Liz Benjamin

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Posts by Liz Benjamin

MoveOn Pressures Gibson, Grimm With Minimum Wage Poll

MoveOn today released a series of PPP polls of 13 “vulnerable” GOP House districts – including two in New York – that show a majority of voters in each support the idea of raising the federal minimum wage, which has been a top priority of the Obama administration and congressional Democrats.

The NY-19 poll, which appears below, shows 60 percent of Rep. Chris Gibson’s constituents support raising the hourly wage at the federal level from $7.25 to $10.10, while 36 percent are opposed and 4 don’t have a position.

Fourty-four percent said they would be less likely to vote for Gibson if he voted against raising the wage, while 27 percent said they’d be more likely to vote for him and 26 percent said it wouldn’t make a difference.

Gibson is facing a challenge from Democrat Sean Eldridge this fall. MoveOn members plan to demonstrate outside Gibson’s Cooperstown offices at noon tomorrow to demand he support an increase in the minimum wage also to deliver petition signatures from constituents.

Similar actions are scheduled outside the offices of every House member whose district was polled, including Gibson’s Republican colleague, Rep. Michael Grimm, in NY-11. Grimm is facing a challenge this fall from former Democratic Brooklyn Councilman Domenic Recchia.

NY 19 Minimum Wage Polling Results by MoveOn_org

Here and Now

Gov. Andrew Cuomo is in Albany with no public schedule.

Both houses of the Legislature are scheduled to start voting on budget bills today, and it’s likely to be a late night/early morning. The constitutional budget deadline is midnight.

Cuomo might not be around to see the final budget bills get passed. He’s scheduled to co-headline the Nassau County Democratic Party’s spring dinner at 6 p.m. along with House Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi, Crest Hollow Country Club, 8325 Jericho Tpke., Woodbury.

Another deadline: It’s the last day to enroll for coverage as required by the Affordable Care Act. More information here.

At 9:15 a.m., the Assembly Ways and Means Committee considers budget bills, Room 342, Capitol, Albany.

At 10 a.m., New York officials will unveil a commemorative item at a new Dunkin’ Donuts, 1st floor, state Capitol, Albany.

Also at 10 a.m., Rep. Joe Crowley holds press conference to announce legislation requiring a state to create strategies to address pedestrian safety in high-risk areas, 80th Street and Northern Boulevard, Queens.

At 11 a.m., Westchester County Executive/GOP gubernatorial candidate Rob Astorino will make a “significant announcement” about education on his YouTube channel.

At noon, the Senate is in session.

At 1:06 p.m., NYC Mayor Bill de Blasio throws the ceremonial first pitch at Opening Day, Citi Field, 123-01 Roosevelt Ave., Queens. (This will be preceded by an 11:45 a.m. Q-and-A with reporters).

At 2:45 p.m., Rep. Charles Rangel and others attend a public briefing highlighting the Free File tax program at Frederick Douglass Academy, 2581 Adam Clayton Powell Jr. Blvd., Manhattan.

At 3:30 p.m., the New York Gaming Facility Location Board holds public meeting, Empire State Development Corporation, 37th floor conference room, 633 Third Ave., Manhattan.

At 4 p.m., Pelosi will hold a press availability following a roundtable discussion with leading local advocates for comprehensive immigration reform, hosted by SEIU Local 32BJ, 25 West 18th St., Manhattan.

At 6:30 p.m., Astorino attends Fordham University’s 13th annual Founder’s Award Dinner, Waldorf-Astoria, Manhattan.

Also at 6:30 p.m., NYC Comptroller Scott Stringer and Manhattan Borough President Gale Brewer attend an East Harlem Building Collapse Relief Effort Fundraiser, Gran Piatto D’Oro Restaurant, 1429 5th Ave., Manhattan.

At 7 p.m., Rep. Grace Meng hosts Jewish and Korean-American Intercultural Dialogue forum, Queensborough Community College at the Kupferberg Holocaust Resource Center and Archives, 222-05 56th Ave., Queens.

Headlines…

“This was the perfect election year budget. Everybody won,” said Larry Levy, executive dean at Hofstra University’s Center for Suburban Studies. “And the full bill doesn’t come due for years.”

Will all of the 2014-15 budget be passed on time? Given the fact that several bills wont’ be sufficiently aged for voting until after midnight, that’s an open question.

The NYT opines: “There are enough flaws in this deal that legislators and Gov. Andrew Cuomo should take the time to get it right.”

