This user hasn't shared any biographical information
Posts by Liz Benjamin
Jan 23rd - 5:03 pm
President Trump formally abandoned the Trans-Pacific Partnership today, pulling away from Asia and scrapping his predecessor’s most significant trade deal on his first full weekday in office, administration officials said.
Sen. Bernie Sanders praised Trump for pulling out of the TPP, offering to work with him on the issue in the future.
In one of his first acts as president, Trump has reinstated a federal ban on U.S. funding for international health organizations that counsel women on family planning options that include abortion.
White House Press Secretary Sean Spicer said he believes that his job is to be honest with the public but said “sometimes we can disagree with the facts but our intention is never to lie.”
Trump reportedly brought his own cheering section to his meeting with the CIA workforce this past weekend.
A group of moderate Republican Senators have announced an Obamacare replacement plan that would give states the choice to pick a new health insurance system or keep the Affordable Care Act in place.
A “team of mules” would likely be unable to drag Hillary and Bill Clinton into ever running for office again, according to former Democratic Sen. Mark Pryor, of Arkansas, but that hardly means they’re done with politics.
New York City has agreed to pay up to $75 million to settle a federal class-action lawsuit that accused its Police Department of issuing hundreds of thousands of criminal summonses that were later found to be without legal justification, the city’s Law Department said.
Gov. Andrew Cuomo defended his Regional Economic Develompent Council competition amid criticisms from some lawmakers as he proposes funding for a seventh round. “(T)hey would rather dole out the money themselves as politicians rather than go through the (council) that is made up of business people, academics who are executing a real business plan,” the governor said.
In a speech to nearly 200 local residents and officials, Cuomo said he wants Empire State Development to “step up to the plate” in Niagara Falls, carrying out a multi-pronged plan to boost the Cataract City’s economy.
The state comptroller’s latest biennial summary report features a new section in its introduction devoted to what his office sees as a notable but unfortunate trend: “Agency Obstruction.”
Cuomo has hired prominent First Amendment lawyer Floyd Abrams to defend him against a federal lawsuit challenging a new law that requires politically active non-profit organizations to publicly disclose their donors.
EJ McMahon says Cuomo has reached a budget turning point.
Cuomo’s budget includes language tying aid and incentives to municipalities (AIM) funding to enactment of a law “regarding county-wide shared services property tax savings plans.”
“This initiative asks local governments to seek efficiencies and put a plan before their voters that helps lower property taxes,” Cuomo budget spokesman Morris Peters said. “This shouldn’t be controversial in any way. The bill language simply assures that the voice of the voters is heard.”
Most of the donors who helped Cuomo raise $4.4 million over the past six months were familiar ones. But there were 20 new contributors who hadn’t previously given to him since he took office as governor in 2011 and gave $25,000 or more from mid-July through mid-January.
DEC Commissioner Basil Seggos announced the release of the final Ocean Action Plan, the first-ever comprehensive 10-year blueprint to guide the protection and conservation of New York’s ocean resources from environmental threats such as ocean acidification due to climate change.
Premium cigars in New York could get a good bit cheaper in New York state if a tax change included Cuomo’s proposed budget gets adopted.
Cuomo announced the plans for a $15 million, “world-class” gondola that will carry 1,200 people an hour from the New York State Fairgrounds to the Onondaga Lakeview Amphitheater.
The New York State Fair will run 13 days this year, not 12, in anticipation of increased attendance and more amenities, fair officials said.
SUNY Chancellor Nancy Zimpher delivered her last State of SUNY address today.
Chief Judge Janet DiFiore previewed her first State of the Judiciary speech, which she will deliver next week.
Cuomo didn’t mention the epicenter of New York’s water-quality crisis during his State of the State tour, but he he quietly included proposals designed to prevent another Hoosick Falls-like scandal in his budget.
In a recent forum of the seven Democratic National Committee chair candidates, all of them, including Sen. Bernie Sanders-backed candidate Rep. Keith Ellison, refused to acknowledge the Democratic primaries were rigged in favor of Hillary Clinton.
Jan 23rd - 4:16 am
Gov. Andrew Cuomo has not yet posted a public schedule for the day.
At 8:30 a.m., the Educational Alliance unveils a mural featuring the opening lines of the Declaration of Independence in five languages at its flagship community center, Manny Cantor Center, 197 East Broadway, Manhattan.
At 9:45 a.m., Senate Majority Leader John Flanagan will be speaking to the New York State Association of County Clerks during their annual Legislative Conference, Desmond Hotel, Fort Orange Room, 660 Albany Shaker Rd., Albany.
At 10 a.m., SUNY Chancellor Nancy Zimpher delivers her annual – and final – State of the University Address, Lewis A. Swyer Theatre at The Egg, Empire State Plaza, Albany.
Also at 10 a.m., the New York Department of State hosts a public meeting of the State Fire Prevention and Building Code Council, to discuss updates of the State Uniform Fire Prevention and Building Code and the State Energy Conservation Construction Code, Empire State Plaza Convention Center, Albany.
At 11 a.m., the state Thruway Authority holds a board meeting, Thruway Authority Headquarters, 200 Southern Blvd., Albany.
At 12:30 p.m., NYC Mayor Bill de Blasio will deliver remarks at the will deliver remarks at the New York Building Congress’ annual meeting, Pierre Hotel, 2 E 61st St., Manhattan.
Also at 12:30 p.m., the State Gaming Commission meets, 317 Lenox Ave., Manhattan.
Also at 12:30 p.m., the SUNY Board of Trustees holds an executive session, State University Plaza, 353 Broadway, Albany.
At 1 p.m., Sen. Diane Savino and Assembly members Amy Paulin and Richard Gottfried announce reintroduction of Medical Aid in Dying Act, outside of Senate Lobby, state Capitol, Albany.
At 2 p.m., Assemblyman Michael Blake holds his annual State of The District Address, V.I.P. Community Services, 1870 Crotona Ave., the Bronx.
At 2:30 p.m., the Tourism Advisory Council meets, Empire State Development, 633 Third Ave., Manhattan.
At 3 p.m., the state Senate is in session, Senate Chambers, state Capitol, Albany.
Also at 3 p.m., NYC Councilman Ydanis Rodriguez celebrates the Big Brothers Big Sisters National Mentoring Month and launches the 2017 citywide campaign to recruit more volunteer mentors, The Morris-Jumel Mansion, 65 Jumel Terrace, Manhattan.
At 5 p.m., the Campaign for Alternatives to Isolated Confinement calls on Cuomo and the state Legislature to pass the Humane Alternatives to Long Term Solitary Confinement Act, 101 E. Green St., Ithaca.
At 6 p.m. – The Campaign for Alternatives to Isolated Confinement calls on Cuomo and the state Legislature to pass the Humane Alternatives to Long Term Solitary Confinement Act, Pacific Street and Flatbush Avenue, Brooklyn.
