Jul 17th - 2:33 pm
A bill proposed by Attorney General Eric Schneiderman and Senate Minority Leader Andrea Stewart-Cousins on Thursday is aimed at limiting the effects of the U.S. Supreme Court’s Hobby Lobby ruling over companies providing certain contraceptives in employee health insurance.
Broadly, the proposal is aimed at requiring companies to provide more information on health care and contraceptive coverage to employees.
The measure proposed by Schneiderman, a Democrat running for re-election this year, would require employers to provide 90 days’ notice before altering or changing contraception coverage.
The bill would also require the company notify perspective employees of what contraception coverage they provide.
“No woman should have her personal healthcare decisions dictated by the religious beliefs of her boss,” Schneiderman said in a statement. “As a senator, I fought for a strong law to protect women from discrimination in healthcare coverage because we must have one set of rules for everyone. In the wake of the Supreme Court’s deeply misguided Hobby Lobby decision, we need to go further to empower the women of New York State with the information they need to make their own healthcare choices. That is what the Reproductive Rights Disclosure Act would accomplish.”
The Supreme Court last month ruled that closely held companies like Hobby Lobby can use religious objections in order to avoid covering contraception in health-care plans, pointing to the federal Religious Freedom Restoration Act.
The Schneiderman measure would create a standard notice for all employers, regardless of the type of company. In addition to the disclosure requirements, the bill would require businesses and employers to provide details on the scope of contraception coverage along with posting coverage limitations on its website.
A fine of up to $5,000 would be levied for violating the provisions.
Jul 15th - 8:50 pm
The campaign of Democratic Attorney General Eric Schneiderman is set to announce raising $2.6 million during the most recent six-month filing period.
The figure eclipses the $2.1 million Schneiderman raised in the prior fundraising cycle.
Schneiderman’s campaign has $6.9 million in cash on hand, not counting a previously purchased $1 million TV advertising effort in the fall in the state’s five major media markets.
Schneiderman, first elected in 2010 to succeed Gov. Andrew Cuomo in the attorney general’s office, is running for a second term. He enters the fall with a fundraising advantage.
His Republican opponent, John Cahill, reported having raised more than $1 million, and spent about $94,000 since announcing his campaign in May.
“We’re thrilled that Attorney General Schneiderman’s broad coalition of supporters has once again helped him achieve his fundraising goal,” said Schneiderman campaign spokesman Peter Ajemian. “Whether it’s going after corrupt politicians, prosecuting companies that gouged Sandy victims or taking on the big banks that led us into recession, Eric has worked tirelessly to ensure the rich and powerful play by the same rules as everyone else. It’s clear that New Yorkers recognize Eric is taking on big fights and they want him to be their advocate for another four years.”
Jul 15th - 1:36 pm
Republican candidate for attorney general John Cahill announced he reached his goal of raising $1 million in his bid to unseat Democratic incumbent Eric Schneiderman.
He did it — appropriately enough — in a fundraising email to supports urging small-dollar donations.
In the note thanking supporters, Cahill notes that raising $1 million is an accomplishment given he only entered the race in May.
Cahill is tapping in to a still active donor base from Republican Gov. George Pataki’s days.
Cahill is a former top aide to the three-term governor and currently his law partner.
“What makes reaching this important milestone even more incredible is that we accomplished this in less than ten weeks! I officially announced my candidacy for Attorney General on May 11th … our campaign is only 66 days old and we have just begun our 10th week. Reaching our goal proves we are strong, united, and wholeheartedly committed to reclaiming the Attorney General’s office for the people,” he wrote.
He also lumped together Schneiderman and New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio as being motivated by Cahill’s fundraising success, saying they’ll “double down” on winning race.
“One million dollars is a tremendous accomplishment, but if we want to defeat the Albany establishment, we will need to continue to build upon this momentum,” he wrote.
Jul 14th - 10:59 am
New York’s $182 million share of the nationwide $7 million Citigroup settlement includes at least $90 million in mortgage relief as well as directing funding for land banks and community development agencies aimed at housing for low-income earners, Attorney General Eric Schneiderman’s office on Monday announced.
The settlement is part of the national working group co-chaired by Schneiderman that is investigating the causes of the 2008 housing meltdown.
The settlement with Citigroup requires that it acknowledges it made misrepresentations to the public relating to the use of exotic investment products such as the packaging and sale of residential mortgage-backed securities.
“Since my first day in office, I have insisted that there must be accountability for the misconduct that led to the crash of the housing market and the collapse of the American economy,” said Schneiderman in a statement. “This settlement will build upon our work bringing relief to homeowners around the country and across New York, and is exactly what our working group was created to do. Systemic frauds harmed thousands of New York homeowners and investors, and today’s result is a major victory in the fight to hold those who caused the financial crisis accountable.”