Onondaga County DA Bill Fitzpatrick, co-chair of the soon-to-be-defunct Moreland Commission, said that while outstanding subpoenas about lawmakers’ outside income will be nullified, the commission has evidence that it will be forwarding along to various prosecutors.

The budget deal requires AG Eric Schneiderman to cede control of cash obtained from settlements to the governor and legislature.

The results of New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio’s first state budget negotiation were mixed, with a victory on funding pre-k – though not the way he had proposed – and a significant setback in exercising dominion over charter schools.

More >

The Weekend That Was

Members of the Assembly and Senate will be back at the Capitol and behind closed doors tonight, conferencing the budget deal that was apparently reached some time Friday and made public yesterday.

Neither the Assembly nor the Senate is planning any votes today. The bills introduced before midnight Friday won’t be sufficiently aged for voting on until tomorrow.

The controversial education bill and a health and mental hygiene bill were introduced after midnight Friday, which means Gov. Andrew Cuomo will either have to issue a message of necessity to see them voted on before midnight tomorrow, or let those portions of the budget be slightly late.

This was one of the strangest budget deals I’ve seen in more than a decade of covering Albany. There was no joint press release. No Red Room dog-and-pony show. Just a conference call with reporters on which Cuomo reviewed what he considered the high points of the agreement.

One of the four men in the room – IDC Leader Jeff Klein – was even insisting that a key portion of the budget remains under negotiation, even though it was introduced along with the rest of the agreement.

Klein was referring to creation of a very limited public campaign finance system just for the state comptroller’s office – something Cuomo seems to consider a settled matter, given the Senate Republicans’ opposition to the entire idea of underwriting campaigns with tax dollars.

The left and good government organizations aren’t happy with the comptroller-only option. Neither, interestingly, is Comptroller Tom DiNapoli, who has been pushing for his office to be a pilot project for public financing for some time – just not like this.

The good government organizations also aren’t happy about Cuomo’s plan to dissolve the corruption-busting Moreland Commission in exchange for some reforms in the budget deal – beefing up enforcement at the state Board of Elections, strengthening district attorneys’ ability to prosecute bad behavior by elected officials.

In response, there has been a string of supportive statements from DAs who are members of Moreland, saying how important the reforms agreed to in the budget are. Here’s an example from DA Thomas Zugibe, of Rockland County:

“I am disappointed that we will not realize the recommended change from transactional immunity to use immunity when conducting Grand Jury investigations into public corruption.”

“However, the overall agreement reached by the Governor and legislature is a major step forward in the effort to clean up Albany by making state government more transparent, cleaning up our election system and establishing tougher consequences and enforcement tools to go after corrupt politicians.”

“I applaud the Governor for pushing these important reforms forward.”

In other budget news…

More >

Extras

A few headlines to peruse while we await a final budget deal…

“At about noon Friday, the Speaker was in his full Silver-poker-face mode.”

According to a statement from Rochester Mayor Lovely Warren, the Flower City will receive in the budget $6 million in unrestricted aid for the first time since 2008. (No link).

Upstate and Long Island lawmakers are pushing for $100 million (not $40 million) in pre-K aid for districts outside the five boroughs.

Lawmakers say the budget deal will include about $300,000 to reopen the State Street main entrance of the LOB – the nine-story building that houses lawmakers.

The state budget will include $40 million to help local governments fix the many potholes that are left after a rough winter across New York.

Former NYPD Commissioner Ray Kelly is joining ABC News as a consultant.

Max Young, the press secretary for Sen. Chuck Schumer, is leaving that post to work for a Rockefeller Foundation initiative.

Philip Eure, the head of Washington, D.C.’s Office of Police Complaints, has been appointed the first inspector general of the NYPD.

Tesla Motors Inc. struck an agreement with Cuomo and the state’s car dealers that lets it keep five existing company-owned stores in New York as long as it doesn’t open more direct sale outlets here.

Sen. Joe Addabbo met recently with Cuomo to make the case for bringing back member items.

The New York Times has a new editor. More here.

Following the federal government’s lead, the New York health exchange has eased a Monday enrollment deadline for insurance coverage.

Ithaca Mayor Svante Myrick will get national attention this Sunday when he appears on NBC’s Meet the Press.

David Samson, the chairman of the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey, has resigned from the bistate agency, Gov. Chris Christie announced today.

