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

The first joint legislative budget hearing is being held today on local governments, and all eyes will be on NYC Mayor Bill de Blasio, who will testify first (at 9:30 a.m.). He’s traveling to Albany with an entourage that includes his chief ally in City Hall, NYC Council Speaker Melissa Mark-Viverito.

The hearing is taking place in Hearing Room B, Legislative Office Building, 181 State St.

The state Conservative Party’s political conference continues at the Holiday Turf Inn, 205 Wolf Rd., Colonie. Slated to speak today are Westchester County Executive Rob Astorino (at 9 a.m.), NY-21 candidate Elise Stefanik, columnist Peggy Noonan (the lunch speaker), Senate GOP Leader Dean Skelos and Assembly Minority Leader Brian Kolb.

At 8 a.m., Reps. Chris Gibson and Sean Patrick Maloney hold an “across the aisle” event, The Cabaret Student Center, Marist College, Poughkeepsie.

At 8:45 a.m., state Superintendent of Financial Services Ben Lawsky will deliver a keynote address on rooting out and deterring money laundering at banks at a conference hosted by the Association of Certified Anti-money Laundering Specialists, Conrad New York, 102 North End Ave., Manhattan.

At 10 a.m., the Senate Health Committee will host a roundtable discussion to discuss out-of-network insurance coverage, Room 124, state Capitol, Albany.

At 10:30 a.m., Rep. Steve Israel and Assemblywoman Nily Rozic call for increased bus service in the Douglaston section of Queens; Douglaston Parkway and 65th Avenue, Queens.

From 11 a.m. to 1 p.m., members of the state Tourism Advisory Council hold a public meeting; boardroom, 37th floor, Empire State Development, 633 Third Ave., Manhattan.

At 11 a.m., advocates rally in the well of the LOB in favor of Cuomo’s 10-point Women’s Equality Agenda, Albany. (State Comptroller Tom DiNapoli, Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver and Senate Democratic Leader Andrea Stewart-Cousins will speak).

At noon, Rep. Michael Grimm and Staten Island community officials discuss government funding for residents affected by Sandy, calling for state officials to expand eligibility for property buyouts and for projects to elevate or rebuild houses; Joe & John Toto’s Restaurant & Bar, 809 Father Capodanno Blvd., Staten Island.

Also at noon, Sen. Gustavo Rivera and Assemblyman Richard Gottfried host a roundtable discussion on school-based health clinics, Room 120, Legislative Office Building, Albany.

At 2 p.m., President and CEO of the NYS Environmental Facilities Corp. Matt Driscoll delivers a regional version of Cuomo’s budget address, Seneca Falls Community Center, 35 Water St., Seneca Falls.

At 6 p.m., two GOP senators – Patrick Gallivan and Andrew Lanza – hold fundraisers at the Fort Orange Club, (President’s Room and West Main Lounge, respectively), 110 Washington Ave., Albany.

At 7 p.m., Rep. Sean Maloney hosts a “State of the Hudson Valley” town hall, email to request an invitation, or call 202-225-5441.

At 8 p.m., political comedian Randy Credico hosts a shoe with Andres Reiloff and Rhonda Hansome, The Hollow, 79 North Pearl Street, Albany.

Also at 8 p.m., de Blasio attends the Super Bowl Host Committee Super Bowl Kick-Off Spectacular and Leadership Celebration, Liberty House, Liberty State Park, 76 Audrey Zapp Dr., Jersey City, N.J.


As he prepares to make his pre-K pitch in Albany, NYC Mayor Bill de Blasio released a report that says his plan to expand the program by taxing the rich would reach 53,000 students by September – more than 70 percent of the children who need it.

The report leaves unanswered some important questions, like where new pre-K classrooms will be housed and where the roughly 2,000 additional teachers needed to teach the students will come from.

“The mayor will be conciliatory, not confrontational,” an advisor says about de Blasio’s trip to Albany. “But expect his argument for pre-K, and the need to pay for it with a small tax increase on the wealthy, to be full-throated.”

