Andrew Cuomo

Cuomo: CBO Score Shows ‘War’ On Health Care

Gov. Andrew Cuomo on Thursday took another whack at the American Health Care Act after a Congressional Budget Office score found the Republican-backed measure would result in 23 million fewer people nationally with health insurance.

“The Congressional Budget Office’s report confirms what we already knew to be true—ultra-conservatives in Washington have declared war on New York’s health care system,” Cuomo said in the statement.

“What’s worse is that Republican members of our own Congressional delegation have aided and abetted in Washington’s war against New York, cutting taxes for millionaires while jeopardizing care for seniors, women, the middle class and the disabled.”

Cuomo has railed against the against the bill, which passed the House of Representatives earlier this month and is expected to be drastically reworked in the U.S. Senate.

Still, Cuomo is especially concerned with the provision that would shift the Medicaid burden from county governments to the state, which had proposed and drafted by Rep. Chris Collins and Rep. John Faso, two New York Republicans as a means of mandate relief for local governments.

Cuomo has said the Medicaid assumption proposal is one the state can’t afford.

In Siena Poll, Cuomo Surpasses Schumer In Favorability

Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s didn’t just get good numbers in this week’s Siena College poll: He’s surpasses Sen. Chuck Schumer as the most popular statewide elected official.

Consider February, when Siena last polled both Cuomo and Schumer. At the time, Cuomo’s favorable rating stood at 60 percent to 34 percent. Schumer’s spread: 64 percent to 31 percent.

This month, Cuomo has been on the rise, 61 percent to 31 percent favorability rating, up from a 54 percent to 37 percent rating in April.

Schumer, now into his fifth month of hold the Senate minority leader post in Washington, is down to 57 percent favorable.

There could be a few reasons for this: Schumer is in the hot seat in Washington as the leader of the loyal opposition, a job that automatically earns a few slings and arrows, no matter the party.

At the same time, Cuomo has largely stayed out of the spotlight in Albany, choosing to travel the state to tout his budget victories and knock Republicans in Congress.

Cuomo: Trump Budget ‘The Niagara Falls Of Trickle Down Economics’

Gov. Andrew Cuomo criticized the budget proposal released this week by President Donald Trump as the “Niagara Falls of trickle-down economics,” saying it will positively impact the very rich at the expense of the very poor.

“It is nothing new. In the 80s this was called trickle down,” Cuomo said during a stop in central New York. “The theory is if the rich do better the rewards will trickle down to the rest of us. Now, this is trickle down much worse than Ronald Reagan. This is the Niagara Falls of trickle down economics. It will be devastating to a state like New York.”

Cuomo has largely held his fire when it comes to criticizing Trump as he seeks to work with the federal government on key issues, such as upgrading infrastructure in New York and pushing for a plan that would avoid delays at Penn Station in New York City.

But Cuomo has decried on a broader level the Republican control of the federal government that he says will end up “cutting affordable housing, health care for the poor and food for the poor.”

Meanwhile, Cuomo pointed to spending increases for Department of Defense, demonstrating a contradictory approach.

“It’s an ultraconservative approach to government,” he said. “It’s a hypocritical approach to government.”

Siena Poll: Cuomo’s Numbers On The Rise

New York voters are giving high marks to Gov. Andrew Cuomo, rewarding him with his highest favorability rating since June 2014 and putting his job performance rating once again above water, according to a Siena College poll released Wednesday morning.

The poll found Cuomo holds a 61 percent to 31 percent favorability rating, up from a 54 pecent to 37 percent rating in April. Meanwhile, 53 percent of voters are ready to re-election him, with 36 percent backing a generic “someone else.”

Cuomo’s job performance rating has climbed back to 51 percent, with 46 percent holding a negative view. That’s a swing from last month, when only 47 percent of voters held a positive view of Cuomo’s job performance.

The strong poll numbers for Cuomo come more than a month after lawmakers approved a state budget that was 10 days late. But the budget included a range of issues popular voters, including a plan that would allow for free college tuition to families earning less than $125,000 a year for SUNY and CUNY institutions.

