Gov. Andrew Cuomo is in Albany with no public schedule.

The governor said yesterday that he’ll be holding the first leaders meeting sometime today to discuss one of the few points of contention in his budget proposal: Casinos.

Today’s joint legislative budget hearing focuses on health care and Medicaid. Hearing Room B, LOB, 10 a.m. to 1 p.m.

At 10 a.m., LG Bob Duffy and Roswell Park Cancer Institute officials make an announcement. Zebro Family Conference Room, Roswell Park Center for Genetics and Pharmacology, Buffalo.

Members of Cuomo’s cabinet continue to deliver his State of the State and budget messages across New York.

DOT Commissioner Joan McDonald does the honors at the Chemung County Legislature, Hazlet Building, 203 Lake St., Elmira, at 11 a.m.

OPWDD Commissioner Courtney Burke is at the UJA-Federation NY, 130 East 59th St., Manhattan, at 2 p.m.

Financial Services Superintendent Ben Lawsky is also in Manhattan at Marymount Manhattan College, 221 East 71st St., at 6:30 p.m.

At 9:30 a.m., state Comptroller Tom DiNapoli holds an informal breakfast with reporters; 31st floor, 633 Third Ave., Manhattan.

At 10:30 a.m., ATU Local 1181 and other union officials will make an announcement regarding the ongoing school bus strike. SEIU Local 32BJ, 25 W. 18th Street, 5th Floor, Manhattan.

At 11 a.m., the Assembly Environmental Conservation Committee holds hearing on environmental causes and effects of extreme weather events, Babylon Town Hall Board Room, 200 East Sunrise Highway, Lindenhurst.

From 1 p.m. to 3 p.m., SUNY Chancellor Nancy Zimpher will host the first in a series of regional discussions highlighting successful shared services initiatives at work across the system’s 64 campuses. SUNY Cortland, Corey Union Function Room, 21 Graham Ave.

From 5 p.m. to 7 p.m., NYC mayoral candidates discuss public education at an event organized by the Council of School Supervisors and Administrators. Mason Hall, Performing Arts Center, Baruch College, 17 Lexington Ave., Manhattan.

In D.C., the Senate Judiciary Committee will hold its first hearing on gun-related violence in 14 months this morning, setting the tone for the debate to come. Former Rep. Gabby Giffords and her husband, Mark Kelly, are expected to testify, as is NRA CEO Wayne LaPierre.

Sen. Lee Zeldin celebrates his birthday by throwing himself a fund-raiser that will be attended by Senate GOP Leader Dean Skelos. Oheka Castle, 135 West Gate Drive, Huntington.


The New York State Rifle & Pistol Association and other groups filed notice with the state Court of Claims of their intention to challenge the SAFE Act, arguing the new gun control law violates the rights guaranteed by the U.S. and state constitutions.

Gun rights advocates are pushing hard to overturn the SAFE Act. But Skelos said: “The reality is that the Assembly would never pass it. The governor would never pass it. So I think we move on now to other issues.”

The 105-member Saratoga County sheriffs’ deputies union says new state gun control legislation makes criminals of ordinary citizens.

Mental health advocates and professionals are pushing back against Cuomo’s assault weapon ban by questioning whether a new reporting requirement conforms to federal privacy rules.

Connecticut is considering sweeping changes to its mental health system in the wake of the Newtown massacre.

At least 150 people from across Niagara and Erie counties packed into the Clarence library for a contentious forum on the new gun control law.

Skelos denounced Cuomo’s plan to strengthen and expand abortion rights in New York, signaling potential trouble for the IDC-GOP coalition.

Top Cuomo aide Larry Schwartz defended a proposal to limit plea bargaining over speeding tickets, insisting the plan would not take any money from local governments.

Mayor Bloomberg said VP Joe Biden has “a set of balls.”

Bloomberg proposed a $70.1 billion budget for fiscal 2014, his last as mayor, that closes a $1.1 billion deficit without tax hikes or lay-offs.

Supermarket mogul John Catsimatidis formally entered the NYC mayor’s race and took a thinly veiled shot at his GOP rival, Joe Lhota, calling himself a “visionary…not a maintenance person.”

Catsimatidis, whose fortune is estimated at $3 billion, also referred to himself as a “common billionaire,” insisting he does not wear $5,000 suits.

Brooklyn Sen. Velmanette Montgomery racked up more per-diem expenses – $77,000 – than any other New York state senator over a 3 1/2-year period. That’s 77 percent above average.

John Kerry was confirmed by the Senate as secretary of state.

Now all eyes are on Massachusetts Gov. Deval Patrick, who has said he’ll likely appoint a “caretaker” to Kerry’s US Senate seat – probably someone of color and/or female.

Hillary Clinton, the exit interview. (She’s officially stepping down on Friday).

Clinton traveled 956,733 miles while she was secretary of state.

Clinton’s latest answer on the 2016 question: “Well, I am not thinking about anything like that right now.”

An aide to NYC Comptroller John Liu, Sharon Lee, is expected to testify for the government under an order of immunity at the trial next week of Liu’s former campaign treasurer, Jia Hou, a federal prosecutor said in court.

NYC Schools Chancellor Dennis Walcott is getting 24-hour police protection because of “security concerns” stemming from the school bus strike. A plain-clothes officer was with him in Albany yesterday.

A federal fund set up to compensate people sickened by the Sept. 11 terrorist attack made its first awards yesterday to 15 first responders.

Two Democratic state senators – Joe Addabbo and George Latimer – who weathered electoral attacks by a shadowy Virginia-based group in the 2012 elections, testified in support of AG Eric Schneiderman’s proposal to mandate more disclosure.

Hundreds rallied in Albany in support of increasing the state’s hourly minimum wage.

Niagara Falls City Council hopeful Joe Swartz, 23, is the first openly gay candidate in the city’s history.

While Congress passed a $50.5 billion Sandy aid package this week, many say the rebuilding process has been complicated over the past several weeks by bureaucracy.

Obama signed the Sandy legislation as soon as it landed on his desk, and chided lawmakers for taking so long to pass it.

New York state and local governments rely more heavily on revenue from income taxes, both personal and corporate, than their counterparts around the country do, according to a new report from the Tax Foundation.

New York is requiring life insurance companies to send $665 million to beneficiaries nationwide, many of whom didn’t know they were named in the policies.

The case of a woman accused of purchasing guns used by the Webster Christmas Eve shooter has been pushed back to April.

The Syracuse Post-Standard laments the clamping down on information by the DEC.

Former NYC Mayor Ed Koch’s ill health kept him from attending the premier of the documentary about his life and time in office. He was missed.