Nick Reisman

This user hasn't shared any biographical information

Posts by Nick Reisman

Upstate Republican Sportsmen Oppose ANWR Drilling In Tax Bill

Republican sportsmen in two GOP-leaning congressional districts are opposed to including the push to drill for oil in Arctic National Wildlife Refuge in Alaska in the omnibus tax overhaul legislation, according to a poll released Friday by the New York League of Conservation Voters.

The poll, conducted from Dec. 2 to Dec. 3, surveyed 400 Republican sportsmen in the 22nd and 24th congressional districts. The districts are represented by Reps. Claudia Tenney and John Katko, both Republicans.

The poll found that by a margin of 60 percent to 29 percent the respondents opposed the inclusion of drilling rights in the congressional tax overhaul measure.

At the same time, a 57 percent to 26 percent margin said protecting wildlife for future generations is a moral, not an economic issue. And 82 percent said defending protected lands should be considered a bipartisan effort.

“Republican sportsmen and sportswomen cherish America’s protected wildlife preserves and understand how quickly protected lands can be snatched away from future generations by short-sighted political chicanery in Washington,” said NYLCV president Marcia Bystryn. “By greater than a two-to-one margin these Republicans are saying, ‘get the Arctic drilling language out of the federal tax bill; it doesn’t belong there.’ We are hopeful they will be heard in the coming days.”

Republicans in Congress hope to have a tax measure settled by the end of the year.

Cuomo Says Ending SALT Could Hurt Job Growth

Gov. Andrew Cuomo in a phone conference call with reporters on Thursday once again criticized the Republican plan in Congress to end the deduction of state and local taxes, saying the provision would hurt job growth in New York.

Cuomo in the call said ending the deductions would put New York at a “structural disadvantage” when competing with other states for jobs and businesses.

The proposal, included in the broader tax overhaul legislation, has been a flashpoint for Cuomo in the last several months. Cuomo has rallied against the plan with other leaders from high-tax states, including California and New Jersey, saying it unfairly targets Democratic states.

Cuomo in the call Thursday said those states also are major economic forces in the country.

“Why if you’re trying to help the country would you talk two of the largest states with the largest economic engines and try to hurt them?” Cuomo said.

Cuomo at the same time insisted constituents in the House districts of Republicans who back the plan would be negatively impacted by ending the deductions. Cuomo specifically pointed to the districts of Reps. Chris Collins and Tom Reed, saying that if even a small number of their constituents deduct more than $10,000 in property taxes, there would be broader ramifications.

The call was also another instance in which Cuomo has been in Albany, but opted to hold his availability with the press on the issue in an off-camera setting.

County Execs Have SALT Concerns

County executives from different parts of the state and different parties in Albany on Thursday said an end to the deduction of state and local taxes could impact their own budget-making in future years.

“The impact will be felt pretty immediately as people who do adjust their with holdings and their paychecks and what have you will limit certain spending and put their money away and not into the marketplace,” said Dutchess County Executive Marc Molinaro, a Republican. “That will have an ultimate impact and it will have a trickle-down effect, if you will, in the negative.”

Molinaro, along with Democrats Dan McCoy of Albany County and Steve Bellone of Suffolk County, criticized the federal tax overhaul in Washington that ends deductions of state and local taxes, known as SALT, at a news conference. The measures in the House of Representative and U.S. Senate also cap mortgage interest deductions on new home purchases at $500,000 and property taxes at $10,000.

For local governments, the impact could result in taxpayers saddled with higher taxes, forcing them to potentially leave the already high-tax state.

“I think the impacts are going to be felt over time, but people are going to understand immediately their tax bill is higher and they’re going to start making spending decisions,” Bellone said. “We can see those impacts immediately when people start making spending decisions.”

For now, none of the county executives have budgeted specifically for the SALT deductions being taken away, but acknowledged adjustments may have to be made.

“We’re very conservative with our sales tax revenue next year, but it’s a moving document,” McCoy said.

Molinaro, the Dutchess County executive who is considering a run for governor in 2018, criticized Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s rhetoric on the issue. The governor has railed against the plan as “treasonous” and one that would “rape and pillage” the state. He’s also called on Rep. John Faso, a Republican who voted against the House bill in November, to resign over the package passing without his support.

“It’s counterproductive and it’s inappropriate,” Molinaro said. “It’s not becoming from a president or a governor to say to people your particular political position is akin to treason if you hope those people to provide an answer to a problem.”

Molinaro also said the state should have some responsibility in getting its own fiscal house in order.

“It’s making sure SALT is maintained and a commitment at the state level to try to draw down property taxes,” he said.