At the same time, Cuomo has railed against Republicans in Congress in opposition to the plans to repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act and make other budget cuts that could impact New York.

Still, on eight key issues facing the state, voters only give Cuomo a positive job performance on the issues of higher education and human rights. He received a negative rating on matters that include taxes, infrastructure, K-12 education, criminal justice, and the economy, in which a majority say he’s doing either a fair or poor job.

On infrastructure, for example, only 37 percent of voters give Cuomo a positive review — a sentiment that comes amid ongoing troubles at Penn Station and with the MTA’s subway service.

When it comes to establishing a constitutional convention — which voters will consider this November in a referendum — the vast majority haven’t heard anything about it. But most voters, 62 percent to 22 percent, support the idea.

The poll of 770 registered voters was conducted from May 15 through May 21. It has a margin of error of 4 percentage points.

SNY0517 Crosstabs 052417 by Nick Reisman on Scribd

Cuomo Proposes State Takeover Of Penn Station

Gov. Andrew Cuomo on Tuesday predicted a “summer of hell” awaits travelers passing through Penn Station when Amtrak plans to reduce service by 20 percent unless drastic measures are taken.

Among those proposals: Having the federal government approve a state takeover of the transit hub from Amtrak.

The proposal is among a menu of ideas back by Cuomo in recent days to alleviate the ongoing struggles at Penn, which includes asking President Donald Trump’s administration for federal aid in the wake of the ongoing repairs to upgrade tracks.

“We come in the spirit of cooperation and creativity and flexibility and we will work with the federal government,” Cuomo said during remarks at the CUNY Graduate Center in New York City. “This is not about politics.”

The remarks were among Cuomo’s most expansive to date amid ongoing transit infrastructure troubles in New York City, which in recent weeks has included delayed and overcrowded subways.

Cuomo has distanced himself partially from the troubles on the subway, though critics have pointed out he controls the majority of appoints at the Metropolitan Transportation Authority.

Still, Cuomo has sought to invest heavily in mass transit infrastructure, spending $100 billion over the next five years on capital spending projects at the MTA.

“This is 50 years of lack of maintenance and repair coming home to roost,” he said.

For Penn Station, Cuomo decried what he said was a “looming emergency” akin to a disaster area.

“Even if Amtrak could get this done in six weeks, if you reduce trains coming into Penn by 20 percent it will be a summer of hell for commuters,” he said.

The plan backed by Cuomo would link the Penn Station and Farley Post Office makeover and tie the project to build a new tunnel between New York City and New Jersey, known as the Gateway Tunnel.

At the same time, Cuomo pitched the Trump administration on investing heavily in the tunnel project, noting the president had backed a $1 trillion infrastructure plan.

“What better single project could you have than this project?” Cuomo said.

Cuomo Decries ‘Abhorrent Assault’ In Manchester Bombing

Gov. Andrew Cuomo on Monday night announced plans to step up security at key locations in New York after a bombing in Manchester killed at least 22 people at a concert.

“Out of an abundance of caution, I have directed state law enforcement officials to step up security and patrols at high-profile locations across New York, including our airports, bridges, tunnels and mass transit systems,” Cuomo said in a statement.

“The safety of New Yorkers is priority number one, and we are in close contact with federal and local officials as we continue to remain vigilant in the wake of this tragedy.”

Cuomo called the bombing, which is being treated as an act of terrorism, “inexplicable” — especially considering it was aimed at a concert that attracted teen fans of the singer Ariana Grande.

“An attack on one is an attack on all, and New York stands in solidarity with the British people and our friends around the world against the forces of hate and terror,” Cuomo said.

Cuomo, House Lawmakers Push For Penn Solution

Gov. Andrew Cuomo and a coalition of members of New York’s House delegation on Monday urged the federal government to take action and alleviate delays at Penn Station.

Two Republicans signed onto the statement from 15 federal lawmakers backing a federal aid plan for Amtrak to speed along construction of track upgrades at the transit hub: Reps. Peter King and Dan Donovan.