Also at 6 p.m., the state Business Council holds its annual Legislators’ Reception, Hilton Hotel, Albany. (State Comptroller Tom DiNapoli will be among those attending).
At 6:30 p.m., the Unitarian Universalist Congregation at Shelter Rock holds vigil for New Yorkers in solitary confinement and hosts an opening of “Behind These Prison Walls,” an exhibit by photographer and former New York City Correction Officer Lorenzo Steele, Jr., UUCSR, 48 Shelter Rock Road, Manhasset.
At 7 p.m., de Blasio will appear live on NY1 for “Mondays With the Mayor.”
The first major lawsuit against President Trump’s alleged business conflicts is being filed by some of the nation’s top legal and ethics scholars today.
The suit alleges violations of the U.S. Constitution’s Emoluments Clause, which bans payments from foreign powers to government leaders to avoid any influence that could be gained from gifts and payments, via Trump’s hotels and the money they receive from foreign governments.
The legal team filing the lawsuit includes Zephyr Teachout, a Fordham University law professor and former New York congressional and gubernatorial candidate who has been studying and writing about the Emoluments Clause for nearly a decade.
Businesses around the world bearing Trump’s name face an increased risk now that he is in the White House, security experts warn, especially as several are in areas previously targeted by violence.
Trump’s “running war” on the media is continuing into his presidency, with statements over the weekend calling into question the extent to which information from the White House can be trusted.
To the extent that there was a plan to take advantage of the first days of his administration, when a president is usually at his maximum leverage, Trump threw it aside with a decision to lash out about crowd sizes at his swearing in and to rewrite the history of his dealings with intelligence agencies. The lack of discipline troubled even senior members of his inner circle.
Trump this weekend invited Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to Washington next month, making the Israeli one of the first foreign leaders with whom the new president will have met after taking office.
Trump offered a scattershot response to the sweeping post-inauguration protests against his new administration, sarcastically undermining the public opposition and then defending demonstrators’ rights a short time later.
Organizers of the Women’s March on Washington, DC, the largest protest of a presidential inauguration in history, are now doing everything they can think of to make sure first-time marchers don’t melt away after the weekend.
Counselor to the president Kellyanne Conway said she “didn’t see the point” to the Women’s March. She said she “briefly” talked to Trump about the march, adding, “We certainly respect people’s First Amendment rights.”
Trump’s plan to replace the Affordable Care Act will propose giving each state a fixed amount of federal money in the form of a block grant to provide health care to low-income people on Medicaid, Conway said.
Trump is soon expected to seek sharp changes in U.S. immigration policy by using his executive power, echoing the politically contentious approach taken by former President Barack Obama.
Trump gave a big “thank you” to law enforcement officials at a ceremony yesterday, but none bigger than to FBI Director James Comey — the man many credit with giving Trump the White House after his last-minute decision to re-open an investigation into Hillary Clinton’s emails.
Retired Lt. Gen. Michael Flynn is reportedly the first member of the Trump administration to garner the probing eyes of intelligence and federal law enforcement agencies for communications with Russia.
Two vocal Senate skeptics – Sens. John McCaind and Lindsey Graham – threw their support behind Rex Tillerson yesterday, clearing a path for his confirmation as secretary of state.
WikiLeaks spent the final weeks of the 2016 presidential election leaking information harmful to Clinton’s campaign – but now they’re not happy with the man who beat her, saying he broke his promise about releasing his tax returns.
The former press secretary for Clinton’s presidential campaign, Brian Fallon, says White House press secretary Sean Spicer should have resigned rather than claim that Trump drew a bigger inauguration crowd than former President Barack Obama.
Roughly 120 of the Democratic Party’s high-level donors and strategists who spent the weekend tucked away at a peaceful golf resort in Florida came no closer to a consensus on what went wrong for their side in the 2016 presidential election.
Trump told a gathering of White House senior staffers that he found the letter former President Barack Obama left for him in the Oval Office — a tradition among presidents on their final day in office — but, as did his predecessor, he won’t divulge its contents.
Chelsea Clinton tweeted her support for Trump’s 10-year-old son, Barron, saying he “deserves the chance…to be a kid,” but also questioned his father’s policies that she believes may harm children.
Jeh C. Johnson, who has stepped down as secretary of Homeland Security, is rejoining the New York law firm Paul, Weiss, Rifkind, Wharton & Garrison, where he formerly worked. He will be a partner in the firm’s litigation department.
Jan 22nd - 2:53 pm
Local governments have begun preparing for a nor’easter blowing ashore tomorrow even as the governor ured New Yorkers to prepare for the coastal storm expected to have a strong impact on New York City and Long Island.
President Donald Trump won’t be releasing any of his tax records now that he’s in the Oval Office, according to one of his top advisors, Kellyanne Conway.
Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer said he’s willing to block Republicans from confirming Trump’s Supreme Court imminent nomination. “If the nominee is not bipartisan and mainstream, we absolutely will keep the seat open,” the senator said on CNN’s “State of the Union.”
Activists and politicians rallied huge crowds who descended on Washington, D.C. Saturday for the Women’s March on Washington this morning, the biggest of hundreds of similar marches taking place around the world, including New York City, Albany, Buffalo.
Trump tweeted his displeasure about the marches, saying: “Watched protests yesterday but was under the impression that we just had an election! Why didn’t these people vote? Celebs hurt cause badly.”
The D.C. rally featured speeches from women’s rights activist Gloria Steinem, Planned Parenthood president Cecile Richards, Madonna, actresses Ashley Judd and Scarlett Johansson and director Michael Moore among others.
Crowds for the Women’s March on Washington, as the rally was known, stretched more than 14 blocks down Independence Avenue near the National Mall by midday – a turnout so large that some pockets of attendees began marching in place.
Former Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton tweeted out her support for the Women’s March.
In Chicago, the size of a rally so quickly outgrew early estimates that the official march that was scheduled to follow was canceled for safety, though many paraded through downtown, anyway.
Several Canadians and British and French nationals were denied entry into the United States at the Northern New York border last week after revealing to border agents that they planned to attend women’s marches in the lower 48.
On the day of the marches, Gov. Andrew Cuomo announced he will require health insurance companies in New York to cover medically necessary abortions and most forms of contraception at no cost to women.
Beyond preserving parts of the Affordable Care Act, the state will now also require insurers to cover a three-month supply of contraception the first time a woman obtains it, and then a supply for up to 12 months, at no cost. At the moment, only a one-month supply at a time is typically available.
“We are entering a new political era in which women across the country may feel that their reproductive rights will be threatened, and all states – not just New York – will have an opportunity to take the lead in improving the status of women through their respective legislatures,” Cuomo wrote in a CNN OpEd.
