Liz Benjamin

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Posts by Liz Benjamin

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The president sent a letter to House Speaker Nancy Pelosi accepting her initial invitation to deliver the State of the Union address — and dismissing her later request that he postpone it until after the government reopens.

…but Pelosi denied his request to hold the speech in the House – unless the government is reopened.

House Democratic leaders said that they were prepared to offer Trump a substantial sum of money for border security — perhaps even the $5.7 billion he has requested — but not for a wall and not until he agreed to reopen the government.

Queens Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez was the lone Democrat to vote against a short-term bill to reopen the federal government over concerns over the bill’s funding for Immigration and Customs Enforcement.

Trump’s former fixer Michael Cohen will postpone testifying before a House panel next month because his family is being threatened by the president and his new attorney Rudy Giuliani, his lawyer said.

The House Oversight Committee is launching a “wide-ranging” probe into the White House’s handling of its security clearance process, kicking off one of the first high-profile investigations into the Trump administration by the new, Democratic-controlled chamber.

Some IRS employees are claiming they can’t return to work for the upcoming tax season because of financial hardship, a major union said, warning that others could follow in their footsteps if the government shutdown continues much longer.

Preliminary data from the CDC show a slight decline in opioid overdose deaths in the first few months of 2018 as states intensify efforts to save lives.

Chris Kay, the executive who led the New York Racing Association’s recent return to private control and oversaw major initiatives at the Saratoga Race Course, is abruptly stepping aside at the board’s request, according to a person familiar with the decision but not authorized to comment.

Risa Sugarman, the state’s top election-law enforcement official, has filed a lawsuit to overturn regulations adopted by the state Board of Elections commissioners in August that sought to rein in her office’s subpoena powers.

Amazon and New York City economic development officials are in the midst of a marketing blitz aimed at local residents who may be wary about the behemoth headed their way.

Rappers Jay-Z and Meek Mill joined a cross section of sports, entertainment and business industry leaders who collectively pledged $50 million with an aim to get at least one million people out of jail over the next five years.

Actor Alec Baldwin pleaded guilty to a charge of harassing a man over a parking spot last fall.

Baldwin agreed to take an anger management course in a deal with prosecutors to dispose of the charges, and was also ordered to complete a one-day anger management program and pay a fine of $120.

Disgraced Hollywood mogul Harvey Weinstein has started to cast his new “dream team” of lawyers, selecting a former Manhattan prosecutor and three litigators with a history of representing celebrity clients around the country.

Former New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg said that attempting to legalize recreational marijuana “is perhaps the stupidest thing anybody has ever done.”

Bloomberg offered a full-throated defense of the New York Police Department’s use of “stop and frisk” policing, attributing the city’s declining murder rate during his tenure as mayor to the controversial policy.

A new Quinnipiac University poll found Bloomberg is the most popular potential presidential nominee from New York, even though he has not made a decision about running yet.

Cuomo’s so-called energy czar Richard Kaufman – recruited in the wake of Superstorm Sandy to reshape the state’s electric grid – plans to step down from that role at the end of the month, but he will still be a part of the state’s energy policy team.

Nassau County is greatly expanding its efforts to fix potholes and repave damaged roads to make up for years of neglect, County Executive Laura Curran said.

More newspaper layoffs.

More snow is headed your way, Western New York.

Here and Now

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

The state Legislature is in session.

On Wednesday morning, immigrant youth will travel to Albany to witness the vote and expected passage of the New York Dream Act, which allows the state to give college aid assistance to undocumented students.

The DREAM Act, remained for the late Sen. Jose Peralta, a Queens Democrat who died abruptly late last year, is expected to be approved for the seventh time in the state Assembly, followed by a historic vote in the state Senate.

Meanwhile, at the federal level, the U.S. Supreme Court took no action yesterday on the Trump administration’s plans to shut down a program that shields some 700,000 young undocumented immigrants known as “Dreamers” from deportation.

Also in Albany today, joint legislative budget hearings get underway. First up: Environmental conservation at 9:30 a.m., Hearing Room B, LOB, State Street.

President Donald Trump and Vice President Mike Pence meet at the White House this afternoon with conservative leaders on immigration.

At 7:45 a.m., former NYC Council President Melissa Mark-Viverito, now a public advocate candidate, greet commuters at The Hub 2, 5 train station, the Bronx.

At 9:30 a.m., the state Senate Transportation Committee meets, Room 708, Legislative Office Building, Albany.

At 10 a.m., NYC Councilwomen Margaret Chin and Helen Rosenthal, with the New York City Department for the Aging, hold a hearing on the growing number of older women living in poverty, Council Chambers, City Hall, Manhattan.

Also at 10 a.m., Canal Corp. Executive Director Brian Stratton delivers a State of the State/budget presentation, SUNY Cobleskill, 106 Suffolk Circle, Cobleskill.

At 10:30 a.m., Sen. Rachel May holds a press conference with other state and local elected officials and community activists on the importance of the upcoming Interstate 81 decision, LCA Press Room, (130), 1st Fl., LOB, 198 State St., Albany.

At 11 a.m., the state Senate is in session, Senate chamber, state Capitol, Albany.

Also at 11 a.m., “The Capitol Pressroom” features Peter Baynes, executive director of the New York Conference of Mayors and Municipal Officials, and Gerry Geist, executive director of the Association of Towns of the State of New York, WCNY.

Also at 11 a.m., Assembly Speaker Carl Heastie joins members of his conference and advocates for a press conference regarding pending passage of the Jose Peralta New York State Dream Act, Speaker’s Conference Room, state Capitol, Albany.

At 11:30 a.m., LG Kathy Hochul opens the New York Boat Show and launches boating career day and the first-ever boating jobs fair, Javits Center, 655 W. 34th St., Manhattan.

At noon, p.m., the East River Alliance holds a press conference to express concerns regarding the Department of Design and Construction’s revised East Side Coastal Resiliency Plan, City Hall steps, Manhattan.

At 1 p.m., the NYC The New York City Council Committee on Environmental Protection meets jointly with the Committee on Parks and Recreation, Committee Room, City Hall, Manhattan.

Also at 1 p.m., the NYC Council Committee on Economic Development meets, 250 Broadway, 16th floor Committee Room, Manhattan.

