Liz Benjamin

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Homepage: http://nystateofpolitics.com


Posts by Liz Benjamin

Here and Now

Gov. Andrew Cuomo is in Albany with no public appearances or interviews yet scheduled.

The state Legislature is in session, and the budget deadline is less than a week away. (Also, keep in mind the three-day aging requirement for bills, though this can be circumvented with a message of necessity).

At 9:30 a.m., NYC Council members Stephen Levin, Diana Ayala, Adrienne Adams, Robert Cornegy and Barry Grodenchik join foster youth for a rally calling to make the city the first in the nation to foster youth to age 26, City Hall steps, Manhattan.

Also at 9:30 a.m., NYC Mayor Bill will deliver remarks at the 2019 AIPAC Policy Conference in Washington, D.C., Walter E. Washington Convention Center, 801 Mt Vernon Pl N.W. (He will return to NYC in the afternoon).

At 9:45 a.m., Buffalo Rep. Brian Higgins joins UB researchers to announce federal funding to support the research of Krabbe leukodystrophy, New York State Center of Excellence in Bioinformatics and Life Sciences, 701 Ellicott St., Buffalo.

At 10 a.m., the NYC Council Committee on Housing and Buildings meets, 250 Broadway, 16th floor, Committee Room, Manhattan.

Also at 10 a.m., the NYC Council Committee on General Welfare meets, Council chamber, City Hall, Manhattan.

At 11 a.m., the NYC Council Committee on Civil and Human Rights meets, Committee Room, City Hall, Manhattan.

Also at 11 a.m., Westchester County Executive George Latimer and other local officials will honor a group of 1969 New York Met’s players to commemorate the team’s 50th anniversary of their legendary World Series victory, Stew Leonard’s, One Stew Leonard Dr., Yonkers.

Also at 11 a.m., YAFFED, yeshiva and nonpublic schools graduates, and good government groups will join together to demand private schools stop covering for yeshivas by attempting to circumvent reasonable state oversight, City Hall steps, Manhattan.

At 11:30 a.m., Assembly members Linda Rosenthal, Richard Gottfried and John McDonald hold a press conference to call for the rejection of the Opioid Excise Tax in the budget, Million Dollar Staircase, state Capitol Albany.

Also at 11:30 a.m., LG Kathy Hochul joins U.S. Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer at the at Rep. Louise M. Slaughter Rochester station dedication, Rochester Train Station, 320 Central Ave., Rochester.

Also at 11:30 a.m., Manhattan Rep. Jerry Nadler, NYC Comptroller Scott Stringer, NYC Council Speaker Corey Johnson, Manhattan Borough President Gale Brewer, and state Labor Commissioner Roberta Reardon attend the commemoration of the 1911 Triangle Shirtwaist Factory Fire, Washington Place and Greene Street, Manhattan.

Also at 11:30 a.m., evironmental organizations, redemption centers, and allies join together to release a support letter for expanding New York’s Bottle Deposit Law to include most non-carbonated beverages, wine, liquor and cider in the budget, state Capitol, 3rd Fl., between Senate and Assembly chambers, Albany.

At noon, hundreds of members of the #bFair2DirectCare campaign on behalf of New Yorkers with developmental disabilities create a “ring of care” and rally for inclusion in the final state budget, second floor, War Room, state Capitol, Albany.

At 1 p.m., the NYC Council Committee on Juvenile Justice meets jointly with the Committee on General Welfare, Council chamber, City Hall, Manhattan.

At 2 p.m., the NYC Council Committee on Hospitals meets, Committee Room, City Hall, Manhattan.

Also at 2 p.m., NYC Public Advocate Jumaane Williams joins the NYC Veterans Alliance, Iraq and Afghanistan Veterans of America, and Vietnam Veterans of America Chapter 72 for a rally against budget cuts of veterans’ services, City Hall steps, Manhattan.

At 3 p.m., the state Senate is in session, Senate Chambers, state Capitol, Albany.

At 6 p.m., the NYC Council Charter Revision Commission meets, Council chamber, City Hall, Manhattan.

At 7 p.m., de Blasio appears live on NY1’s “Insider City Hall.”

At 8:45 p.m., Brewer is honored at the Lotus Music & Dance 30th anniversary dinner, Utsav Restaurant, 1185 Avenue of the Americas, Manhattan.

Headlines…

Robert Mueller’s nearly two-year-long Russia probe concluded without finding adequate evidence to show that officials with Donald Trump’s presidential 2016 campaign aided Russian attempts to interfere with the election.

The president called Mueller’s investigation “an illegal takedown that failed,” and said “hopefully, somebody’s going to be looking at the other side.”

Vice President Mike Pence declared yesterday “a great day for America” following the release of the Russia probe results, adding: “This total vindication of the President of the United States and our campaign should be welcomed by every American who cherishes the truth and the integrity of our elections.”

Ivanka Trump quoted Abraham Lincoln in a tweet that defended her father after the release of the Russia probe results.

The anticlimactic end of the Russia probe allows Trump to relaunch his beleaguered presidency with new swagger ahead of the 2020 election, which he did by launching fresh attacks on the Democrats and the media.

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and U.S. Senate Minority Leader Charles Schumer called for the public release of special counsel Robert Mueller’s report, arguing that the attorney general’s summary to Congress raised further questions.

House Judiciary Committee Chair Jerry Nadler demanded more details from Attorney General William Barr after his four-page summary of Mueller’s investigation cleared Trump of allegations his campaign cooperated with the Kremlin’s election meddling, and said he would be called upon to testify before Congress in “the near future.”

Rudy Giuliani, Trump’s lawyer who called for a “complete investigation” on the origins of the Russia collusion investigation, took to Twitter and called on Democrats who “went too far” in their attacks and false claims against the president during the probe to admit their mistakes so the country can “heal.”

“It’s better than I expected,” said Giuliani of the Mueller report. “This is a complete and total vindication of the President.”

Democratic U.S. Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand, who is running for president in 2020, was among those who called for the release of the full report.

Prior to the release of Barr’s report summary, Gillibrand held her first public speech and rally since announcing her run for president in January, standing in front of Trump Tower and calling the president a “coward.”

Gillibrand also promoted the Green New Deal, universal pre-K, Medicare for all and national paid leave as policies she would pursue if elected president.

Brooklyn Rep. Hakeem Jeffries, who chairs the House Democratic Caucus, said Democrats would try to find ways to work with Trump in key policy areas, even as he and others in Democratic leadership call for continued investigations of potential wrongdoing by the president.

Democrats hoped to put their wrenching intraparty debate over anti-Semitism to rest when they passed a catchall antibigotry resolution in the House this month, but U.S. Senate Republicans, eager to court American Jews outraged by the rise of anti-Semitism, have other plans.

Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez said Trump is a “symptom of much deeper problems” that would not go away if he was removed from office.

However enticing that may sound, regular use of cannabis with a potency greater than 10 percent increases the risk of developing psychosis five-fold, according to a study published this week by the Lancet.

New Jersey Gov. Phil Murphy was working the phones over the weekend, hoping to drum up enough support ahead of the state legislature’s scheduled vote to legalize marijuana. Passage would fulfill a key campaign promise by the governor.

Two Long Island congressmen are crafting a $10 billion bipartisan proposal that would provide a path to legal status for immigrants who otherwise would lose protection from deportation, as well as bolster border security and supply funding for the physical barrier desired by Trump.

Gov. Andrew Cuomo spent yesterday on Long Island discussing the need for a permanent 2 percent property tax cap.