Pro-Trump Group Pushes Donovan On Tax Bill

A group that backs the tax overhaul and President Donald Trump’s agenda push in Washington is urging Rep. Dan Donovan to back the legislation.

Donovan, a Staten Island representative, is among the Republicans from New York who voted against the House version of the tax reform bill in November. At the time, Donovan pointed to the measure ending the deduction of state and local taxes. The Senate version of the bill does the same.

The ad released on Thursday pushing Donovan is from the 45Committee, a conservative 501(c)(4) group that conducted a media campaign in support of Trump’s cabinet nominations, including Tom Price and Jeff Sessions at Health and Human Services and at the Department of Justice.

“We elected Donovan to cut taxes, so ask him if he won’t keep his word to support tax reform, how can we ever trust him again?” the ad’s narrator says.

Donovan is facing a potential primary challenge from former Rep. Michael Grimm, a Republican who was convicted of tax evasion and is backed by former Trump political advisor Steve Bannon.

Heastie: Concealed Carry Bill ‘Horrifying’

Assembly Speaker Carl Heastie called a bill that would pave the way for concealed carry reciprocity “horrifying” and undermines the Republican support for states’ rights.

“The ability to have people from other states bring guns here into this state is horrifying to say the least,” Heastie said Thursday. “It’s another Republican proposal that overrides what many of us think is best here in the state of New York.”

The House of Representatives on Wednesday approved a bill that would honor the licenses of concealed-carry permit holders in other states. New York generally is considered to have some of the strongest gun control laws in the country.

“These are the same Republicans who keep talking about states rights, states rights but want to keep forcing all kind of things on us here in New York,” Heastie said. “We don’t want to deny anyone their constitutional right, but we want guns to be able to be used in a safe way and they’re undermining everything we like to see in terms of our own state’s rights.”

A March Senate Race Could Imperil A Legislative Pay Raise

Holding special elections to fill coming vacancies in the Assembly and Senate in the middle of March could result in a series of dominoes that leaves lawmakers once again being denied a pay raise.

At issue is holding the special elections to fill vacancies in the state Senate that have become a linchpin in the push for Democrats to win majority control of the chamber and unity between the eight-member Independent Democratic Conference and the 23-member mainline conference.

If held in the middle of the budget negotiations, the Senate could be thrown into a state of chaos as Democrats seek to determine who will become committee chairs, determine leadership posts and face a likely legal challenge to the arrangement from Republicans.

That, in turn, could take weeks, if not months to sort out, upending a budget process that is due to be finalized by April 1, the start of the new fiscal year.

Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s office, meanwhile, has communicated to the legislative leadership in the two houses that a pay raise would be off the table next year if a budget isn’t approved by the April 1 deadline, according to a source with direct knowledge of those conversations.

Assembly Speaker Carl Heastie told reporters on Wednesday in Albany he supported seeing Democrats in charge of the chamber “as soon as possible.”

“I’ve always said as a Democrat I look forward to do the day of a Democratic Senate,” he said. “I hope they get it together, as soon as possible, particularly in light of what’s going on in Washington.”

But he also acknowledged it’s up to Cuomo when those elections should be held.

“I think that’s a better question for him when he’s calling it,” Heastie said.

Cuomo can’t call a special election until the legislative seats are vacant. In the Senate, the two districts in question are represented by Sens. George Latimer and Ruben Diaz, who were elected Westchester County executive and to the New York City Council respectively last month.

A letter from state Democrats last month laying out the Senate unity plan indicated the special elections won’t be held until after the budget process is completed. This has upset some liberal advocates who are pushing for Democrats to gain control of the Senate in early 2018 in order to have an impact on the budget.

A legislative pay raise has been held out as a carrot before to state lawmakers by Cuomo. The governor last sought to use the approval of a pay increase by a commission as a point of leverage in a late 2016 special session that failed to materialize in December of that year.

The Legislature has not received a pay increase since 1999, when their pay was increased to $79,500.

Ad Campaign Pushes For SALT Deduction

From the Morning Memo:

With Congress poised to make further gains on its tax overhaul legislation this week, a group is launching a national digital ad campaign to push for the preservation of state and local tax deductions.

The ads from the group Americans Against Double Taxation will target 21 Republican congressional districts, including those in high-tax states impacted by the end of the deduction, including New Jersey, California and New York.

In New York, the group is focusing on three House districts: those seats held by Reps. Tom Reed, Claudia Tenney and John Katko. All three lawmakers voted on the House version of the plan last month.