At 6 p.m., the Gay Men’s Health Crisis and the Schools of Public Engagement at The New School host a forum for candidates running for New York City public advocate, The New School Auditorium, 66 W. 12th St., Manhattan.

Also at 6 p.m., Bronx Borough President Ruben Diaz Jr. speaks at a meeting of the Queens & Bronx Building Association, Marina del Rey, 1 Marina Dr., the Bronx.

Also at 6 p.m., state Higher Education Services Corp. Acting Director Guillermo Linares delivers a State of the State/budget presentation, The Harvest Room, 90-40 160th St., Jamaica, Queens.

At 6:30 p.m., NYC Mayor Bill de Blasio and NYC Schools Chancellor Richard Carranza will participate in a parent leader forum, Boys & Girls High School, 1700 Fulton St., Brooklyn.

At 7 p.m., College Democrats of New York, Assemblyman Michael Blake, Assemblywoman Latrice Walker and New York City Councilman Rafael Espinal come together to build the coalitions needed to defend democracy, The Half Pint, 76 W. Third St., Manhattan.

Headlines…

Just days after President Donald Trump vowed to “defend the Right to Life,” New York went the other way by passing a long-stalled bill to expand and strengthen the state’s abortion laws.

The Reproductive Health Act, blocked for years when Republicans controlled the state Senate, easily passed both Democratic-controlled houses of the Legislature, and was quickly signed into law by Gov. Andrew Cuomo.

The Senate passed the measure 38-24. In the Assembly, it passed by a 92-47 margin.

The RHA takes effective immediately and expands access to abortions by authorizing other health professionals – beyond physicians under a 1970 state law that came three years ahead of the landmark Roe v. Wade U.S. Supreme Court decision – to perform abortions.

The law for the first time allows abortions after the 24-week mark to protect the mother’s health or in cases where the fetus won’t survive. Previously, abortions after that point were permitted only to preserve a mother’s life.

Republican Sen. Kathy Young offered an amendment to the RHA that would make it a class D felony for “knowingly assaulting a pregnant woman,” whether or not the fetus is lost. It was voted down along party lines.

The vote came on the 46th anniversary of Roe v. Wade, and on hand to witness the historic day was Sarah Weddington, the Texas attorney who argued the case before the U.S. Supreme Court at the age of 26.

U.S. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell and Minority Leader Chuck Schumer reached a compromise plan that could be a way to end the shutdown — though the fate of the border-wall-funding bill remained in doubt in both the Senate and the House.

The Senate plans to vote tomorrow on two separate bills to reopen the government – one of which has the backing of Trump, and includes $5.7 billion for his long-promised border wall.

With most Republicans united behind Trump’s insistence that any legislation to reopen the government include money for a border wall and most Democrats opposed to the linkage, neither measure is expected to draw the 60 votes required to advance, and the shutdown is likely to continue into its second month.

The government shutdown continues to put extraordinary pressure on the nation’s air-travel system, with as many as one of every 10 transportation security officers failing to show up for work and reserve workers having to be flown in to bolster depleted ranks at some airports.

The U.S. Supreme Court voted 5-4 to grant the Trump administration’s request to allow it to bar most transgender people from serving in the military while cases challenging the policy make their way to the court.

Republican Sen. Joni Ernst claims in divorce papers that she was interviewed as a VP candidate in the summer of 2016, but turned down the offer because her hubby already resented her success, and she didn’t want to put additional strain on her marriage.

The Los Angeles Unified School District and the teachers union reached an agreement to end the teachers strike, officials announced.

Queens Democratic Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, who has been vehemently critical of Trump, has won a seat on the high-profile House Oversight Committee, which is gearing up to launch a string of investigations into the president and his administration, a Democratic aide said.

Asked on Stephen Colbert’s “Late Show” how many “f–ks” she gives about pushback from within her own party, Ocasio-Cortez replied: “I think it’s zero.”

A federal judge signaled he was close to stripping Stormy Daniels of her hush-money lawsuit against Trump.

Ocasio-Cortez might have a national profile, but she has not yet opened an office in her own New York City district — a delay that may give a sense of her priorities early in her tenure. (She’s blaming the government shutdown).

State lawmakers will soon introduce a revised, tougher bill designed to make it easier for victims of child victims abuse to seek justice as adults. It would raise the top age that a child sex abuse survivor can bring a civil lawsuit to 55, up from the current 23.

As the Legislature today is expected to give long-awaited passage to a controversial bill to grant access to state tuition assistance to undocumented immigrants, state senators are also set to take up a separate bill to increase the number of New Yorkers eligible for the state’s main financial aid program.

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The U.S. Senate will vote Thursday on two separate bills that would bring an immediate end to the partial government shutdown: one backed by President Trump that includes $5.7 billion for his border wall and another that would simply extend funding for shuttered agencies through Feb. 8.

The U.S. Supreme Court agreed to jump back into the national debate over gun rights after nearly a decade on the sidelines, and will consider a petition backed by gun owners’ groups asking them to strike down New York City’s strict rules for carrying legally owned guns outside the home.

The court is allowing the Trump administration to go ahead with its plan to restrict military service by transgender people while court challenges continue, reversing lower-court orders preventing the Pentagon from implementing its plans.

Voice of America has been busy for the past month covering the partial government shutdown. But unlike other major news outlets, many of its reporters are working without pay, victims of the shutdown themselves.

With the federal shutdown entering its fifth week, Gov. Andrew Cuomo has directed SUNY and CUNY to waive late fees and postpone payments that may be due from students who are affected by the closure, which has left 800,000 federal employees without paychecks since December.

The Academy unveiled its 2019 Oscar nominations early this morning, with The Favourite and Roma leading all films with 10 apiece.

Advocates are both welcoming and condemning a proposal tucked into Cuomo’s budget plan that would impose tough new financial and reporting requirements on New York’s substantial for-profit, or proprietary, education industry, which came following the departure of IDC Chair Jeff Klein – a key backer of for-profit schools.

Queens Democratic Assemblyman Brian Barnwell is expected to introduce a bill this week to revamp the board that oversees the MTA, but instead of centralizing power as Cuomo suggests, it would have an eight-member voting bloc. The board currently has 14 votes.

A legally-mandated state commission that was meant to examine the challenges in counting New York’s population for the 2020 Census and craft recommendations to achieve an accurate count has not been named despite having already missed a January 10 deadline for issuing its initial report.

