Jan 20th - 6:12 pm
“This American carnage stops right here and stops right now,” President Donald Trump declared in a forceful 16-minute Inaugural Address. “The time for empty talk is over. Now arrives the hour for action. Do not allow anyone to tell you it cannot be done.”
Here’s the full transcript of Trump’s (rather brief) speech.
During the speech, Trump briefly quoted the Batman villain Bane from “The Dark Knight Rises” movie. (Presumably, he did not do this on purpose).
American law enforcement and intelligence agencies are examining intercepted communications and financial transactions as part of a broad investigation into possible links between Russian officials and associates of Trump, including his former campaign chairman Paul Manafort, and veteran GOP consultant Roger Stone.
Stone dismissed this report and vigorously denied any wrongdoing. “As far as I am concerned, this is unadulterated bullshit,” he said. “I have no ties to Russia. I have no Russian clients. I’ve never worked for the Russians. I don’t work for them now. The deep state needs to cut the shit.”
Trump performed his first official acts as commander in chief at a signing ceremony attended by lawmakers. He signed a law passed by Congress granting a waiver allowing retired Marine Gen. James Mattis to serve as secretary of Defense, and also signed documents making his Cabinet nominees official, and proclaiming a national day of patriotism.
Rep. Pete King, a Long Island Republican, said Trump had to walk a fine line during his address today, and felt the new president “set the right tone” by standing by what he had said during the campaign.
Protests in the nation’s capital turned violent as Trump assumed the presidency. Activists wearing all black smashed store windows and car windows and fought with police in riot gear, according to Reuters. Police responded with pepper spray and stun grenades.
Just as Trump was sworn in, the official White House website was updated with his portrait and his policies, which include many changes from what the site had said earlier this morning. Among the first changes noted was the elimination of all mentions of “climate change” and the posting of Trump’s America First Energy Plan. Also gone: Sections on LGBT, civil rights, and health-care.
House Democratic, including Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, sported a blue button with the hashtag #ProtectOurCare at the inauguration, speaking out against the effort to repeal the Affordable Care Act.
Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer delivered remarks outside the U.S. Capitol before Vice President Mike Pence took his oath, insisting that the country’s best days are yet to come.
Speaking at Joint Base Andrews shortly after the swearing-in ceremony, former President Obama’s final farewell address was uncharacteristically brief and at times echoed the populist tone of Trump’s inaugural speech.
Michelle Obama is also back to her old Twitter handle, and @FLOTUS belongs to Melania Trump. (No word on whether the new first lady will be composing her own tweets – or following her husband’s lead and tweeting at all hours of the day and night).
Hillary Clinton’s pre-inauguration tweet: “I’m here today to honor our democracy & its enduring values. I will never stop believing in our country & its future. #Inauguration.”
After greeting Clinton at the inauguration, Rep. Jason Chaffetz, House Oversight Committee chair, later said that the investigation into her email use while Secretary of State “continues.”
Melania Trump gifted outgoing First Lady Michelle Obama with a present from Tiffany & Co, which has a store located next to Trump Tower on Fifth Avenue in Manhattan.
CUNY trustees would take 10 percent of the annual revenue raised by dozens of foundations affiliated with the system’s colleges to fund tuition assistance programs, under Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s executive budget released earlier this week.
Cuomo’s budget proposal to allow movie theaters to serve alcohol wouldn’t limit them to just beer and wine, despite the governor saying otherwise.
Did you know that they allow llamas – and alpacas, and also doves – on the D.C. metro?
Jan 20th - 4:34 am
Gov. Andrew Cuomo is in New York City with no public schedule.
Members of Cuomo’s cabinet continue to spread the gospel of his 2017-18 budget in regional briefings, the full schedule of which appears at the end of this post.
At 10 a.m., Eleanor’s Legacy hosts a political engagement and campaign workshop for women who want to learn the fundamentals of political engagement, offices of Abrams & Fensterman, 1 MetroTech Center, suite 1701, Brooklyn.
At 10:30 a.m. Assembly members Steven Cymbrowitz and William Colton and NYCHA Chairwoman and CEO Shola Olatoye announce the delivery of new stoves and refrigerators for tenants of Marlboro Houses, Marlboro Senior Center, 2298 W. 8th St., Brooklyn.
Also at 10:30 a.m., LG Kathy Hochul highlights the governor’s State of the State and budget proposals, Jamestown Gateway Train Station, 211-217 Second St., Jamestown.
At 11 a.m., Why Accountability holds an event to protest the new president and the rise of “overt white nationalism in the U.S.”, 235 St. Nicholas Ave., Manhattan.
Also at 11 a.m., NYC Councilman Jumaane Williams, Sen. Marisol Alcantara and others hold an anti-Trump rally and press conference, Trump Tower, Manhattan.
Also at 11 a.m., the Metropolitan Republican Club holds an inauguration watch party at Dorrian’s Red Hand, 1616 2nd Ave., Manhattan.
Also at 11 a.m., the Brooklyn Museum kicks off a marathon reading of Langston Hughes’s “Let America Be America Again”, 200 Eastern Pkwy, Brooklyn.
Also at 11 a.m., Rep. Adriano Espaillat holds a community event called “Standing Together, United As One,” where he will present his legislative agenda for the 115th Congress, 3940 Broadway, Manhattan.
Also at 11 a.m., the Jewish Defense League of NYC hosts a victory party for Trump, Times Sq. Central, 1501 Broadway, Manhattan.
Also at 11 a.m., the New York Worker Center Federation announces the launch of Freedom Cities, a new campaign that “moves beyond sanctuary cities by expanding both the way safety is defined and the realm of who deserves protection,” in front of Trump Hotel, Central Park, Manhattan.
At noon, Donald J. Trump is scheduled to take the oath of office and become America’s 45th president, Washington, D.C. (The inauguration ceremony officially begins at 11:30 a.m.)
At 12:25 p.m., Hochul highlights the governor’s State of the State and budget proposals at the Chautauqua County Chamber of Commerce’s annual luncheon, Shorewood Country Club, 4958 W Lake Rd., Dunkirk.
At 5 p.m., The NYC Coalition to Resist Trump will be rallying and marching to the Trump Building on Wall Street, Foley Square, 111 Worth St., Manhattan.
With fireworks heralding his big moment, Donald Trump swept into Washington yesterday on the eve of his presidential inauguration and pledged to unify a nation sorely divided and clamoring for change. The capital braced for an onslaught of crowds and demonstrators.