Joined by several Long Island Democrats, Cuomo lifted his right hand to a crowd of about 50 assembled at Clinton G. Martin Park, and said: “This hand will never sign a budget that doesn’t have a permanent property tax cap.”

With the state Senate mostly free of Democrats willing to align themselves with Republicans, grassroots activists have set their sights on the 150-member Assembly, which Democrats control by a significant margin and where many members have been unchallenged for decades.

More >

The Weekend That Was

President Donald Trump’s campaign did not collude with Russia in an attempt to sway the 2016 presidential election, according to a letter released by Attorney General William Barr.

The report, however, did not issue a conclusion on whether the president sought to obstruct justice by interfering with the investigation.

The Judiciary Committee’s top Democrat said the caucus is “absolutely” willing to go to the Supreme Court to have the full report released.

Barr and his deputy, Rod Rosenstein, spent yesterday reviewing the report, as staff shuttled between their office suites. An official said that “very few” people have had access to the report, but the day ended with no conclusions.

House Democrats, anxious about how Trump’s Justice Department will handle the release of Mueller’s findings, are demanding the full report and underlying evidence be publicly released and are warning they may use their subpoena power to get the information.

On a conference call with her members, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi said she’ll rebuff any efforts by the Justice Department to reveal details of Mueller’s findings in a highly classified setting — a tactic she warned could be employed to shield the report’s conclusions from the public.

Trump held off on claiming victory as the attorney general pored over the Mueller report — but his supporters did it for him, with some 200 backers gathering outside Trump Tower, wearing MAGA hats and waving American flags, in a previously planned rally for his reelection that turned into a celebration.

Trump was huddling with his closest aides and lawyers at Mar-a-Lago this weekend as he braced for the release of Mueller’s report, which has hung like a sword of Damocles over his presidency.

Although the lack of further indictments was a relief to Trump’s allies, the investigations will continue.

Most of the investigations focus on Trump or his family business or a cadre of his advisers and associates. They are being conducted by officials from Los Angeles to Brooklyn, with about half of them being run by the United States attorney’s office in Manhattan.

House Intelligence Committee Chairman Adam Schiff said Mueller made “a mistake” by not interviewing Trump as part of his investigation into Russia’s election interference.

Rep. Doug Collins, the ranking Republican member on the House Judiciary Committee, predicted Trump will be proven right by Mueller’s report that there was no collusion with the Russians during the 2016 election.

Federal and state prosecutors are still pursuing about a dozen probes that largely grew out of Mueller’s work, and Congress continues to look into matters surrounding the president.

Democratic U.S. Senator Kirsten Gillibrand was set to deliver a fiery first speech as an official presidential candidate in New York City today, calling Trump a “coward” at the doorstep of one of his most famous properties: Trump Tower.

“I’m proud to have stood up to Donald Trump more than anyone else in the Senate,” Gillibrand’s speech declared. “I will go toe-to-toe with anyone to do the right thing, whether it’s powerful institutions, the president, or even my own party. But I’m not running for president because of who I’m fighting against. I’m running for president because of who I’m fighting for.”

Boeing confirmed the flight-control software fixes that it plans to make for its grounded 737 Max 8, the plane involved in two fatal accidents within five months.

The warning and training requirements set for the now-grounded 737 Max aircraft may not have been enough following the Ethiopian plane crash that killed 157 people, the chief of Ethiopian Airlines said.

Saying he was “truly sorry” after being caught in a prostitution probe of a Florida massage parlor, New England Patriots owner Robert Kraft issued an extensive public apology in which he told backers he hoped to “regain your confidence and respect.”

Democratic darling Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez still hasn’t paid a six-year-old tax bill left over from a failed business venture, weeks after the NY Post first reporter it.

Staten Island freshman Democratic Rep. Max Rose issued a “formal” invitation to “anyone who considers themselves a socialist anywhere in New York, or any Justice Democrat…to come primary me,” though he would not trash talk Ocasio-Cortez.

Another survivor of the Parkland, Fla. mass school shooting has apparently committed suicide — the second such tragic death in the span of a week.

The recent college-admissions bribery scandal has put a spotlight on how the wealthy get their kids into higher education, with many affluent parents more than willing and able to make million-dollar donations before or after their kids earn their degrees.

The Times Herald-Record says if Albany approves new casinos in or near New York City earlier than previously agreed “the Catskills and the other areas that have state-licensed casinos need to hold out for the biggest payment possible, the biggest penalty that the state can impose for breaking its promise.”

New Yorkers finally will get 9/11 commemorative license plates after a businessman and a first responder teamed up to end state inaction that blocked the plates from being issued.

An upstate federal judge has shot down the state’s outright ban on civilians using Tasers, saying residents have the right to bear “electric arms” under the Second Amendment.

It has been difficult to gauge the effectiveness of ThriveNYC, an expensive and sprawling mental health initiative spearheaded by de Blasio’s wife, Chirlane McCray. It is crucial to her future as a potential candidate, and something he increasingly touts as he investigates a potential 2020 run.

A Brooklyn man who lost an arm and a leg after falling on the tracks and being struck by a train is suing the Transit Authority and MTA.

The Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum in New York said it doesn’t plan to accept future gifts from the family of Mortimer D. Sackler, a philanthropist and former board member whose money has been met with growing unease in the art world as his family’s pharmaceutical interests have been linked to the opioid crisis.

FDNY Lt. Michael Davidson died a year ago Saturday while fighting a raging blaze in Harlem, and his grief-stricken colleagues made certain New Yorkers will never forget his sacrifice by installing a plaque in his honor at their firehouse.

A lawsuit filed in October in Manhattan’s Housing Court by tenants of a West 45th Street building demands the landlord give them access to all the entryways without having to use a keyless entry system. It has opened a wider debate over privacy, ageism and renter’s rights, inspiring new legislation in Albany.

Federal housing bigwig Lynne Patton hit Staten Island to continue her five-borough tour of the city’s decrepit public housing stock — and her war of words with de Blasio over NYCHA’s sorry state.

Cuomo said there has been a 20 percent increase in young people “coming back” to Buffalo after a decade when their numbers fell by 10 percent – a statement PolitiFactNY deems “half true.”

Returning state Democratic Party Chairman Jay Jacobs discussed his new/old role with Bob McCarthy.

Erie County Executive Mark Poloncarz wants the county to borrow $20 million to lay down roughly 360 miles of fiber lines – enough to bring high-speed internet access to every town and city in Erie County, from Grand Island to Sardinia and from the West Side to the East Side of Buffalo.

A nonprofit that advocates for low-income students and students of color is using this year’s Buffalo School Board elections to draw attention to equity in education.

Manhattan federal prosecutors vouched for star corruption cooperator Todd Howe in a letter to the judge who will sentence him, despite admitting he violated his deal with the government during the bribery trial of Joe Percoco, once Cuomo’s top aide.

At a press conference held by Poloncarz and Assemblyman Sean Ryan to call for a ban on plastic bags by New York retailers, their point was made by a nearby plastic bag caught in a rose bush.

Nassau County is again looking to New York state government for help in dealing with its finances and straightening out a troubled property-assessment system.

Jesse Garcia, the veteran Brookhaven Republican leader, was named to succeed John Jay LaValle as Suffolk County GOP chairman.

A U.S. Circuit Court panel has rejected an appeal from former North Hempstead Town Democratic chairman Gerard Terry, upholding a 2018 sentence that ordered him to prison for 3 years.

Former Essex County District Attorney Julie Garcia, the first woman to ever serve there in that capacity, will run for state Supreme Court justice for the 4th Judicial District.

