President Barack Obama largely backed Senate efforts to bring about comprehensive immigration reform, but departed from the framework in some key ways.

The most notable differences: Whether to make a path to citizenship for undocumented immigrants conditional on further tightening the nation’s borders, treating same-sex couples the same as straight couples.

John Kerry was confirmed as secretary of state in a 94-3 vote.

Mayor Bloomberg proposed a $70.1 billion budget for fiscal 2014 – his last in office – that closes a $1.1 billion deficit without tax hikes or layoffs. (Read the summary here).

Bloomberg has just retained three Republican lobbyists to press Congress on new gun control measures. (One is also working on the mayor’s immigration reform push).

Yahoo Factbox: “New York’s Catholic Gov. Cuomo Faces Abortion Dilemma.”

John Catsimatidis is officially a candidate for mayor of NYC.

“I am not a Michael Bloomberg billionaire,” he said. “I’m not wearing $5,000  suits.”

The state Teacher’s Retirement System is taking a wait-and-see approach on Cuomo’spension smoothing plan.

Both houses of the Legislature have issued their analyses of Cuomo’s $142 billion budget proposal for the fiscal year starting in April. Not surprisingly, the Senate’s assessment is more critical.

An apparent technical glitch allowed the first glimpse into JCOPE’s frequent closed-door meetings, revealing a private discussion among commissioners about when and whether they should recuse themselves from cases.

Disembodied voice of JCOPE commissioner: “I think this is a good lesson, if we want to recuse ourselves, we ought to recuse ourselves. If we are not going to recuse ourselves, the less said the better.”

Kristin Davis (AKA the “Manhattan Madam”) hopes her NYC mayoral candidacy “is like that of William F. Buckley Jr. who ran for Mayor as the Conservative Party candidate in 1965.”

With a regulatory deadline for the state’s proposed hydrofracking regulations less than a month away, state Health Commissioner Nirav Shah is staying mum on his agency’s analysis of the potential health impacts.

Cuomo wouldn’t be surprised if his approval rating takes a hit – as predicted by Fred Dicker – as a result of the SAFE Act.

The governor’s picks for the Gaming Commission have surfaced, but the agency’s seven-member board of directors will not be in place when its lights are officially turned on Feb. 1.

Rockland County executive candidate/Suffern Mayor Dagan LaCourte tries to explain and/or clarify a number of issues with a full-page newspaper ad.

“Our purpose is simple: we are ready to work for Hillary (Clinton) to be president when she  is ready to run,” said the founder of the Ready for Hillary PAC.

Clinton plans to write (yet another) memoir.

The Assembly voted to renew a popular NYC property-tax abatement and tax-exemption program that expired in 2011, but changed the law to allow only primary residences to participate. (The Senate already acted, and the measure heads to the governor’s desk).

The Daily News is in search of the posterior that caught Hizzoner’s attention.

More on the impending changes at CNN, which includes the imminent arrival of Cuomo’s brother, Chris.

Pundit power couple James Carville and Mary Matalin will not be continuing their contracts with the 24-news channel.

About four in 10 Americans think Streep should play the outgoing-Secretary of State in a Clinton biopic, according to a CBS News/Vanity Fair poll.

Brilly Willy!”