Two women who accuse ex-Assemblyman Vito Lopez of sexually harassing them on the job have refiled their lawsuit after a judge tossed it out earlier this month.

Next week, Democrats in Washington will have the option of voting for a “D.C. Ready for Hillary” slate of candidates running for party-leadership positions.

Paul Singer, a top Republican fund-raiser, gave more than $360,000 to the Coalition for Equal Opportunity in Education, which supports the push for an education investment tax credit.

The Buffalo Bills will hold a “celebration and remembrance” for late owner Ralph Wilson from 1-4 p.m. on April 5 in the team’s field house.

The state Attorney General’s office is trying to dismiss a pair of lawsuits that seek to force a decision on hydraulic fracturing for natural gas in New York.

Several of Sen. Tony Avella’s staffers received plum pay raises after defected from the regular Democrats to join the IDC.

Assemblyman Dov Hikind is offering a “free shredding opportunity” for residents who want to get rid of “sensitive documents.”

The state Gaming Commission’s Facility Location Board will put out requests for applications Monday for four privately owned casinos in three regions of the state.

AQE, NY Communities For Change Target Avella

AQE and NY Communities for Change are taking advantage in this (hopefully brief) break in the budget action to target the IDC’s newest member, Queens Democratic Sen. Tony Avella, accusing him of “selling out” on charter school co-locations.

Email blasts from the two liberal organizations note that Avella used to be an outspoken opponent of charters – and co-location in particular – and yet voted “yes” on the Senate one-house budget that education advocates say pushes more of the controversial co-locations and hikes state aid to charters at the expense of traditional public schools.

This is a disaster, but it would not be on the table if Senator Avella had not voted for it when the Republican led coalition included this plan in their budget bill,” AQE’s email, signed by its advocacy director Zakiyah Ansari. “Now, Avella has to step up and stop it from happening.”

“…Negotiations are intense, and the State Assembly leadership is fighting hard, but they need our help,” the email continues. “It is difficult when the charter school lobbyists have spent more than $5 million on a TV and radio advertising campaign. These same lobbyist are funneling campaign money into the Senate leadership coalition that Senator Avella has joined.”

Both emails encourage their recipients to email Avella and express their disappointment. New York Communities for Change is also robocalling in Avella’s district. According to AQE’s Billy Easton, some 500 emails have already been sent to Avella’s office since these blasts were sent less than an hour ago.

When the Senate one-house budget was passed, Avella said he had not changed his mind about either charter schools or co-locations, but wanted to vote “yes” because he believed the plan would result in more money for NYC schools overall.

“I am voting for this resolution because of the more than half a billion dollars in new funding it asks our state to deliver to non-charter New York City publics schools,” Avella said at the time. “Any legislator stubborn enough to turn down that type of windfall for New York City students and teachers is forgetting about the families who elected them here in the first place.”

Here and Now

Gov. Andrew Cuomo is in Albany with no public schedule.

A state budget agreement is expected sometime this morning, though given the way things have been going, what time that actually occurs is anyone’s guess.

The legislative leaders and the governor made some progress yesterday, reportedly reaching a deal on education that adds $300 million in additional spending to the $807 million boost Cuomo proposed, spends $340 million on pre-K – most of which is going to NYC – and also hikes per-pupil state aid for charter schools, though they would have to agree to be audited by the state comptroller.

This is the first time privately operated charter schools will be eligible for government funds to cover the costs of leasing classroom space in private buildings.

There’s also reportedly agreement on Cuomo’s two-year property tax freeze, with some modifications to his original proposal, a two-year delay of some Common Core standards implementation and expansion of an upstate manufacturing tax credit statewide (which the Senate Democrats are not at all happy about).

As of last night, the three sides were still wrangling over campaign finance reform, with a number of ideas floated and shot down on creation of a publicly financed system.

Also up in the air: The fate of Cuomo’s anti-corruption Moreland Commission, which was defunded in both the Senate and Assembly one-house budgets.

The DREAM Act and the education tax credit pushed by the Catholic Church did not make the cut. Instead, final budget will increase an existing funding amount that goes to Catholic schools for state-mandated services for which they get reimbursed.

Also happening today…

At 8:30 a.m., NYC Public Advocate Letitia James speaks at the Greater New York Chamber of Commerce Women’s History Month Breakfast, 1501 Broadway, Manhattan.

At 9 a.m., NYC Council Speaker Melissa Mark-Viverito attends the New York Women’s Chamber of Commerce 2014 State of Women, Room 142, Uris Hall, Columbia University, Manhattan.