The women’s march in Washington was roughly three times the size of the audience at President Trump’s inauguration, crowd counting experts said. They estimated that at least 470,000 people were in the areas on and near the mall at about 2 p.m. Saturday.
Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand was among Democratic elected officials at the D.C. march, her name is mentioned as a possible 2020 contender, along with Massachusetts Sen. Elizabeth Warren, Cuomo, and New Jersey Sen. Cory Booker.
Gillibrand led some Senate Democrats in an ill-fated push against giving a waiver to allow retired Gen. James Mattis to become defense secretary, arguing the principle of civilian control of the military should not be violated. She was the lone vote against his confirmation.
Press Secretary Sean Spicer delivered a fiery broadside against the Fourth Estate from the White House Briefing Room Saturday evening, claiming that reporters had engaged in “deliberately false reporting” in the past 24 hours since Trump took the oath of office.
“This was the largest audience to ever witness an inauguration, period,” Spicer said, contradicting all available data. Aerial photos have indicated that former president Barack Obama’s first inauguration attracted a much larger crowd. Nielsen ratings show that Obama also had a bigger television audience.
Spicer took no questions at the press conference. Here’s the transcript of his comments.
Conway defended the administration’s contention that the inauguration drew the biggest crowds of all time, saying the White House spokesman was simply offering “alternative facts” to make his case.
In a visit to the CIA intended to showcase his support for the intelligence community, Trump ignored his own repeated public statements criticizing that community, a group he compared to Nazis just over a week ago. He also called journalists “among the most dishonest human beings on earth,” and he said that up to 1.5 million people had attended his inauguration – a claim photographs disproved.
Trump sent messages from both his personal account early Saturday and the official @POTUS one, praising reviews of his speech — and possibly breaking the law by twice deleting a tweet that include a misspelling.
Hours after Trump took his oath on Friday, the Justice Department issued an opinion saying that his appointment of his son-in-law, Jared Kushner, as a senior White House adviser would be lawful despite a federal antinepotism law.
Trump’s incoming administration has wasted no time setting as official policy the renegotiation of the North American Free Trade Agreement and the withdrawal from the Trans-Pacific Partnership, moves send shock waves through the automotive industry.
Upstate activists are trying to rename Binghamton’s Main Street in honor of the 45th president. The proposal was first floated by Binghamton resident John Solak, who told a local radio show that the city should provide balance to its existing “Clinton Street.”
After three years as US ambassador to Japan, Caroline Kennedy is coming home to New York and has big plans: a political run and penning a memoir, Kennedy insiders tell The NY Post.
Pope Francis is taking a wait and see approach to President Trump. The Pontiff said he doesn’t believe in “judging people early,” in an interview published Saturday night in the Spanish newspaper El Pais. “We’ll see what Trump does,” he said.
Schumer is concerned about airlines charging passengers for the ability to use space in the overhead bin.
The troubled Utica Nano project has strained what was an otherwise decent working relationship between Cuomo and his fellow Democrat, Assemblyman Anthony Brindisi.
The long-standing upstate-downstate divide is still alive and well.
Cuomo’s proposed budget legislation contains numerous non-budgetary matters, including changes to state Freedom of Information Law that would, among other things, make the state Legislature subject to the same level of disclosure as the Executive Chamber, state agencies and other public entities.
As the state grapples with a $3.5 billion budget gap for the fiscal year that starts April 1, how $9 billion worth of settlement money from 22 Wall Street entities that first arrived in 2014 is being spent is again drawing scrutiny and criticism.
Cuomo is still planning to trot the globe to promote New York businesses despite Trump’s threats during the campaign to start a trade war with China and Mexico.
On Wednesday, plans to build 15 wind turbines off the shore of Montauk, Long Island – enough to power 50,000 homes – will come before the utility board, and if approved, could usher in several other turbine projects in the area.
Cuomo’s ambition to develop enough offshore wind energy by 2030 to power 750,000 homes will require 280 square miles of ocean starting 12 to 15 miles from the Long Island shore, state officials said.
The preliminary budget that NYC Mayor Bill de Blasio will release next week is basically a rough guess at upcoming costs, since there’s so much uncertainty under Trump, the mayor said.
De Blasio has championed other types of public health initiatives — most notably to promote mental health — but for the most part, he has not advanced the anti-tobacco legacy of his predecessor, former NYC Mayor Mike Bloomberg.
A black FDNY rookie expecting a warm welcome at his new firehouse was instead sexually hazed and humiliated by a band of naked firefighters, according to a shocking federal discrimination lawsuit.
Richard Haste, a New York police officer facing dismissal for his actions in the fatal shooting of an unarmed man in the Bronx, expressed remorse at his disciplinary trial on Friday, but said his actions were justified.
Speaking at a fan forum before a game against Utica, Syracuse Crunch owner Howard Dolgon said he hopes to hear by the spring on a “significant” request for funding from New York State that would be put toward building upgrades at the War Memorial for next season.
Hundreds of Nassau businesses have filed lawsuits against the county in state court, contending hundreds of thousands of dollars in fines imposed on them by the county assessor are excessive and illegal.
Brookhaven, Long Island officials are planning to revamp the town’s policy for dealing with dangerous dogs after attacks last year killed two canines and left another injured.
Jan 20th - 6:12 pm
“This American carnage stops right here and stops right now,” President Donald Trump declared in a forceful 16-minute Inaugural Address. “The time for empty talk is over. Now arrives the hour for action. Do not allow anyone to tell you it cannot be done.”
Here’s the full transcript of Trump’s (rather brief) speech.
During the speech, Trump briefly quoted the Batman villain Bane from “The Dark Knight Rises” movie. (Presumably, he did not do this on purpose).
American law enforcement and intelligence agencies are examining intercepted communications and financial transactions as part of a broad investigation into possible links between Russian officials and associates of Trump, including his former campaign chairman Paul Manafort, and veteran GOP consultant Roger Stone.
Stone dismissed this report and vigorously denied any wrongdoing. “As far as I am concerned, this is unadulterated bullshit,” he said. “I have no ties to Russia. I have no Russian clients. I’ve never worked for the Russians. I don’t work for them now. The deep state needs to cut the shit.”
Trump performed his first official acts as commander in chief at a signing ceremony attended by lawmakers. He signed a law passed by Congress granting a waiver allowing retired Marine Gen. James Mattis to serve as secretary of Defense, and also signed documents making his Cabinet nominees official, and proclaiming a national day of patriotism.
Rep. Pete King, a Long Island Republican, said Trump had to walk a fine line during his address today, and felt the new president “set the right tone” by standing by what he had said during the campaign.
Protests in the nation’s capital turned violent as Trump assumed the presidency. Activists wearing all black smashed store windows and car windows and fought with police in riot gear, according to Reuters. Police responded with pepper spray and stun grenades.
