Nick Reisman

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Here and Now

Gov. Andrew Cuomo is in Albany and has nothing public scheduled.

At 9 a.m., City & State hosts the New York Women’s Power 100 networking reception, featuring keynote remarks from Lt. Gov. Kathy Hochul and state Attorney General-elect Letitia James, New York Academy of Sciences, 250 Greenwich St., Manhattan.

At 10 a.m., the Assembly Committee on Aging holds a public hearing on healthy aging, Hamilton Hearing Room B, Legislative Office Building, second floor, Albany.

Also at 10 a.m., the NYC Council Committee on Finance meets, Committee Room, City Hall, Manhattan.

Also at 10 a.m., Queens Assemblyman David Weprin joins Manhattan Assembly members Linda Rosenthal and Richard Gottfried to call for medication-assisted treatment in correctional facilities, City Hall steps, Manhattan.

At 10:30 a.m., the Assembly Committee on Alcoholism and Drug Abuse, the Assembly Committee on Health and the Assembly Committee on Correction holds a joint public hearing on examining the effectiveness of medication-assisted treatment programs in state and local correctional facilities, Assembly Hearing Room, 250 Broadway, Room 1923, Manhattan.

At 11 a.m., Brooklyn Councilman Jumaane Williams holds a rally to make a major announcement regarding his public advocate campaign, City Hall steps, Manhattan.

Also at 11 a.m., the #FixTheSubway Coalition rallies in favor of a comprehensive transit funding plan, Bowling Green on the plaza opposite the MTA’s headquarters, 2 Broadway, Manhattan.

Also at 11 a.m., lawmakers, survivors of incarceration, family members and a broad cross-section of advocacy groups call on lawmakers to finally enact progressive policies long sought to end mass incarceration and promote justice, Foley Square, 111 Worth St, Manhattan.

Also at 11 a.m., there will be a hearing on an effort by the city and state to stop proceedings in the property tax lawsuit, state Supreme Court, Room 345, 60 Centre St., Manhattan.

Also 11 a.m., “The Capitol Pressroom” features Albany County District Attorney David Soares and Donna Lieberman, executive director of the New York Civil Liberties Union, WCNY.

At 11:30 a.m., state Sen. Michael Gianaris, Councilman Jimmy Van Bramer – both of Queens – and the Retail, Wholesale and Department Store Union rally against the $3 billion in subsidies being provided to Amazon for its new headquarters, corner of 44th Drive and Vernon Boulevard, Queens.

At noon, Manhattan Councilman Ydanis Rodriguez is joined by co-sponsors and advocates of Intro. 304 to encourage the City Council to approve the bill, which would establish a task force to study the sales prices of taxi medallions, City Hall steps, Manhattan.

At 1:30 p.m., the NYC Council holds a stated meeting, Council Chambers, City Hall, Manhattan.

Also at 1:30 p.m., the SUNY board of trustees’ executive session meets, State University Plaza, 353 Broadway, Albany.

At 5 p.m., Bronx Councilman Andy King speaks at a The Hunter Foundation’s town hall meeting, “Battling K2 and the Opioid Crisis in America,” Harlem Hospital, Herbert Cave Auditorium, 506 Malcolm X Blvd., Manhattan.

At 5:30 p.m., state Comptroller Thomas DiNapoli is honored at NY FarmNet’s Annual Meeting, Marriott Syracuse Downtown, 100 E. Onondaga St., Syracuse.

At 6 p.m., NYC Schools Chancellor Richard Carranza addresses the Queens Parent Advisory Board, Borough Hall, 120-55 Queens Blvd., Queens.

At 6:30 p.m., NYC public advocate candidates, including Assemblyman Michael Blake, NYC Councilmen Rafael Espinal, Eric Ulrich and Jumaane Williams as well as Nomiki Konst and Dawn Smalls participate in a town hall hosted by AARP, New York Law School, 185 W. Broadway, Manhattan.

Also at 6:30 p.m., the NYC Civilian Complaint Review Board hosts its monthly meeting, St. Clare Catholic Academy, 13725 Brookville Blvd., Queens


After a year-long competition among more than 230 locations, Amazon has chosen to split its second headquarters between Long Island City in Queens and Crystal City in Northern Virginia.

The price tag for both Virginia and New York is a hefty one: At least $2 billion in tax incentives, but the jobs created will pay an average of $150,000.

Amazon is splitting its second headquarters to be in proximity to the political capital of the country as well as its media and financial center.

Local leaders in Queens, however, are not universally embracing the move, and are upset there was not more input.