At 9:30 a.m., NYC Comptroller Scott Stringer speaks at Mount Hope Housing Company’s affordable housing networking breakfast, in the faculty dining room in the Music Building, Lehman College, 250 Bedford Park Blvd., the Bronx.

At 10:15 a.m., NYC Mayor Bil de Blasio will attend a farewell breakfast for departing Sanitation Commissioner John Doherty, DSNY Headquarters, 125 Worth St., Manhattan.

At 10:30 a.m., AG Eric Schneiderman joins Erie County Executive Mark Poloncarz for an announcement about homeowner relief efforts, Edward A. Rath County Office Building, 16th floor, 95 Franklin St., Buffalo.

At 11 a.m., NYC Department of Investigation Commissioner Mark Peters announces the NYPD Inspector General, DOI offices, 80 Maiden Ln., 19th floor, Manhattan.

At 11:30 a.m., Queens Borough President Melinda Katz announces plans for the 50th anniversary of the 1964 World’s Fair, The Unisphere, Flushing Meadows-Corona Park, Queens.

Also at 11:30 a.m., Schneiderman joins Rep. Brian Higgins to announce the latest action in his ongoing fight against smartphone theft, Town of Tonawanda Police Department, 1835 Sheridan Dr., Kenmore.

At 5:45 p.m., Rep. Chris Gibson attends the Otsego County Chamber of Commerce Dinner, Hunt Ballroom, SUNY Oneonta, Ravine Parkway, Oneonta.

At 6:30 p.m., NYC First Lady Chirlane McCray gives the keynote address at the “Shirley Chisholm Women of Distinction Celebration” event at the Main Brooklyn Public Library, 10 Grand Army Plaza, Brooklyn.

Also at 6:30 p.m., Sen. James Sanders Jr. holds education town hall meeting at the Calvary Baptist Church. 111-10 Guy R. Brewer Blvd., Jamaica, Queens.

At 7:30 p.m., Gibson attends the Schoharie County Chamber of Commerce Dinner, Best Western, Burgin Drive, Cobleskill.

Headlines…

Cuomo critic Bill Samuels met with Syracuse Mayor Stephanie Miner, another frequent Cuomo critic, and came away impressed, saying: “I think she’s a future statewide leader. She’s that good.”

Miner shared her concerns about Syracuse’s “infrastructure crisis” in written testimony she submitted to a U.S. Senate committee considering the reauthorization of a multibillion dollar bill to help maintain and rebuild transportation infrastructure.

Before delivering a conciliatory speech on charter schools last Sunday, NYC Mayor Bill de Blasio chatted with former President Bill Clinton about the issue.

More >

Extras

Campaign finance reform advocates shot down the state comptroller-only public financing option and other potential compromises.

Senate Co-Leader Dean Skelos and Sen. Marty Golden rejected expanding a proposed education investment tax credit to help fund scholarships for the college kids of illegal immigrants.

Assemblywoman Donna Lupardo and Sen. Tom Libous expect the final budget to include $10 million for a Binghamton University pharmacy school after the money was in doubt in recent weeks.

GOP gubernatorial candidate Rob Astorino was “upbeat” at his campaign kickoff fundraiser that netted him at least six figures.

The Democratic anti-Astorino “truth squad” created a Google map to keep track of the Westchester County executive.

NYC Mayor Bill de Blasio appointed five new members to the city board that sets rents for the approximately 1 million apartments across the city that are subject to the Rent Stabilization law.

Sen. Adriano Espaillat will hire Red Horse Strategies, a prominent left-leaning public relations firm, to manage targeted field operations for his primary campaign against Rep. Charlie Rangel.

The owners of 23 New York Domino’s Pizza locations agreed to pay workers nearly half a million dollars to settle a wage-theft investigation by AG Eric Schneiderman’s office.

Larry Kudlow will speak Saturday at a tribute to the late Jack Kemp that also will serve as a fundraiser for the Erie County Conservative Party.

State and federal inspectors have completed a second round of safety checks of train tracks and oil tanker cars in an effort to prevent derailments and spills of volatile crude from North Dakota’s Bakken region.

The Senate passed a resolution honoring the late Ralph Wilson Jr.

The Green Party candidate in NY-21, Matt Funiciello, says he has gathered enough signatures to get onto the June 24 primary ballot.