“We can no longer delay if we expect Penn Station to operate any differently ten years from now than it did thirty years ago,” the lawmakers said in the joint statement.

“The current dysfunction has put a sharp focus on the chronic issues plaguing our already stretched, overburdened and historically underfunded transportation infrastructure and the ripple effect it creates all along the Northeast Corridor. We must be united by our civic responsibility to work together and solve this problem.”

In a radio interview on WCNY’s The Capitol Pressroom, Cuomo painted a dire situation at Penn.

“It’s not just a New York City situation,” Cuomo said. “Amtrak comes from the southern route through Penn and the entire northeast. It is the gateway to the entire northeast. If Penn collapses, the northeast rail service collapses.”

Cuomo’s push on Monday dovetails with a letter he sent to President Donald Trump on Sunday urging federal intervention.

More than 600,000 travelers move through Penn Station on a daily basis. Cuomo sought to paint the issue as not just a New York City metropolitan area concern, but broader infrastructure problem plaguing the country.

“If you reduce service in Penn by 20 percent you will have a ripple effect that will turn into a tidal wave,” he said.

And Cuomo pointed to the Republican support for federal action as a signal the issue isn’t a political problem but a “governmental” issue that needs to be fixed, comparing it to a natural disaster, albeit a slow-moving one.

“We have put out a joint statement that says this is not a political issue,” he said. “This is bipartisan. We’re asking for assistance on a governmental level with no politics.”

The push comes after the Trump administration has pledged an investment in infrastructure nationally, though that initiative that slowed amid the slog to repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act as well as federal tax reform.

“If you’re looking for one infrastructure investment,” Cuomo said, “this should be it.”

Cuomo Asks Trump For Help At Penn

From the Morning Memo:

Gov. Andrew Cuomo in a letter released Sunday urged President Donald Trump and his administration to approved a federal aid package that would alleviate the “summer of agony” facing travelers at Penn Station.

“I request that the federal government treat this as an emergency situation and provide funding for the short-term Penn construction and transportation alternatives and facilitation of a long-term resolution for Penn Station,” Cuomo wrote in the letter.

He acknowledged while that this isn’t a natural disaster like a hurricane or a flood, it still carries significant trouble for businesses and people.

“Like a natural disaster, we didn’t create it but our public offices require we address it,” the letter states. “As in most emergencies, this is not a political issue and bipartisan officials will agree that we need immediate help. This situation affects the entire northeast region.”

Cuomo reiterated his push for a private operator at Penn Station to relieve Amtrak of its duties there.

“I know that you believe in privatization where appropriate and in this situation I think there is no doubt that it is appropriate,” Cuomo wrote.

The letter comes amid deepening frustrations at the transit hub for the more than 600,000 travelers who have faced in recent weeks delays and cancellations as Amtrak works to shore up its rail lines following a series of derailments and other problems.

Cuomo has over the last several weeks avoided publicly clashing with the president, sidestepping criticism of Trump as he slams Republicans in Congress.

Cuomo also met with Trump before he was sworn in, hoping the new administration would be amenable to myriad concerns facing New York the federal government has strong hand in influencing.

The letter underscores the ongoing frustration for those who use Penn Station, many of who live on Long Island. Grand Central Terminal this summer will temporarily provide Amtrak service will delays are being fixed.

State lawmakers have proposed measures designed to punish Amtrak until the delays are fixed, including withholding state payments to the operator until the problem is solved for at least a month. The money would be passed on in turn to commuters to reduce travel costs.

In a statement, Democratic state Sen. Todd Kaminsky of Long Beach agreed the situation at Penn is “dire” and backed the push to have Amtrak removed as the hub’s operator.

“I talk with commuters everyday, many of whom have taken the LIRR for decades, and they have never experienced this level of dysfunction,” he said.

“As Penn Station is a major rail-hub and a critical part of the Northeast U.S. economy, it certainly behooves the federal government to get involved immediately and provide necessary funding.”

Stipend Controversy Moves To Investigation Phase

From the Morning Memo:

Lawmakers in the Republican and Independent Democratic Conference spent the week insisting the arrangement in which non-committee chairs receive paid stipends is a legal one.