Almost one in three New Yorkers would face higher costs under a proposed single-payer health plan, and half of the worse-off group would be low- or middle-income, according to a new report from the Empire Center.

The Penn Station access project has finally gotten the green light. Cuomo said the MTA, Empire State Development, and Amtrak have struck a deal that would expand Metro-North service to the East Bronx.

With the state’s electric grid continuing to evolve, and the market structure in transition, the New York Independent System Operator today released a multi-year strategic plan focused on addressing these changing dynamics with precision and innovation.

New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio defended NYCHA after more than 10,000 public housing residents had heat and hot water outages on the coldest day of the year by saying the issues were fixed “fast,” in nine hours.

Saying he “can no longer stand back and allow four more years like this,” former State Police Maj. William T. Keeler announced he’ll challenge embattled Mayor Shawn Morse in the Democratic primary on June 25.

Opening statements in the corruption retrial of former Nassau County Executive Edward Mangano offered dueling narratives, with the prosecution saying Mangano enriched himself at the expense of taxpayers and the defense discounting the quid pro quo in Mangano’s relationships.

CBS has sacked a Super Bowl ad by a cannabis company that calls for the legalization of medical marijuana.

Chelsea Clinton is expecting her third child with financier husband Marc Mezvinsky, she says.

No matter what you’ve heard, Niagara Falls is not frozen.

Here and Now

Federal government = still partially shut down, now in month No. 2.

State lawmakers return to work at the Capitol today, and again will hit the ground running. They are poised the Reproductive Health Act and the Contraceptive Care Act to mark the 46th anniversary of the Roe v. Wade decision. Also expected to pass: The “Boss Bill,” which prevents employers from retaliating against employees based on their personal reproductive health care decisions.

At 1:30 p.m., Assembly Speaker Carl Heastie and Senate Majority Leader Andrea Stewart-Cousins will have a joint press conference – I believe their first of the session – regarding women’s reproductive health, Assembly Parlor, Room 303, state Capitol, Albany.

Planned Parenthood Empire State Acts will have advocates stationed outside the Senate and Assembly chambers awaiting the outcome of these votes.

Gov. Andrew Cuomo is planning to sign the RHA as soon as it passes, and he’s going to host state lawmakers at the executive mansion in Albany for a post-vote celebration.

(There’s an invite out for this event, but officially speaking, the governor is in Albany today and has no public events scheduled as of yet, according to his press office).

At 12:30 p.m., President Donald Trump and Vice President Mike Pence have lunch in the private dining room at the White House.

At 7:45 a.m., former NYC Council Speaker Melissa Mark-Viverito, currently a public advocate candidate, greet commuters at the Broadway Junction A, C, J, L Train Station, Brooklyn.

At 9:30 a.m., LG Kathy Hochul is a guest on WUTQ’s ‘Talk of the Town’ with Jason Aiello.

At 10 a.m., Mark-Viverito joins NYC Councilman Daniel Dromm and community leaders at a rally for justice for an anti-gay hate crime survivor, NW Corner of 78th Street and Roosevelt Avenue, Jackson Heights, Queens.

At 10:30 a.m., Broome County Transit Commissioner Greg Kilmer will be joined by County Executive Jason Garnar, members of the County Legislature, and City of Binghamton Council Members Conrad Taylor and Dan Livingston to unveil the “:Where’s My Bus?” mobile app, Greater Binghamton Transportation Center, 81 Chenango St., Binghamton.

Also at 10:30 a.m., Hochul makes an announcement and delivers a 2019 State of the State and budget presentation, Utica State Office Building, Conference Room A, 207 Genesee St., Utica.

Aso at 10:30 a.m., NYC Mayor Bill de Blasio will make an announcement about increasing access to health insurance, NYC Health + Hospitals/Kings County Hospital, T Building, 689 New York Ave., Brooklyn.

At 11:30 a.m., Queens Borough President Melinda Katz joins the Blumenfeld Development Group and Lessing’s Café to provide lunches to approximately 225 federal employees working for the TSA without pay during he federal government shutdown, Bulova Corporate Center, 75-20 Astoria Blvd., Queens.

At 2 p.m. Hochul will preside over the state Senate, Senate chambers, 3rd Fl., state Capitol, Albany.

At 5 p.m., NYC First Lady Chirlane McCray will hold a media availability about the “She Persists: A Century of Women Artists in New York 1919-2019,” Gracie Mansion, East 88th Street and East End Avenue, Manhattan.

At 5:30 p.m., Albany Mayor Kathy Sheehan hosts a free health fair in the Albany City Hall rotunda, 24 Eagle St., Albany.

At 7 p.m., McCray will deliver remarks at the opening reception for the “She Persists” art exhibit, Gracie Mansion, Manhattan.

At 8 p.m., the Grand Island Town Council is expected to adopt an anti-SAFE Act resolution, Grand Island Town Hall, 2255 Baseline Rd., Grand Island.

Also at 8 p.m., Mark-Viverito speaks at CannaGather NY, Galvanize, 303 Spring St., Manhattan.

De Blasio today will also attend he wake for NYPD Officer Brian Kessler, which is closed to members of the media.

Headlines…

The National Weather Service had forecast temperatures more than 20 degrees below normal across the Northeast, with wind gusts up to 30 mph and wind chills approaching minus 40 degrees Fahrenheit in northern New York and Vermont.

On a day when wind chills were below -15 in New York City, thousands of public housing residents in the New York City went without heat or hot water.

Thousands of federal employees and their families are applying for unemployment and food stamps to get by as the longest government shutdown in U.S. history drags on with no end in sight. But for some of them, it has been an exercise in confusion and frustration.

One month after the government shutdown began, its effects have begun to hurt some of the most vulnerable Americans: not just homeless people, but also those who are one crisis away from the streets, and the nonprofits that try to help them.

President Trump has taken to Twitter to publicly defend Covington Catholic student Nick Sandmann and his classmates — saying they were “smeared” by the media — following their now-viral confrontation with Native American activists in Washington.

With the Senate and House poised to vote on dueling bills to reopen the government this week, Trump put the squeeze on House Speaker Nancy Pelosi over her rejection of his latest proposal.

Trump’s personal lawyer, former NYC Mayor Rudy Giuliani, walked back the timeline he had offered a day earlier on when negotiations ended with Russian officials about a proposed Trump Tower project in Moscow, calling his comments “hypothetical” and not intended to convey facts.