NY2A, a gun rights group, has an anti-Cuomo T-shirt that has raised some eyebrows.

The new Dunkin Donuts at the state Capitol is scheduled to open Monday.

Is your town tracking you?”

What does Cuomo have against more speed cameras in NYC, which the de Blasio administration now wants.

NRCC Slams Maffei For Second Home Purchase

Rather predictably, the NRCC is taking aim at Democratic Rep. Dan Maffei for buying a $699,000 second home in Virginia, saying the purchase shows he’s out of touch with his constituents back home in Central New York, many of whom are struggling to make ends meet.

The GOP’s statement notes that Maffei lost his seat in year – like this one – when there isn’t a presidential race to boost turnout in this Democrat-dominated state. The congressman is apparently back in the Republicans’ crosshairs now that local GOP and Conservative leaders have settled on a challenger, former federal prosecutor John Katko, to take on Maffei in the general election. (Katko does face a primary challenge from Syracuse businessman Ian Hunter).

“D.C. Dan Maffei apparently loves the Washington life so much that he decided to put down roots there,” said NRCC spokesman Ian Prior. “Maffei will certainly have lots of time to spend in his new $700,000 home after November 4th when Central New Yorkers tell him he can stay in Washington, just not as their representative.”

According to the Syracuse Post-Standard, Maffei and his wife, Abby Davidson Maffei, split their time between Washington, D.C. and Syracuse to accomodate both of their work schedules.

The couple had been renting an apartment near the Pentagon in Arlington, Va., and also owns a home in Syracuse’s Valley neighborhood, which they purchased last year after selling a house in DeWitt to Joan O’Donnell Dadey, wife of Onondaga County Republican Chairman Tom Dadey.

Maffei told the Post-Standard that rents in the D.C. area are so high that it made more sense, financially speaking, for him to rent. He and his wife are expecting their first child in June.

Members of Congress receive a base salary of $175,000. As of last June, Maffei was one of the least wealthy members of Congress, thanks to his student loan debt.

Here and Now

Gov. Andrew Cuomo is in Albany with no public schedule.

At 9:30 a.m., parents protest Common Core curriculum assessment tests; P.S. 368 Hamilton Heights School, 1750 Amsterdam Ave., Manhattan.

At 10 a.m., Monroe County Executive Maggie Brooks and Chairman of the Council of Governments Ronald Nesbitt will hold a press conference to discuss Cuomo’s tax freeze proposal, Monroe County Office Building, Atrium, 39 West Main St., Rochester.

At noon, Adam Haber (who lost a Nassau County executive primary to Tom Suozzi last year) announces his candidacy for the state Senate, VFW Post 5253, 155 Searingtown Road, Albertson.

Also at noon, Members of Amalgamated Transit Union Local 1181 will join with parents groups Thursday in support of reinstating Employee Protection Provisions into NYC’s school busing contracts, City Hall steps, Manhattan.

From noon to 3 p.m., climate change activists will rally and deliver pension fund divestment petitions to state Comptroller Tom DiNapoli, 59 Maiden Lane, Manhattan.

At 12:15 p.m., NYC Mayor Bill de Blasio holds a roundtable with members of the city’s ethnic media, Blue Room, City Hall, Manhattan.

At 6 p.m., congressional candidate Domenic Recchia has a fund-raiser, hosted by Reps. Carolyn Maloney, Jerry Nadler, Yvette Clarke, Eliot Engel, Hakeem Jeffries, Grace Meng and Charlie Rangel, at 20 West 72nd Street, Apt. 506., Manhattan.

Also at 6 p.m, NYC Public Advocate Letitia James and Councilwoman Julissa Ferreras host a Women’s “Heart Health & Fashion” event, at the Louis Armstrong Community Center, 33-16 108 Street, Queens.

Headlines…

There’s no budget deal yet, but the governor and legislative leaders are closing down sensitive topics and inching toward an agreement. They could return to the Capitol Sunday to review budget bills that could then be passed Monday before the midnight deadline.

The final budget will change some elements of Common Core, but will keep intact, for now, teacher evaluations tied partly to standardized test results of students in public schools.

Cuomo is pursuing a resolution to an impasse with New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio in the city’s attempt to secure access to state funds to launch a new program to help the homeless move out of shelters.

The NYC Council sided with de Blasio in his latest disagreement over state funding with Cuomo.

Efforts by Republican senators to prevent the Cuomo administration’s plan to close four upstate prisons aren’t going well, according to Sen. Mike Nozzolio.