Nicole Gelinas in The New York Post writes that the city “has grown at such a fast clip since the 2008 recession that it’s not a stretch to say that the city, as a whole, will barely notice these new jobs.”

CNN is suing President Donald Trump’s administration over the revocation of reporter Jim Acosta’s hard pass to the White House following a test exchange last week.

Nationally Democratic gains appear to have grown stronger since Election Day as the party picks up key victories.

But scrutiny and criticism of a Democratic Florida elections official is also growing amid concerns of mishandled ballots.

The president is weighing a shakeup of his administration, including replacing his chief of staff, John Kelly.

It was just a week ago when Election Day brought long lines and a lot of broken machines. It turns out, the Board of Elections had some spares.

Rep.-elect Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez took time out of freshman orientation to stop by a climate change protest going on at the Capitol offices of potential Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi.

California Rep. Kevin McCarthy appears to be headed toward becoming the top Republican in the House of Representatives as the GOP loses its majority and Speaker Paul Ryan is set to leave office.

For nearly a decade, riders on the 7 line have endured frequent weekend service interruptions in Manhattan and Queens so the MTA could upgrade its signal system. That’s about to change.

Republicans in the state Senate will be in the minority next year, losing control of the chamber they had for a decade. Now, some members of the party and their allies are pushing for a change in GOP leadership.

There is still no winner in the 22nd Congressional District as the absentee ballot count is expected to begin in most of the eight-counties it runs through on Wednesday.

For years, being a survivor of sexual abuse in the Catholic Church was often an isolating experience. But with an increase in national attention, including a new lawsuit, the Diocese of Ogdensburg is reaching out.

Day two of the U.S. Conference of Bishops in Baltimore, Maryland wasted no time addressing the nationwide clergy abuse crisis.

The Saratoga Springs City Council approved a resolution supporting strengthening security measures, and stand ready to assist in providing additional SROs.

In his first town hall since becoming Onondaga County executive, Ryan McMahon talked about his priorities in office – to improve infrastructure and reduce poverty.

It’s been decades since there was a new representative of the 25th District, a position long held by the late Louise Slaughter, and Rep. Joe Morelle wants to make sure he takes in the weighty moment.

Media and information firm Thomson Reuters is closing its Rochester location. The company will be closing its office located on East Broad Street in downtown Rochester.

New Era Cap Company’s plant in Derby is slated to close in March 2019, according to a source who said union members were notified Tuesday morning. Production is scheduled to halt in February.

The MTA will purchase Grand Central Terminal the Harlem and Hudson rail lines, opening the area up for development in the process.

The exit of Megan Kelly from NBC’s The Today Show has proven to be a boon for its ratings.

The Long Island Power Authority is hiking its delivery fees by 2.4 percent.

Suffolk County Executive Steve Bellone is backing away from a proposal that would have tapped into a rainy day fund.

Cuomo: Amazon Deal Won’t Cost State Anything

The initial $1.5 billion in incentives for Amazon to bring up to 25,000 jobs to Long Island City in Queens ultimately won’t cost New York anything, Gov. Andrew Cuomo insisted at a news conference on Tuesday.

The tax breaks over 10 years are tied to job creation, but the company is also receiving $350 million in a cash grant from the Empire State Development Corp. to help develop office space.

And the tax incentives grow to $1.7 billion for 40,000 jobs created after 15 years by the company.

“We don’t have this kind of money. We’re going to make this kind of money from this transaction,” Cuomo said. “This is a big money maker for us. It costs us nothing, nada, nothing, niente, goose egg. We make money doing this.”

Cuomo also said the decision by Amazon to bring its second headquarters to Queens along with Crystal City in Virginia “memorialized” his economic development efforts. New York was one of more than 200 cities that competed for the headquarters.

“This is day in, day out the status of economic development,” Cuomo said. “There is constant and ferocious competition between the different states and the different cities.”

But there are skeptics and critics of tax incentives, the largest New York has ever announced for a single company, on both the right and the left.

“New York State and the New York City bosses in charge continue to put corporate America above the hardworking men and women gutting it out every day in New York’s abysmal business climate,” said Republican Sen. Fred Akshar.

Another upstate Republican, Sen. Cathy Young, pointed to sports apparel manufacturer New Era announcing plans on Tuesday to close its western New York plant next year, a move that affects 270 jobs.

“Overburdened New York taxpayers, particularly those in upstate who are seeing their communities and families decimated by job losses and lack of opportunity, have every right to be outraged by this massive giveaway,” she said.

Democratic state Sen. Michael Gianaris has also been critical of the incentives as his conference moves to take majority control of the chamber in 2019.