Just as Trump was sworn in, the official White House website was updated with his portrait and his policies, which include many changes from what the site had said earlier this morning. Among the first changes noted was the elimination of all mentions of “climate change” and the posting of Trump’s America First Energy Plan. Also gone: Sections on LGBT, civil rights, and health-care.
House Democratic, including Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, sported a blue button with the hashtag #ProtectOurCare at the inauguration, speaking out against the effort to repeal the Affordable Care Act.
Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer delivered remarks outside the U.S. Capitol before Vice President Mike Pence took his oath, insisting that the country’s best days are yet to come.
Speaking at Joint Base Andrews shortly after the swearing-in ceremony, former President Obama’s final farewell address was uncharacteristically brief and at times echoed the populist tone of Trump’s inaugural speech.
Michelle Obama is also back to her old Twitter handle, and @FLOTUS belongs to Melania Trump. (No word on whether the new first lady will be composing her own tweets – or following her husband’s lead and tweeting at all hours of the day and night).
Hillary Clinton’s pre-inauguration tweet: “I’m here today to honor our democracy & its enduring values. I will never stop believing in our country & its future. #Inauguration.”
After greeting Clinton at the inauguration, Rep. Jason Chaffetz, House Oversight Committee chair, later said that the investigation into her email use while Secretary of State “continues.”
Melania Trump gifted outgoing First Lady Michelle Obama with a present from Tiffany & Co, which has a store located next to Trump Tower on Fifth Avenue in Manhattan.
CUNY trustees would take 10 percent of the annual revenue raised by dozens of foundations affiliated with the system’s colleges to fund tuition assistance programs, under Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s executive budget released earlier this week.
Cuomo’s budget proposal to allow movie theaters to serve alcohol wouldn’t limit them to just beer and wine, despite the governor saying otherwise.
Did you know that they allow llamas – and alpacas, and also doves – on the D.C. metro?
Jan 20th - 4:34 am
Gov. Andrew Cuomo is in New York City with no public schedule.
Members of Cuomo’s cabinet continue to spread the gospel of his 2017-18 budget in regional briefings, the full schedule of which appears at the end of this post.
At 10 a.m., Eleanor’s Legacy hosts a political engagement and campaign workshop for women who want to learn the fundamentals of political engagement, offices of Abrams & Fensterman, 1 MetroTech Center, suite 1701, Brooklyn.
At 10:30 a.m. Assembly members Steven Cymbrowitz and William Colton and NYCHA Chairwoman and CEO Shola Olatoye announce the delivery of new stoves and refrigerators for tenants of Marlboro Houses, Marlboro Senior Center, 2298 W. 8th St., Brooklyn.
Also at 10:30 a.m., LG Kathy Hochul highlights the governor’s State of the State and budget proposals, Jamestown Gateway Train Station, 211-217 Second St., Jamestown.
At 11 a.m., Why Accountability holds an event to protest the new president and the rise of “overt white nationalism in the U.S.”, 235 St. Nicholas Ave., Manhattan.
Also at 11 a.m., NYC Councilman Jumaane Williams, Sen. Marisol Alcantara and others hold an anti-Trump rally and press conference, Trump Tower, Manhattan.
Also at 11 a.m., the Metropolitan Republican Club holds an inauguration watch party at Dorrian’s Red Hand, 1616 2nd Ave., Manhattan.
Also at 11 a.m., the Brooklyn Museum kicks off a marathon reading of Langston Hughes’s “Let America Be America Again”, 200 Eastern Pkwy, Brooklyn.
Also at 11 a.m., Rep. Adriano Espaillat holds a community event called “Standing Together, United As One,” where he will present his legislative agenda for the 115th Congress, 3940 Broadway, Manhattan.
Also at 11 a.m., the Jewish Defense League of NYC hosts a victory party for Trump, Times Sq. Central, 1501 Broadway, Manhattan.
Also at 11 a.m., the New York Worker Center Federation announces the launch of Freedom Cities, a new campaign that “moves beyond sanctuary cities by expanding both the way safety is defined and the realm of who deserves protection,” in front of Trump Hotel, Central Park, Manhattan.
At noon, Donald J. Trump is scheduled to take the oath of office and become America’s 45th president, Washington, D.C. (The inauguration ceremony officially begins at 11:30 a.m.)
At 12:25 p.m., Hochul highlights the governor’s State of the State and budget proposals at the Chautauqua County Chamber of Commerce’s annual luncheon, Shorewood Country Club, 4958 W Lake Rd., Dunkirk.
At 5 p.m., The NYC Coalition to Resist Trump will be rallying and marching to the Trump Building on Wall Street, Foley Square, 111 Worth St., Manhattan.
With fireworks heralding his big moment, Donald Trump swept into Washington yesterday on the eve of his presidential inauguration and pledged to unify a nation sorely divided and clamoring for change. The capital braced for an onslaught of crowds and demonstrators.
“I promise you that I will work so hard, we’re going to get it turned around,” Trump told a crowd of thousands at a celebratory preinaugural concert staged in front of the Lincoln Memorial. “We’re going to do things that haven’t been done in our country for many, many decades.”
Trump enters the White House as the least popular president in four decades, according to a number of surveys. A Pew Research Center poll released on the eve of his inauguration found that 86 percent of Americans believe the country is more politically divided than in the past, the highest number since the question was first asked in 2004.
Trump is facing serious questions about whether his chaotic transition has left critical parts of the government dangerously short-handed. As of yesterday, only two of his 15 cabinet picks — John F. Kelly, to head the Department of Homeland Security, and his nominee for defense secretary, Gen. James N. Mattis — had been approved by congressional committees and were close to assuming their posts.
Staffers for the Trump transition team have been meeting with career staff at the White House ahead of today’s presidential inauguration to outline their plans for shrinking the federal bureaucracy. The changes they’re seeking are dramatic, and would reduce federal spending by $10.5 trillion over 10 years.
Eighteen of the 23 cabinet-level selections made by Trump have been white men, with no Hispanics and just one African-American, making it one of the least diverse cabinets in recent history. “This cabinet does not reflect the diversity of America,” said National Urban League President Marc Morial.
Perhaps more than any other location Trump’s real estate empire, the 263-room Trump International Hotel in Washington, D.C. epitomizes the convergence of Donald Trump the global businessman and Donald Trump the president-elect. Conflicts that for months have been theoretical are now about to become real.
The Rev. Robert Jeffress, a Texas pastor with a controversial penchant for bashing Muslims, Mormons, Catholics and homosexuals, will deliver a private sermon for Trump and his family shortly before Trump is officially inaugurated.
A cascade of delays prompted by Trump’s departure from La Guardia Airport in Queens left New Yorkers wondering how his trips between the two cities might disrupt daily life once he is president.