“I promise you that I will work so hard, we’re going to get it turned around,” Trump told a crowd of thousands at a celebratory preinaugural concert staged in front of the Lincoln Memorial. “We’re going to do things that haven’t been done in our country for many, many decades.”
Trump enters the White House as the least popular president in four decades, according to a number of surveys. A Pew Research Center poll released on the eve of his inauguration found that 86 percent of Americans believe the country is more politically divided than in the past, the highest number since the question was first asked in 2004.
Trump is facing serious questions about whether his chaotic transition has left critical parts of the government dangerously short-handed. As of yesterday, only two of his 15 cabinet picks — John F. Kelly, to head the Department of Homeland Security, and his nominee for defense secretary, Gen. James N. Mattis — had been approved by congressional committees and were close to assuming their posts.
Staffers for the Trump transition team have been meeting with career staff at the White House ahead of today’s presidential inauguration to outline their plans for shrinking the federal bureaucracy. The changes they’re seeking are dramatic, and would reduce federal spending by $10.5 trillion over 10 years.
Eighteen of the 23 cabinet-level selections made by Trump have been white men, with no Hispanics and just one African-American, making it one of the least diverse cabinets in recent history. “This cabinet does not reflect the diversity of America,” said National Urban League President Marc Morial.
Perhaps more than any other location Trump’s real estate empire, the 263-room Trump International Hotel in Washington, D.C. epitomizes the convergence of Donald Trump the global businessman and Donald Trump the president-elect. Conflicts that for months have been theoretical are now about to become real.
The Rev. Robert Jeffress, a Texas pastor with a controversial penchant for bashing Muslims, Mormons, Catholics and homosexuals, will deliver a private sermon for Trump and his family shortly before Trump is officially inaugurated.
A cascade of delays prompted by Trump’s departure from La Guardia Airport in Queens left New Yorkers wondering how his trips between the two cities might disrupt daily life once he is president.
Steve Cuozzo recalls the bizarre history of the golden edifice known as Trump Tower, which the president-elect is having a hard time leaving behind.
Democratic Rep. Filemon Vela, of Texas, is the latest to join a long list of lawmakers boycotting the inauguration after he said a large group of migrant students from his district were called “beaners,” “burritos” and “wetbacks” while on a school trip to Washington, D.C.
Trump didn’t show up, former Gov. George Pataki made only a brief appearance, and other top politicians never made it last night to the New York inaugural ball to usher in a new presidency. But nobody seemed disappointed, as some more than 600 people, including Reps. John Katko and Claudia Tenney, celebrated.
Trump selected Woody Johnson, the owner of the New York Jets football franchise and one of the incoming president’s oldest friends, as his ambassador to Britain. It is just the fourth ambassadorial pick Trump has announced.
Former New York City Mayor Rudy Giuliani has signed on as an adviser to the newly formed Great America Alliance, a political group that is being set up to promote Trump’s ambitious agenda.
Giuliani, who once appeared to forget that 9/11 ever happened, took a swanky luncheon as a golden opportunity to tell a sex-filled “locker room” anecdote about the worst terror attack in U.S. history, a recording has revealed.
The largest shareholder in an obscure Australian biotech company called Innate Immunotherapeutics as well as a longtime local businessman, Rep. Chris Collins, has been part of Buffalo’s business elite for decades. And when Innate offered two private placements of its stock last year, Buffalo’s elite responded, making quite a bit of cash in the process.
Senate Majority Leader John Flanagan, in D.C. for the inauguration, says New York is poised to benefit from Trump’s ascendancy. “President-elect Trump is actually a born and bred New Yorker, and that’s something we should be focusing on,” the senator said.
“We need a fighter in Washington to cut through the bureaucracy and the partisanship,” said state Sen. George Amedore in praise of Trump. “When you’re in the ring and fighting every day tooth and nail because you got everything on the line, you may throw some punches or when a punch is thrown at you, you throw it back.”
On the eve of Trump’s inauguration, state Attorney General Eric Schneiderman offered legal advice to local governments that follow so-called “sanctuary” policies that could shield undocumented immigrants from deportation by federal authorities.
Jan 19th - 5:27 pm
Ready for his big moment, Donald Trump swept into Washington on a military jet today and quickly set to building better ties to the Republican Congress as he kicked off three days of inaugural festivities.
“We have by far the highest I.Q. of any Cabinet ever assembled,” Trump told a hundreds of supporters, lawmakers and allies attending a luncheon at the Trump International Hotel in Washington.
Steven Mnuchin, Trump’s pick to be Treasury secretary, failed to disclose nearly $100 million of his assets on Senate Finance Committee disclosure documents and forgot to mention his role as a director of an investment fund located in a tax haven, an omission that Democrats said made him unfit to serve in one of the government’s most important positions.
In a last major act as president, Barack Obama cut short the sentences of 330 federal inmates convicted of drug crimes, bringing his bid to correct what he’s called a systematic injustice to a climactic close.
Obama has set a record with his aggressive use of clemency power. The 1,715 commutations granted during his eight years in office are more than any president in the nation’s history.
Ivanka Trump called widespread observation that she would be taking over some of the First-Lady duties inappropriate, saying: “There’s one First Lady, and she’ll do remarkable things.”
Trump is planning to swap the curtains in the Oval Office — currently a deep shade of red — for those used by a previous president, according to a person familiar with the exchange.
According to state GOP Chair Ed Cox, Trump indirectly provided “an assignment” to New York Republicans: kick NYC Mayor Bill de Blasio and Gov. Andrew Cuomo out of office.
Former House Speaker Newt Gingrich told New York Republicans at their inaugural breakfast that Trump, with his communication abilities and rejection of political norms, “has the potential to be the most effective change agent that we have seen in the presidency in a very long time.”
De Blasio is running for re-election this year on promises to face down the new Republican regime in Washington, D.C., but a new Q poll found residents of the five boroughs believe his arch-rival Cuomo is the better man for that job.
Though he has expressed support in the past for a “yes” vote for a constitutional convention on this year’s ballot, Cuomo’s newly revealed 2017 agenda and 2017-2018 budget provide no indication that such support continues.
Trump has chosen Woody Johnson, the billionaire owner of the NY Jets American football team and veteran Republican political donor, as his ambassador to Britain.