New York state has acquired a tract in the Catskills that includes remnants of a historic hotel and provides increased access to a popular network of hiking and cross-country skiing trails.

Extras

Special counsel Robert Mueller has wrapped up his nearly two-year investigation into Donald Trump and Russia and sent his report to Attorney General Barr. No details of Mueller’s findings have been released, and it is not clear how soon the public will see them.

President Trump undercut his own Treasury Department by announcing (on Twitter) that he was rolling back North Korea sanctions that it imposed just a day ago.

Indonesia’s national airline has told Boeing that it wants to cancel an order of 737 Max 8 jets, the carrier’s spokesman said, adding that its passengers had lost confidence in the model after two deadly crashes in five months.

Rudy Giuliani, one of Trump’s attorneys, says the president’s legal team has prepared a “counter report” to possibly challenge elements of Mueller’s investigation, and he has no inside information on the delivery date for the long-awaited report.

“It’s like waiting for a baby, or maybe, it’s more like waiting for a jury,” Giuliani said of the Mueller report. “You make your case, then you have to wait days for that verdict.”

Giuliani condemned Somali-born freshman Minnesota Rep. Ilhan Omar as the “future of the Democratic Party” in a retweet of a misleading video that’s been widely shared by conspiracy theorists.

Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez hit Fox News over its coverage of her, asking why so many “grown men” are “obsessed with this 29-year-old?”

Ocasio-Cortez called Trump a “nematode” during an appearance on “Late Night with Seth Meyers.” (Nematodes are roundworms that are parasites in animals and plants).

In some of his most revealing comments on why he decided against running for president, moderate former New York City Mayor Mike Bloomberg cited his age (79), but also took aim at the progressive wing of the Democratic Party.

According to Staten Island Democratic Rep. Max Rose, “the media is acting as agents of the Republican Party right now.”

Roger Stone was his loquacious self during a radio interview in which he discussed everything from his refusal to turn over documents to the House Judiciary Committee, his growing legal defense fund and his favorite Brooklyn eatery’s jarred sauce.

While multiple reports have surfaced that Bella and Olivia Jade Giannulli are planning to drop out of the University of Southern California amid the nationwide college admissions scandal, Lori Loughlin’s daughters are still technically enrolled at the school.

The DCCC warned political strategists and vendors that if they support candidates mounting primary challenges against incumbent House Democrats, the party will cut them off from business.

To apply to become a preferred vendor in the 2020 cycle, firms must agree to a set of standards that includes agreeing not to work with anyone challenging an incumbent.

Countries around the world, including Russia and U.S. allies such as France, Germany and Egypt, criticized Trump’s announcement this week that the U.S. would recognize Israeli sovereignty in the Golan Heights.

Sen. Rick Scott, a Florida Republican, penned an op-ed and appeared on national television this week to take on New York’s high state taxes, pointing to them as the reason this state has surpassed New York as the third-largest state by population.

Two Onondaga County officials would get 30 percent pay raises as part of a plan to restaff the county medical examiner’s office which has no doctors to perform autopsies.

Singer John Legend co-authored an OpEd with state Senate Minority Leader Mike Gianaris calling for bail reform in New York.

Groups representing doctors in New York, New Jersey, Connecticut and Delaware released a rare joint statement opposing the legalization of recreational marijuana in their states.

Former Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton is soliciting signatures for a petition calling for the freeing of a Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program recipient currently being detained by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement.

The New York Times editorial board is praising New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern for her response to a mass shooting in her country, which killed 50 worshippers at two mosques.

Cuomo defended his administration’s decision to enforce a ban on state-sponsored travel to North Carolina, calling it a “statement of principle” New York residents support.

NYC Mayor Bill de Blasio said he is “concerned” about a proposed rule to specifically ban the feeding of squirrels and birds in city parks.

Days after new statistics showed New York City’s elite high schools continue to admit few black and Hispanic students, de Blasio said the admissions system “has perpetuated massive segregation” – a term he used to avoid

This exists.

Here and Now

Gov. Andrew Cuomo doesn’t have a daily schedule out yet.

At 8:30 a.m., NYC Public Advocate Jumaane Williams will join CBSN New York to discuss his views on specialized high school admissions and his vision for using his office to create change.

At 9:30 a.m., Assemblyman David Weprin delivers remarks on the one fair wage bill at Restaurant Opportunities Centers United’s discussion of the elimination of the subminimum wage, Bernstein Private Wealth Management, 1345 Sixth Ave., Manhattan.

At 10 a.m., Assemblyman Charles Lavine joins state Sen. Todd Kaminsky and other Long Island elected officials for a press conference and rally for funding early voting in the state budget, Rockville Centre Train Station, 40 Front St., Rockville Centre.

Also at 10 a.m., state Sens. Jen Metzger and James Skoufis hold a joint press conference to discuss initiatives in the state Senate’s one-house budget resolution, Chester Public Library, 1784 Kings Highway, Chester.

Also at 10 a.m., LG Kathy Hochul delivers remarks at the Erie County Commission on the Status of Women Event: “Running for Elected Office, On the Campaign Trail Then & Now,” The Buffalo History Museum, 1 Museum Ct., Buffalo.

Also at 10 a.m., NYC Mayor Bill de Blasio will appear live on WNYC’s “The Brian Lehrer Show” and take questions from listeners.

At 11 a.m., survivors of solitary confinement and other advocates will hold a rally demanding Cuomo support the HALT Solitary Confinement Act, 633 Third Ave., Manhattan.

Also at 11 a.m., Rep. Paul Tonko holds a press conference to call out Trump’s proposal that would gut the Environmental Protection Agency’s budget by 31 percent, LCA Pressroom, Room 130, Legislative Office Building, Albany.

Also at 11 a.m., Suffolk County Executive Steven Bellone leads a tour of two affordable housing developments to showcase the progress on transit-oriented development and downtown revitalization on the East End, 41 N. Phillips Avenue, Speonk.

At noon, NYC Council members Mark Treyger, Vanessa Gibson and Donovan Richards rally to demand that Cuomo and the state pay the more than $1.2 billion owed to New York City schools, City Hall steps, Manhattan. (Williams also attends).

At 12:15 p.m., Assemblywoman Nicole Malliotakis and Assemblyman Felix Ortiz hold a press conference calling for full restoration of proposed budget cuts to veterans programs, Fort Hamilton Army Base, Fort Hamilton Parkway and 101st Street, Brooklyn.

At 1 p.m., state Sens. Leroy Comrie and Timothy Kennedy and Assemblyman William Magnarelli take testimony on the state’s transit networks, Onondaga Community College, SRC Arena and Events Center, Otis Room, 4585 W. Seneca Turnpike, Syracuse. (This is the fifth of five hearings on this issue).

At 1:30 p.m., NYC First Lady Chirlane McCray will deliver remarks at the Muslim American Society Center, 1933 Bath Ave., Brooklyn.

At 2 p.m., Malliotakis leads U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development Regional Administrator Lynne Patton and several of her colleagues on a tour of two NYCHA facilities in her district, New Lane Area, 70 New Lane, Staten Island.

At 6 p.m., state Sen. Jessica Ramos holds her first community town hall meeting, P.S. 149, 93-11 34th Ave., Queens.

Headlines…

President Trump said that the United States should recognize Israel’s authority over the Golan Heights, one of the world’s most disputed territories, reversing decades-long American policy and violating a United Nations resolution.