Cohen has requested to serve his prison sentence at a minimum-security camp at the Federal Correctional Institution in Otisville, which offers a rarity in the federal prison system: a full-time Hasidic chaplain who oversees a congregation of dozens of Jewish inmates who gather for prayer services three times a day.

Trump’s failure to offer recognition on Martin Luther King Jr. Day to the historic civil rights leader himself is an “insult” to the nation, the Rev. Al Sharpton said. (After Sharpton’s event, Trump and the vice president made a brief, unannounced visit to the Martin Luther King Jr. statue in Washington).

Upstate Democratic state lawmakers are seeking equitable funding for transit outside NYC as the governor pushes for congestion pricing to fund the subway system.

The MTA has increased — and even eliminated — the speed limits on numerous rail lines around the city amid an effort to fix signals in the system, officials said.

Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s proposal to overhaul the MTA’s leadership is coming under scrutiny.

A bill would stiff-arm former politicians convicted of corruption from running again for elected office for a decade.

Three education-related bills – including the DREAM Act – will be taken up in the state Senate this week. A measure to make the 2 percent property tax cap permanent might generate debate.

State Board of Elections filings show that GNYHA Management Corp., an affiliate of the hospital and nursing home group, donated $1.15 million to the “housekeeping” account of the state Democratic Committee in 2018, not long before GNHYA achieved its top priority in Albany – securing additional state funding for its members.

New York is taking steps to protect residents from unknown exposure to toxic chemicals, starting with warning labels on a number of different products, which Cuomo has dubbed “The Consumer Right to Know Act.”

Drag has always been political, but a group of New York queens are hitting the virtual campaign trail for Assemblyman Danny O’Donnell, who’s running for public advocate in a special election Feb. 26.

The NYPD’s top cop, James O’Neill, fired back at two female former chiefs who charged that he didn’t empower women leaders atop the department, calling their claims “baseless.”

An employee in the Bronx District Attorney’s Office claims she was sexually harassed by a male colleague after exposing rampant on-the-job boozing and prosecutors having affairs with each other.

Brooklyn Councilman Justin Brannan is putting the heat on NYC Mayor Bill de Blasio to reassign a fifth firefighter at all Big Apple engine companies, saying the city should stop cutting corners at the expense of “saving lives.”

More >

Extras

President Trump made an unannounced visit to the Martin Luther King Jr. memorial in Washington, where he spent about two minutes laying a wreath after being criticized for failing to honor the civil rights icon at the White House.

California Democratic Sen. Kamala Harris announced that she is running for president in 2020, arguing that the time has come to fight against what she views as the injustices of the past two years of the Trump presidency.

Harris posed with an egg and cheese sandwich and a bottle of water at Penn Station following an appearance on ABC’s “Good Morning America” where she announced her intention to throw her hat in the crowded ring of Democrats mounting campaigns.

If you’re having trouble keeping track of who’s officially in, out, or still mulling the 2020 Democratic presidential contest, here’s a handy list.

Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders had a dream of stopping “racist” Trump’s vision to “Make America Great Again.”

During her first 2020 campaign trip to Iowa, U.S. Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand said she plans on “being here a lot.” She’s still interviewing potential staffers in the state, however.

Gillibrand took her new presidential campaign to Rev. Al Sharpton’s National Action Network in Harlem for Martin Luther King Day — saying white women needed to be part of the fight against institutional racism in the United States.

Former NYC Mayor Mike Bloomberg hasn’t yet decided about 2020, but is already acting like a major candidate, except he has a net worth estimated at $51 billion, a vast network of activists who have depended on him for years and a private plane that can take him wherever he wants to hold events with them and soak up free media coverage.

Former Vice President Joe Biden, speaking at a breakfast this morning in Washington honoring Martin Luther King Jr., said that white Americans need to acknowledge and admit the fact that systemic racism still exists and must be rooted out.

The hosts of “Fox & Friends” apologized for showing a graphic saying U.S. Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg is dead, blaming a control room error.

As he did during decades in business, Trump during this government shutdown showdown has insulted adversaries, undermined his aides, repeatedly changed course, extolled his primacy as a negotiator and induced chaos.

Former NJ Gov. Chris Christie, who served on the president’s transition team and was rumored many times to get a White House job that never materialized, says in his new book that the Trump administration hired “riffraff” instead of experienced strategists.

Trump did not speak with Michael Cohen before he testified falsely before Congress about plans to develop a skyscraper in Moscow during the 2016 campaign, Rudy Giuliani said today, backing off previous assertions that such talks may have taken place.

Giuliani told Fox that his team communicated with Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s office about last week’s BuzzFeed News article alleging that Trump ordered Cohen to lie to Congress – and agreed a significant portion of it was false.

The Transportation Security Administration said one in 10 of its employees scheduled to work Sunday took the day off, with many employees citing “financial limitations” preventing them from working.

The group, the Change the Date Coalition, is hoping to jump on the June primary bandwagon, and is pushing for the Buffalo School Board election to move to that month to avoid the typically dismal turnout of the traditional elections held in May.

Subway riders with a need for speed will be relieved to learn that NYC Transit is picking up the pace on these and other subway lines so cars can get through tunnels at a faster clip — after years of imposing caps that slowed things down.

Meet the 23 – yes, 23 – candidates running in the upcoming special election for NYC public advocate. They include: A self-described bitcoin entrepreneur, several attorneys and a number of current and former elected officials.

Retired State Police Major Bill Keeler will challenge Cohoes Mayor Shawn Morse in the upcoming Democratic primary, a source close to the campaign said.

Groups that have advocated for early voting are urging Cuomo to include funding for early voting in his executive budget proposal.

Uber is reportedly looking to apply self-driving technology to their scooters and bicycles.

Here and Now

It’s MLK Day, but it’s also brutally cold all over the state.

If you are planning on attending on outdoor event, dress accordingly, and avoid prolonged exposure to the elements if at all possible.

Gov. Andrew Cuomo, in a tweet, urged New Yorkers to remain inside “unless absolutely necessary” over the next several days due to the extreme drop in temperatures.

In case you’re curious, here’s who got what in terms of snowfall.

Cuomo is in Albany today with no public events or interviews scheduled as of yet.