Behold the inaugural lunch menu, which includes lobster, steak and chocolate souffle with cherry vanilla ice cream.
Freshman Long Island Democratic Rep. Tom Suozzi reconfirmed his plan to attend tomorrow’s inauguration, despite a local progressive organization’s call for him to join his colleagues who are boycotting the event.
As women prepare to protest in sister marches in Washington, D.C., New York City and across the country on Saturday, more than 6,000 nationwide have signed up to boycott everything from fake smiles to paid jobs to laundry for two days starting tomorrow.
No, Trump did not uninvite Bill and Hillary Clinton from his inauguration.
ICYMI, here’s the Citizens Budget Commission’s first take on Cuomo’s 2017-18 spending plan.
Cuomo talked to Sean Kirst about his long-standing affinity for Buffalo, his relationship with Tim Russert and how his late father, former Gov. Mario Cuomo, is still his best advisor.
The state’s free snowmobile weekend is coming up in two weeks; out-of-state and Canadian snowmobilers can ride New York’s trails without paying the usual $100 registration fee — which is $45 for members of local snowmobile clubs.
Jan 19th - 3:07 pm
With just a few hours to go before President-elect Donald Trump take office, New York’s Working Families Party is using what it anticipates will be “wholesale attacks on working people” by the incoming administration and its allies to highlight the plight of several hundred striking workers at Momentive Performance Materials, a chemical plant in Waterford.
“Many workers at the company have seen their wages slashed and their jobs outsourced,” Bill Lipton, WFP state director, wrote in an email to supporters this afternoon. “Now management wants to slash healthcare for current workers and completely eliminate healthcare and life insurance for retirees – many of whom are dealing with illnesses related to their exposure to deadly chemicals at the plant.”
“Now more than ever, we need to stand strong against all attacks on workers, whether they come from Trump or his hedge fund billionaire friends.”
Lipton’s email includes a link to an online petition that expresses solidarity with the Momentive employees.
The unionized workers, who are members of CWA, walked off the job last November after contract talks with the company failed. Momentive is owned by Apollo Global Management, a New York City-based hedge fund that acquired General Electric’s advanced materials division, which includes the Waterford operation, for $3.8 billion in 2006.
According to a TU report, the actual ownership of Momentive is fairly complicated – a corporate web that includes six billionaires on the Forbes magazine list of the nation’s 400 richest people, including Stephen Schwarzman, founder and CEO of the Blackstone Group, who was tapped by President-elect Donald Trump to serve as his chief job creation adviser.
Interestingly, though we have heard a lot from Gov. Andrew Cuomo on how he plans to stand up to any Trump policies he deems harmful to New York (and also work with the new president when possible, particularly when it comes to infrastructure), he hasn’t yet said anything – to my knowledge – on this particular strike. The governor has taken actions to help end worker-employer disputes of this sort before, though usually when they are of a higher profile nature, politically speaking.
Jan 19th - 5:03 am
Gov. Andrew Cuomo is in New York City with no public schedule.
At 9:30 a.m., LG Kathy Hochul highlights Cuomo’s State of the State and budget proposals at a Central New York Regional Economic Development Council meeting, Onondaga Community College, Recital Hall, 4585 West Seneca Turnpike, Syracuse.
Also at 9:30 a.m., a “Justice for Juveniles” rally, advocating to raise the age of criminal responsibility and change the criminal justice system on a NYC-level prior to a joint council hearing of the Courts and Legal Services Committee and Juvenile Justice Committee, outside Brooklyn Bridge/City Hall Subway station, Manhattan.
At 10 a.m., Secretary of State Rossana Rosado delivers a regional briefing of Cuomo’s 2017-18 budget proposal, Asian American/Asian Research Institute, City University of New York, Room 1000, 25 West 43rd St., Manhattan.
Also at 10 a.m., NYC anti-violence leaders will kick off a year of peace and encourage unity while sending a message to Trump that the administration must work with those on the frontline to end violence in communities across the country, City Hall, Manhattan.
At 11 a.m., state Veterans Affairs Director Eric Hesse delivers a regional budget briefing, Orange County Community College , The Gilman Center for International Education, 115 South St., Middletown.
Also at 11 a.m., Cuomo’s chief diversity officer Rose Rodriguez delivers a regional budget briefing, Sandel Senior Center, 50 South Park Ave., Rockville Centre, Long Island.
Also at 11 a.m., OTDA Commissioner Samuel Roberts delivers a regional budget briefing, Dulles State Office Building, 1st Floor Conference Room, 317 Washington St., Watertown.
At 11:30 a.m., Hochul presents Cuomo’s State of the State and budget proposals, Binghamton University, Innovative Technologies Complex, Engineering and Science Building, 85 Murray Hill Rd., Binghamton.
Also at 11:30 a.m., IDC members and housing advocates release an investigative report that details deplorable conditions at NYC hotels and cluster sites for the homeless, 250 Broadway, Manhattan.
At noon, Canal Corp. Director Brian Stratton delivers a regional budget briefing, Fredonia Beaver Club, 64 Prospect St., Fredonia.
Also at noon, AQE members and supporters will rally and march against Trump’s plans to “privatize schools,” Chambers and Greenwich streets, Manhattan.
Also at noon, Queens Assemblyman Ron Kim is joined by colleagues and community leaders to announce a 2017 legislative agenda for small businesses, Mudan Banquet Hall, 136-17 39th Ave., Queens.
At 1 p.m., AG Eric Schneiderman will provide local governments and law enforcement agencies with legal tools to enact sanctuary city policies and protect immigrant communities, 120 Broadway, 25th Floor, Manhattan.
At 2:30 p.m., community leaders, labor leaders, Assemblyman Kevin Cahill and others will be calling on newly-elected Rep. John Faso to not vote for the repeal of the Affordable Care Act, without a replacement plan in place, Kingston City Hall steps, 420 Broadway, Kingston.
At 3 p.m., Transportation Commissioner Matthew Driscoll delivers a regional budget briefing, Empire State Development, 95 Perry St., Suite 500, Buffalo.
At 4 p.m., OGS Commissioner RoAnn Destito delivers a regional budget briefing, Foothills Performing Arts Center, 24 Market St., Oneonta.
Also at 4 p.m., the “Make America Great Again” welcome celebration for Trump’s inauguration will take place, Lincoln Memorial, National Mall, Washington, D.C.