Steve Cuozzo recalls the bizarre history of the golden edifice known as Trump Tower, which the president-elect is having a hard time leaving behind.
Democratic Rep. Filemon Vela, of Texas, is the latest to join a long list of lawmakers boycotting the inauguration after he said a large group of migrant students from his district were called “beaners,” “burritos” and “wetbacks” while on a school trip to Washington, D.C.
Trump didn’t show up, former Gov. George Pataki made only a brief appearance, and other top politicians never made it last night to the New York inaugural ball to usher in a new presidency. But nobody seemed disappointed, as some more than 600 people, including Reps. John Katko and Claudia Tenney, celebrated.
Trump selected Woody Johnson, the owner of the New York Jets football franchise and one of the incoming president’s oldest friends, as his ambassador to Britain. It is just the fourth ambassadorial pick Trump has announced.
Former New York City Mayor Rudy Giuliani has signed on as an adviser to the newly formed Great America Alliance, a political group that is being set up to promote Trump’s ambitious agenda.
Giuliani, who once appeared to forget that 9/11 ever happened, took a swanky luncheon as a golden opportunity to tell a sex-filled “locker room” anecdote about the worst terror attack in U.S. history, a recording has revealed.
The largest shareholder in an obscure Australian biotech company called Innate Immunotherapeutics as well as a longtime local businessman, Rep. Chris Collins, has been part of Buffalo’s business elite for decades. And when Innate offered two private placements of its stock last year, Buffalo’s elite responded, making quite a bit of cash in the process.
Senate Majority Leader John Flanagan, in D.C. for the inauguration, says New York is poised to benefit from Trump’s ascendancy. “President-elect Trump is actually a born and bred New Yorker, and that’s something we should be focusing on,” the senator said.
“We need a fighter in Washington to cut through the bureaucracy and the partisanship,” said state Sen. George Amedore in praise of Trump. “When you’re in the ring and fighting every day tooth and nail because you got everything on the line, you may throw some punches or when a punch is thrown at you, you throw it back.”
On the eve of Trump’s inauguration, state Attorney General Eric Schneiderman offered legal advice to local governments that follow so-called “sanctuary” policies that could shield undocumented immigrants from deportation by federal authorities.
Jan 19th - 5:27 pm
Ready for his big moment, Donald Trump swept into Washington on a military jet today and quickly set to building better ties to the Republican Congress as he kicked off three days of inaugural festivities.
“We have by far the highest I.Q. of any Cabinet ever assembled,” Trump told a hundreds of supporters, lawmakers and allies attending a luncheon at the Trump International Hotel in Washington.
Steven Mnuchin, Trump’s pick to be Treasury secretary, failed to disclose nearly $100 million of his assets on Senate Finance Committee disclosure documents and forgot to mention his role as a director of an investment fund located in a tax haven, an omission that Democrats said made him unfit to serve in one of the government’s most important positions.
In a last major act as president, Barack Obama cut short the sentences of 330 federal inmates convicted of drug crimes, bringing his bid to correct what he’s called a systematic injustice to a climactic close.
Obama has set a record with his aggressive use of clemency power. The 1,715 commutations granted during his eight years in office are more than any president in the nation’s history.
Ivanka Trump called widespread observation that she would be taking over some of the First-Lady duties inappropriate, saying: “There’s one First Lady, and she’ll do remarkable things.”
Trump is planning to swap the curtains in the Oval Office — currently a deep shade of red — for those used by a previous president, according to a person familiar with the exchange.
According to state GOP Chair Ed Cox, Trump indirectly provided “an assignment” to New York Republicans: kick NYC Mayor Bill de Blasio and Gov. Andrew Cuomo out of office.
Former House Speaker Newt Gingrich told New York Republicans at their inaugural breakfast that Trump, with his communication abilities and rejection of political norms, “has the potential to be the most effective change agent that we have seen in the presidency in a very long time.”
De Blasio is running for re-election this year on promises to face down the new Republican regime in Washington, D.C., but a new Q poll found residents of the five boroughs believe his arch-rival Cuomo is the better man for that job.
Though he has expressed support in the past for a “yes” vote for a constitutional convention on this year’s ballot, Cuomo’s newly revealed 2017 agenda and 2017-2018 budget provide no indication that such support continues.
Trump has chosen Woody Johnson, the billionaire owner of the NY Jets American football team and veteran Republican political donor, as his ambassador to Britain.
Behold the inaugural lunch menu, which includes lobster, steak and chocolate souffle with cherry vanilla ice cream.
Freshman Long Island Democratic Rep. Tom Suozzi reconfirmed his plan to attend tomorrow’s inauguration, despite a local progressive organization’s call for him to join his colleagues who are boycotting the event.
As women prepare to protest in sister marches in Washington, D.C., New York City and across the country on Saturday, more than 6,000 nationwide have signed up to boycott everything from fake smiles to paid jobs to laundry for two days starting tomorrow.
No, Trump did not uninvite Bill and Hillary Clinton from his inauguration.
ICYMI, here’s the Citizens Budget Commission’s first take on Cuomo’s 2017-18 spending plan.
Cuomo talked to Sean Kirst about his long-standing affinity for Buffalo, his relationship with Tim Russert and how his late father, former Gov. Mario Cuomo, is still his best advisor.
The state’s free snowmobile weekend is coming up in two weeks; out-of-state and Canadian snowmobilers can ride New York’s trails without paying the usual $100 registration fee — which is $45 for members of local snowmobile clubs.
Jan 19th - 3:07 pm
With just a few hours to go before President-elect Donald Trump take office, New York’s Working Families Party is using what it anticipates will be “wholesale attacks on working people” by the incoming administration and its allies to highlight the plight of several hundred striking workers at Momentive Performance Materials, a chemical plant in Waterford.
“Many workers at the company have seen their wages slashed and their jobs outsourced,” Bill Lipton, WFP state director, wrote in an email to supporters this afternoon. “Now management wants to slash healthcare for current workers and completely eliminate healthcare and life insurance for retirees – many of whom are dealing with illnesses related to their exposure to deadly chemicals at the plant.”
“Now more than ever, we need to stand strong against all attacks on workers, whether they come from Trump or his hedge fund billionaire friends.”
Lipton’s email includes a link to an online petition that expresses solidarity with the Momentive employees.
The unionized workers, who are members of CWA, walked off the job last November after contract talks with the company failed. Momentive is owned by Apollo Global Management, a New York City-based hedge fund that acquired General Electric’s advanced materials division, which includes the Waterford operation, for $3.8 billion in 2006.
According to a TU report, the actual ownership of Momentive is fairly complicated – a corporate web that includes six billionaires on the Forbes magazine list of the nation’s 400 richest people, including Stephen Schwarzman, founder and CEO of the Blackstone Group, who was tapped by President-elect Donald Trump to serve as his chief job creation adviser.