The chairman of the House Oversight and Reform Committee revealed information that he said showed Ivanka Trump and Jared Kushner used private messaging services for official White House business in a way that may have violated federal records laws.

Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez and former presidential candidate Hillary Clinton united on Twitter to point out some fresh hypocrisy inside the Trump administration.

Ocasio-Cortez mimicked a popular joke about 2016 presidential campaign controversy over Clinton’s private email use, saying “But his WhatsApp” when sharing an interview about the Kushner allegations.

Ocasio-cortez said people call her office “every day” making death threats, and she feels safest at home in the Bronx.

Democratic California Rep. Eric Swalwell said that former White House communications director Hope Hicks will “have to tell us who she lied for” as she cooperates with the House Intelligence Committee.

The White House is stonewalling a trio of powerful House Democrats who want to get their hands on any and all information about Trump’s private conversations with Russian President Vladimir Putin.

Trump signed an executive order requiring that U.S. colleges seeking federal research funding must certify that their policies support free speech in order to receive it.

Vast areas of the United States are at risk of flooding this spring, even as Nebraska and other Midwestern states are already reeling from record-breaking late-winter floods, federal scientists said.

As the pilots of the doomed Boeing jets in Ethiopia and Indonesia fought to control their planes, they lacked two notable safety features in their cockpits. One reason: Boeing charged extra for them.

Pipe bomb suspect Cesar Sayoc tearfully apologized in court and pleaded guilty in the pipe bomb mailing spree that targeted prominent Democrats and critics of President Donald Trump in late 2018.

Actress Lori Loughlin and her fashion designer husband, Mossimo Giannulli, are scheduled to appear in federal court in Boston next month in a college admissions bribery case.

Even in her home state, U.S. Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand is less popular than most of her competitors for the 2020 Democratic presidential nomination, according to a new Q poll.

Alexis Grenell: “There are four highly qualified women running in the Democratic primary—across a range of ideologies and experience—but an influx of men have entered the mix without offering a clear rationale for themselves beyond that they can and want to run.”

A group of Hollywood actresses waving the Time’s Up movement banner have been pressing Cuomo to apply New York’s minimum wage to workers who earn tips, arguing that it would make waitresses less vulnerable to sexual harassment. But waitresses say they don’t want this, and don’t need celebrities to speak for them.

With budget negotiations in full swing, Gov. Andrew Cuomo and many Republicans have pointed to the failed Amazon headquarters’ plan in Queens as evidence that the Senate’s young Democratic majority is unequipped to govern.

Two JetBlue flight attendants sued the airline and two of its pilots in federal court this week, alleging that the pilots drugged them both during a layover last year and that one of the pilots raped one of the women and another co-worker.

Assembly members Mary Beth Walsh and Carrie Woerner are leading a bipartisan push to pass legislation that would extend the time period for parents of children with intellectual disabilities to pursue child-support payments.

NYC will pay nearly $2 million to the family of an emotionally disturbed cabbie who police shot dead in his Harlem apartment in 2012, capping off a years-long court battle between the city and the man’s mother.

New Yorkers in jeopardy of losing their homes were dealt a blow as new state budget figures were released that appear to omit a critical funding request from providers of foreclosure prevention services.

State Senate GOP leader John Flanagan said that a poll showing 41 percent of New York City residents might be forced to flee because of high costs should be a “wake up” call to Democrats planning to increase state spending.

Cuomo won’t agree to a budget without bail reform, but advocates, opponents and those facing judges said they are concerned about just what criminal justice overhauls will appear in the final fiscal bill.

Another option to raise revenue for New York City’s ailing transit system is suddenly on the table: A major expansion of gambling in the five boroughs, an idea that could lead to a new casino somewhere in the five boroughs.

More >

Extras

President Donald Trump changed decades of U.S. Middle East policy with a tweet, announcing that “After 52 years, it is time for the United States to fully recognize Israeli’s Sovereignty over the Golan Heights.”

Close advisers to former Vice President Joe Biden are debating the idea of packaging his presidential campaign announcement with a pledge to choose Georgia Democrat Stacey Abrams as his vice president.

Arbams’ spokesperson released the following statement: “(She) continues to keep all options on the table for 2020 and beyond. She has met with over half a dozen presidential contenders to discuss their commitment to voting rights and to investing in Georgia.”

Aware that concerns about his age could weigh on his candidacy if he runs for the White House, Biden has discussed two steps that could reassure voters about electing a 78-year-old president next year – including an early announcement of a running mate and a pledge to serve just one term.

Chris Cillizza: “(I)t’s not at all clear whether Biden would gain any real political benefit from such a move. In fact, the only consensus among Democrats I talked to for this story is that Biden would be taking a major leap if he picked his VP before winning the nomination himself.”

In an early look at possible 2020 Democratic presidential contenders, Biden leads among New York voters, with a 62 – 24 percent favorability rating – higher than any other leading Democrat – according to a Quinnipiac University Poll released today.

Felix Sater, a Russian-born former business adviser to Trump, will speak to two House committees next week as Democrats begin to gather information in multiple wide-ranging investigations of the president.

Buffalo Assemblyman Sean Ryan and other community leaders denounced Carl Paladino for distributing an email suggesting that recent riots in Paris were not just about economic injustice but were the result of a city filled with nonwhite Muslim immigrants and refugees.

State Sen. Liz Krueger, who has been carrying the wine in grocery stores (or WIGS) bill for years, says the time might be right now to revisit the issue, albeit after the budget.

Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez fired back at Laura Ingraham after the Fox News host and a guest mocked the freshman New York Democrat for the way in which she pronounces her name.

In her first three months in Congress, aides say, enough people have threatened to murder Ocasio-Cortez that Capitol Police trained her staff to perform risk assessments of her visitors.

NYC Mayor Bill de Blasio, an avowed progressive, is continuing to support AIPAC amid calls for Democrats to skip this year’s policy conference in Washington, D.C. He will deliver remarks at the annual conference this weekend — another example of daylight between him the left flank of the Democratic Party on the issue of Israel.

Former President Jimmy Carter is now America’s longest-living president in history. He passed former President George H.W. Bush Thursday at 94 years and 172 days old — one day older than Bush was when he died last November.

U.S. Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer announced Alcoa reached a seven-year agreement with the New York Power Authority to continue receiving low-cost hydroelectric power for its aluminum smelting operation in Massena, guaranteeing 450 jobs for that time period.

Trump’s adviser and son-in-law Jared Kushner used the encrypted messaging service WhatsApp as well as his personal email account to conduct official business, a top House Democrat charged.

Calls to 911 reporting what the NYPD calls “emotionally disturbed persons” have nearly doubled over the past decade, but less than one-third of the force has undergone training on how to better handle the mentally ill.

The SUNY board of trustees has approved renaming six buildings on the SUNY New Paltz campus that are named after slave owners who settled the region.

To win support for Cuomo’s congestion pricing proposal, Metropolitan Transportation Authority officials are offering sweeteners to equivocating outer-borough and suburban politicians.

Longtime Republican rainmaker and former Pataki administration official Charles Gargano settles some scores with Trump, Rudy Giuliani, Gov. Andrew Cuomo and Larry Silverstein in his new book.

Hundreds of millions of Facebook users had their account passwords stored in plain text and searchable by thousands of Facebook employees — in some cases going back to 2012.

Here and Now

Gov. Andrew Cuomo is in Albany with no public events or interviews yet scheduled.

Vice President Mike Pence is headed to Atlanta, GA where he will receive a briefing from U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement officials and also deliver remarks at a Perdue for Senate event before returning home to D.C.

