Do we or don’t we…have a budget that is.

It sort of depends on who you ask, these days. There’s apparently an offer on the table from Gov. Andrew Cuomo, which Assembly Democrats spent time mulling behind closed doors yesterday.

Members of the Senate had gone home after talks fell apart Wednesday. But their leader, John Flanagan, remained in Albany to continue negotiating with Cuomo and Assembly Speaker Carl Heastie.

Heastie told reporters that his members were willing to accept the tentative deal that settles outstanding issues, including traditional public schools vs. charter school funding – a big sticking point for the Democratic conference.

The question remains as to whether Flanagan can sell this latest compromise to his members, and also whether they’ll be back in town within the next few days to vote on a final deal before scattering to their respective plans for the two week Easter/Passover break.

A number of individual Senate Republicans issued statements that sniped at Cuomo, placing the blame for the late budget squarely on his shoulders, and accusing him of being more focused on his potential national political future than his current job. (That group included Rochester Sen. Rich Funke, who reiterated his complaints on CapTon last night).

The mood among Assembly Democrats, meanwhile, was not good. “I’m despondent,” Democratic Assemblywoman Amy Paulin, of Westchester County, told the New York Times. “Every day we were so close to a deal. But we haven’t been able to close it.”

However, there’s some optimism that things might – just might – get closed down today, though senators would have to be called back from their respective districts (or wherever they are at this point) to vote. Hope springs eternal.

There was a brief flurry of speculation last night that the governor would hold yet another Red Room press conference, which would have been his second in two days. But that never materialized.

The governor is scheduled to be in Albany today with no public appearances planned as of yet.

A calendar of the day’s events appears at the end of this post.


Speaking from his Mar-a-Lago estate in Florida, President Trump said last night that the United States had carried out a missile strike in Syria in response to the Syrian government’s chemical weapons attack this week, which killed more than 80 civilians.

House and Senate lawmakers generally supported Trump’s decision to strike against the Syrian government, but cautioned him against unilaterally starting another war in the Middle East without first consulting Congress.

Hillary Clinton, the former secretary of state, gave a wide-ranging interview in New York where she called on the U.S. to carry out airstrikes on Syrian airfields in order to prevent more chemical attacks on its citizens, hours before that actually occurred.

Some of Trump’s most ardent campaign supporters on the far right were among his most vocal opponents after he ordered the missile strike against Syria, charging him with breaking his promise to keep the United States out of another conflict in the Middle East.

Clinton left no doubt that she believes Russia contributed to her defeat by interfering in the election, condemning what she called Moscow’s “weaponization of information.” She called for an independent investigation into the country’s interference.

The C.I.A. told senior lawmakers in classified briefings last summer that it had information indicating that Russia was working to help elect Trump – a finding that did not emerge publicly until after his victory months later, former government officials say.

U.S. Senate Republicans voted to end the filibuster of Supreme Court nominations, setting the stage for the rapid elevation of Judge Neil Gorsuch to the high court and removing a pillar of the minority party’s power to exert influence in the chamber.

A Republican megadonor with ties to Long Island, Rebekah Mercer, reportedly played a key role in persuading Steve Bannon to not resign as one of Trump’s top White House advisers.

Former U.S. Attorney Preet Bharara slammed Trump in his first public speech since he was fired, delivering the John Jay Iselin Memorial lecture at The Cooper Union.

In an interview with the New York Times, Bharara called his firing months after Trump told him he could stay on the job “a direct example of the kind of uncertain helter-skelter incompetence, when it comes to personnel decisions and executive actions, that was in people’s minds when this out-of-the-blue call for everyone’s resignation letter came.”

Bharara continues to insist he has no interest in running for public office.

A crowd of power plant protestors came to Lower Manhattan from Orange County to follow former top Cuomo aide Joe Percoco in the rain from federal court, where he attended a routine hearing in his bribery case, all the way to the subway, shouting, “Shame!” and “Criminal!”

A trial will begin Oct. 30 in New York City in the federal corruption case against two Percoco, Alain Kaloyeros, the former head of SUNY Polytechnic Institute, and five other men, including two executives from Fayetteville-based Cor Development Co.

Two recent train derailments at Pennsylvania Station in New York that created major travel disruptions were caused by track defects of which Amtrak officials were previously aware, increasing concerns about the aging infrastructure at North America’s busiest train station.

The Long Island Rail Road said it plans on a normal rush hour this morning in what would be the first full-service commute since Monday’s derailment of a New Jersey Transit train at Penn Station.

New York City’s recruiting efforts succeeded in getting more children in low-income districts in the Bronx and Brooklyn to take the city’s admissions test for kindergarten gifted-and-talented programs, but that didn’t increase the number eligible for the coveted classrooms in the fall.

NYC Mayor Bill de Blasio has quadrupled spending on the Department of Education’s increasingly costly public-affairs division since entering office, a report from Families for Excellent Schools says.

Charter school leader Success Academy again called for a major sector expansion, noting that they got more than 17,000 applicants for just 3,017 seats for next year.

The man accused of planting bombs in New York and New Jersey last year wants to move his federal trial to Vermont, saying his case couldn’t be considered fairly in Manhattan.