Interestingly, though we have heard a lot from Gov. Andrew Cuomo on how he plans to stand up to any Trump policies he deems harmful to New York (and also work with the new president when possible, particularly when it comes to infrastructure), he hasn’t yet said anything – to my knowledge – on this particular strike. The governor has taken actions to help end worker-employer disputes of this sort before, though usually when they are of a higher profile nature, politically speaking.
Jan 19th - 5:03 am
Gov. Andrew Cuomo is in New York City with no public schedule.
At 9:30 a.m., LG Kathy Hochul highlights Cuomo’s State of the State and budget proposals at a Central New York Regional Economic Development Council meeting, Onondaga Community College, Recital Hall, 4585 West Seneca Turnpike, Syracuse.
Also at 9:30 a.m., a “Justice for Juveniles” rally, advocating to raise the age of criminal responsibility and change the criminal justice system on a NYC-level prior to a joint council hearing of the Courts and Legal Services Committee and Juvenile Justice Committee, outside Brooklyn Bridge/City Hall Subway station, Manhattan.
At 10 a.m., Secretary of State Rossana Rosado delivers a regional briefing of Cuomo’s 2017-18 budget proposal, Asian American/Asian Research Institute, City University of New York, Room 1000, 25 West 43rd St., Manhattan.
Also at 10 a.m., NYC anti-violence leaders will kick off a year of peace and encourage unity while sending a message to Trump that the administration must work with those on the frontline to end violence in communities across the country, City Hall, Manhattan.
At 11 a.m., state Veterans Affairs Director Eric Hesse delivers a regional budget briefing, Orange County Community College , The Gilman Center for International Education, 115 South St., Middletown.
Also at 11 a.m., Cuomo’s chief diversity officer Rose Rodriguez delivers a regional budget briefing, Sandel Senior Center, 50 South Park Ave., Rockville Centre, Long Island.
Also at 11 a.m., OTDA Commissioner Samuel Roberts delivers a regional budget briefing, Dulles State Office Building, 1st Floor Conference Room, 317 Washington St., Watertown.
At 11:30 a.m., Hochul presents Cuomo’s State of the State and budget proposals, Binghamton University, Innovative Technologies Complex, Engineering and Science Building, 85 Murray Hill Rd., Binghamton.
Also at 11:30 a.m., IDC members and housing advocates release an investigative report that details deplorable conditions at NYC hotels and cluster sites for the homeless, 250 Broadway, Manhattan.
At noon, Canal Corp. Director Brian Stratton delivers a regional budget briefing, Fredonia Beaver Club, 64 Prospect St., Fredonia.
Also at noon, AQE members and supporters will rally and march against Trump’s plans to “privatize schools,” Chambers and Greenwich streets, Manhattan.
Also at noon, Queens Assemblyman Ron Kim is joined by colleagues and community leaders to announce a 2017 legislative agenda for small businesses, Mudan Banquet Hall, 136-17 39th Ave., Queens.
At 1 p.m., AG Eric Schneiderman will provide local governments and law enforcement agencies with legal tools to enact sanctuary city policies and protect immigrant communities, 120 Broadway, 25th Floor, Manhattan.
At 2:30 p.m., community leaders, labor leaders, Assemblyman Kevin Cahill and others will be calling on newly-elected Rep. John Faso to not vote for the repeal of the Affordable Care Act, without a replacement plan in place, Kingston City Hall steps, 420 Broadway, Kingston.
At 3 p.m., Transportation Commissioner Matthew Driscoll delivers a regional budget briefing, Empire State Development, 95 Perry St., Suite 500, Buffalo.
At 4 p.m., OGS Commissioner RoAnn Destito delivers a regional budget briefing, Foothills Performing Arts Center, 24 Market St., Oneonta.
Also at 4 p.m., the “Make America Great Again” welcome celebration for Trump’s inauguration will take place, Lincoln Memorial, National Mall, Washington, D.C.
Also at 4 p.m., NYC Councilman Jimmy Van Bramer celebrates 365 days without gun violence at Queensbridge Houses with the Long Island City NAACP, Queensbridge 696, and community members, Jacob A. Riis Neighborhood Settlement, 10-25 41st Ave., Queens.
At 5:30 p.m., Stratton delivers his second regional budget briefing of the day, Dream It, Do It Western New York, 1089 Allen St., Jamestown.
At 6 p.m., NYC Mayor Bill de Blasio, the Rev. Al Sharpton, actors Mark Ruffalo and Alec Baldwin, director Michael Moore, actresses Shailene Woodley and Rosie Perez and thousands of others rally on the eve of Trump’s inauguration to “protect shared values,” outside of Trump International Hotel and Tower, Central Park West and West 61st Street, Manhattan.
Also at 6 p.m., Manhattan Borough President Gale Brewer, City & State Editor-at-Large Gerson Borrero, Queens Councilman Eric Ulrich and others speak on a panel: “Predictions and Expectations for the Administration of Donald Trump,” Fordham Law School 150 W. 62nd St., Manhattan.
From 7 p.m. to midnight, a NYS Society inaugural ball will take place, with New York Republicans and Trump family members expected to attend, Fairmont Hotel, 2401 M St., Northwest, Washington.
Also at 7 p.m., REBNY holds its 121st Annual Banquet, a black-tie event honoring the retiring City Planning director Carl Weisbrod and others. Cuomo and de Blasio attended the powerful trade group’s soiree last year, New York Hilton Midtown, 1335 Sixth Ave., Manhattan.
President-elect Donald Trump, in a free-flowing speech last night at a dinner honoring his running mate, Mike Pence, jabbed at his new Republican allies and his critics alike, questioned the ethics of “super PACs” and talked about creating a “merit-based” immigration system.
About 75 Republican movers and shakers from Western New York – some of them still amazed about Trump’s November victory – will be among the guests at tomorrow’s inauguration ceremony, as will an untold number of rank-and-file citizens who will head to the event on their own.
More than 60 Democratic members of the House are refusing to attend Trump’s inauguration. Buffalo Rep. Brian Higgins plans on going, but Rochester Rep. Louise Slaughter won’t be there, saying she’s not attending in honor of Georgia Rep. John Lewis.
Trump and Gov. Andrew Cuomo met at Trump Tower, where Cuomo made his pitch for the state to receive federal infrastructure dollars for state projects and voiced concerns about Republican-led efforts to repeal the Affordable Care Act.
AG Eric Schneiderman is announcing today that he is issuing legal guidance to local governments detailing how they can resist cooperating with the federal immigration authorities under the Trump administration.
President Obama made clear at his final White House press conference that he would not go silent after leaving office this week, promising to speak out whenever he feels America’s “core values” are threatened.
Trump admitted he likes as little information as possible when it comes to intelligence, preferring them short and to the point.