At 8 a.m., Rep. Nita Lowey attends the Thomas H. Slater Community Center’s 26th Annual Martin Luther King Jr. Day breakfast, Crowne Plaza Hotel, 66 Hale Ave., White Plains.

At 8:30 a.m., NYC First Lady Chirlane McCray will appear live on Fox 5’s “Good Day New York.”

At 9:15 a.m., NYC Councilman Jumaane Williams speaks at the Brooklyn Academy of Music’s 33rd Annual Brooklyn Tribute to Martin Luther King Jr. breakfast, Peter Jay Sharp Building, 30 Lafayette Ave., Brooklyn.

At 9:45 a.m., LG Kathy Hochul delivers remarks at the New Hope Baptist Church’s nnnual Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Scholarship Breakfast, Buffalo Niagara Convention Center, Main Ballroom, 153 Franklin St., Buffalo.

At 10 a.m., Manhattan Borough President Gale Brewer speaks at the YMCA of Greater New York’s Martin Luther King Day of Advocacy, Vanderbilt Y, 224 E. 47th St., Manhattan.

Also at 10 a.m., Bronx Borough President Ruben Diaz Jr. hosts an interfaith service honoring the legacy of Martin Luther King Jr., Trinity Baptist Church, 808 E. 224th St., the Bronx.

At 10:45 a.m., Brewer speaks at the Food Bank for New York City’s annual Martin Luther King Day of Service, Community Kitchen and Pantry, 252 W. 116th St., Manhattan.

At 11:30 a.m., state Comptroller Tom DiNapoli speaks at the Mohawk Valley Frontier 35th Annual MLK Luncheon, Delta Marriott Hotel, 200 Genesee St., Utica.

At 12:15 p.m., McCray and NYC Mayor Bill de Blasio will deliver remarks at the Brooklyn Academy of Music’s 33rd Annual Brooklyn Tribute to Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., BAM Howard Gilman Opera House – Peter Jay Sharp Building, 30 Lafayette Ave., Brooklyn

At 1 p.m., Brewer, Diaz, Williams and Assemblyman Charles Lavine speak at the National Action Network’s Martin Luther King Jr. Day celebration, with Queens Borough President Melinda Katz attending, NAN House of Justice, 106 W. 145th St., Manhattan.

Also at 1 p.m., An MLK Day event will feature Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, Ryan Coogler, Ta-Nehisi Coates, Common, Cicely Tyson, John David Washington, Jemele Hill and others, Riverside Church, 490 Riverside Dr., Manhattan.

At 1:15 p.m., de Blasio will deliver remarks at the National Action Network’s Dr. Martin Luther King Day Celebration, House of Justice, 106 W. 145 St., Harlem. (Also expected to attend: U.S. Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand, AG Tish James, NYC Council Speaker Corey Johnson and others).

At 4 p.m., Diaz attends a remembrance for Martin Luther King Jr., St. Mary’s Episcopal Church, 230 Classon Ave., Brooklyn.

4 p.m., Katz attends the Peace Week NYC ninth Annual Town Hall, Betaworks Studios, 29 Little West 12th St., Manhattan.

Headlines…

Trump bashed House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and the Democrats for rejecting his deal to reopen the government even before he announced it, and the meteorologist-in-chief called for some “old fashioned global warming” to offset the freezing temps in a series of tweets.

Trump and Republican leaders in Congress sought to put Democrats on defense, a place they have rarely been during the shutdown stalemate.

In a bid to put pressure on Democrats, Senator Mitch McConnell, the Republican leader, plans this week to bring up legislation that would immediately reopen the government and incorporate Trump’s proposal to offer temporary protections to some immigrants in exchange for $5.7 billion for his border wall.

The shutdown hasn’t done anything to improve the already tense relationship between McConnell and Pelosi.

National Weather Service meteorologists worked day and night this weekend, providing crucial updates as a massive winter storm hit upstate with up to 2 feet of snow. But none of them were paid for their work.

U.S. Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer reemphasized the position of leading Democrats that the month-long government shutdown must end before they negotiate with Trump on his border wall.

Schumer reaffirmed his support for the Federal Employee Civil Relief Act, a bill introduced by Sen. Brian Shatz, a Hawaii Democrat, on Jan. 9 that would protect federal workers from being evicted, foreclosed or facing penalties from falling behind on their bills during the current and future government shutdowns.

Long Island Republican Rep. Pete King blasted Democrats for rejecting Trump’s proposal to end the month-long partial government shutdown, saying extreme progressive elements of their party see the deal as “compromising with the devil.”

Democratic U.S. Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand was put on the defensive about her earlier hard-line positions on immigration in an interview yesterday, telling voters they would have to “look at my heart” to determine what she stands for.

Gillibrand actually appeared on three Sunday morning talk shows where she cast herself as a viable opponent to Trump and expressed regret for her conservative positions while representing an upstate New York district as a House member.

New York’s junior senator brought up her conservative past herself while campaigning in Iowa, emphasizing her upstate New York roots, bipartisanship and small-town political ancestry.

Gillibrand even talked about her love of RVs and her family vacation last summer to see a Nascar race — and suggested she could make an RV trip in Iowa this year.

“The insatiable appetite of social media and cable news for fresh material makes the hunt for big stories even more perilous.”

Filmmaker Aaron Sorkin had some advice for the “new crop” of young Democrats during an appearance on Fareed Zakaria’s CNN show yesterday, but Queens Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez isn’t buying it.

A Sunday morning fire forced “Fox News Sunday” to shoot in a new location and take Vice President Pence and pundit Newt Gingrich along for the ride.

NYC Mayor de Blasio shamed a posh Brooklyn private school, Poly Prep Country Day School in Dyker Heights, for allegedly trying to sweep under the rug a controversial blackface video made by its students.

Bronx DA Darcel Clark said she can’t see de Blasio’s plan to open safe injection sites in the city ever happening — and that if the facilities do open, they’ll be illegal and dangerous.

As she begins her second four-year term as lieutenant governor, Kathy Hochul says she will focus heavily on child-care and workforce development issues.

Hochul says she takes Cuomo at his word that he’s not running for president in 2020, but is prepared to take on more work if he changes his mind.

Elizabeth Crothers, who in 2001 accused then-Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver of ignoring her complaint that his counsel raped her, is livid one of Silver’s closest aides and defenders, Judy Rapfogel, is now lobbying in Albany and says she should be “ostracized” by lawmakers.