De Blasio could learn from New Jersey’s free pre-K program, which took a decade to perfect and turned out to be more expensive and intensive than expected.

De Blasio insists the “overall trajectory” of the pre-K debate has been “favorable” toward his plan.

While in Albany, de Blasio plans to meet with a key ally: Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver. (It’s unclear if he’ll meet with Cuomo).

When he testifies before the joint legislative budget committee today, NYC Comptroller Scott Stringer will call for letting the city set its own minimum wage, saying he believes the level citywide should be at least $11 per hour.

Ex-Gov. George Pataki’s former chief of staff John Cahill is “seriously considering” a run for attorney general. Though he didn’t criticize AG Eric Schneiderman, Cahill did say having a voice “for the entire state” as the top legal eagle is “critically” important.

Regional rivalries are mounting over distribution of more than $21 billion in state school aid, with Long Island education leaders contending their area gets shortchanged in Cuomo’s latest budget.

Supporters of a charter-school network run by Eva Moskowitz that is in de Blasio’s cross hairs are pouring big bucks into the campaign coffers of Cuomo – a friend of charter schools.

Cuomo is not alone in proposing tax cuts, increases in school spending and college-tuition freezes. Other governors across the nation are doing the same as growing revenue and mounting surpluses have states putting the recession behind them.

State Republicans plan to use Cuomo’s claim that “extreme conservatives” have “no place in New York’’ to challenge Democrats across the state in the fall elections.

Carl Paladino insisted that Donald Trump is serious about running for governor – maybe.

He also thinks the GOP should have an “open process” to determine its gubernatorial candidate, and hopes Trump will participate in that.

Paladino told a Conservative gathering outside Albany that Cuomo “emissaries” from the business community this past week have been personally reaching out to Trump to urge him not to run. He would not name names.

New York taxpayers are underwriting up to $5 million worth of Super Bowl activities in the coming days, including a $500,000 party for reporters to eat and drink at a media bash at Chelsea Piers in Manhattan.

An eventual $2 billion budget surplus that Cuomo and his aides keep touting will be mostly spent, and is based on unspecified cuts, prompting leading critics to charge the administration is being disingenuous.

Former Assemblyman Richard Brodsky on the left’s worst nightmare: “What if Cuomo says he’ll muscle campaign finance reform, but only if Klein, Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver (yes, the Assembly has a role), and advocacy groups agree to massive upper-income tax cuts? Yikes.”

Environmentalists reacted with anger after The Buffalo News reported that federal officials considered but quickly abandoned plans to remove truck traffic from the Peace Bridge. They said the saga shows that their worries about air quality on Buffalo’s West Side are justified.

Sen. Rand Paul suggested the “predatory” sexual behavior of former President Bill Clinton should receive more attention if Hillary Clinton makes another White House run, but backed off claiming that Bill’s actions should impact Hillary’s chances.

As he gears up for another re-election campaign, Rep. Charlie Rangel has hired some high-priced talent, including Metropolitan Strategies, the consulting firm led by Neal Kwatra, an experienced labor operative; Mercury Public Affairs (for poling) and Marathon Strategies (for oppo).

Cuomo has rarely left his home state during his first term, but he has raised nearly a fifth of his re-election campaign cash from out-of-state donors, according to analysis of state Board of Elections data.

Lilliam Barrios-Paoli, de Blasio’s new health and human services deputy, has worked for three previous mayors, but finally feels she’s “working for somebody who really, truly embraces the things that I do.”

An Alabama-based gambling operator with ties to the Rev. Al Sharpton is launching a splashy campaign to open a casino in New York.

Sen. Charles Schumer has proposed a bill to provide tracking devices for children suffering from autism. “Avonte’s Law” is named after Avonte Oquendo, the 14-year-old boy with autism who disappeared from his Long Island City school Oct. 4.

Rochester Mayor Lovely Warren is looking for a new head of her two-member security detail now that the previous job holder – the mayor’s uncle, Reggie Hill – resigned after being pulled over twice for speeding on the Thruway.