“We are witness to a cynical game in which Amazon duped New York into offering unprecedented amounts of tax dollars to one of the wealthiest companies on Earth for a promise of jobs that would represent less than 3 percent of the jobs typically created in our city over a 10 year period,” Gianaris said in a statement with Councilman Jimmy Van Bramer.

“Too much is at stake to accept this without a fight. We will continue to stand up against what can only be described as a bad deal for New York and for Long Island City.”

The labor union that represents retail workers was also critical.

“New York deserves better than the deal that was struck to lure Amazon here,” said RWDSU President Stuart Appelbaum. “Its hard to believe that we are giving as much as $1 billion dollars to one of the wealthiest and largest companies in history.”

And the announcement drew a rebuke from the National Federation of Independent Business.

“New York’s small, independent businesses employ more than half of the State’s private sector workforce, pay some of the highest property and income taxes in the nation, and are in desperate need of real relief from a stifling regulatory climate,” said NFIB State Director Greg Biryla.

“Rather than cut a $1.7 billion check to one of the wealthiest corporations in the world, New York State’s economy, taxpayers and communities would be far better served by seeing business, property and income tax reductions implemented across the board.”

But the announcement also created the odd pairing of Cuomo with his rival, New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio, who cheered the announcement at the governor’s Manhattan office in New York City.

“New Yorkers will get tens of thousands of new, good-paying jobs, and Amazon will get the best talent in the world,” he said. “We’re going to use this opportunity to open up good careers in tech to thousands of people looking for their foothold in the new economy, including those in City colleges and public housing. The city and state are working closely together to make sure Amazon’s expansion is planned smartly, and to ensure this fast growing neighborhood has the transportation, schools and infrastructure it needs.”

And the announcement won the support of members of the state’s congressional delegation and other Queens officials, including the borough president, Melinda Katz.

“Amazon’s decision to locate a headquarters in New York City is a testament to the strength of our technology sector,” said Rep. Yvette Clarke. “As the most diverse large city in America, I am hopeful that this investment will help promote racial, ethnic, and gender diversity within the technology sector. I am also encouraged that this decision is accompanied by investments in NYCHA and public infrastructure. More work needs to be done to ensure that all New Yorkers reap the benefits of our economy and I am hopeful that this is the first critical step towards that goal.”

Labor allies of the governor, including Gary LaBarbera of the Building and Construction Trades Council, also praised it.

“It’s exciting that Amazon is making this commitment to our great city and state,” he said. “We look forward to working closely with Amazon and the community to ensure that the project includes good middle class construction jobs with benefits and high quality permanent jobs.”

As did the world of real estate.

“Amazon on the East River is no accident. It’s an outgrowth of what has and continues to make New York so special. There is no better city in the world than New York to access a large and diverse pool of talent,” said Steven Rubinstein, the chair of the Board of the Association for A Better New York.

Flanagan Says He Can Unite Upstate And Downstate

Sen. John Flanagan in a statement on Tuesday insisted he could unite the upstate and downstate factions in the Republican conference as he runs to keep the leadership post in the chamber.

At the same time, Flanagan also said he has “no interest” in running for Suffolk County executive.

“I believe I am the one candidate who can unite Upstate and downstate and chart a credible path to a future Republican Majority,” Flanagan said. “To do so, we must recruit strong candidates who can compete and win in every region of the state, including Upstate, the suburbs and, yes, even in New York City.”

Flanagan became majority leader in 2015. His chief rival for retaining the leadership is Sen. Cathy Young, the chairwoman of the Senate Republican Campaign Committee.

Republicans last week lost eight seats in the 63-member chamber and controlling majority in the Senate for the first time in a decade.

Flanagan called the election “historically difficult” and attributed to a “national wave that favored Democrats.”

“As Republicans, we are going to spend the next two years aggressively highlighting the differences that exist between ourselves and the incoming Democrat Majority,” Flanagan said.

“We are going to make a case for reducing taxes so it’s far easier to live in New York, helping businesses create new jobs so there are opportunities for families and for young people, and we’re going to stay hard at work on the issues that truly matter to middle-class families – – like making higher education more affordable, bringing about safer streets and stronger communities, helping individuals overcome the scourge of heroin and opioids, ensuring clean water, combating Lyme disease, and so much more.”

So far, at least two Republicans — Sens. Rich Funke and Robert Ortt — have publicly announced they want to see a change in leadership. Flanagan has the public backing of Sen. Fred Akshar of the Binghamton area.

“I have been speaking openly and honestly with my Republican colleagues from around the state about the qualities they want in their leader, and I have been pleased with those initial discussions,” Flanagan said. “What lies ahead will not be easy, but I believe I am uniquely prepared to take up and lead this important fight on behalf of the extraordinary men and women of our Senate Republican Conference.”