Also at 4 p.m., NYC Councilman Jimmy Van Bramer celebrates 365 days without gun violence at Queensbridge Houses with the Long Island City NAACP, Queensbridge 696, and community members, Jacob A. Riis Neighborhood Settlement, 10-25 41st Ave., Queens.
At 5:30 p.m., Stratton delivers his second regional budget briefing of the day, Dream It, Do It Western New York, 1089 Allen St., Jamestown.
At 6 p.m., NYC Mayor Bill de Blasio, the Rev. Al Sharpton, actors Mark Ruffalo and Alec Baldwin, director Michael Moore, actresses Shailene Woodley and Rosie Perez and thousands of others rally on the eve of Trump’s inauguration to “protect shared values,” outside of Trump International Hotel and Tower, Central Park West and West 61st Street, Manhattan.
Also at 6 p.m., Manhattan Borough President Gale Brewer, City & State Editor-at-Large Gerson Borrero, Queens Councilman Eric Ulrich and others speak on a panel: “Predictions and Expectations for the Administration of Donald Trump,” Fordham Law School 150 W. 62nd St., Manhattan.
From 7 p.m. to midnight, a NYS Society inaugural ball will take place, with New York Republicans and Trump family members expected to attend, Fairmont Hotel, 2401 M St., Northwest, Washington.
Also at 7 p.m., REBNY holds its 121st Annual Banquet, a black-tie event honoring the retiring City Planning director Carl Weisbrod and others. Cuomo and de Blasio attended the powerful trade group’s soiree last year, New York Hilton Midtown, 1335 Sixth Ave., Manhattan.
President-elect Donald Trump, in a free-flowing speech last night at a dinner honoring his running mate, Mike Pence, jabbed at his new Republican allies and his critics alike, questioned the ethics of “super PACs” and talked about creating a “merit-based” immigration system.
About 75 Republican movers and shakers from Western New York – some of them still amazed about Trump’s November victory – will be among the guests at tomorrow’s inauguration ceremony, as will an untold number of rank-and-file citizens who will head to the event on their own.
More than 60 Democratic members of the House are refusing to attend Trump’s inauguration. Buffalo Rep. Brian Higgins plans on going, but Rochester Rep. Louise Slaughter won’t be there, saying she’s not attending in honor of Georgia Rep. John Lewis.
Trump and Gov. Andrew Cuomo met at Trump Tower, where Cuomo made his pitch for the state to receive federal infrastructure dollars for state projects and voiced concerns about Republican-led efforts to repeal the Affordable Care Act.
AG Eric Schneiderman is announcing today that he is issuing legal guidance to local governments detailing how they can resist cooperating with the federal immigration authorities under the Trump administration.
President Obama made clear at his final White House press conference that he would not go silent after leaving office this week, promising to speak out whenever he feels America’s “core values” are threatened.
Trump admitted he likes as little information as possible when it comes to intelligence, preferring them short and to the point.
Trump intends to nominate former Georgia Gov. Sonny Perdue to serve as agriculture secretary, according to a person familiar with the decision but not authorized to speak publicly before it is announced.
Robert Begleiter, a partner at Constantine Cannon LLP and former assistant U.S. attorney in the Eastern District of New York, appealed to President Obama in a Daily News OpEd to pardon former-presidential candidate Hillary Clinton and others who may be “potential targets” of an investigation into the use of the private email server.
Trump is being urged by some advisers to save at least one dance, as he celebrates his inauguration, for a very special Republican lady — Caitlyn Jenner.
Former president George H.W. Bush was under observation at an intensive care unit in Houston after being treated for an “acute respiratory problem stemming from pneumonia.” Former first lady Barbara Bush was also admitted as a “precaution” after experiencing fatigue and coughing.
Trump’s nominee for Health and Human Services secretary, Georgia Rep. Tom Price, faced a grilling from Democratic senators concerned about stock trades in an Australian biotech company he made in connection with Buffalo Rep. Chris Collins.
Manhattan Councilman Dan Garodnick is pushing the NYPD to set up a special unit to provide security around Trump Tower.
In his first public statements since Carl Paladino made racist and inflammatory comments about the Obamas, Buffalo Schools Superintendent Kriner Cash said there must be consequences for his behavior. In a rare move, Cash allowed Paladino to respond to speakers who turned out to condemn the remarks that were published last month in Artvoice.
Paladino told those who spoke out against him: “I understand you, and I understand the limited knowledge you have about the real workings and I forgive you.” Then the School Board passed a resolution, 6-3, seeking his removal.
Bernard Tolbert, the former FBI agent and 2013 Democratic candidate for mayor, is making serious inquiries about challenging Republican incumbent Timothy Howard for Erie County sheriff this year.
Glens Falls Post-Star: (T)the awkward way he handled the budget rollout is part of Gov. Cuomo’s compulsion to control every aspect of every action taken by his administration and to distinguish himself as different from his predecessors.”
New Yorkers get nickeled-and-dimed in the budget Cuomo floated, with added fees on everything from prepaid cellphones to titles for motor vehicles. The biggest hit would be a state sales tax on Web purchases that are currently exempt.
Differences over extension of the so-called millionaires tax, without which the governor maintains the state can’t close its $3.5 billion deficit, have emerged as an early flashpoint in budget talks.
Jan 18th - 5:03 pm
During his final press conference, President Obama said that he would oppose incoming president Donald Trump if he instituted policies of “systematic discrimination” where the country’s “core values may be at stake.”
Two days before his swearing in, Trump has forked over $25 million to settle three Trump University fraud lawsuits.
The FBI and five other law enforcement and intelligence agencies have collaborated for months in an investigation into Russian attempts to influence the November election, including whether money from the Kremlin covertly aided the president-elect.
The Trump International Hotel in Washington is banning the media from its premises during inauguration week. The hotel is located in an old post office owned by the federal General Services Administration, and is being leased by Trump and his three adult children.
In a very hypothetical race for New York City Mayor, Hillary Clinton, running as an independent, tops incumbent Bill de Blasio, running as a Democrat, 49-30 percent, according to a new Q poll.
A federal grand jury in Brooklyn is hearing evidence in the racially charged police killing of Eric Garner on Staten Island in 2014 — as prosecutors look to get an indictment before Trump becomes.