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The Weekend That Was

Snow. Snow. Snow. Snow. Snow. And now the cold, very cold, temperatures.

President Donald Trump, in an early morning tweet, suggested global warming could be helpful as a massive snowstorm dropped several inches of snow and sent temperatures plunging across the Midwest and swaths of the Northeast United States.

Trump said he’ll support protections from deportation for some undocumented immigrants in the U.S. in exchange for $5.7 billion to build the southern border wall.

Trump’s re-election campaign has pledged to send “faux bricks” to House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer in exchange for donations of at least $20.20.

As a result of the storm, NYC Mayor Bill de Blasio canceled his planned trip to Maine to visit his aged aunt.

Whether it was stormy weather, reports of infighting or the simple waning of interest over time, the third annual Women’s March events on Saturday attracted much smaller crowds than in years past.

Firebrand liberal Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez and First Lady Chirlane McCray had starring roles in the controversial Women’s March in lower Manhattan on Saturday, speaking to thousands of assembled protesters despite lingering accusations of anti-Semitism against some of the organizers.

Cuomo banned tractor trailers and buses from traveling on the New York State Thruway and most interstate highways in advance of this weekend’s winter storm.

Trump blasted BuzzFeed News late Friday night on Twitter — saying it was a “very sad day for journalism” — after the special counsel disputed the media outlet’s report on his alleged real estate deal with the Russians.

“BuzzFeed’s description of specific statements to the Special Counsel’s Office, and characterization of documents and testimony obtained by this office, regarding Michael Cohen’s Congressional testimony are not accurate,” special counsel spokesman Peter Carr said.

The outlet’s editor-in-chief, Ben Smith, later issued his own statement — saying he and everyone else at BuzzFeed “stand by our reporting and the sources who informed it,” adding: “We urge the Special Counsel to make clear what he’s disputing.”

The Democratic chairmen of two House committees pledged to get to the bottom of the BuzzFeed report that Trump ordered his lawyer and fixer Michael Cohen to lie to Congress about a Moscow real estate deal during the 2016 election campaign.

Whether BuzzFeed’s reporting can stand up to further scrutiny is now at the center of a test of the news media’s credibility.

Trump personal attorney Rudy Giuliani said that negotiations about building a Trump Tower in Moscow likely extended until the end of the 2016 presidential campaign – much longer than previously confirmed.

Giuliani said it’s “possible” the president spoke to his former attorney, Cohen, ahead of his congressional testimony, adding: “Which would be perfectly normal. So what?”

Contrary to what BuzzFeed reported, Giuliani said his boss advised Cohen to be honest when he appeared before lawmakers, and insisted he is “one hundred percent certain” the message was never given for Cohen to lie.

Advisers to former Starbucks CEO Howard Schultz, a lifelong Democrat, are reportedly mulling having the high-profile billionaire – a vocal Trump critic – run for president in 2020 as an independent candidate.

The Democratic chairwoman in Washington State is asking Schultz not to run as an independent, saying: “Too much is at stake to make this about the ambitions of any one person.”

During her first trip to Iowa, U.S. Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand, a newly minted 2020 presidential contender, was not asked about her flip-flop on serving a full term or her call for former Sen. Al Franken to depart after allegations of inappropriate behavior. She was asked about farm policy, health care and beating Trump.

Gillibrand, who was the first sitting senator to join the “Abolish ICE” movement in June of last year, told reporters in Iowa that she would have a separate agency handling crime and terrorism than the one also dealing with migrants

Big Pharma’s marketing of addictive painkillers to physicians, which include payments for travel, meals, speaking engagements and consulting, have been linked to a rise in deaths from drug overdoses, according to a new study.

Cuomo’s L-train shutdown aversion plan was rammed through without MTA board approval because agency management knew it stood little chance of passing, board members said.

Critics claim that some crucial voices aren’t being heard on the NYC Department of Education’s “listening tour”: those of charter school parents.

SUNY Morrisville wants to prepare students for a fast growing industry around the country, and possibly right here in New York, by offering a Cannabis Industry Minor.

The Cuomo administration is facing strong opposition from the leaders of municipal governments over its plan to chop nearly $60 million in state assistance to towns and villages.

Bob McCarthy chronicles the new day in Albany, and the GOP’s loss of influence at the state Capitol.

New state Sen. John Liu is hard to find in his Queens district because he still hasn’t set up a hometown headquarters.

New York City yeshivas collect more than $100 million a year in taxpayer funds — a lot to lose if the religious schools are found to deny students basic instruction in English, math and science.

The Greater New York Hospital Association was a major contributor to Cuomo’s Democratic party last year, contributing $1.15 million in the second half of 2018 – on top of $100,000 it donated in May. Only James Simons, founder of the hedge fund Renaissance Technologies, gave more ($1.5 million).

While the Big Apple braced for an Arctic chill, 17 trustees and staffers of NYC pension systems basked in the sun of balmy Key West at a weeklong, all-expense-paid seaside seminar.

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Extras

Former House Speaker Newt Gingrich dismissed BuzzFeed’s bombshell report that said federal investigators have evidence Trump ordered his former personal attorney and fixer Michael Cohen to lie to Congress about plans to build a Trump property in Moscow.

“BuzzFeed is the equivalent of those tabloids you buy at the grocery store on the way out that introduce you to Martians and tell you the story of three stars who had anguished lives that you never knew about,” Gingrich said before later adding, “To take BuzzFeed seriously is a sign of how desperate we are for news.”

Trump lawyer Rudy Giuliani officially denied the Cohen-Trump bombshell report and attacked the credibility of thepPresident’s former lawyer, despite the fact that the BuzzFeed News report cites two federal investigators – not Cohen – as the sources.

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi said Trump revealed that she and other lawmakers would be making a trip to Afghanistan on a commercial flight, a revelation that made it too dangerous to go forward with the trip.

Queens Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez applauded Cardi B for her expletive-filled rant against the partial government shutdown, joking that “Bronx girls are gonna reopen the government.”

Academy Award-winning actor James Woods is warning fellow conservatives to ignore Ocasio-Cortez “at your peril,” calling her “the most dangerous person in America right now.”

Ocasio-Cortez has been a member of Congress for only 15 days, but she already has some of the most veteran House Democrats chasing her heels and taking notes.

