Happy April Fool’s Day! And, if you’re in WNY, Happy Dyngus Day!

It should be a quiet week (fingers crossed) in Albany, as the Legislature is on vacation after its marathon budget bill passing spree last week.

Gov. Andrew Cuomo is, as predicted, on the road for ceremonial budget signings. He’ll be in Erie County (but not, technically speaking, for Dyngus Day) at UB’s Harriman Hall (3435 Main St.) at noon.

And at 2:15 p.m., he’ll do the whole thing over again at the Rochester Riverside Convention Center’s Lilac Ballroom, 123 East Main St.

UPDATE: The governor has cancelled his WNY stops for the day. A Cuomo spokesman told me bad weather is to blame, and said the trip will likely be rescheduled in the near future.

Tough life for Mayor Bloomberg today. He’ll be attending the home openers for the Yankees (1:05 p.m., Yankee Stadium, the Bronx) and the Mets (2:45 p.m., Citi Field, Queens).

At 10:30 a.m., GOP NYC mayoral candidate Joe Lhota will a press conference on public safety on the steps of City Hall in lower Manhattan.

NYC Council members and youth activists from civil rights, community, education, immigration and minority groups rally to coincide with the ongoing federal trial challenging the NYPD’s “stop-and-frisk” searches; 1 p.m., Foley Square, Centre and Pearl streets, Manhattan.


In an effort to build public support for reining in the flood of money in politics, advocates of overhauling New York’s fund-raising laws will spend over $800,000 on a new ad campaign that starts today.

In a Newsday OpEd, Cuomo writes that the 2013-14 budget is “yet another installment” in the process to transform New York into a pro-growth, business friendly state – despite the fact that many business groups have criticized it.

In a dueling TU OpEd, state GOP Chairman Ed Cox goes on the attack, writing: “Today is April Fools’ Day. We’re two years and three months into the Andrew Cuomo era, and so far this administration feels like a giant prank.”

With Cuomo’s poll numbers down, GOP strategists have been talking with at least five potential 2014 challengers: Westchester County Executive Rob Astorino, 2010 state comptroller candidate Harry Wilson, Rep. Chris Gibson, Dutchess County Executive Marc Molinaro, and Chautauqua County Executive Greg Edwards, the 2010 GOP candidate for LG.

Cuomo might veto nearly 1,900 old pork projects included in the new budget. He says the $28.7 million is actually new money.

IDC leader Jeff Klein has vowed to fight for legislative approval of NYC’s stalled push to use cameras to bust leadfooted motorists.

A “highly-placed political source” tells the NY Post’s Fred Dicker than Cuomo is “paralyzed with indecision” over what to do about fracking.

As the Assembly continues to balk on lifting the MMA ban, Joseph Brady, an aide to Assemblyman Peter Abbate, fought in the amateur “Cage Wars 18” at the Washington Avenue Armory against an Albany tattoo-parlor owner.

A foot chase in Buffalo yesterday ended with the arrest of an 18 year old man who had a 9mm pistol with a 12-round magazine.

Psychiatrists, county officials and law enforcement are questioning a portion of the SAFE Act that requires them to take steps that could lead to firearms being seized from potentially dangerous people they encounter or counsel.

Sen. Chuck Schumer sidestepped questions about whether Bloomberg’s $12 million ad campaign targeting Democratic senators on gun control is doing more harm than good.

The Bloomberg administration has quietly preserved more of New York City’s architecture than any of his predecessors, redefining how historic sites are protected and putting in an additional measure of control over development.

NYC Public Advocate and mayoral hopeful Bill de Blasio, who has long rallied against people who do business with Iran, accepted a check last month from a wealthy Democratic donor with a lucrative real-estate deal with a Russian oligarch suspected of funding the construction of an Iranian nuclear plant.

The NYC mayoral hopefuls are spending a lot of uncomfortable quality time together as they participate in near nightly forums and debates.

Friday marks the initial deadline the state legislative ethics commission faced to take action based on a report about Brooklyn Assemblyman Vito Lopez’s sexual harassment scandal.

The WSJ slams the minimum wage deal, writing: “Even if Republicans weren’t willing to oppose the higher minimum wage because it does well in the polls, couldn’t they have at least insisted on a teenage exclusion or sub-minimum wage?”

EJ McMahon condemns the “rotten eggs” in the budget, which he insists will cost taxpayers even though they “waddle and quack like tax cuts.”

Senate GOP leader Dean Skelos insists that complaints from all sides on the new budget indicate “we’ve struck a balance.”

The Syracuse Post-Standard notes that taxpayers win some and lose some in the new budget.

The House Majority PAC continues to target Staten Island Rep. Michael Grimm.

Officials from the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey are confident they can engineer a turnaround at Atlantic City International Airport, even though a similar effort in Newburgh has so far failed to bear fruit.

A judge devoted 30 lines of explicit legal instruction in a rejection of the Town of Amherst’s $30 million lawsuit against the state on how the town should compel the state insurance agency to pay the town the money it’s owed.

Facing an $8.9 million dollar deficit, the Newburgh school district is mulling the closure of several schools.

Cardinal Timothy Dolan said that the Roman Catholic Church could be more welcoming of gay men and lesbians despite opposing same-sex marriage.

Age, size and shaky ownership have combined to keep the Hotel Syracuse from returning to its past glory as the place to stay in Syracuse, or at least some other use.