The FBI raid of Assemblyman William Scarborough’s Albany and Queens offices appeared to focus on his per diems – particularly five nights he claimed to be in Albany, but was shown to be in New York City – but the assemblyman insisted he’s innocent.

Scarborough said he believed the FBI inquiry was triggered by a “hit job” in a New York City tabloid – an apparent reference to an October 2012 article in the New York Post that detailed the more than $59,000 in per diem payments he collected in 2010 and 2011.

Scarborough said his per diem spending has been “within the guidelines of the Assembly,” but that law enforcement has “a different interpretation of those regulations” than he does.

Assemblywoman Earlene Hooper, a top per diem recipient in the Legislature, yelled at the Daily News’ Ken Lovett when he tried to interview her on the Assembly floor.

Cost conscious lawmakers trying to bank their per diems flock to Glenmont’s Comfort Inn, which offers a special nightly rate of $64.95. (They get $172 a day while in Albany to cover lodging and food, regardless of where they eat or sleep. No receipts are required).

Three former campaign workers for Bronx Councilwoman Maria Del Carmen Arroyo’s reelection bid were charged with forging nearly 100 signatures, including Derek Jeter’s and Kate Moss’, on the candidate’s primary ballot petitions.

After a Times Union report that the FBI is investigating a 2007 land purchase she made with her husband, Sen. Kathy Marchione invited reporters up to see the parcel in question for themselves, and insisted she has nothing to hide.

InBloom, Inc., a controversial nonprofit data company, spent more than $50,000 on lobbying the first two months of 2014 as Cuomo and lawmakers considered whether to stall or end the state’s relationship with it.

Rep. Charlie Rangel will receive his first endorsement from a statewide elected official today when Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand announces her support for his re-election.

The NYT looks at de Blasio’s appointments, and finds he is fulfilling his pledge to improve diversity at City Hall.

More >

Extras

Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver on the FBI raid of Assemblyman William Scarborough’s offices: “It’s always disappointing when things happen, but I believe in the criminal justice system.”

US Attorney for the Northern District Richard Hartunian said the raid was part of an ongoing investigation, adding: “Mr. Scarborough has not been charged and is presumed innocent.” (No link).

The not-so-glamorous side of Albany life, as told (in video!) by Assemblyman Harvey Weisenberg, a Glenmont Comfort Inn regular.

NYC Council Speaker Melissa Mark-Viverito was asked if Gov. Andrew Cuomo is a good progressive. “I’m not going to answer that question,” she replied.

…other liberal NYC Council members were far less pragmatic in their comments about Cuomo.

LG Bob Duffy says Cuomo has never asked him to “step away” from the ticket this fall. An announcement about his future will be made in May.

Rep. Dan Maffei bought a $699,000 townhouse in Virginia, where he and his wife plan to live part-time.

Three former campaign workers for Councilwoman Maria del Carmen Arroyo were officially charged with fraud for allegedly forging signatures for the Bronx Democrat’s re-election petitions.

…this came the same day Citizens Union accused the state Board of Elections of dropping an investigation into Assemblywoman Carmen Arroyo (the councilwoman’s mother).

GOP gubernatorial candidate Rob Astorino’s latest anti-Cuomo video is in Spanish.

Tucked into the budgets submitted by the Assembly and Cuomo is a proposal that would give a salary boost to workers affiliated with New York’s most powerful health-care union: SEIU 1199.

Following a TU report that she’s under investigation by the FBI for a 2007 land deal, Sen. Kathy Marchione invited reporters to tour the property she insists she purchased legally.

There’s still a chance – albeit a slim one – that the $16.4 million Syracuse Mayor Stephanie Miner requested will be in the final budget deal.

The State Police has updated its field guide to remove enforcement of a seven-bullet magazine limit that was part of the SAFE Act.

Where are New York’s healthiest counties? Find out here.

The passage of National Popular Vote legislation in both the Senate and Assembly is a coup for Tom Golisano.

Frost-damaged upstate vineyards are eligible for federal disaster aid this year under a declaration issued by the the U.S. Department of Agriculture.

De Blasio is really excited about his unclaimed cash at the state comptroller’s office.

Duffy says the deal cut by the Cuomo administration to keep the Bills in Buffalo “buys us seven years” to work out an ownership deal following Ralph Wilson’s death.

House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi said Hillary Clinton would be “one of the most qualified people to go into the White House.”