NYC First Lady Chirlane McCray will deliver remarks at a Women’s History Month reception, which is not open to members of the media.

At 8 a.m., LG Kathy Hochul is a guest on the Women’s Roundtable on LI News Radio 103.9 FM and Live on iHeartRADIO.

At 8:30 a.m., North Brooklyn residents and street safety advocates will rally with local elected officials to call attention to the safety benefits of congestion pricing, Continental Army Plaza, foot of the Williamsburg Bridge, S. 5th Street and S. 5th Place, Williamsburg, Brooklyn.

At 9 a.m., Assemblywoman Nily Rozic speaks on the “Year of the Girl” panel discussion hosted by Girls Inc. of Long Island, Canon USA, One Canon Park, Melville.

Also at 9 a.m., Hochul delivers remarks at Girls Inc. of Long Island’s “Year of the Girl” Breakfast, Canon USA HQ, 1 Canon Park, Melville.

At 10 a.m., Monroe County Executive Cheryl Dinolfo will be joined by representatives at the Greater Rochester International Airport to announce the presenting sponsor and charitable recipient of a portion of the proceeds from the upcoming 2019 Rochester International Airshow, International Arrivals Hall, 1200 Brooks Ave., Rochester.

At 11 a.m., state Sen. David Carlucci will join BRIDGES and area veterans to call for $4.7 million in the state budget to fund the Joseph P. Dwyer Veterans Peer-to-Peer Support Program across New York, 873 Route 45, New City.

Also at 11 a.m., the memory of slain war correspondent journalist Marie Colvin is honored by Teamsters Local 237, Teamsters Headquarters, 216 W. 14th St., Manhattan.

Also at 11 a.m., the Bring It Home Coalition holds a weekly rally as part of ongoing efforts to demand that Cuomo increase funding for mental health housing programs, 633 Third Ave., Manhattan.

At 11:15 a.m., Hocul joins the Teamsters Local 237 and the Committee to Protect Journalists at a Women’s History Month celebration, Teamsters Local 237, 1st F., Feinstein Conference Room, 216 W. 14th St., Manhattan.

At 11:30 a.m., a coalition of Long Island labor organizations and elected officials will join together to rebut claims made about prevailing wages and legislation that will finally grant wage justice to construction workers on publicly funded projects, Wyandanch Rising, 40 Station Dr., Wyandanch.

At 11:45 a.m., NYC Mayor Bill de Blasio will ride the subway from City Hall to 110th Street to promote congestion pricing, Brooklyn Bridge – City Hall Subway Station, Manhattan.

At noon, a coalition of Southeast Queens transit riders and labor and other advocacy organizations will call for legislators to pass congestion pricing in the upcoming state budget, Jamaica Center Subway Station (NE corner of Parsons Blvd/Archer Ave next to Golden Krust), Queens.

Also at noon, police reform groups, elected officials, and families impacted by police violence will hold a press conference and rally calling on the state legislature and Cuomo to pass the Safer New York Act and repeal 50-a, New York’s harmful police secrecy law, City Hall steps, Manhattan. (NYC Public Advocate Jumaane Williams will attend).

Also at noon, the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey board holds a public meeting, 2 Montgomery St., Jersey City, New Jersey.

Also at noon, activists and concerned citizens from across the state will visit their local state senators’ offices across New York to demand the passage of the Climate and Community Protection Act in 2019, information here.

Also at noon, Queens tenants facing steep rent hikes will rally outside their rent-stabilized building, 41-40 Denman St. in Elmhurst, Queens to demand that the state strengthen tenant protections that put their families at risk.

At 12:30 p.m., state Sen. Jen Metzger and state Department of Agriculture and Markets Commissioner Richard Ball join maple producers from Finding Home Farms at a tree-tapping event, 140 Eatontown Rd., Middletown.

Also at 12:30 p.m., de Blasio, elected officials, business leaders and advocates will make an announcement on minority- and women-owned business enterprises, Esperanza Preparatory Academy, 240 E. 109th St., Manhattan.

At 1:45 p.m., Rep. Elise Stefanik will participate in a manufacturing tour at ACCO USA and then host a manufacturing roundtable with local leaders and businesses, 941 ACCO Way, Ogdensburg.

At 3 p.m., state Sen. John Liu, Education Committee chair, and fellow senators call for consensus building on school diversity and specialized high school admissions, Senate Hearing Room, 19th Fl., @50 Broadway, Manhattan.

At 3:30 p.m., Assemblyman Ron Kim and Common Cause/New York Executive Director Susan Lerner urge the NYC Charter Commission to recommend Ranked Choice Voting – a consensus driven system that would allow voters to rank candidates in order of preference, instead of a winner take all model, Flushing Public Library steps, 41-17 Main St., Flushing, Queens.

Also at 3:30 p.m., Hochul breaks ground on GDZ Homes redevelopment on Buffalo’s West Side, 417 Massachusetts Ave., Buffalo.

At 4:50 p.m., high school students hold a press conference to oppose state investment in surveillance technology in schools, Cuomo’s NYC office, 633 3rd Ave., Manhattan.

At 5 p.m., WBAI 99.5 FM’s “Driving Forces,” hosted by Celeste Katz and Jeff Simmons, features a focus on the Queens DA race, with NYC Councilman Rory Lancman and candidates Tiffany Caban and Mina Malik, WBAI, 99.5 FM.

At 5:30 p.m., Bronx Borough President Ruben Diaz Jr. will host his annual Women’s History Month celebration, Fordham University, Keating 1st in Keating Hall, 2691 Southern Blvd., the Bronx.

Also at 5:30 p.m., state Comptroller Tom DiNapoli speaks at the Greater Syracuse Labor Council Annual Awards Dinner, Holiday Inn, 441 Electronics Pkwy., Liverpool.

At 6 p.m., Manhattan Borough President Gale Brewer holds a congestion pricing public hearing, Cooper Union’s Frederick P. Rose Auditorium, 41 Cooper Sq., Manhattan.

Also at 6 p.m., the NYC Charter Revision Commission meets, Council chamber, City Hall, Manhattan.

Also at 6 p.m., Let NY Vote will host a panel discussion with Assemblywoman Latrice Walker, L. Joy Williams of the Brooklyn NAACP and others on what’s next for voting rights in New York, Brooklyn Law School, 250 Joralemon St., Moot Courtroom, Brooklyn.

At 6:30 p.m., state Sens. Liu and Leroy Comrie host a town hall forum on congestion pricing, Martin Van Buren High School, 230-17 Hillside Ave., Queens Village.

At 7 p.m., Assemblyman David Weprin speaks about congestion pricing at the Benjamin Franklin Reform Democratic Club monthly meeting, Community Room, 3130 Irwin Ave., the Bronx.

Headlines…

New Zealand banned the sale of semi-automatic and assault rifles after 50 people were killed at two mosques in the country with the weapons.

Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern of New Zealand is expected to encounter little resistance to the weapons ban in Parliament; the largest opposition party quickly said it supported the measures.

President Donald Trump said that he would support the public release of the special counsel report on possible Russian ties to his 2016 campaign, telling reporters that Attorney General William Barr should “let it come out.”

Trump continued his streak of attacks on the late Sen. John McCain during a visit to an Ohio tank factory, blasting the Arizona Republican’s handling of veterans issues, his vote on a bill to repeal the Affordable Care Act and his role in the investigation into his campaign’s ties to Russia.

“I gave him the kind of funeral that he wanted, which as president I had to approve,” Trump said. “I don’t care about this. I didn’t get thank you. That’s OK. We sent him on the way, but I wasn’t a fan of John McCain.”