Now, they could spend next week answering questions about an investigation reportedly be launched by Attorney General Eric Schneiderman and prosecutors at the federal Eastern District of New York.

The investigation threatens to hijack what was expected to be a quiet end to the legislative session, due to wind down at the end of June, in which lawmakers were considering a rather light menu of issues such as mayoral control and Gov. Andrew Cuomo was largely leaving to the Legislature.

The development comes after NY1 initially reported this week Scheniderman was keeping his powder dry in the controversy as a referral from state Comptroller Tom DiNapoli’s office — who had signed off on the stipend checks — was yet to materialize.

But that tone started to shift on Thursday when Gov. Andrew Cuomo was asked about the stipend controversy, when he put the onus not on the Senate leadership, but his political rival DiNapoli.

Eight lawmakers over the last two years have received payments for holding the official title of “vice chair” in the Senate, receiving checks normally designated for actual committee chairs. The lawmakers are listed on official payroll with the various committee chair titles next to their names.

Senate Republicans have insisted that was meant as a way to designate which lawmaker receives which stipend and not as a way to mislead who had which leadership post. Senate Democrats in the mainline conference have sought an investigation.

Enter Cuomo on Thursday, who has been loathe to comment publicly on the internal power dynamics of the Senate, where the eight-member IDC and Senate Republicans have been allied, much to the chagrin of liberal critics.

Instead, he pointed to DiNapoli, who has he had a feud over the years that has run hot and cold. It’s currently running hot again.

“It’s either legal or not legal. The comptroller of the state signed a check, or funded a payroll, or whatever he did,” Cuomo said Thursday. “He either did it legally or illegally. I believe his position is, It was legal.”

DiNapoli’s office, meanwhile, said it’s not up to the comptroller to determine legality of Senate stipends.

“The Comptroller’s office is not a court of law,” said spokeswoman Jennifer Freeman. “This issue needs to be decided by the Senate itself or the legal system.”

The back-and-forth came after DiNapoli issued a pair of reports this week critical of economic development spending and the agreed-upon state budget, questioning the transparency commitment in the Cuomo administration.

Even more fraught is the debate over procurement reform in the state Legislature, where lawmakers had sought to restore power to the comptroller’s office when it comes to oversight of economic development spending.

Senate Majority Leader John Flanagan before the controversy over stipends broke last week was confident a form of procurement reform would get done by the end of June.

Cuomo Pivots From Trump To Congress

Gov. Andrew Cuomo was asked Thursday for his thoughts on the appointment of a special counsel to investigate allegations of Russian meddling in the 2016 presidential election.

The development of the appointment of Robert Mueller to lead the effort is widely seen as a deepening of the crisis facing the Trump administration.

“I think more than anything else Americans want to know they’re getting the truth,” Cuomo said. “The fundamental backbone of democracy is citizens get the truth about the government. To the extent this will answer that question, I think that is a good thing.”

But Cuomo, who has refrained from a sustained criticism of President Trump save for blasting his immigration policies, pivoted to a far bigger villain for him: the Republican-led Congress and a “hyperconservative” ideology that has taken over the party writ large.

“This is not just about a new president or a new White House,” he said. “What really is happened is we have unleashed an ultraconservative ideology that has taken over the Congress. That ultraconservative ideology has been growing for years and years.”

Cuomo, at length, blasted Republicans in Congress for their stances on economic and social issues, calling them “hypocrites” on health insurance issues.

“It’s far worse than one inhabitant in the White House,” he said. “It is a rampant ideology that they’re looking to impose all across this country. They are zealots, they are rabid, they are right, everyone else is wrong. There is no compromise. They have a full theory against a woman’s right to choose because God told them so. Against a union’s right to organize.”

Cuomo’s ire in recent weeks has been drawn toward two New York House representatives: Republicans John Faso and Chris Collins, the authors of an amendment that would shift the county Medicaid burden to the state.

Trump, meanwhile, has remained at a remove for Cuomo, who early on the governor had hoped would help New York with infrastructure spending.