Here And Now – End of Session Craziness Edition (Updated)
Gov. Andrew Cuomo is in Albany with no public schedule.
It was a late night at the Capitol, but the Legislature still hasn’t passed everything on the table and will be back in session today.
Also, according to a source, the Assembly had submitted some chapter amendments to bill drafting early this morning.
That means that as long as Cuomo sticks to his guns on the “no messages of necessity” pledge, lawmakers would be back at it either this weekend – doubtful, given Speaker Sheldon Silver’s observance of the Jewish Sabbath from sundown tonight (longest day of the year, by the way) to sundown tomorrow – or this coming Monday.
Remember: The longer they’re in town, the greater the chance of some unexpected last-minute stuff popping up. Like, say, an early-morning bill that exempts retired law enforcement officers from the new gun control law known as the SAFE Act, which passed the Senate in a 49-14 vote shortly before 2 a.m.
The measure, which divided the GOP conference and sparked fierce debate on the Senate floor, has already passed the Assembly, and now heads to the governor’s desk. He has given no indication that he intends to sign anything amending what he considers his top achievements not only this session, but since he took office.
Another surprise that took place in the Senate: The IDC and the so-called “regular” Democrats managed to put aside their differences long enough to jointly back a campaign finance reform hostile amendment.
The measure failed thanks to Sens. Ruben Diaz Sr., who was just being his contrarian self, and Malcolm Smith – a former IDCer who, thanks to his federal indictment on corruption charges, is a man without a conference.
After the vote, the IDC and the Democrats returned to their regularly scheduled war of words.
Lawmakers will be back at it this morning. (The Senate is due in session at 10 a.m., the Assembly at 9 a.m.)
Also scheduled to occur…
At 10 a.m., ex-Rep. Ed Towns will endorse Brooklyn D.A. Charles “Joe” Hynes for re-election on the steps of Kings County Supreme Court, 360 Adams Street, Brooklyn.
At 11 a.m., there will be a ribbon-cutting ceremony for the new Au Bon Pain on the Empire State Plaza (located in the old Pastabilities at the museum end of the concourse). OGS Deputy Commissioner Gail Hammond will attend.
At 2 p.m., according to a press release, ex-Sen. Shirley Huntley will be giving a “tell all” interview to political commentator Roy Paul at the Edge Bar Lounge, 125-32 Merrick Blvd, Jamaica, Queens. UPDATE: This interview is actually taking place tomorrow. Mea culpa.
Assembly Democrats shut down GOP critics who tried to use a debate on the Women’s Equality Act to paint Silver as a hypocrite for his handling of the Vito Lopez scandal.
Assemblyman Steve Katz claimed the Democrats shut off his microphone when he brought up the Lopez mess on the floor. Silver insisted that was not the case.
Silver and the Lopez case has become an issue in the Westchester county executive race.
It’s Sen. Jeff Klein’s turn to be majority leader today. Expect a procedural maneuver by supporters of the Women’s Equality Act to try to get the abortion rights bill to the floor for a vote.
Officially speaking, the Senate plans to take up nine of the 10 Women’s Equality Act bills (all BUT abortion) today. The Assembly passed the omnibus package yesterday, and has no intention of taking up the individual bills at this point.
A bill that would allow Rockland County to borrow up to $96 million to cover its deficit passed the Senate with no debate at about 1:30 a.m. and now awaits Cuomo’s signature.
On tap to be passed today by the Legislature: Start-Up NY, which used to be Tax Free-NY.
Mayor Stephanie Miner said she had high hopes that Syracuse would save money under Cuomo’s proposal to make arbitrators consider city finances when they settle contract disputes involving police and fire unions, but she’s disappointed with the final product. (The Legislature is expected to pass the bill today).
Barbra Streisand used her first-ever public performance in Israel to push Hillary Clinton’s yet nonexistent 2016 presidential bid.
Clinton made a quick, low-profile visit to Boston this week, where she had a speaking engagement and dined with Mayor Thomas Menino.
Sheila Abdus-Salaam was sworn in as the first black woman on New York’s highest court after high praise and gentle ribbing from US Attorney General Eric Holder about their days in law school.
While he maintained he supported a right to choose abortion during the last election cycle, Republican Rep. Chris Gibson was condemned by a reproductive health group for voting for a bill that would ban most abortions after 20 weeks.
Democratic NYC mayoral hopeful Anthony Weiner presented an ambitious plan to create a Medicare-like system for the coverage of municipal workers, retirees and uninsured immigrant residents left out of the Affordable Care Act.
Acknowledging that NYC election officials say they cannot count votes cast on electronic machines fast enough to smoothly administer this year’s mayoral election, the Legislature voted to allow the city to redeploy its old lever voting machines, and delay a runoff – should one occur – by one week.
The self-proclaimed Ku Klux Klansman who was building a mobile death ray machine to kill Muslims also had a government target — Gov. Cuomo.
New York’s unemployment rate fell from 7.8 percent to 7.6 percent between April and May, the lowest level since February 2009 and on par with the national rate, according to the state Labor Department.
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