Here And Now
Gov. Andrew Cuomo is in Albany with no public schedule. He’s no doubt waiting to see whether the Assembly manages to pass the gun control package the Senate approved late last night.
NYSAFE – the New York Secure Ammunition and Firearms Enforcement Act – passed the Senate 43-18. The “no” votes were cast by the following Republicans:
Greg Ball, John Bonacic, John DeFrancisco, Hugh Farley, Patrick Gallivan, Bill Larkin, Tom Libous, Betty Little, Kathy Marchione, George Maziarz, Mike Nozzolio, Tom O’Mara, Michael Ranzenhofer, Patty Ritchie, Joe Robach, Jim Seward and Cathy Young.
Sen. Lee Zeldin, a Long Island Republican, was absent last night. He was excused for National Guard training. But he issued a statement saying he found the SAFE Act flawed and would have voted “no” had he been in Albany.
Assuming the Assembly manages to pass SAFE, Cuomo will succeed in his goal (which he insists is not, in fact, his goal) of being the first governor in the nation to act on gun control since the Dec. 14, 2012 Newtown, Conn. massacre.
The governor issued a message of necessity for the SAFE Act, enabling the Legislature to circumvent the normally required three-day aging process for bills.
He said he saw no time like the present to act, and also wanted to avoid a “run” on gun shops of would-be firearms owners anxious to purchase automatic weapons and high-capacity magazines before they’re banned. (The act will take effect immediately upon receiving Cuomo’s signature).
That logic doesn’t exactly hold, since the gun-buying spree Cuomo said he’s so worried about is already well underway and has been for several weeks now – basically since the words “gun control” were first uttered after Newtown.
At any rate, newly-minted Assembly Majority Leader Joe Morelle, a Cuomo loyalist, said last night that lawmakers in his chamber wanted more time to review the act before voting on it. “I’m think the governor understands our need,” he said.
It will be deeply ironic if the Democrat-dominated Assembly doesn’t manage to pass the gun control package after the deeply divided Senate did so – passing with flying colors (at least in the governor’s mind) Test No. 1 of the new power-sharing coalition between the IDC and the GOP?
That’s probably not going to happen, but we’ll be monitoring the situation in the Assembly closely – just in case. Session is at 10 a.m.
In the meantime, these events are also happening today…
At 8:30 a.m., NYC Council Speaker/mayoral hopeful Christine Quinn will deliver an education policy speech. The New School’s Wollman Hall, 65 W. 11th St., Fifth Floor, Manhattan.
At 9:30 a.m., SUNY Chancellor Nancy Zimpher delivers her annual State of SUNY address. Lewis A. Swyer Theatre at The Egg, Empire State Plaza, Albany.
Sen. Malcolm Smith, the IDC’s newest member, will be in Washington, D.C. today to meet with Sens. Kirsten Gillibrand, Rep. Pete King and other members of the NY congressional delegation who are lobbying for federal Sandy aid. (He’s co-chair of the Senate Bipartisan Task Force on Sandy Recovery).
AG Eric Schneiderman is holding a hearing on his proposed disclosure requirements for nonprofits that engage in electioneering. 11 a.m. (with 11:45 a.m. media availability by the AG), 250 Broadway, 19th Floor, Room 1923. Manhattan.
Also at 11 a.m., the Assembly will hold a public hearing to examine the re-development of the “I Love New York” brand and its potential impact on other new initiatives aimed at spurring growth in the state’s $53.8 billion travel and tourism industry. Hearing Room B, LOB, Albany.
Members of Cuomo’s cabinet are continuing to deliver versions of his State of the State address across New York. Eight mini-speeches are scheduled for today, including one by LG Bob Duffy at 1 p.m. at HVCC’s Siek Campus Center, Exhibition Room 80, Vandenburgh Avenue, Troy.
At 8 p.m., the Rev. Al Sharpton’s National Action Network hosts a forum for the candidates angling to replace Mayor Bloomberg. 106 West 145th St., at Malcolm X Blvd., Harlem.
Cuomo isn’t the only potential Democratic 2016 White House contender pushing the gun control issue.
Down in Washington, President Obama will embrace a comprehensive plan to reduce gun violence that will call for major legislation to expand background checks for gun purchases and lay out 19 separate actions the president could take by invoking the power of his office.
In the wake of the Christmas Day Webster shooting, Rep. Louise Slaughter has been appointed to the Gun Violence Prevention Task Force – a group of U.S. House Democrats that will participate in talks about federal reforms to gun control laws.
Mayor Bloomberg took his push for tougher gun control to Baltimore as his Mayors Against Illegal Guns group release a report accusing the gun lobby of suppressing data on gun violence, launched a new TV ad featuring victims’ families, and hosted events across the country headlined by mayors.
Most Americans support tough new measures to counter gun violence, including banning assault weapons and posting armed guards at every school, according to a new Washington Post-ABC News poll.
In Newtown yesterday, several victims’ parents and their neighbors said they had formed a nonprofit group to promote policies that deter gun violence. It’s called the Sandy Hook Promise.
As police investigate a burglary over the weekend in White Plains, Public Safety Commissioner David Chong said it’s premature to suggest that the house was targeted because a resident there is listed on a map of pistol permit holders published last month by The Journal News.
The “Quick Start” process, in which the governor and lawmakers are supposed to get a jump on the budget, was shelved this year by the Cuomo administration, which cited the chaos caused by Superstorm Sandy as an excuse.
In his strongest fund-raising showing yet, former NYC Comptroller Bill Thompson, who lost the 2009 mayor’s race to Bloomberg, announced that his campaign had collected more than $1 million in the last six months.
No one in the Senate seemed certain who was actually in charge last night as the SAFE act passed, but it apparently didn’t matter.
Embattled Assemblyman Vito Lopez returned to work in Albany yesterday. He looked pale and tired, but remained combative as he railed about the sexual harassment charges lodged against him and vowed that he won’t back down because of them.
Joe Lhota: “I would not have left the MTA, a job and a position that I loved, if I wasn’t going to run for mayor of New York.”
Michael Powell: “Bloomberg’s got separation anxiety and a lot of aides telling him the city cannot get along without him,” says a person who is familiar with the mayor’s world and eager not to be exiled by speaking on the record. “It’s complete self-absorption.”
Thousands of New York City parents are scrambling to plan alternative rides to school for their children after the main bus drivers’ union said it would strike Wednesday in a dispute over job protections.
An attorney for Kerry Kennedy says there will be no plea bargain in the driving-while-drugged case against her. She’s expected in North Castle Town Court today.
Sales-tax revenue for state and local governments grew 2.1 percent in 2012 – a modest gain compared to 2011. But that wasn’t the case in Chemung County, which had led the state in sales tax growth for several years because of the fracking underway across the border in Pennsylvania.
The state is defending its labeling of the Hudson River near the Indian Point nuclear power plant as critical wildlife habitat as owner Entergy Nuclear makes a bid in court to reverse the classification.
Rep. Richard Hanna joined about two dozen Republicans and Democrats who agreed to try to break the gridlock in Congress by meeting monthly to find common ground. Rep. Michael Grimm is also a member.
Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton will testify Jan. 23 before the House Foreign Affairs Committee about the deadly Sept. 11 assault on the US mission in Libya.
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