Trump authorized the use of Air Force 2 to transport McCain’s body from Arizona to Washington, D.C., after his death, but the President had nothing to do with his state funeral at the U.S. Capitol on Aug. 31.

The long, antagonistic history between the president and McCain, in his youth a Navy pilot and prisoner of war celebrated for his bravery and later known as a maverick in the Republican Party, dates to the early days of the 2016 presidential campaign.

Trump, who once called the Electoral College “a disaster,” has since started to defend its “brilliance” amid calls by some Democrats to eliminate the system.

A parody account pretending to be an imaginary cow owned by Rep. Devin Nunes, the California Republican, is more popular on Twitter than the congressman, a day after he sued the account (and Twitter) for $250 million.

Freshman Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez will grace the cover of the April 1 edition of Time Magazine with a headline describing her as “The Phenom,” and a story that calls her the “second most talked-about politician in America.”

The Justice Democrats, a left-wing advocacy group that helped engineer Ocasio-Cortez’s midterm primary victory, flatly denied a Daily Caller report that the Bronx-born congresswoman was first removed from its board on Friday.

The Democratic mayor of Charlotte, North Carolina, Vi Lyles, says she has no concerns about hosting the 2020 Republican National Convention and plans to use the event to show off the best her city has to offer.

Former Colorado Governor and 2020 Democratic presidential candidate John Hickenlooper questioned why the women running against him for the party’s nomination weren’t being asked if they would choose a man as their running mate.

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi acknowledged that Congress all but certainly won’t be able to block Trump’s border wall veto, but asserted she will force a vote on the matter anyway because the President’s attempt to “deface” the Constitution shouldn’t go unanswered.

Patriots owner Robert Kraft has filed a motion to make sure the lurid police videos of his visits to a Florida massage parlor do not get leaked to the public.

Trump wants Kraft to celebrate the Super Bowl win alongside his Patriots at the White House, whether or not his longtime friend is still facing charges for solicitation.

Gov. Andrew Cuomo said that marijuana legalization will not be included in the state’s upcoming budget.

Progressive lawmakers called on Democratic leaders – in the Assembly in particular – to stop stalling on taxpayer-funded campaign financing.

Assembly Speaker Carl Heastie raised several doubts about the viability of public campaign financing, some of which Cuomo has echoed, despite the fact that both the chamber and governor have annually supported such campaign finance reform and Cuomo this year included a plan in his executive budget proposal.

Cuomo’s plan, contained in his executive budget proposal, would match each dollar of a private contribution, up to $175 per donor, with $6 in public funds. The system would be significantly less restrictive — in terms of dollar amounts and who could do the giving — than New York City’s public financing program.

A group of Democrats led by Senate Elections Committee Chairman Sen. Zellnor Myrie, a Brooklyn Democrat, hosted a hearing to discuss the proposals that would minimize outside influences and establish a small-donor public financing system for the state.

More >

Extras

The Federal Reserve left interest rates unchanged today and showed little appetite for raising them in the near future, as officials expressed increased concern about slowing economic growth.

U.S. Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas asked his first questions from the bench since 2016 during an argument today about racial discrimination in jury selection.

Trump lobbed fresh insults at George Conway, calling the prominent conservative lawyer and husband of White House counselor Kellyanne Conway a “stone cold LOSER” and “husband from hell.”

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s response to a question about NYC Mayor Bill de Blasio’s flirtation with a 2020 run: “I always say when somebody is serious about running, I’ll be serious about commenting on it.”

Marist pollster Lee Miringoff said 2020 is “not looking good” for Trump, re-election wise.

Robert Kraft, the owner of the Super Bowl champion New England Patriots, is planning to reject a deferred prosecution agreement that would not require him to plead guilty to any charges surrounding his visits to a Florida spa in January that was under investigation for sex trafficking and prostitution.

Hillary Clinton cited the 24th Amendment in response to a Florida bill that would require felons to pay off all their court fees and costs before voting.

De Blasio’s preliminary budget for FY 2020 is balanced, but there are risks, including proposed drops in state assistance, potential federal budget cuts and slower economic growth, according to a report released by state Comptroller Tom DiNapoli.

Not only are there more homeless New Yorkers today than compared to six years ago, but they’re staying in shelters an average three to four months longer than they used to, despite programs launched by de Blasio to move them into permanent housing.

Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez and her chief of staff have reportedly been removed from the board of the Justice Democrats PAC.

Diversifying NYC’s specialized high schools is on its way to becoming a game of political hot potato between de Blasio and Gov. Andrew Cuomo.

Pegula Sports and Entertainment has been active at the state Capitol in recent days, meeting with lawmakers and state officials as they weigh whether to broaden legal sports gambling in New York.

A panel of federal judges recently handed Buffalo Mayor Byron Brown a major legal victory, but it also suggested the pay-to-play allegations at the core of the case raise “troubling questions” about the city’s handling of a $12 million housing project.

An undocumented immigrant in New York City was denied the right to a jury trial this week, despite a landmark New York Court of Appeals decision on the issue, after a judge from Queens said his motion to do so was made too far along in the litigation.

State Comptroller Tom DiNapoli penned an OpEd in favor of a statewide public campaign finance system.

A special election to fill the Brooklyn Council seat vacated by Jumaane Williams after he was elected NYC public advocate will be held May 14.

A former employee at an Amazon warehouse on Staten Island is accusing the company of firing him last month in retaliation for speaking out about what he says are difficult working conditions there.

More than a third of New York’s residents say they can’t afford to live in the state, according to a new Q poll.

An office manager for celebrity lawyer Joe Tacopina turned herself in today for embezzling at least $1 million from the attorney.

For the first time in more than 50 years, Carl Reiner’s scripts of “The Dick Van Dyke Show” will come out of storage to be digitally preserved in an initiative between Reiner and the National Comedy Center in Jamestown.

Plug Power, the Lathan fuel cell maker, is selling 10 million shares of its stock in a private sale to one of its existing shareholders, London-based Odey Asset Management.

Extras

Federal authorities investigating Russian interference in the presidential election obtained search warrants for emails of Michael Cohen, President Trump’s former lawyer and fixer, beginning in July 2017, according to documents released today that provide a glimpse into the earliest stages of the inquiry into the president.

A divided U.S. Supreme Court ruled against a group of immigrants in a case about the government’s power to detain them after they’ve committed crimes but finished their sentences.

Trump called George Conway as a “total loser” one day after the husband of White House counselor Kellyanne Conway won plenty of media attention by questioning the president’s mental fitness.

Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders has brought an old ally back into the fold — one who has a long-running history of painting a number of Sanders’ top 2020 foes as being corporatist traitors: journalist David Sirota, who will serve as a senior communications adviser and speechwriter for the 2020 campaign.

Facebook has agreed to pay out about $5 million to settle five lawsuits and take aggressive steps to block discriminatory advertising on its platforms as part of a sweeping agreement with leading civil rights and labor organizations.

Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro, who has adopted Trump’s combative persona in person and on Twitter, sat for chummy bilateral talks with president, followed by a joint news conference – all illustrating what White House officials hope is a budding partnership between the Western hemisphere’s two largest economies.

Florida prosecutors have offered to drop charges against New England Patriots owner Robert Kraft and a number of other men charged with soliciting prostitution, but there is a catch. The proposed agreement calls for the men to admit they would have been proven guilty at trial.

Bill O’Reilly’s next book will not be about JFK or Abraham Lincoln, but a president he knows well: Trump.