Trump intends to nominate former Georgia Gov. Sonny Perdue to serve as agriculture secretary, according to a person familiar with the decision but not authorized to speak publicly before it is announced.
Robert Begleiter, a partner at Constantine Cannon LLP and former assistant U.S. attorney in the Eastern District of New York, appealed to President Obama in a Daily News OpEd to pardon former-presidential candidate Hillary Clinton and others who may be “potential targets” of an investigation into the use of the private email server.
Trump is being urged by some advisers to save at least one dance, as he celebrates his inauguration, for a very special Republican lady — Caitlyn Jenner.
Former president George H.W. Bush was under observation at an intensive care unit in Houston after being treated for an “acute respiratory problem stemming from pneumonia.” Former first lady Barbara Bush was also admitted as a “precaution” after experiencing fatigue and coughing.
Trump’s nominee for Health and Human Services secretary, Georgia Rep. Tom Price, faced a grilling from Democratic senators concerned about stock trades in an Australian biotech company he made in connection with Buffalo Rep. Chris Collins.
Manhattan Councilman Dan Garodnick is pushing the NYPD to set up a special unit to provide security around Trump Tower.
In his first public statements since Carl Paladino made racist and inflammatory comments about the Obamas, Buffalo Schools Superintendent Kriner Cash said there must be consequences for his behavior. In a rare move, Cash allowed Paladino to respond to speakers who turned out to condemn the remarks that were published last month in Artvoice.
Paladino told those who spoke out against him: “I understand you, and I understand the limited knowledge you have about the real workings and I forgive you.” Then the School Board passed a resolution, 6-3, seeking his removal.
Bernard Tolbert, the former FBI agent and 2013 Democratic candidate for mayor, is making serious inquiries about challenging Republican incumbent Timothy Howard for Erie County sheriff this year.
Glens Falls Post-Star: (T)the awkward way he handled the budget rollout is part of Gov. Cuomo’s compulsion to control every aspect of every action taken by his administration and to distinguish himself as different from his predecessors.”
New Yorkers get nickeled-and-dimed in the budget Cuomo floated, with added fees on everything from prepaid cellphones to titles for motor vehicles. The biggest hit would be a state sales tax on Web purchases that are currently exempt.
Differences over extension of the so-called millionaires tax, without which the governor maintains the state can’t close its $3.5 billion deficit, have emerged as an early flashpoint in budget talks.
Jan 18th - 5:03 pm
During his final press conference, President Obama said that he would oppose incoming president Donald Trump if he instituted policies of “systematic discrimination” where the country’s “core values may be at stake.”
Two days before his swearing in, Trump has forked over $25 million to settle three Trump University fraud lawsuits.
The FBI and five other law enforcement and intelligence agencies have collaborated for months in an investigation into Russian attempts to influence the November election, including whether money from the Kremlin covertly aided the president-elect.
The Trump International Hotel in Washington is banning the media from its premises during inauguration week. The hotel is located in an old post office owned by the federal General Services Administration, and is being leased by Trump and his three adult children.
In a very hypothetical race for New York City Mayor, Hillary Clinton, running as an independent, tops incumbent Bill de Blasio, running as a Democrat, 49-30 percent, according to a new Q poll.
A federal grand jury in Brooklyn is hearing evidence in the racially charged police killing of Eric Garner on Staten Island in 2014 — as prosecutors look to get an indictment before Trump becomes.
E.J. McMahon: “Assuming no further spending cuts, the governor needs to extend the full ‘millionaire tax’ long enough to raise an added $683 million in revenue for fiscal 2018, and $2.7 billion for fiscal 2019. But assuming he sticks with his promise to hold spending growth to 2 percent – a goal that Senate Republicans want to enact into law – he could cut the surtax in half in 2019, and eliminate it entirely after FY 2020.”
Cuomo’s proposed budget pulls the plug on the state’s disappointing START-UP NY program rebranding it as the “Excelsior Business Program” (not to be confused with the “Excelsior Jobs Program”).
New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie said he turned down several jobs in the Trump administration because his wife refused to move to Washington.
Unlike his brother, Alec, Stephen Baldwin is looking forward to attending Inauguration Day, despite Trump firing the actor on “All-Star Celebrity Apprentice” four years ago.
Former President George H.W. Bush wrote an apology note to Trump regarding his inability to attend the inauguration.
Bush was admitted today to the intensive care unit at a Texas hospital to address a respiratory problem from pneumonia. His wife, former First Lady Barbara Bush, was also hospitalized.
Sixteen of the past 19 presidents have played golf, but Trump is the best and most passionate golfer among them.
Former Senate Majority Leader John Sampson was sentenced to five years in prison for obstruction of justice and lying to investigators during a probe of embezzlement of funds from foreclosed properties and a subsequent coverup.
Priorities USA Action, the main super PAC that supported Hillary Clinton’s White House bid, is accelerating its move to reposition itself as a hub of post-2016 Democratic activity, hiring staffers from the campaigns of both Clniton and her primary opponent, Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders.
By 51-33 percent Long Island voters think Trump’s economic policies will be good rather than bad for the island’s economy according to a new Siena College poll commissioned by the Long Island Association.
De Blasio insisted that his refusal to answer questions from certain reporters is completely different than Trump’s boycott of selected members of the media.
More of NYC’s high school students took college-level courses last year than ever before, officials announced, though critics say it still has a lot of catching up to do to even the playing field for all students.
Cuomo has proposed that the New York Racing Association be returned to private control, but the plan would retain sizeable influence by the governor over its operations.
The Earth had its hottest year on record in 2016, following previous records set first in 2014 and then in 2015.
Former Vice President Al Gore’s next climate change movie, An Inconvenient Sequel: Truth to Power, premiers opening night at Sundance tomorrow.
Five Buffalo teachers — supported by NYSUT — filed legal papers today with the State Education Department seeking the removal of school board member Carl Paladino for “racially inflammatory statements” about Obama, the first lady and African-Americans that have violated his duty to serve as a role model for the school community.
Members of the Buffalo School Board are expected tonight to consider a second resolution seeking the removal of Paladino from his elected position, saying he should be ousted because he violated district policy by discussing sharing information that was discussed in executive session.
Scott Pruitt, Trump’s pick for EPA chairman, said during questioning at his Senate confirmation hearing, that he does “not believe climate change is a hoax,” breaking from a position touted at least once by his soon-to-be boss
Jan 18th - 5:16 am
Gov. Andrew Cuomo is in New York City, where he is scheduled to have his first face-to-face meeting since the November election with the president-elect at Trump Tower at a yet-to-be-announced hour.
After many departures from the norm this year, here’s one tradition the governor is keeping: Regional budget briefings delivered by members of his cabinet. Top officials will be fanning out around the state today to spread the gospel about the 2017-18 spending plan Cuomo unveiled last night.