E.J. McMahon: “Assuming no further spending cuts, the governor needs to extend the full ‘millionaire tax’ long enough to raise an added $683 million in revenue for fiscal 2018, and $2.7 billion for fiscal 2019. But assuming he sticks with his promise to hold spending growth to 2 percent – a goal that Senate Republicans want to enact into law – he could cut the surtax in half in 2019, and eliminate it entirely after FY 2020.”
Cuomo’s proposed budget pulls the plug on the state’s disappointing START-UP NY program rebranding it as the “Excelsior Business Program” (not to be confused with the “Excelsior Jobs Program”).
New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie said he turned down several jobs in the Trump administration because his wife refused to move to Washington.
Unlike his brother, Alec, Stephen Baldwin is looking forward to attending Inauguration Day, despite Trump firing the actor on “All-Star Celebrity Apprentice” four years ago.
Former President George H.W. Bush wrote an apology note to Trump regarding his inability to attend the inauguration.
Bush was admitted today to the intensive care unit at a Texas hospital to address a respiratory problem from pneumonia. His wife, former First Lady Barbara Bush, was also hospitalized.
Sixteen of the past 19 presidents have played golf, but Trump is the best and most passionate golfer among them.
Former Senate Majority Leader John Sampson was sentenced to five years in prison for obstruction of justice and lying to investigators during a probe of embezzlement of funds from foreclosed properties and a subsequent coverup.
Priorities USA Action, the main super PAC that supported Hillary Clinton’s White House bid, is accelerating its move to reposition itself as a hub of post-2016 Democratic activity, hiring staffers from the campaigns of both Clniton and her primary opponent, Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders.
By 51-33 percent Long Island voters think Trump’s economic policies will be good rather than bad for the island’s economy according to a new Siena College poll commissioned by the Long Island Association.
De Blasio insisted that his refusal to answer questions from certain reporters is completely different than Trump’s boycott of selected members of the media.
More of NYC’s high school students took college-level courses last year than ever before, officials announced, though critics say it still has a lot of catching up to do to even the playing field for all students.
Cuomo has proposed that the New York Racing Association be returned to private control, but the plan would retain sizeable influence by the governor over its operations.
The Earth had its hottest year on record in 2016, following previous records set first in 2014 and then in 2015.
Former Vice President Al Gore’s next climate change movie, An Inconvenient Sequel: Truth to Power, premiers opening night at Sundance tomorrow.
Five Buffalo teachers — supported by NYSUT — filed legal papers today with the State Education Department seeking the removal of school board member Carl Paladino for “racially inflammatory statements” about Obama, the first lady and African-Americans that have violated his duty to serve as a role model for the school community.
Members of the Buffalo School Board are expected tonight to consider a second resolution seeking the removal of Paladino from his elected position, saying he should be ousted because he violated district policy by discussing sharing information that was discussed in executive session.
Scott Pruitt, Trump’s pick for EPA chairman, said during questioning at his Senate confirmation hearing, that he does “not believe climate change is a hoax,” breaking from a position touted at least once by his soon-to-be boss
Jan 18th - 5:16 am
Gov. Andrew Cuomo is in New York City, where he is scheduled to have his first face-to-face meeting since the November election with the president-elect at Trump Tower at a yet-to-be-announced hour.
After many departures from the norm this year, here’s one tradition the governor is keeping: Regional budget briefings delivered by members of his cabinet. Top officials will be fanning out around the state today to spread the gospel about the 2017-18 spending plan Cuomo unveiled last night.
At 9:30 a.m., there’s a court hearing in the NYC municipal ID lawsuit, Staten Island State Supreme Court; Courtroom 430; Judge Phillip Minardo; 26 Central Ave., Staten Island.
President Obama will deliver his final press conference at 2:15 p.m.
At 8 a.m., the Manhattan Chamber of Commerce hosts a post-election summit on the future of immigration reform featuring a keynote by Deputy Secretary of State for New York for Economic Opportunity Jorge Montalvo, New York Law School, 185 West Broadway, Manhattan.
At 8:15 a.m., New York Nonprofit Media hosts Nonprofit BoardCon, bringing together board members, executive directors and other senior leaders from nonprofits across New York to discuss methods and strategies to collaborate and work together, Pace University, 3 Spruce St., Manhattan.
At 9 a.m., homeless New Yorkers, community groups, and advocates demand that Cuomo and legislative leaders sign the affordable housing memorandum of understanding, outside Cuomo’s New York City office, 633 Third Ave., Manhattan.
At 10 a.m., LG Kathy Hochul highlights the governor’s budget proposals, Heritage Hall, 1 Civic Center Plaza, Glens Falls.
At 10:30 a.m., Secretary of State Rossana Rosado delivers a regional budget briefing, The Harvest Room, 90-40 160th St., Jamaica, Queens.
At 11 a.m., families from New York City’s charter schools call for 200,000 students in charter schools by 2020 on the #PathtoPossible Day of Action, The Well, Legislative Office Building, Albany.
Also at 11 a.m., the state Senate is in session, Senate Chambers, state Capitol, Albany.
Also at 11 a.m., NYC Public Advocate Tish James releases recommendations to streamline the ACCESS NYC program used to access New York City, state, and federal benefits, David Dinkins Municipal Building, 15th floor, 1 Centre St., Manhattan.
At 11:30 a.m., Construction workers, NYC Councilman Carlos Menchaca and the Building Trades Council urge the City Council to remain vigilant in requiring stringent safety standards and rigorous training for all real estate projects in the city, outside 23 Park Row, Manhattan.
At 1 p.m., OTDA Commissioner Samuel Roberts delivers a regional budget briefing, Town of Plattsburgh Offices, Board Room, 151 Banker Rd., Plattsburgh.
At 1:30 p.m., Liquor Authority Chairman Vincent Bradley delivers a regional budget briefing, SUNY New Paltz, Student Union, Room 62/63, 1 Hawk Dr., New Paltz.
Also at 1:30 p.m., the NYC Council holds a stated meeting, Council Chambers, City Hall, Manhattan.
At 2 p.m., state Division of Veterans Affairs Director Eric Hesse delivers a regional budget briefing, Hornell City Hall, 82 Main St., Hornell.
At 3 p.m., state Agriculture Commissioner Richard Ball delivers a regional budget briefing, Morrisville State College, 120 Eaton St., Morrisville.
At 3:30 p.m., Canal Corp. Director Brian Stratton delivers a regional budget briefing, Olean Business Incubator, 301 North Union St., Olean.