Ortt Wants Upstate Leadership In Senate

Sen. Robert Ortt in a statement on Tuesday said he wanted an upstate lawmaker to serve as the next Republican leader in the state Senate.

Republicans have lost their working majority in the state Senate and are expected to have as few as 23 members come January 2019.

But the Republicans left are predominantly concentrated north of the New York City metropolitan area.

“In light of the drubbing the New York State Senate Republicans took on election night, the balance of power in the State Legislature and the Senate Republican Conference has shifted,” said Ortt, a western New York lawmaker.

“Upstate New York and the people who live north of Westchester County stand to lose the most due to this new power dynamic. Because of this change, it is paramount that the leader of the Senate Republicans is an individual who is representative of the party’s new upstate majority and mirrors the makeup of its members. We need someone who not only has a plan to regain the majority in the Senate, but who can also advance the issues of protecting our second amendment rights, supporting our small businesses and farmers, and re-energizing our upstate economy in the face of a Democratic majority that threatens all of them.”

The statement comes as Sen. John Flanagan, the current Republican leader and a Long Islander, is facing a leadership challenge from Sen. Cathy Young of Olean in western New York.

Republicans have not had an upstate leader since Sen. Joe Bruno held the post.

Amazon’s Queens HQ To Cost Up To $1.5B

Taxpayers will be spending up to $1.5 billion over the next decade should Amazon reach its target of 25,000 jobs created at its second headquarters in Long Island City.

New York will provide up to $1.7 billion if the web retail giant reaches 40,000 jobs within 15 years.

The initial 10-year agreement includes $350 million in a cash grant from the Empire State Development Corp. and $1.2 billion in credits.

The tax breaks for the company to come to Long Island City in Queens are a record amount for the state.,

Amazon on Tuesday announced it would officially split its second headquarters between two locations: Queens and suburban Virginia.

The average promised salary will be $150,000 — transforming the area, but also likely driving up the cost of real estate in the process.

New York had not revealed its proposed incentive package during the run-up of the nationwide search by the company.

“With an average salary of $150,000 per year for the tens of thousands of new jobs Amazon is creating in Queens, economic opportunity and investment will flourish for the entire region,” Gov. Andrew Cuomo said in a statement. “Amazon understands that New York has everything the company needs to continue its growth.”

But pushback from Queens lawmakers is already underway upset with the size and scope of the incentives.

Assemblyman Ron Kim, a Democrat, announced he would introduce legislation that would end tax breaks for corporate job creation and redirect the money to student loan debt relief.

“Giving Jeff Bezos hundreds of millions of dollars is an immoral waste of taxpayers money when it’s more than clear that the money would create more jobs and more economic growth when it is used to relieve student debt,” Kim said.

“Giving Amazon this type of corporate welfare is no different, if not worse, than Donald Trump giving trillions in corporate tax breaks at the federal level. There’s no correlation between healthy, sustainable job creation and corporate giveaways. If we used this money to cancel distressed student debt instead, there would be immediate positive GDP growth, job creation, and impactful social-economic returns.”

Republicans Battle For Senate Leader

From the Morning Memo:

Poised to fall into a 23-member minority in less than two months, Senate Republicans have a leadership fight on their hands.

Sen. John Flanagan, the outgoing majority leader, is campaigning to stay atop the soon-to-be-diminished Republican conference, making a public show of support that he’s received from Republican Sen. Fred Akshar.

Sen. Cathy Young, meanwhile, has picked up the support of institutions that have supported a GOP majority over the years, including the Real Estate Board of New York, the Rent Stabilization Association and the New York Rifle And Pistol Association. On Monday, Rochester-area Sen. Rich Funke said he would support Young for leader over Flanagan.

The leadership vote has aspects of what has been a downstate-upstate tension in a conference that is normally publicly united on issues like property taxes. But cracks in the Republican unity first began to show in 2015, when Majority Leader Dean Skelos stepped down after he was charged with using his office to help his son get a job.

The subsequent leadership fight between Flanagan, a Long Island lawmaker, and Sen. John DeFrancisco of central New York brought those differences in style as well as substance to the surface.

The conference had increasingly moved further away from public cooperation with Gov. Andrew Cuomo, whose first term and parts of his second term were marked by a productive working relationship with the Senate GOP majority.

But facing political pressure from the left in New York to aid his own party’s takeover of the Senate, Cuomo’s relationship with Senate Republicans soured and devolved to public sniping.