Union membership has fallen to a record low, according to numbers released by the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS).

Three of the Americans who lost their lives in a blast set off by a suicide bomber in Northern Syria have been identified, including Shannon M. Kent, a Navy Chief Cryptologic Technician from Pine Plains, Dutchess County.

Six weeks after Bustle Digital Group bought the digital website Mic and fired all of its staff, many of the former employees are seething and ready to wage a publicity battle on the site’s new ownership.

Days after U.S. Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand declared her intention to run for president, a Siena poll shows she is just the third most popular Democratic official in her home state of New York.

The state Education Building on Washington Avenue was evacuated this morning after a fire alarm malfunctioned.

Under fire for skirting government bidding requirements, the Buffalo Municipal Housing Authority is going to begin using Erie County’s purchasing office to save money and avoid trouble.

Gearing up to seek a third term as Erie County executive, Democrat Mark Poloncarz has no idea who will run against him in November. But it’s a sure bet his eventual opponent will launch an all-out assault on his self-acknowledged liberal politics, according to early hints dropped by leaders of the Republican and Conservative opposition.

State officials are alerting backcountry downhill skiers, snowboarders and others who venture into northern New York’s mountainous areas to be aware of the risk of avalanches.

The coming winter storm expected to blanket parts of New York with up to two feet of snow will be problematic to deal with because of its sheer size, Gov. Andrew Cuomo said.

Disgraced former state Sen. Carl Kruger, 69, is rumored to be eyeing a NYC Council seat. According to political sources, the convicted felon Kruger is looking to make a comeback in local politics.

Here and Now

It’s comingprepare yourself.

The federal government is still shut down.

Gov. Andrew Cuomo is in New York City with no public events or interviews yet announced.

Democratic U.S. Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand, fresh off announcing her 2020 presidential run, is in the first-in-the-nation caucus state of Iowa. She’ll take a walking tour of businesses in Sioux City, and then attend a Truman Club house party.

Vice President Mike Pence this evening delivers remarks at the 37th Annual March for Life Rose Dinner, Renaissance Hotel, Washington, D.C.

At 7:45 a.m., former NYC Council President Melissa Mark-Viverito, now a candidate for public advocate, greets commuters at the Junction Boulevard 7 train, Jackson Heights, Queens.

At 8:15 a.m., former Chief Judge Jonathan Lippman speaks on “the closing of Rikers Island as a catalyst for criminal justice reform,” New York Law School, 185 West Broadway, Manhattan.

At 9:30 a.m., Arlene Gonzalez-Sanchez, commissioner of the state Office of Alcoholism and Substance Abuse Services, delivers a presentation on the governor’s State of the State and budget address, Hilton Garden Inn, 1100 South Ave., Staten Island.

At 10 a.m., Rep. Anthony Brindisi announces his committee assignments and legislative priorities, Henry P. Smith Post 24, American Legion, 325 Erie Boulevard West, Rome.

Also at 10 a.m., OGS Commissioner RoAnn Destito will deliver a presentation on the governor’s State of the State and budget address, Herkimer College Amphitheater, 100 Reservoir Rd., Herkimer.

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

Also at 10 a.m., Bronx Borough President Ruben Diaz Jr. is a panelist at the New York State Bar Association’s environmental justice event, New York Hilton Midtown, 1335 Sixth Ave., Grand Ballroom West, third floor, Manhattan.

At 10:30 a.m., former Rep. Mike McNulty, Albany County Executive Daniel McCoy and other regional economic development leaders attend a press event to celebrate the grand opening of the Bull Moose Club, 150 State St., fourth floor, Albany.

At 11 a.m., NYC Comptroller Scott Stringer holds a press conference on transportation in eastern Queens, 93-02 Sutphin Blvd., Queens.

Also at 11 a.m., de Blasio will deliver remarks on the NYC Ferry expansion, Staten Island Borough Hall, 10 Richmond Terrace, Staten Island.

At 11:15 a.m., state Sen. Toby Ann Stavisky, state Sen. John Liu, Assemblyman David Weprin, Assemblyman Ed Braunstein and New York City Councilman Barry Grodenchik attend the ribbon-cutting for a new technology center at Cardozo High School, 57-00 223rd St., Queens.

At 11:30 a.m., LG Kathy Hochul sends off students as part of SUNY’s Puerto Rico recovery assistance legal clinic, University at Buffalo, O’Brian Hall, 211 Putnam Way, Buffalo.

Also at 11:30 a.m., Guillermo Linares, acting president of HESC, delivers a presentation on the governor’s State of the State and budget address, RAIN Eastchester Neighborhood Senior Center, 1246 Burke Ave., the Bronx.

At noon, Rep. Carolyn Maloney joins with elected officials and advocates to call on the Trump administration to follow a court ruling and remove the citizenship question from the 2020 census, 32BJ SEIU headquarters, 25 W. 18th St., Manhattan.

At 1:30 p.m., former US Attorney Preet Bharara discusses pressing legal topics of the day and current events with Fordham University School of Law Dean Matthew Diller, NYSBA Annual Meeting, New York Hilton Midtown, Manhattan.

At 2:30 p.m., Hochul delivers a presentation on Cuomo’s 2019 State of the State and budget address, Rochester City Hall, Atrium, 30 Church St., Rochester.

At 3 p.m., Rep. Adriano Espaillat hosts his annual open house event, honoring the life and legacy of Martin Luther King Jr., Harlem district office, 163 W. 125th St., Manhattan. (Mark-Viverito will attend).

Also at 3 p.m., Cuomo’s chief diversity officer Lourdes Zapata delivers a presentation on his State of the State and budget address, The Paramount Theater, 17 South St., Middletown.

At 5:30 p.m., state Comptroller Tom DiNapoli and Assemblyman Charles Lavine attend a Martin Luther King Jr. service, Temple Beth-El, 5 Old Mill Road, Great Neck.

De Blasio travels this evening to Bangor, Maine, to visit his aged aunt.

Headlines…

An end to the government shutdown looked more distant than ever after President Donald Trump abruptly canceled Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s planned visit to Afghanistan.

“The purpose of the trip was to express appreciation & thanks to our men & women in uniform for their service & dedication, & to obtain critical national security & intelligence briefings from those on the front lines,” Pelosi’s chief of staff explained on Twitter.