At 6 p.m., NYC Parks Commissioner Mitchell J. Silver and parks directors from Philadelphia, Minneapolis and Arlington hold a discussion on parks without borders and the value of a seamless public realm, the Arsenal Gallery in Central Park, Fifth Avenue and 64th Street, Manhattan.
Also at 6 p.m., Assembly Speaker Carl Heastie, Rep. Eliot Engel, state Sen. Jamaal Bailey and NYC Councilman Andy King host an MTA Open House, Evander Childs Educational Campus, 800 East Gun Hill Road, Bronx.
At 7:30 p.m., Labor Commissioner Robert Reardon delivers a regional budget briefing, Deer Park School District, Board Room, 116 Lake Ave., Deer Park.
Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s $152.3 billion executive budget proposal includes a $1 billion increase in state education aid and the beginning of an income tax cut for middle class New Yorkers, he announced last night as the deadline for submission of his fiscal plan loomed.
Cuomo is proposing a total $1 billion increase of school aid statewide to $25.6 billion. Full school aid runs can be found here.
The governor wants to extend the so-called millionaire’s tax, which is set to expire this year. Without the $4 billion he says it generates, the state won’t be able to close its $3.5 billion deficit, Cuomo maintains.
In a significant departure from tradition, Cuomo not only did not deliver a public budget address, but – after much back-amd-forth – briefed members of the media at almost 8 p.m. at the executive mansion.
Lawmakers (those who did not boycott) were briefed in closed-door meetings, either at the executive mansion or at the state Capitol.
Cuomo’s plan to return the New York Racing Association to private control came about 30 minutes into yesterday’s state Senate hearing to consider NYRA’s future — a meeting in which horse-racing stakeholders and state lawmakers advocated for that very move.
The governor’s budget includes a three-year extension of the state’s film production tax credit. Launched in 2004 and extended by Cuomo in 2013, the $420 million-a-year program isn’t set to expire until 2019 but was expected to run out of money later this year without the additional funding.
Two of the most expensive budget question marks concern what are shaping up to be two of the governor’s signature proposals: Free tuition for qualifying New Yorkers at SUNY and CUNY, and a $10 billion overhaul of Kennedy International Airport.
Cuomo’s spending plan includes the possibility of a new way to experience the New York State Fair. A new round of funding, up to $70 million, would go to fair improvements including “a gondola to transport visitors and concertgoers between the Fairgrounds and Onondaga County’s Lakeview Amphitheater.”
Ken Girardin: Cuomo’s proposed budget “makes important changes to several secretive slush funds first brought to light by the Empire Center.”
Groups lauded Cuomo’s proposed expansions to New York’s emerging hemp industry, only a few years after federal regulators redefined the plant as different from marijuana.
Backed by a large number of his conference and advocates, Assembly Speaker Carl Heastie warned of “a slow and steady erosion” of reproductive rights hours before the Democrat-dominated chamber passed two measures designed to protect abortion availability and enhance access to contraception.
Government ethics experts and a senior New York Democrat question whether Rep. Chris Collins – by far the largest shareholder in an Australian-based biotech company called Innate Immunotherapeutics – and Georgia Rep. Tom Price, Trump’s health secretary nominee, bought stock in the company last year based on inside information and made a lot of moneys a result.
The state Conservative Party has started a petition drive to rename the new Tappan Zee bridge after the three men murdered during the 1981 Brink’s truck robbery.
The mayoral election fight of 2017 may be slowly gearing up, with Mayor Bill de Blasio facing his stiffest challenge so far from Paul J. Massey Jr., a Republican real estate developer with deep pockets but little name recognition among New Yorkers.
De Blasio’s biggest campaign boosters over the past six months include Hollywood celebs promoting his progressive agenda and former top staffers who left him for the private sector.
Jan 17th - 4:56 pm
So, while we are waiting for an evening budget briefing from the governor’s office in one of the stranger budget rollouts I have seen in my two decades of covering Albany, here are some headlines for you to peruse…
Just days before Donald Trump’s inauguration, Gov. Andrew Cuomo of New York will meet with the president-elect tomorrow – the first face-to-face meeting between the two men since the election
Ken Lovett: “Already known for its secrecy, who would have thought the state budget process could get even worse?”
Hundreds of New Yorkers will spend about $6,000 per person to celebrate Trump’s inauguration in Washington this week, dropping big money to celebrate the state’s first resident elected to the White House in 72 years. (That includes hotel, but not travel costs).
Trump’s inauguration won’t actually be the first one civil rights icon Rep. John Lewis skips. AS the president-elect noted on Twitter, the Georgia congressman also boycotted George W. Bush’s inauguration in 2001. (Lewis’ staff says it was 20 years ago, and he forgot).
The public spat between Trump and Lewis has had an unexpected side effect: skyrocketing sales of “March,” a graphic-novel of the congressman’s life as a civil rights activist.
A Washington-based hairstylist says the president-elect’s second wife, Marla Maples, tried to get out of paying her to style her tresses and those of her 23-year-old daughter, Tiffany Trump, for Inauguration Day.
Vicki Been, one of the core architects of NYC Mayor Bill de Blasio’s affordable housing plan, announced her intention to step down from her post, making her the third top city administrator do so since December.
Been will be replaced by Economic Development Corp. President Maria Torres-Springer, who also served as commissioner of the Department of Small Business Services under de Blasio, making this her third administration position in four years.
Rep. Tom Price last year purchased shares in a medical device manufacturer days before introducing legislation that would have directly benefited the company, raising new ethics concerns for Trump’s nominee for Health and Human Services secretary.
Senate Democrats are pushing for Price’s confirmation hearing to be delayed amid renewed ethics concerns.
Conservative talk show host Laura Ingraham confirmed she is thinking about challenging former Democratic VP nominee Tim Kaine for his Virginia U.S. Senate seat.
Charter school leader Eva Moskowitz threw her support behind Betsy DeVos, Trump’s education secretary pick, arguing that the nation’s foundering public school system requires a systemic overhaul.
An internal report on the future of the New York Times recommends that the paper invest $5 million toward covering Trump and his administration.
Relatives of Ramarley Graham — the unarmed teen who was fatally shot by a cop after being chased into his mother’s Bronx apartment in 2012 — packed a courtroom for the officer’s administrative trial today.
Here’s the (growing) list of Democrats boycotting Friday’s inauguration so far.