The settlement requires Citi to provide at least $90 million in mortgage relief, including principal forgiveness on first and second mortgage as well as refinancing at lower rates.
Local governments would also be in line to receive funding for the support of land banks and other development agencies, along with funding for a program aimed at low-cost rental housing.
Here are the details of the settlement:
Jul 11th - 1:52 pm
State Attorney General Eric Schneiderman and Department of Financial Services Superintendent Ben Lawsky are seeking a temporary restraining order against Lyft, a ridesharing service that state insurance officials have found to be illegal.
The court documents, filed today in state Supreme Court, charge Lyft came to the state “and set up shop while defying every law passed whose very purpose it is to protect the People of New York.”
Lyft operates as a service that allows riders to search for rides via a cell phone app that connects them to drivers using personal cars. Riders pay a rate based on time and distance.
The service began operating in Buffalo in April and had planned to begin service in New York City this evening.
The effort to seek the injunction comes as taxi and livery concerns have sought to make Lyft and other services like it operate under similar regulations to their drivers.
Jun 15th - 2:05 pm
Republican candidate for attorney general John Cahill on Sunday urged state lawmakers to approve a measure that would create a medicinal marijuana program.
“We’ve all seen or experienced our share of tragedy,” Cahill said in a statement. “A loved one suffers, a child cries out in pain and we wish we could do something to give them relief. Family, friends, and colleagues should have the same treatment options as people in 22 other states.”
Senate and Assembly lawmakers are in negotiations with Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s office over the details of the bill, with the goal of a vote on the Compassionate Care Act this week.
The clock is ticking, however: Lawmakers are scheduled to end the legislative session on Thursday.
“It’s a common sense approach to a complicated issue,” Cahill said. “An approach that addresses the need to help sick New Yorkers, while ensuring marijuana will not leak into the black market.”
Cahill faces Democratic Attorney General Eric Schneiderman this fall.
Cahill appeared in Yonkers on Sunday flanked by patients and doctors supportive of medical marijuana.
His stance doesn’t put him at odds with other Republicans: GOP senators from across different regions of upstate New York support the bill.
Sen. Bill Larkin, meanwhile, provided a vote in favor of discharging the bill from the Senate Health Committee.
Republican candidate for governor Rob Astorino said earlier this year he is open to discussing a “strict” medical marijuana program.
Cuomo, meanwhile, has said he has serious questions about the medical marijuana bill, but acknowledged in a radio interview he was holding talks with state lawmakers.
The governor’s office recently started a pilot program for medical marijuana, but advocates slammed the proposal for not going far enough.
Updated: In a statement, Schneiderman campaign spokesman Peter Ajemian noted the AG backs the legislation as well,
“Attorney General Schneiderman believes patients suffering from chronic illnesses deserve all the help they can get in managing and alleviating their pain. That’s why he has always supported the legalization of medical marijuana and co-sponsored legislation in the State Senate that would allow its use for certified medical purposes.”
Jun 12th - 2:48 pm
Three Democratic county executives from upstate on Thursday endorsed Democratic Attorney General Eric Schneiderman’s re-election.
Mark Poloncarz of Erie Conuty, Albany County’s Dan McCoy and Ulster County’s Mike Hein all gave Schneiderman their endorsement in a phone conference call and news release.
“Attorney General Schneiderman has been an indispensible partner in helping revitalize Albany County,” McCoy said in his statement. “He went after and won historic settlements from banks that engaged in the fraudulent financial practices that brought the nation’s economy to its knees. But he didn’t stop there. Attorney General Scheiderman dedicated the money he won in those settlements to helping struggling homeowners. I am proud to support his re-election for New York State Attorney General.”
Poloncarz called Schneiderman a “true advocate” for the western New York area — a region Gov. Andrew Cuomo has focused heavily on as well.
“As one of the first public officials in New York to endorse Attorney General Schneiderman when he first sought the office in 2010, I am proud once again to endorse his reelection bid because he has been a true advocate for Western New York and Erie County in particular,” Poloncarz said. “The financial assistance he provided our Land Bank is allowing us to revitalize formerly distressed neighborhoods and his efforts to combat ‘zombie properties’ will make a difference in preserving the housing values for homeowners all across Erie County. I look forward to supporting Attorney General Schneiderman in his re-election campaign to help ensure he serves another four years as our state’s top law enforcement official and chief advocate for the people of New York.”
And Hein pointed to Schneiderman’s efforts on helpin upstate counties during the financial crisis that drained local governments of revenue.
“The Attorney General’s efforts to assist upstate counties hit hard by the financial crisis show clearly that he understands the challenges facing middle class families across New York State,” Hein said. “For over three years, he has worked to ensure every New Yorker gets equal protection under the law and he’s delivering real results on that front through his Homeowner Protection Program. I wholeheartedly endorse his campaign for re-election.”