Hours after Trump grounded Pelosi’s planned trip to visit the troops, first lady Melania Trump was winging her way to Mar-a-Lago — on a government jet.

Trump also has canceled his administration’s trip to Davos, Switzerland, for the World Economic Forum next week.

Trump directed his longtime attorney Michael Cohen to lie to Congress about negotiations to build a Trump Tower in Moscow, according to two federal law enforcement officials involved in an investigation of the matter.

Cohen acknowledged that he had paid the owner of a technology services company to help doctor results of an online poll to help Trump as he considered a run for president.

NYC Mayor Bill de Blasio warned that if the government shutdown continues, it could cost New Yorkers — especially the most vulnerable — hundreds of millions of dollars in needed benefits.

Gov. Andrew Cuomo directed state agencies to provide support for federal workers affected by the federal government shutdown.

Electric and gas utilities in New York announced that customers affected by the partial federal government shutdown can take part in special collection practices.

Fresh off her 2020 announcement, U.S. Kirsten Gillibrand said she plans to attend a Women’s March in Iowa this weekend — even though the event has been shrouded in controversy since one of its organizers refused to condemn anti-Semitic religious leader Louis Farrakhan.

A global New York-based law firm has agreed to pay $4.6 million to settle a Justice Department investigation into whether its work for a Russia-aligned Ukrainian government violated lobbying laws.

A series of depositions that a federal judge authorized this week to explore Hillary Clinton’s use of a private email account as secretary of State have been put on ice due to the partial government shutdown.

De Blasio defended his administration’s decision to allow a senior aide to resign after he was accused of sexually harassing two women, saying firing him would have exposed the identity of his alleged victims.

After winning a commanding re-election in 2017, de Blasio was effusive in praising a key member of his core City Hall team: Kevin O’Brien, his acting chief of staff. Three months later, O’Brien was gone, quietly forced to resign after complaints of sexual harassment filed by two female city employees were substantiated.

A hearing on sexual harassment will take place in Albany next month, giving survivors and advocates a long-sought platform to weigh in on the issue as lawmakers seek to bolster the state’s sexual harassment laws.

The annual two-and-a-half-month do-si-do over how much money the governor and State Legislature should put toward public education has begun. Not only are school districts disappointed by the funding levels proposed by Cuomo, but they’re wary about his proposal to force districts to shift more money to their poorest schools.

Contrary to Cuomo’s recent assertions, the Metropolitan Transportation Authority he effectively controls does not expect to seek the approval of its board to proceed with the governor’s L-train plan.

This occurred just two days after the agency’s board bashed the plan during a heated “emergency” meeting Tuesday.

The NYPD gained information from undercover sources embedded in the Black Lives Matter protests that swept through the city in 2015, according to hundreds department emails made public yesterday.

While NYPD Commissioner James O’Neill defended the practice laid bare in a series of department emails, de Blasio said he found it concerning because the activists “are not a security risk in any way shape or form.”

The Legal Aid Society is filing a federal class-action lawsuit accusing de Blasio’s housing agency of maintaining an “unlawful and devastating policy” that imperils domestic violence survivors.

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Extras

After she told him to delay his State of the Union address in her chamber, the president announced that House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s scheduled trip to Egypt, Brussels and Afghanistan “has been postponed” due to the shutdown, telling her: “If you would like to make your journey by flying commercial, that would certainly be your prerogative.”

Trump’s lawyer Rudy Giuliani now says he “never said there was no collusion” between Russia and members of Trump’s 2016 White House campaign, contradicting public positions that he and his client have taken.

Amid the longest government shutdown in U.S. history, Trump’s job approval rating has declined since last month, and cracks in the president’s base are part of the reason, according to a NPR/PBS NewsHour/Marist poll.

Trump slammed “radical Democrats” in Congress for not agreeing to his demand that lawmakers cough up $5.7 million for his long-promised wall on the Mexican border.

All State Department employees furloughed because of the ongoing government shutdown are being ordered to report back to work next week — but they won’t see a paycheck until mid-February at the earliest.

The NYPD infiltrated the Black Lives Matter movement by using undercover agents and other “sources” to track the activists’ movements while calling them “idiots,” according to the department emails newly released following a Freedom of Information Law request.

Queens Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez’s first speech on the House floor quickly made C-SPAN history, becoming its most viewed twitter video of any remarks by a House member of either party, seen 1.16 million times.

Democrat Kirsten Gillibrand, a junior New York U.S. senator and newly minted 2020 presidential contender, apologized for holding “callous” views on immigration amidst a broader mea culpa over her formerly conservative views on “The Rachel Maddow Show.”

New health care regulations outlined by Cuomo would give New Yorkers more options when it comes to having children — and could require insurers to cover the cost of condoms.

The LIRR hired an outside agency to help with the homeless problem in and around railroad stations. Eleven months into its five-year, $860,000 contract, an audit by state Comptroller Tom DiNapoli found Services for the Underserved is not doing its job – even lying about its outreach.

A group of state lawmakers plans to hold hearings regarding the LIRR’s recent performance, which they described as “subpar and in desperate need of thorough review.”

The de Blasio administration says it’s opposing a controversial NYC Council bill that would allow employees to blow off their bosses’ after-hour emails and texts without penalty, saying it’s just too tough to monitor.

Advocates say the governor’s promise to invest $200 million in fighting the opioid epidemic is specious, advocates say, if not outright misleading.

One hundred and ninety one pages of the governor’s budget bill are devoted to the topic of legalizing marijuana for adult recreational use.

Kevin O’Brien, who had served as NYC Mayor Bill de Blasio’s acting chief of staff in 2017 and was then a senior adviser, departed City Hall last year because of a substantiated allegation of sexual harassment from two people, according to city documents.

The number of Buffalo Public Schools in academic good standing with New York State has more than doubled in the past three years, while at the same time the number under threat of an outside takeover has gone from 25 down to just three – two that were on that original list and one new one.

Days after former “Today” host Megyn Kelly’s exit deal was finalized with NBC, she was summoned for jury duty.

New York public university faculty members and graduate assistants are choosing not to pay union dues at a higher rate than any other major group of state government employees since getting the right to choose in last year’s landmark ruling in Janus v. AFSCME.

A Good Samaritan found $8,000 on the side of the road and delivered it to a woman whose husband died in the Schoharie limousine crash – getting her the money just before a cruise they’d planned as a honeymoon.