A former university student charged pleaded guilty in St. Lawrence County Court to sending a note to a SUNY Potsdam professor in 2015 that threatened him and his family on the day is trial for a hate crime was originally scheduled.
Now that she has some time on her hands, Hillary Clinton has been power dining.
Plans to close the Indian Point nuclear power plant in four years could invigorate efforts to build what some have called an extension cord to transmit Canadian hydropower to New York City.
Former Nyack detective Arthur Keenan, who survived the 1981 Brinks murders and robbery, said he gave an hour-and-15-minute victim-impact statement to a New York parole board Friday with a simple purpose: Keep getaway driver Judith Clark in prison.
Potential 2018 gubernatorial candidate Dutchess County Executive Marc Molinaro says Cuomo’s proposal for counties to put shared-services plans before voters is an attempt to divert the public’s attention from state mandates being the root of local tax increases.
There’s a new male ocelot kitten at the Buffalo Zoo, and it needs a name. The choices are: Javiar, Nico, Pablo and Tacito.
Jan 17th - 5:13 am
Gov. Andrew Cuomo is in Albany with no public schedule. He’ll be briefing members of the Senate and Assembly (at separate events) at the executive mansion on his proposed 2017-18 budget, which is due out tomorrow.
In the afternoon, Mayor Bill de Blasio will depart New York City and travel to Washington, D.C. to participate in the U.S. Conference of Mayors.
In the evening, de Blasio will attend the New Democratic Mayors Reception. This event is closed press. Later, the mayor will deliver remarks at the Mayors Innovation Project Dinner, which is open to members of the media.
At 8:45 a.m., Federal Reserve Bank of New York President William Dudley speaks at the National Retail Federation Retail’s BIG Show, Jacob K. Javits Convention Center, 655 West 34th St., Manhattan.
At 10 a.m., to address the excessive lateness of STAR rebate checks owed to New York homeowners, Sen. David Carlucci will introduce a bill to speed up and improve the rebate check process, 20 South Main St., New City.
At 10:30 a.m., de Blasio and NYC Schools Chancellor Carmen Farina make an announcement about last year’s Advanced Placement exams, Young Women’s Leadership School of Astoria, 23-15 Newtown Ave., Queens.
At 11:15 p.m., NYC Councilman Ydanis Rodriguez and others will call for the driver of a black Ford Econoline van to turn himself in, following a hit and run crash that left a man in critical condition on Monday morning in Midtown Manhattan, City Hall, Manhattan.
At noon, Syracuse Mayor Stephanie Miner and leading anti-corruption activist Zephyr Teachout will join Common Cause/NY to lay out a reform agenda for the 2017 legislative session, LCA Press Room, 130, LOB, Albany.
Also at noon, outgoing Securities and Exchange Commission Chair Mary Jo White speaks at Economic Club of New York luncheon, The Pierre, 2 E 61st St., Manhattan.
At 12:45 p.m., Manhattan Borough President Gale Brewer speaks at memorial service for Emily Kessler, JASA Club 76, 120 West 76th St., Manhattan.
At 1:30 p.m., the NYC Board of Elections commissioners meet, 32 Broadway, Manhattan.
Also at 1:20 p.m., Assembly Speaker Carl Heastie, joined by members of his Democratic conference and advocates, holds a news conference regarding women’s health legislation, Speaker’s Conference Room, Room 342, state Capitol, Albany.
At 3:30 p.m., activists protest outside of Goldman Sachs, with plans to camp out front until Trump’s inauguration Friday to call for “the swamp to be drained,” 200 West St., Manhattan.
At 4 p.m., Bronx Borough President Ruben Diaz Jr. recognizes a $50,000 grant made by Bank Leumi USA to Mosholu Montefiore Community Center, a UJA-Federation of New York partner, for its Workforce Development Program, 3450 DeKalb Ave., the Bronx.
Just days before he is sworn into office, President-elect Donald Trump has again focused his penchant for unpredictable disruption on the rest of the world. No one knows exactly where he’s headed, and his unpredictability is perhaps his most predictable characteristic.
Trump’s ties to Russia date back to 1987, when he traveled there to explore building a hotel. He applied for his trademark in the country as early as 1996. And his children and associates have appeared in Moscow over and over in search of joint ventures, meeting with developers and government officials.
At 4 p.m. today, Trump’s childhood home in Queens is to be auctioned off by Paramount Realty USA, a firm that specializes in such sales and is banking on the property’s brief connection with the soon-to-be 45th president of the United States.
Trump criticized a cornerstone of House Republicans’ corporate-tax plan, which they had pitched as an alternative to his proposed import tariffs, creating another point of contention between the incoming president and congressional allies.
Leaders in Europe were reeling after Trump expressed doubts about the way NATO operates and said he didn’t really care either way whether the European Union stays united.
Hillary Clinton’s most high-profile public appearance since the election will be on Friday; she’ll be in attendance for the inauguration of the man to whom she lost the presidency. On Feb. 16, she’ll speak at a ceremony in New York honoring fashion designer Oscar de la Renta to mark the issuance of a stamp featuring him.
Hundreds of thousands of people are expected to clog the nation’s capital for Trump’s inauguration and a major demonstration the day after. How many will actually arrive to party or protest is an open question.
Several of Trump’s top economic policy jobs may go unfilled for days or even weeks after he is sworn in Friday, potentially slowing his pursuit of an ambitious domestic policy agenda that includes an overhaul of the tax code, repeal of the Affordable Care Act, infrastructure spending and broad deregulation.
Trump hinted at a potential future role for New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie, who got passed over when the plum administration assignments were handed out.
The Democratic fissures exposed in last year’s presidential primary campaign between Clinton and Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders have roared back to life, with party officials wary the split will hamper their ability to fight Trump.
Rep. Jerrold Nadler, of Manhattan, insisted that Democrats in Congress will work with Trump — even as they band together in a boycott of his inauguration.
Rep. John Lewis, who drew Trump’s ire after questioning the legitimacy of the 2016 election because of Russia’s alleged interference in it, avoided mentioning the president-elect by name at an MLK event in Florida as he called on young people to stand up when they perceive injustices.
Rep. Chris Collins: “My opinion is, what John Lewis is doing, he’s pouting. He lost. It’s like a spoiled child and we’ve seen it with the others. They can’t get over the fact that they lost. And what do spoiled little kids do? You know, they run around and throw a tantrum.”
