of the Yonkers public schools.

NYC-funded animal shelters are overcrowded and administering medicine that’s more than a decade old to suffering creatures, according to a scathing new report unveiled by Stringer.

Charles Wait of Saratoga Springs has resigned from the New York Racing Association board effective immediately. No reason was given for his departure.

Building maintenance by the Hrynenko family, which owns several properties in the East Village, is at the center of the investigation into the gas explosion at 121 Second Avenue that killed two men and leveled three buildings.

An advocacy group released their assessment of de Blasio’s performance on education issues, giving him a “mixed” report card with letter grades ranging from A to F reflecting, how it views his effort on make good on campaign promises.

Nearly half the students in some Onondaga County public school districts are too fat, according to the state Health Department.

US Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand is making a strong push for a bill that would designate 25 schools as “manufacturing universities” and provide them with incentives to align their curriculum with the needs of modern manufacturers.

Only 17.7 percent of New York cabbies bothered to get an influenza vaccination, endangering themselves and their passengers, according to a new study.

An increase in the use of synthetic marijuana has sent more than 160 people to the hospital in New York since early April, Cuomo announced.

Republican Assemblyman Ray Walter will challenge Democratic Erie County Executive Mark Poloncarz this fall.

The state Department of Labor has notified more than 40 full-time and 2,500 part-time employees of Nassau Coliseum that they will be laid off this summer when the arena closes for renovations led by Brooklyn developer Bruce Ratner.

The number of breakfasts served in the nation’s schools has doubled in the last two decades, a surge driven largely by a change in how districts deliver the food.

The hotel-workers union is trying to steer a bill through the NYC Council to force hotels to get city permission before converting rooms into apartments. Critics have called it a misguided bid to protect union jobs at the expense of the rights of property owners.