Working with Cuomo also strained the coalition for Republicans in New York, who flinched at the GOP-led Senate approving measures like gun control and increases in the state’s minimum wage.

The Republican conference next year will not just be smaller, but have have reduced downstate ranks. Only three Republicans will represent Long Island’s nine Senate districts next year: Flanagan, Sens. Phil Boyle and Ken LaValle. The conference will have only one New York City member, Sen. Andrew Lanza.

Gateway Group Finds Support For Tunnel Projects

From the Morning Memo:

A group backing the construction of the Gateway Tunnel Project released a poll Monday that found support for the first two projects in the program, the Port North Bridge and Hudson Tunnel Projects.

The poll, surveying residents in the states most effected by the construction — New York, New Jersey and Pennsylvania — found more than 85 percent believe its important to have a second rail tunnel under the Hudson River.

And 80 percent are supportive of the current effort to replace the one-track-in, one-track-out system that is more than a century old.

The survey was conducted by the Gateway Program Development Corp. and comes as state officials like Gov. Andrew Cuomo have made public appeals for the federal government to help fund the project.

“For too long America has failed to invest in its infrastructure but we have an opportunity to change that,” said GDC Vice Chairman Tony Coscia. “The Gateway Program is big and bold but also smart and achievable. It’s time to pay it forward for a new generation and build 21st Century infrastructure of which America can be proud.”

The poll also found 85 percent of New York and New Jersey residents would support an Amtrak-federal government partnership to fund the Gateway effort, while 90 percent believe a new tunnel is important for interstate commerce.

There’s also strong support — 72 percent — for the federal government to pay for a new rail tunnel.

Funke Endorses Young For Minority Leader

Add Sen. Rich Funke to those backing Sen. Cathy Young for Republican leader in the state Senate.

Funke in a statement Monday afternoon said it was time for new leadership in the chamber after Republicans lost majority control for the first time in 10 years.

“The Senate Republican Conference is more centered in upstate New York then ever before and its time we had an upstate leader in charge,” Funke said.

“The right person to turn around our electoral fortunes is the same person who has defied the odds and lead us to victory in the past as the head of the Senate Republican Campaign Committee-Senator Cathy Young. I have enjoyed a good relationship with Senator John Flanagan and I respect him. However, Republicans believe in accountability and the buck stops with Senator Flanagan when it comes to the historic losses our conference experienced on Election Day. In that vain it is time for a change. Only one person has a plan to get us back to the majority in the long run and that person is Senator Young. I am proud to support her, and I would ask all of my colleagues to join me.”

Funke represents the Rochester area in the Senate and had supported Sen. John DeFrancisco for majority leader during the 2015 leadership vote that Flanagan ultimately won.

Rifle And Pistol Association To Endorse Young For GOP Leader

The New York State Rifle And Pistol Association will throw its support to Sen. Cathy Young to become the Republican minority leader in the state Senate.

The move comes as both Young and Sen. John Flanagan, the outgoing majority leader in the chamber, are vying for the post after Republicans on Tuesday lost eight GOP-held seats to Democrats and its control of the state Senate.

Flanagan on Monday was in the Southern Tier region appearing with Sen. Fred Akshar, a Republican who was believed to be a potential candidate for the Republican leadership post.

But Akshar is backing Flanagan’s bid for the job.

Young, a Republican from Olean in western New York, served as the chairwoman of the Senate’s fundraising and campaign arm this election cycle.

The leadership election has re-opened fissures within the Republican conference. Flanagan, a Long Island lawmaker, had backed the SAFE Act, a collection of gun control measures pushed Gov. Andrew Cuomo in 2013.

But Flanagan had stitched together a coalition of upstate and New York City-area lawmakers when he assumed the leadership post in 2015 after Dean Skelos stepped aside after he was charged with corruption.

Upstate Secession Group Makes Another Push

A group that wants to split New York into three autonomous states is once again pushing a resolution backing the idea.

The group, Divide NYS, is urging supporters to have the resolution taken up by state lawmakers as well as local government officials.

The proposal would use a home-rule clause for local governments in the state constitution. As envisioned by Divide NYS, the move would split New York three ways: New York City boroughs, the suburban counties around New York City and upstate New York.

Having New York split into different self-governing regions is far-fetched at best. At the very least, upstate counties without the revenue generated by New York City’s financial center would be hard pressed to grow its economy, even with its current struggles.

But the push comes once again after an election in which Republican Marc Molinaro defeated Gov. Andrew Cuomo, a Democrat, in most upstate counties. Cuomo won counties north of the metropolitan region that have urban communities like Albany, Buffalo, Syracuse and Rochester.