Trump claimed during his first press conference as president-elect last week that “only reporters” care about seeing his tax returns, but a new poll suggests that nearly three quarters of the country believe that he should release them.
Community leaders joined about 200 protesters to rally against Buffalo School Board Member Carl Paladino’s recent controversial remarks about outgoing President Barack Obama and his wife.
Lawmakers are eager to hear from Gov. Andrew Cuomo exactly how he plans to pay for all the initiatives he laid out in his State of the State addresses.
Jimmy Vielkind: “The governor’s calculation is the same as always: it’s better to get something done — the core of his political narrative — than be the good torch-bearer. He’s already taken steps to stiff-arm left-flank advocates who he always seems to hearten and disappoint.”
If Cuomo’s latest Court of Appeals nominee, Rowan Wilson, is approved by the Senate, the high court will have two African American judges for the first time in its history. His selection was made just before midnight on the MLK holiday.
State officials are preparing to move ahead with long-awaited efforts to overhaul the healthcare network in central and eastern Brooklyn, including the likely merger of at least three money-losing hospitals into a single care-providing entity for the region.
Cuomo’s unprecedented State of the State speeches in six cities across New York never mentioned horse racing, a major component of the Saratoga-Capital Region’s economic engine.
Jan 16th - 4:53 pm
Martin Luther King III said today – the federal holiday honoring his father – that he had a “very constructive” meeting with President-elect Donald Trump at Trump Tower in New York.
President Obama has no immediate plans after his White House tenure ends, except to get some sleep and reflect on the past eight years.
Last Friday, seven days before his departure from the White House, Obama sat down in the Oval Office and talked about the indispensable role that books have played during his presidency and throughout his life.
Monica Crowley, recently appointed by Trump to a key national security communications job, said that she would relinquish the post amid multiple allegations of plagiarism.
Rep. Chris Collins, a staunch Trump supporter, injected himself into the feud between the president-elect and Georgia Rep. John Lewis, Democratic congressman and civil rights icon – should be compared to a “spoiled child” after casting doubt that Trump had legitimately won the White House.
The Trump Organization will press ahead with multimillion-dollar plans to expand one of the president-elect’s golf resorts in Scotland, despite its apparent pledge to halt new investments overseas.
A Bruce Springsteen cover band has dropped out of playing the inauguration out of respect for the Boss, (Springsteen himself), who has repeatedly voiced his anger and disgust at the president-elect.
Trump has a long relationship with professional wrestling and the McMahon family that dates back to the 1980s, and much of his relationship with the family parallels his surprising rise to the U.S. presidency.
Vice President Joe Biden said it’s his “prayer” that the Trump administration will be committed and enthusiastic about the goal of ending cancer.
Some scalpers, who acquired tickets to Trump’s inauguration with the intent of reselling them on the secondary market, are striking out in their efforts to peddle them.
The coming expiration of a surcharge on high-earning New Yorkers is putting Gov. Andrew Cuomo in a thorny political position.
The governor will be holding separate closed-door budget meetings tomorrow. The first will be a lunch with the Senate and then a dinner later in the day with the Assembly.
NYC Mayor Bill de Blasio’s re-election campaign says it has raised more than $1 million over the last six months.
It is particularly important for the mayor to demonstrate success in soliciting small donations.
De Blasio plans to join protesters rallying against Trump’s policies at a rally in Manhattan Thursday ahead of the inauguration.
The MTA and transit workers union reached a tentative contract agreement after failing to meet a midnight deadline, union president John Samuelsen said.
NYPD Officer Richard Haste tomorrow will face a disciplinary trial at Police Department headquarters in Lower Manhattan for the February 2012 shooting death of Ramarley Graham, an 18-year-old unarmed black man.
Michael Saltsman, research director at the Employment Policies Institute, says New York’s recent minimum wage increases are already costing the state jobs.
Religious and political leaders condemned Buffalo School Board member Carl Paladino and his supporters at an MLK day rally, saying the “coalition will examine closely those who are with us and those who stand with racism.”
Cuomo nominated Rowan D. Wilson, a Port Washington resident with extensive experience as a commercial litigator but none as a judge, to fill a vacancy on New York’s highest court.
If confirmed, Wilson would be the first Long Islander on the Court of Appeals in more than two decades.
Former U.S. Sen. Tom Harkin of Iowa is getting into New York’s ride-hailing debate, urging his fellow Democrat, Gov. Andrew Cuomo, to require companies like Uber and Lyft to make a portion of their fleet accessible to people in wheelchairs.
Former Rep. Nan Hayworth wrote a letter to the editor excoriating the Cuomo administration and other supporters of closing the Indian Point nuclear power plant.
A Westhampton Beach police officer suspended since 2014 has filed a $75 million lawsuit against several village officials and Suffolk County authorities, according to court papers filed last week in U.S. District Court in Central Islip.
Officials from the upcoming Rivers Casino and Resort located in Schenectady confirmed that they’re progressing as fast as they expected before the grand opening on Feb. 8.
The Plattsburgh school board voted to oppose Betsy DeVos, Trump’s nominee for U.S. secretary of education, whose confirmation hearing is scheduled to start tomorrow.
Jessica Ottney Mahar, policy director for the Nature Conservancy, called Cuomo’s $2 billion proposal to improve water quality around the state “amazing,” adding: “The level of funding is exciting, and frankly, it surprised me.”
Erie County Republicans Republicans will offer one of their top judges for re-election this fall after Appellate Division Justice Erin M. Peradotto said she will seek a second term in State Supreme Court.
An Erie County pathologist was unable to determine the cause of death for India Cummings, a 27-year-old woman who died 20 days after entering the Erie County Holding Center in February 2016, a lawyer for her family revealed during a vigil for her today outside the home of the official who oversees the Buffalo jail.
Bella Rubinton, a 21-year-old Judaic Studies major at Binghamton University has officially announced her campaign for mayor of the City of Binghamton. She plans to challenge incumbent Republican Mayor Richard David, who is up for re-election in November.
The New York State Canal System corridor from Troy to the City of Tonawanda has been named a National Historic Landmark, the nation’s highest historic designation.
The last person to leave footprints on the moon has died. NASA reported that Gene Cernan passed away today at the age of 82, surrounded by his family.
Margot Lee Shetterly, author of the New York Times bestseller “Hidden Figures,” will speak at the Stanley Center for the Arts on Friday, Jan. 20.