Schneiderman faces Republican John Cahill, a former top advisor to Gov. George Pataki, this fall.
Cahill’s campaign this afternoon before the county executives unveiled their endorsements officially released this statement:
As County Executives:
1. Would you sign off on hush money to silence women who are victims of sexual harassment?
2. Would you recommend parole for a violent sexual predator?
3. Would you endorse “Shoot to Wound” legislation that puts our law enforcement officers in danger?
If your answer is yes, then Eric Schneiderman is your man.
Updated: It’s pointed out to me that Schneiderman didn’t sponsor or vote for the “shoot to wound” legislation while in the state Senate, and that Schneiderman withdrew his recommendation for parole. As for the Lopez settlement, the attorney general’s office said at the time Schneiderman “did not represent the Assembly in its internal employment dispute, and had no role in approving, negotiating or authorizing any settlement reached by the Assembly.” JCOPE did not find the AG’s office committed any wrongdoing.
Jun 9th - 10:19 am
Democratic Attorney General Eric Schneiderman on Monday picked up the endorsement of Buffalo Mayor Byron Brown, one of the rumored running mates for Gov. Andrew Cuomo.
“From cracking down on the prescription drug epidemic plaguing upstate communities to prosecuting drug rings in Western New York, Attorney General Schneiderman has been a true leader in making our neighborhoods safer,” Brown said in a statement. “Every day, Attorney General Schneiderman is demonstrating that his first priority is ensuring the safety of New Yorkers as well as equal justice under the law for everyone. I am proud to support him as he seeks re-election this fall.”
Brown was rumored to be on Cuomo’s short list to replace Lt. Gov. Bob Duffy on the Democratic ticket.
Ultimately, Cuomo chose former western New York Rep. Kathy Hochul after Brown took himself out of contention.
“I am honored to have the support of Mayor Byron Brown, a true leader in Western New York. He has been supportive of a number of initiatives my office has undertaken to help revitalize New York State and reduce crime, including our I-STOP program to crack down on the prescription drug epidemic plaguing too many of our communities,” Schneiderman said. ” I know Mayor Brown shares my goal of ensuring equal justice under law for all New York residents, and I look forward to having his support in the months ahead.”
Jun 4th - 11:43 am
Republican attorney general hopeful John Cahill on Wednesday called on state regulators to expand their public comment period for the proposed merger of cable companies Comcast and Time Warner Cable.
Gov. Andrew Cuomo in May announced the Public Service Commission would conduct an extensive review of the proposed $45 billion merger which, if approved, would create the nation’s largest cable and Internet provider.
Time Warner Cable is the parent company of Time Warner Cable News and its sister station, NY1.
Cahill in a statement on Wednesday called the proposed hearing schedule too narrow in both where they’re being held and in the timing.
“The PSC has put forth a public hearing schedule that is far too limited both in geography and in timing to encourage valuable public participation,” Cahill said. “The proposed merger, if approved, would radically change the telecom market, impacting consumers from Long Island to Watertown to Buffalo.”
Time Warner Cable has about 2.6 million subscribers in the state, providing cable TV, broadband Internet and telephone service. Comcast currently has 23,000 subscribers in New York.
Cahill said he agreed with Cuomo’s approach that it’s important to review how the merger would impact both consumer pricing, broadband access and news programming.
“Unlike Eric Schneiderman as Attorney General my only priority will be consumers, not the companies and not the Communications Workers of America,” Cahill said.
Jun 3rd - 12:46 pm
Attorney General Eric Schneiderman’s re-election campaign on Tuesday touted his endorsement from the statewide teachers union, a political active labor group that has had a rocky relationship with Gov. Andrew Cuomo.
“As attorney general, Eric Schneiderman has a stellar record fighting for all New Yorkers,” said New York State United Teachers President Karen Magee in a statement. “His work combating consumer fraud and wage theft, and his advocacy for the environment, labor rights and equality for all New Yorkers, made NYSUT’s decision to issue an early endorsement an easy one.”
The union includes more than 600,000 members, along with 1,200 local unions.
“I am grateful for and incredibly proud to receive NYSUT’s endorsement for re-election,” Schneiderman said in a statement. “This organization stands for ideals that benefit every New Yorker – improving our children’s quality of education, strengthening professional networks, and bettering our healthcare system. I’ve fought on behalf of these causes and will continue to represent all New Yorkers’ interests in the future.”
NYSUT had formally bestowed its endorsement on both Schneiderman and Democratic Comptroller Tom DiNapoli on Saturday, the same day the labor-backed Working Families Party held its convention to ultimately back Cuomo despite a spirited challenge from Fordham Law professor Zephyr Teachout.
NYSUT declined to make an endorsement in the race for governor, indicating in a statement on Saturday it would make its decision in August.