Outsider presidential hopeful Andrew Yang’s latest idea is both literally and figuratively his most unorthodox yet: He’s taking a strong public stance against circumcision.

Actress Cynthia Nixon reflects back on her failed primary challenge to Cuomo one year after she formally announced her campaign, and says she’s not sorry she ran.

Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein is planning to stay on at the Justice Department “a little longer” than originally anticipated, according to a Justice official familiar with his thinking. He was initially thinking of departing in mid-March.

James Corden will host this year’s Tony Awards on June 9 at Radio City Music Hall. It’s his second stint as a host for the awards show; he previously did so in 2016.

The Kushner family real estate company is operating eight East Village rental buildings illegally, Bronx Councilmember Ritchie Torres alleged at a press conference outside the company’s 666 Fifth Avenue headquarters.

Adult film star and stripper Stormy Daniels is scheduled to make an appearance at a Binghamton strip club on May 8.

Ariana Grande launched her much-anticipated Sweetener tour in Albany last night, and it includes a voter registration component.

State Sen. Jessica Ramos is one of many progressive Democrats who want to abolish ICE. But first, she’ll settle for reducing the maximum sentence for certain misdemeanors by one day — 364 instead of 365 — to prevent deportations of undocumented New Yorkers.

Patricia Okoumou, the demonstrator busted last year for scaling the base of the Statue of Liberty in a Fourth of July protest, was sentenced to five years of probation and 200 hours of community service in a bizarre Manhattan courtroom appearance

Albany ranked No. 29 on a list of top 100 best places to live.

Tesla’s solar panel factory stands on a site with historical significance to the United Steelworkers union, as the long-ago home of a Republic Steel complex. Now, they’re trying to organize in a new, more modern era.

Dennis Matthew Howe, 45, a state DOT worker, has died a week after his vehicle was struck by a tractor-trailer on Route 17 West in Tioga County.

Traffic on the Major Deegan Expressway in the Bronx ground nearly to a halt this afternoon because of a mysterious brunette running wild through the cars. It is unclear where she came from, or how she ended up on the expressway. Also, she is a cow.

Orchard Park Town Board members canceled a special meeting they were to hold today to “discuss disciplinary issues” in the Police Department, and it was revealed that Chief Mark Pacholec will be on paid administrative leave until he retires May 1.

Here and Now

Gov. Andrew Cuomo is in Albany with no public events or interviews yet announced.

The state Legislature is in session. Less than two weeks remain now until the April 1 budget deadline.

It’s Lobby Day at the state Capitol, and it’s going to be a busy one, with hundreds – if not thousands – of people expected to attend various rallies and events at which special interests, organizations, nonprofits etc. hope to influence state lawmakers and the governor as they work to try to get a budget deal.

NYC Mayor Bill de Blasio today will meet with Muslim community leaders – an event that is not open to members of the media.

At 9 a.m., state Comptroller Thomas DiNapoli speaks at the National Federation Independent Businesses’ Small Business Day, Meeting Room 5, Empire State Plaza, Albany.

Also at 9 a.m., Westchester County Executive George Latimer hosts the second annual Youth Summit, Westchester County Center, 198 Central Ave., White Plains.

Also at 9 a.m., the state Senate Committee on Aging meets, Room 804, Legislative Office Building, Albany.

At 9:30 a.m., the NYC Council Subcommittee on Zoning and Franchises meets, Committee Room, City Hall, Manhattan.

Also at 9:30 a.m., Regent Catherine Collins will deliver opening remarks at the Buffalo Public Schools 2019 Urban Forum, “Cyphers, Circles, and Cerebration: An Out-of-the-Box Pedagogical Experience,” East Community High School, 820 Northampton St., Buffalo.

Also at 9:30 a.m., NYC Councilman Chaim Deutsch holds a rally to call for pay equity for NYPD officers, who currently earn significantly less than peers in other departments, City Hall steps, Manhattan.

At 10 a.m., the NYC Council Committee on Public Safety meets, Council chamber, City Hall, Manhattan.

Also at 10 a.m., the state Senate Judiciary Committee meets, Room 124, state Capitol, Albany.

Also at 10 a.m., the state Senate Committee on Education meets, Room 510, Legislative Office Building, Albany.

Also at 10 a.m., LG Kathy Hochul rallies for Cuomo’s Tax Fairness for the Middle Class Campaign, Crandall Public Library, 251 Glen St., Glens Falls.

At 10:30 a.m., Rep. Carolyn Maloney joins with federal officials to call for an additional $40 million in New York state funding for increased census outreach, City Hall steps, Manhattan.

Also at 10:30 a.m., the state Senate Committee on Environmental Conservation meets, Room 307, Legislative Office Building, Albany.

At 11 a.m., the state Senate Committee on Civil Service and Pensions meets, Room 901, Legislative Office Building, Albany.

Also at 11 a.m., the Bring it Home Coalition holds its weekly rally to demand that the governor increase funding for mental health housing programs, outside Cuomo’s office, 2nd Fl., state Capitol, Albany.

At 12:30 p.m., more than 5,000 members of 1199SEIU rally to ensure that cuts to the Medicaid budget will be restored in the final state budget document, Empire State Plaza, Albany. Speakers include: Assembly Speaker Carl Heastie, Senate Majority Leader Andrea Stewart Cousins, Senate Health Chair Gustavo Rivera, and Assembly Health Chair Dick Gottfried.

At 1 p.m., tenants from across the state demand universal rent control, War Room, 2nd Fl., state Capitol, Albany.

Also at 1 p.m. Hochul announces the opening of the new Albany DMV, 855 Central Ave., Albany.

At 1:30 p.m., the SUNY board of trustees executive session meets, State University Plaza, 353 Broadway, Albany.

At 2:30 p.m., the NYC Council Committee on the Justice System holds its fiscal year 2020 preliminary budget hearing, Council chamber, City Hall, Manhattan.

At 3 p.m., the state Senate is in session, Senate chamber, state Capitol, Albany.

At 3:15 p.m., the de Blasio administration will hold a technical briefing on ThriveNYC’s budget, NYC Office of Management and Budget, 6th Fl., 255 Greenwich St., Manhattan.

At 5 p.m., Queens Borough President Melinda Katz makes remarks at the Queens Chamber of Commerce’s Food and Drink Festival, Hart Lounge, The Egg, 1 Empire State Plaza, Albany.

At 6 p.m., NYC Council members Helen Rosenthal and Mark Levine hold a town hall meeting about congestion pricing, John Jay College, Room L63, 524 W. 59th St., Manhattan.

At 6:15 p.m., Hochul delivers remarks at the Queens Day reception, The Egg, Hart Theater, Empire State Plaza, Albany.

At 7 p.m., de Blasio will deliver remarks at the Greek Independence Day Reception at Gracie Mansion, 88th Street and East End Avenue, Manhattan.

Headlines…

The man accused of carrying out the attack that killed 50 people at two mosques in Christchurch, New Zealand, is expected to represent himself in court, but the country’s prime minister said she wants to do everything possible to deny him the attention he craves.

Federal investigators and prosecutors appear to be raising questions about the process that led to the certification of Boeing’s 737 Max jetliners in the aftermath of two deadly crashes.

Purchasing and outfitting two Boeing 747-style jets for the new Air Force One fleet will cost 35 percent more than previously estimated, the Pentagon says in documents reported yesterday.

A grand jury in Washington, D.C., issued a broad subpoena dated March 11 to at least one person involved in the 737 MAX’s development, seeking related documents, including correspondence, emails and other messages.