At 9:30 a.m., there’s a court hearing in the NYC municipal ID lawsuit, Staten Island State Supreme Court; Courtroom 430; Judge Phillip Minardo; 26 Central Ave., Staten Island.
President Obama will deliver his final press conference at 2:15 p.m.
At 8 a.m., the Manhattan Chamber of Commerce hosts a post-election summit on the future of immigration reform featuring a keynote by Deputy Secretary of State for New York for Economic Opportunity Jorge Montalvo, New York Law School, 185 West Broadway, Manhattan.
At 8:15 a.m., New York Nonprofit Media hosts Nonprofit BoardCon, bringing together board members, executive directors and other senior leaders from nonprofits across New York to discuss methods and strategies to collaborate and work together, Pace University, 3 Spruce St., Manhattan.
At 9 a.m., homeless New Yorkers, community groups, and advocates demand that Cuomo and legislative leaders sign the affordable housing memorandum of understanding, outside Cuomo’s New York City office, 633 Third Ave., Manhattan.
At 10 a.m., LG Kathy Hochul highlights the governor’s budget proposals, Heritage Hall, 1 Civic Center Plaza, Glens Falls.
At 10:30 a.m., Secretary of State Rossana Rosado delivers a regional budget briefing, The Harvest Room, 90-40 160th St., Jamaica, Queens.
At 11 a.m., families from New York City’s charter schools call for 200,000 students in charter schools by 2020 on the #PathtoPossible Day of Action, The Well, Legislative Office Building, Albany.
Also at 11 a.m., the state Senate is in session, Senate Chambers, state Capitol, Albany.
Also at 11 a.m., NYC Public Advocate Tish James releases recommendations to streamline the ACCESS NYC program used to access New York City, state, and federal benefits, David Dinkins Municipal Building, 15th floor, 1 Centre St., Manhattan.
At 11:30 a.m., Construction workers, NYC Councilman Carlos Menchaca and the Building Trades Council urge the City Council to remain vigilant in requiring stringent safety standards and rigorous training for all real estate projects in the city, outside 23 Park Row, Manhattan.
At 1 p.m., OTDA Commissioner Samuel Roberts delivers a regional budget briefing, Town of Plattsburgh Offices, Board Room, 151 Banker Rd., Plattsburgh.
At 1:30 p.m., Liquor Authority Chairman Vincent Bradley delivers a regional budget briefing, SUNY New Paltz, Student Union, Room 62/63, 1 Hawk Dr., New Paltz.
Also at 1:30 p.m., the NYC Council holds a stated meeting, Council Chambers, City Hall, Manhattan.
At 2 p.m., state Division of Veterans Affairs Director Eric Hesse delivers a regional budget briefing, Hornell City Hall, 82 Main St., Hornell.
At 3 p.m., state Agriculture Commissioner Richard Ball delivers a regional budget briefing, Morrisville State College, 120 Eaton St., Morrisville.
At 3:30 p.m., Canal Corp. Director Brian Stratton delivers a regional budget briefing, Olean Business Incubator, 301 North Union St., Olean.
At 6 p.m., NYC Parks Commissioner Mitchell J. Silver and parks directors from Philadelphia, Minneapolis and Arlington hold a discussion on parks without borders and the value of a seamless public realm, the Arsenal Gallery in Central Park, Fifth Avenue and 64th Street, Manhattan.
Also at 6 p.m., Assembly Speaker Carl Heastie, Rep. Eliot Engel, state Sen. Jamaal Bailey and NYC Councilman Andy King host an MTA Open House, Evander Childs Educational Campus, 800 East Gun Hill Road, Bronx.
At 7:30 p.m., Labor Commissioner Robert Reardon delivers a regional budget briefing, Deer Park School District, Board Room, 116 Lake Ave., Deer Park.
Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s $152.3 billion executive budget proposal includes a $1 billion increase in state education aid and the beginning of an income tax cut for middle class New Yorkers, he announced last night as the deadline for submission of his fiscal plan loomed.
Cuomo is proposing a total $1 billion increase of school aid statewide to $25.6 billion. Full school aid runs can be found here.
The governor wants to extend the so-called millionaire’s tax, which is set to expire this year. Without the $4 billion he says it generates, the state won’t be able to close its $3.5 billion deficit, Cuomo maintains.
In a significant departure from tradition, Cuomo not only did not deliver a public budget address, but – after much back-amd-forth – briefed members of the media at almost 8 p.m. at the executive mansion.
Lawmakers (those who did not boycott) were briefed in closed-door meetings, either at the executive mansion or at the state Capitol.
Cuomo’s plan to return the New York Racing Association to private control came about 30 minutes into yesterday’s state Senate hearing to consider NYRA’s future — a meeting in which horse-racing stakeholders and state lawmakers advocated for that very move.
The governor’s budget includes a three-year extension of the state’s film production tax credit. Launched in 2004 and extended by Cuomo in 2013, the $420 million-a-year program isn’t set to expire until 2019 but was expected to run out of money later this year without the additional funding.
Two of the most expensive budget question marks concern what are shaping up to be two of the governor’s signature proposals: Free tuition for qualifying New Yorkers at SUNY and CUNY, and a $10 billion overhaul of Kennedy International Airport.
Cuomo’s spending plan includes the possibility of a new way to experience the New York State Fair. A new round of funding, up to $70 million, would go to fair improvements including “a gondola to transport visitors and concertgoers between the Fairgrounds and Onondaga County’s Lakeview Amphitheater.”
Ken Girardin: Cuomo’s proposed budget “makes important changes to several secretive slush funds first brought to light by the Empire Center.”
Groups lauded Cuomo’s proposed expansions to New York’s emerging hemp industry, only a few years after federal regulators redefined the plant as different from marijuana.
Backed by a large number of his conference and advocates, Assembly Speaker Carl Heastie warned of “a slow and steady erosion” of reproductive rights hours before the Democrat-dominated chamber passed two measures designed to protect abortion availability and enhance access to contraception.
Government ethics experts and a senior New York Democrat question whether Rep. Chris Collins – by far the largest shareholder in an Australian-based biotech company called Innate Immunotherapeutics – and Georgia Rep. Tom Price, Trump’s health secretary nominee, bought stock in the company last year based on inside information and made a lot of moneys a result.
The state Conservative Party has started a petition drive to rename the new Tappan Zee bridge after the three men murdered during the 1981 Brink’s truck robbery.
The mayoral election fight of 2017 may be slowly gearing up, with Mayor Bill de Blasio facing his stiffest challenge so far from Paul J. Massey Jr., a Republican real estate developer with deep pockets but little name recognition among New Yorkers.
De Blasio’s biggest campaign boosters over the past six months include Hollywood celebs promoting his progressive agenda and former top staffers who left him for the private sector.