The NYC Council’s Progressive Caucus, which added a 19th member – former Sen. Bill Perkins – has an 18-part plan to lean left in the age of Trump.

The NYPD supports making it a crime to spread “revenge porn” — naked pictures or sexual images that are posted online to get back at an an ex.

Elected officials, health workers and community activists toured an empty lot in Queens after the Daily News revealed the state is probing it for illegal dumping.

The fate of two of the New York State Fair’s most popular institutions, the Milk Bar and the butter sculpture, hang in the balance after a nonprofit group pulled out of the fair this month.

More than 600 Cicero residents signed a petition recently to force the town to hold a public referendum on building a new highway garage – a process to force a public vote is rarely used.

RIP Karen Magnarelli, a teacher, activist and wife of Syracuse Assemblyman Bill Magnarelli, who died early yesterday morning, after a long battle with cancer, according to her family and friends.

Farmers in New York and nationally are turning to soy and away from corn as global demand for the crop rises and production costs remain viable.

Clinton, with longtime top aide Huma Abedin, attended opening night of the Broadway show “War Paint” about cosmetics titans Helena Rubinstein and Elizabeth Arden, who were fierce competitors as they defined beauty in the 20th century.

First there was “pizza rat” on the NYC subway, now there’s “taco squirrel” in Brooklyn.

Happening today…

President Donald Trump will lead an expanded bilateral meeting with President Xi Jinping of China at Mar-a-Lago, and the two will then have a “working luncheon.”

NYC Mayor Bill de Blasio is in San Francisco, CA, but will call into WNYC’s The Brian Lehrer show a 10 a.m. (EST) and take calls from listeners as he does most Fridays.

This afternoon, de Blasio will participate in a roundtable discussion with business leaders on technology and innovation, hosted by the San Francisco Citizens Initiative for Technology and Innovation. This event is closed press.

The mayor is scheduled to return to NYC tonight.

At 8:30 a.m., NYC Bill Perkins meets with the Manhattan Chamber of Commerce’s Government Affairs Council, Manhattan Chamber of Commerce, 1120 Sixth Ave., Manhattan.

Also at 8:30 a.m., NYC Councilman Jimmy Van Bramer delivers remarks at the Queens Museum’s Business and Legislative Breakfast, Queens Museum, Flushing Meadows Corona Park, Queens.

At 8:45 a.m., Vice Chancellor T. Andrew Brown will deliver remarks at the 2017 National American Sign Language & English Bilingual Consortium for Early Childhood Education Summit’s opening assembly, Rochester School for the Deaf, Westervelt Hall Auditorium, 1545 St. Paul St., Rochester.

At 9 a.m., state Education Commissioner MaryEllen Elia will deliver remarks at Pace University’s School of Education Forum on public education, and then participate on a panel with Board of Regents Chancellor Betty Rosa and Regents Judith Johnson and Kathleen Cashin, Wilcox Hall Multipurpose Room, 861 Bedford Rd., Pleasantville.

At 10 a.m., Assemblyman Francisco Moya, NYC Councilman Daniel Dromm and District Council 9 hold a press conference addressing the dangerous levels of lead detected in paint chips falling from the 7 Train, Roosevelt Avenue and 78th Street, Queens.

At 10:30 a.m., Brooklyn Borough President Eric Adams, state Sen. Diane Savino, NYC Councilman Mark Treyger and others demand more transparency and accountability following disasters in southern Brooklyn waterways, Gravesend Bay Promenade, 8949 Bay Parkway, Brooklyn.

At 10:45 a.m., Republican NYC mayoral candidate Paul Massey Jr. visits gravesite of Menachem Mendel Schneerson, the seventh Lubavitcher Rebbe, on National Education and Sharing Day, 226-20 Francis Lewis Boulevard, Queens.

At 11 a.m., Rep. Nita Lowey hosts a press conference on aggressive phone and email tax scams, IRS Taxpayer Assistance Center, 210 E. Post Road, White Plains.

At noon, the SUNY board of trustees hosts a Special Audit Committee meeting, The SUNY Global Center, 116 E. 55th St., boardroom, Manhattan.

At 1 p.m., state Sen. Tony Avella and members of a number of Queens civic associations hold a press conference to express their opposition of illegal basement apartments in New York City, Avella’s district office, 38-50 Bell Blvd., Queens.

Also at 1 p.m., Rep. Nydia Velázquez and representatives from the Federal Emergency Management Agency host a workshop on the Nonprofit Security Grant Program, The Museum at Eldridge Street, 12 Eldridge St., Manhattan.

At 1:30 p.m., state Sen. David Carlucci will launch HomeStart, an initiative with Hudson Valley Community Services (HVCS) to help provide healthy homes to the chronically ill, Hudson Valley Community Services, 86 Route 59 East, Spring Valley.

At 6:15 p.m., LG Kathy Hochul delivers remarks on Cuomo’s college affordability program at the SUNY Student Assembly Convention, Radisson Rochester Riverside, 120 East Main St., Rochester.

At 7 p.m., NYC Councilman Andy King interviews Constance Malcolm, mother of Bronx teen Ramarley Graham, on the radio program “King Talk,” Ultimate Grill Restaurant, 1345 East Gun Hill Road, Bronx.