“Middle-class homeowners in these districts will see their taxes go up due to the cut in the SALT deduction. Poll after poll shows that these taxpayers strongly support the SALT deduction and oppose having their tax dollars finance the large tax cuts for companies and people who don’t need them,” said the group’s co-director, Bob Chlopak.

“Congress has one last chance to stand up for the middle class by voting no on a tax plan that will raise taxes on hardworking families.”

The group says it is a “coalition of state and local government organizations, service providers and other stakeholders” opposed to ending SALT deductions.

The ads warn that ending the deduction of state and local deduction will “raise taxes on the working class” and add to a “trillion dollar hit to the deficit.”

The ads themselves will appear on digital platforms including Facebook and Twitter.

Elected officials in New York from both parties have raised concerns with ending the deduction and Gov. Andrew Cuomo has raised the possibility of a lawsuit to combat it.

Cuomo: Concealed-Carry Bill Puts New York At Risk

From the Morning Memo:

A bill that would allow for concealed-carry reciprocity across state lines is an “appalling” measure that puts all New York residents at risk, Gov. Andrew Cuomo warned in a statement on Wednesday.

The bill, a goal of the National Rifle Association, was approved by the House of Representatives on Wednesday afternoon.

“This legislation would let individuals from out-of-state convicted of certain crimes carry hidden, loaded weapons in New York, in violation of New York’s much better, safer law,” Cuomo said. “Only the NRA could propose something so ill-considered, dangerous and vile.”

Cuomo has in the past knocked gun laws on the national level and in states that he says undermine gun control laws in New York. The SAFE Act, a package of gun control measures that was approved in 2013 in the wake of the Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting, remains a signature hallmark of Cuomo’s tenure and a controversial one, especially for Second Amendment supporters and upstate residents.

“New York passed the strongest gun safety measures in the country, and instead of joining the fight against senseless gun violence, Washington is trying to make New York and the rest of the nation less safe,” Cuomo said.

Budget Challenges Loom, But Heastie Doesn’t See Agenda Changing

Assembly Speaker Carl Heastie, asked how he felt about the coming budget troubles facing Albany, responded pictorially.

“Let’s see, can I answer with an emoji?” he said, turning his face into a frown.

Assembly Democrats are back in Albany for the week, as they consider what to do about a $4.6 billion budget deficit. But Heastie says his goals for the new year, however, won’t change much.

“The economy goes in cycles. I learned that in business school,” Heastie said. “This is one of the tougher times, but as best we can, we’ll continue to stand up for what our priorities.”

And that agenda from Assembly Democrats typically includes finding more money for education and increasing taxes on wealthier New Yorkers in order to pay for it. But a push in Congress to overhaul taxes on the federal level and end the deduction of state and local taxes could make a tax hike on the rich more difficult.

“Obviously we have as a conference continued to support raising the tax rates on the highest income New Yorkers,” said Assembly Majority Leader Joe Morelle. “Frankly, what’s going on in Washington could even impact that.”

Republicans point out New York is already one of the higher taxed states in the country, along with California and New Jersey, whose leaders are also opposed to the federal tax plan.

“Let’s make no bones about it,” said Assembly Minority Leader Brian Kolb. “I mean, this is a high-tax state. That’s why people have left the state.”

Kolb, who is consdiering a run for governor next year, says the concerns over the deficit are potentially overstated, but is a sign spending needs to get under control.

“We still have, I think, a spending problem, not a revenue problem,” he said.

Gov. Cuomo plans to give his State of the State address in Albany, returning to a traditional format. Last year. Cuomo gave separate versions of the address in different regions of the state.

Heastie Doesn’t Think Senate Turmoil Will Disrupt 2018

The fight over who controls the state Senate won’t upend the policy work that needs to get done next year, Assembly Speaker Carl Heastie on Wednesday said.

“There’s a point for politics and there’s a point for governing,” Heastie said. “I don’t really see the Senate Republicans really doing anything other than their job and the politics of what runs the house will take care of itself.”

Nevertheless, Heastie said he was supportive of the push to have the Independent Democratic Conference and the mainline conference form a working coalition and gain the majority, a plan that could come to fruition by next spring.

“I’ve always said as a Democrat I look forward to do the day of a Democratic Senate,” he said. “I hope they get it together, as soon as possible, particularly in light of what’s going on in Washington.”

But Heastie deferred to Gov. Andrew Cuomo on when a special election should be held that could add two Democrats to the chamber with upcoming vacancies. Some liberals have sought to have the election called by mid-March, which could swing control to Democrats, but also disrupt the budget talks.

“I think that’s a better question for him when he’s calling it,” Heastie said.