Post-Holiday Here And Now (Updated)
Happy Boxing Day! I hope everyone had a relaxing, joyous Christmas.
Gov. Andrew Cuomo celebrated at the executive mansion in Albany, and he’s still here, but has no public schedule.
He did mention during a radio interview last week the possibility of a ski vacation in the North Country with his three daughters.
So far, there’s no word of a special session on gun control.
A number of swearing-in ceremonies for local and state elected officials are scheduled for
today and tomorrow and Friday.
UPDATE: Senator Kathy Marchione will be sworn in at 4 p.m. TOMORROW in the Senate chamber, third floor, state Capitol, Albany.
ON FRIDAY: Rep. Paul Tonko, Sen. Neil Breslin, Assemblymember-elect Patricia Fahy; Assemblymember-elect John T. McDonald III; Assemblymember-elect Angelo L. Santabarbara; and Assemblymember-Elect Phillip G. Steck will take their oaths of office. 4 p.m., Assembly Chamber, third floor, Capitol.
Tonight, President Obama will depart his native Hawaii, where he traveled for his annual family Christmas trip, and return to Washington to resume trying to get a fiscal cliff deal before Jan. 1. The First Lady and the “first daughters” will remain on the island.
Some headlines from this morning and the past several days…
Snow is on the way, albeit slightly late for a White Christmas.
The shooter was identified as William Spengler, 62, who served time in prison after a 1981 conviction in the suspicious death of his grandmother.
After the Webster shooting, which came 10 days after the Newtown massacre, Rep. Louise Slaughter said federal laws are needed to curb “out-of-control” gun violence.
NYS Rifle and Pistol Association President Thomas King said his organization will activate phone banks after Christmas asking gun owners to bombard Cuomo and legislators with phone calls and emails opposing new restrictions on firearms.
A military-style semiautomatic rifle that may be illegal in New York was the weapon used in a murder-suicide that took place early Sunday morning in Schaghticoke. (Subscription required for first link).
It appears the state probably would not be able to afford a gun buyback program, especially if gun industry experts’ estimates of how many assault files are actually owned in New York is correct.
Marlboro, NJ decided to arm security officers in its nine public schools after Newtown, Conn., shooting. This controversial decision was made by the mayor before the NRA recommended it.
Hunting advocates are hailing Cuomo’s decision to veto a bill that would have canceled an opportunity for youths to hunt during Columbus Day Weekend.
A law that allowed hunters to kill big game with crossbows during the regular firearms seasons in New York is expiring at the end of the year as a result of that veto.
The gun industry, including the NRA, contributed $121,900 to state legislative campaigns over the past two years. Most of that cash went to the Senate Republicans.
The industry has also contributed to the state Conservative Party.
NYC’s pension funds own nearly $18 million in firearms-related stock, and divesting of that is no easy task.
D.C. police say they are investigating an incident in which NBC News reporter David Gregory displayed what he described as a high-capacity ammunition magazine on “Meet the Press.”
The Capital Region’s congressional representatives remain hopeful that a deal can be struck over the next week to avoid an automatic rise in taxes as the new year dawns.
Lawmakers probably could enact a compromise quickly and easily if GOP House Speaker John Boehner let Democrats provide most of the votes.
Fifty percent of those surveyed in a new Gallup poll believe Obama and lawmakers will reach an agreement to avoid January’s set of tax increases and automatic spending cuts, while 48 percent are doubtful a deal will be reached in time.
Even if a 4 1/2-year moratorium on fracking in New York is lifted next year, some industry experts say there won’t be a boom in shale gas development.
New fracking regulations are expected to be released at the end of February.
Cuomo announced $250 million is available for a broad range of renewable energy generation projects – a “critical component” of his Energy Highway Blueprint plan to upgrade and modernize New York’s aging energy infrastructure.
Cuomo was able to accomplish much of the agenda he laid out in his 2012 State of the State address, but the speech will also be remembered for the big-ticket item that fell through: A plan to build the nation’s largest convention center in Queens.
A judge denied Brooklyn Assemblyman William Boyland Jr.’s latest request that taxpayers pick up the tab for his legal defense at his upcoming corruption trial.
Departing MTA Chairman and potential 2013 NYC mayoral candidate Joe Lhota: “My best quality is that I talk to everyone. My worst quality is that I talk to everyone.”
Michael Powell says Lhota should “guard against the optimism vapors,” noting another popular ex-MTA chief (Richard Ravitch) fared terribly in his mayoral run. (He’s also looking forward to the entertainment value of Lhota’s “unzipped lip”).
Ben Affleck took his name off the list of possible candidates for U.S. Sen. John Kerry’s seat, which will open when – as is widely expected – the Democratic senator from Massachusetts is confirmed as secretary of state.
The NY Post cheers Cuomo’s veto of a bill that would have resurrected the NYC OTB.
Bob McCarthy says Buffalo Mayor Byron Brown is in a “commanding position” as he prepares to seek re-election in 2013, although he won’t likely run unopposed.
Onondaga County GOP Chairman Tom Dadey has asked Sen. John DeFrancisco to think about running for mayor of Syracuse next year. The office’s current occupant, Democrat Stephanie Miner, has not yet said if she’ll run again.
The NYT says state Comptroller Tom DiNapoli’s audits have shown the state Education Department “clearly needs to do a better job” of overseeing special education for preschool students. But the Legislature also has a role to play.
Almost $2.4 million has been spent on the 46th Senate District race to date, making it the most expensive election in the Capital Region this year. Both sides say the cost was worth it.
Newly-minted Senate Minority Leader Andrea Stewart-Cousins has her work cut out for her. Her strategy in dealing with IDC leader Jeff Klein, whom she still hopes might return to the Democratic fold, is “to listen.”
Democratic Rep. Kathy Hochul has already has marked off most of the items on her leaving-Congress checklist. Her replacement, Congressman-elect Chris Collins, will be sworn in on Jan. 3.
Mayor Bloomberg unveiled a new initiative aimed at helping mentally ill New Yorkers who end up on the wrong side of the law. More than a third of the city’s jail inmates have some form of mental illness.
After a lengthy court battle, the Bloomberg administration has agreed to repay a total of nearly $230,000 to the vendors, who were overcharged for summonses going back as far as 2006.
The number of homicides in NYC this year is set to plunge to the lowest figure since recordkeeping began, registering an eye-popping 19 percent decline.
Buffalo Sabres fans are angry about the NHL lockout, but almost no one is canceling their season tickets.
A Queensbury business owner whose motorcycle seizure case generated statewide attention has filed a federal civil rights lawsuit against the state and numerous representatives of the DMV.
Alfred State College President John M. Anderson is stepping down March 31 to assume the presidency of Millersville University of Pennsylvania.
Dan Janison says it’s wrong to label 2013 an “off” year in NY politics.
The Auburn Citizen editorializes in favor of election reform.
Character actor Charles Durning, who died Monday in New York at the age of 89, got his start as an usher at a burlesque theater in Buffalo.
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