The University of Southern California said that it had taken action that prevents students who may be associated with an alleged admissions scheme from registering for classes or acquiring transcripts.

Lori Loughlin and Mossimo Giannulli have added some serious new firepower to their legal defense team in the college admissions cheating scandal, hiring Sean Berkowitz, the fraud-busting former federal prosecutor who led the Justice Department’s Enron Task Force.

Canada’s top public servant, accused of improperly pressing the former attorney general to settle a corruption case involving a major corporation, resigned amid a month of political turmoil for Prime Minister Justin Trudeau. It was the fourth prominent resignation related to the scandal since last month.

Trump and Deutsche Bank have long been deeply entwined, their symbiotic bond born of necessity and ambition on both sides: a real estate mogul made toxic by polarizing rhetoric and a pattern of defaults, and a bank with intractable financial problems and a history of misconduct.

The National Enquirer paid the brother of Jeff Bezos’ mistress $200,000 for the racy text messages and other dirt used in their story that sunk the billionaire’s marriage.

California Republican Rep. Devin Nunes is suing Twitter and three of its users for $250 million in damages, alleging he was defamed and the social media juggernaut engages in the “shadow-banning” of conservative opinions and selectively enforces its own terms of service to benefit opponents of the GOP.

A federal appeals court is set to hear arguments in a lawsuit that claims Trump is violating the Constitution by accepting profits from foreign and domestic officials through his hotel in Washington.

Two thirds of New Yorkers view Amazon.com Inc.’s decision to scuttle a planned corporate headquarters in Queens as bad for the state, a new Siena poll found.

An active start to this year’s legislative session and a bold progressive agenda for the next three months has a slim majority of voters convinced New York is moving too far to the left under Democratic control of state government, the same poll reports.

Also: 61 percent of voters in the state oppose granting driver’s licenses to immigrants regardless of their immigration status.

Gov. Andrew Cuomo said that the Democratic Party’s response to Rep. Ilhan Omar’s anti-Semitic remarks was “muted” because too many of the party’s officials are fearful of retribution.

Antony Comello, 24, the man accused of killing reputed Gambino family crime boss Francesco Cali on Staten Island last week appeared in criminal court in Ocean County, N.J., and waived extradition back to New York City, where he will face charges, his lawyer said.

Comello once tried to make a citizen’s arrest of NYC Mayor Bill de Blasio.

Comello told detectives that he was high on marijuana and shot the crime figure because he feared for his life.

Cuomo delivered some great news to New Jersey casinos, saying he doesn’t want New York to allow sports betting on mobile devices.

The Cuomo administration has already declared that online sports wagering would be a violation of the state’s constitution. But with state fiscal talks underway and a heavy push on by the sports betting industry to legalize the wagering in New York, the issue still keeps popping up in some quarters of the Capitol.

Fresh off their Child Victims Act success, a group of activists and lawmakers urged passage of what they see as an important next step: Erin’s Law, which mandates schools in grades K-8 spend at least an hour a year teaching the difference between “good touch” and “bad touch” to empower students to recognize sexual abuse.

New York City’s housing development agency has selected a joint venture that includes community organizations to build hundreds of affordable apartments on an undeveloped swath in Brooklyn that had been at the center of an eight-year legal battle over racial and housing discrimination.

More >

Extras

The House Judiciary Committee, headed by Manhattan Democratic Rep. Jerry Nadler, is planning on hosting a hearing in the coming weeks addressing the rise of white nationalism in the U.S. and the hate crime and hate speech surrounding the movement.

Homeland Security Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen called for the U.S. to take on a “whole of society” approach to combat cyber threats, saying the country “is not prepared” to handle hackers backed by other countries.

The U.S. Supreme Court refused to hear the case of a Hawaiian woman who was penalized by the state for refusing to let a lesbian couple stay in her bed and breakfast.

Authorities in the Netherlands arrested two people following a shooting inside a tram in the city of Utrecht that left three people dead.

WarnerMedia said Warner Bros. Chairman and CEO Kevin Tsujihara has been ousted after an investigation into sexual misconduct allegations, saying this move was in the “best interest” of the company.

Trump called Joe Biden a “low I.Q. individual” after the former vice president had a slip of the tongue and nearly announced he was running for president in 2020.

Former Texas Rep. Beto O’Rourke raised more than $6 million online in the first 24 hours after announcing his presidential campaign last week, outpacing his rivals for the Democratic nomination and making an emphatic statement about his grassroots financial strength.

Former NYC Mayor Rudy Giuliani, a personal attorney to Trump, claims he has not been on television in almost two months because he thought special counsel Robert Mueller’s report was “imminent” and not because the president was upset with his repeated gaffes.

Fox News has hired Donna Brazile, the former Democratic National Committee chairwoman, as a contributor, the company said in a news release.

Sentencing documents filed over the weekend show former LPCiminelli executive Kevin Schuler received some specific instructions about how he is to perform his community service requirements.

The 24-year-old man charged with killing a senior leader of the Gambino crime family in Staten Island told detectives that he was high on marijuana and shot the crime figure because he feared for his life, according to two law enforcement officials with knowledge of the matter.

The state Office of Alcoholism and Substance Abuse Services and the state Health Department today announced the launch of a new campaign to raise awareness of the addiction services available in New York for women who are pregnant.

The Trump administration’s decision to alter the way it punishes nursing homes has resulted in lower fines against many facilities found to have endangered or injured residents.

The New York State Nurses Association said it would give notice that it intends to strike April 2, following months of stalled contract negotiations because of a dispute over staffing levels.

Lynne Patton, regional director for the federal department of Housing and Urban Development, lobbed yet another Twitter bomb at NYC Mayor Bill de Blasio, ripping him for his recent trips to early presidential contest states.

A Las Vegas casino company is hoping former New York Gov. David Paterson is their ace in the hole when it comes to convincing Albany to give it a license to build Monte Carlo on the Hudson.

Jessica DeCerce, Cuomo’s most recent staffer for the Syracuse area, is now in the No. 2 position at the New York State Fair, earning $119,000 a year.

Delays on subway trains dropped by nearly 20,000 in February — compared to the same month in 2018 — in a dip the MTA credits to its “action plan” and speeding up trains.

As presidential libraries have grown in size — and cost — oversight measures haven’t kept up, making them one of the best avenues for wealthy donors to stealthily gain influence with a sitting commander-in-chief.

Joining a long line of previous lawmakers – though, mostly men – before them, Assemblywoman Yuh-Line Niou and state Sens. Alessandra Biaggi and Jessica Ramos are Albany roomies.

The Syracuse men’s basketball team is making its first trip to the NCAA Tournament’s West Region since 2010, and for those interested in attending the game, it won’t come cheap.

Water Slide World, the iconic Lake George water park that didn’t reopen last year after its founder’s death, is closed for good.

A recent state finding that no toxic waste has leaked from an old Niagara Sanitation landfill has not hurt the legal claims of more than 300 current and former residents who say living near the landfill damaged their health, according to their attorneys.

On WNYC’s “The Brian Lehrer Show,” NYC Comptroller Scott Stringer discussed his new proposal for repairing and re-imagining part of the Brooklyn-Queens Expressway as a trucks-only highway with a park on top.

Nearly 80 percent of New Yorkers in a new Siena poll said vaccinations should be required for kids before they can go to school, regardless of family religious beliefs.

With the help of some very good boys, runner Thomas Panek became the first blind man to finish the United Airlines Half Marathon in New York City yesterday, along with a trio of guide dogs.