Liz Benjamin

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Homepage: http://nystateofpolitics.com


Posts by Liz Benjamin

Extras

President Trump said he’s not happy with a bipartisan border deal in Congress aimed at averting another government shutdown, but he suggested he could add to it to build his U.S.-Mexico border wall and predicted there will not be another lapse in government funding.

A Trump supporter attacked Ron Skeans, a BBC cameraman, at the president’s campaign rally in El Paso, Texas yesterday. The BBC has written to White House Press Secretary Sarah Sanders asking for a review of security arrangements for the media attending these events in the future.

The El Paso District Attorney’s office will not press charges against the supporter who apparently shoved several news crews and “violently pushed” the BBC cameraman.

Video from Skeans’ camera showed the attacker shouting expletives about the media as he was being dragged away. Trump, who frequently goes after media in tweets and rallies, saw the commotion and asked, “You all right? Everything OK?” Skeans returned Trump’s thumbs-up, and the president continued.

Hillary Clinton accused Republicans and Trump of cribbing her 2016 presidential campaign slogan “Stronger Together.”

Iowa Republican Rep. Steve King is pushing House GOP leaders to reinstate his committee assignments that he lost last month after questioning why the terms “white supremacist” and “white nationalist” had become offensive.

Retired astronaut Mark Kelly, who became a prominent gun-control advocate after his wife, former Rep. Gabrielle Giffords, was shot in a failed assassination attempt, announced he will run to finish John McCain’s last term in the U.S. Senate.

New York lawmakers are about to hold their first public hearing on harassment in almost 30 years. Here, those who made it happen reflect on their push to change the culture in the Capitol.

Several New York lawmakers said they still don’t have key details about the taxpayer incentives extended to Amazon.com Inc. for its planned campus in Queens, adding to growing criticism about how the agreement was struck.

Howard Zemsky, president and chief executive officer of Empire State Development, said at a budget hearing that the Amazon deal is still pending, though he called it “the largest economic development prize we’ve ever had.”

A Brooklyn jury found Mexican kingpin Joaquin “El Chapo” Guzman guilty of running a massive, violent trafficking operation that for decades pumped billions of dollars worth of drugs into the U.S.

Eleanor’s Legacy and WomenElect launched a joint media campaign to urge the Buffalo Common Council to strongly consider one of at least two women who will be applying for the appointment to the recently vacated city comptroller position.

The high-priority quest for affordable housing in NYC promises to be more complicated and emotional than many other landmark legislative packages that Cuomo and state lawmakers have rushed through the statehouse with their new, unchecked majority.

The new $750 million Wadsworth Center headed for the Harriman State Office Campus uptown could be the edge Albany needs to finally get $12.5 million in permanent state funding.

Skidmore College Class of 1993 graduate Emily Lazar and her engineering team were honored Sunday night at the Grammy’s for their work on Beck’s album “Colors”. Lazar is the first woman to win in the category.

There is a new call for mayoral control of Rochester city schools, and it’s coming from Assemblyman David Gantt.

The fight over cannabis legalization got a little louder today as supporters of ending prohibition attacked elements of the proposal that Cuomo introduced last month as part of his executive budget.

Kevin Sabet, a former advisor to ex-President Barack Obama, said today’s strains of marijuana are much more potent than those that were available 40 years ago, and that the multitude of ways it can be consumed — including “edibles” like baked goods and candy — make abuse more likely.

New Era Cap has taken another step in its plan to shut down the company’s Derby manufacturing facility next month, reaching a severance-package agreement with the Communication Workers of America, the union that represents most of the company’s 200-plus workers at the facility.

A Buffalo-area woman is headed to court after her daughters were kicked out of school because their vaccinations were not up to date.

Here and Now

Snow, ice and sleet are on the way. Potential accumulation amounts vary greatly across the state. Drive with caution.

Gov. Andrew Cuomo is in D.C. for a meeting that he requested with President Donald Trump on the “devastating” impact of SALT deduction cap. That meeting will take place at 2 p.m., according to the governor’s office.

Meanwhile, back in Albany, the state Legislature is in session.

NYC Mayor Bill de Blasio is in the city with no public events scheduled.

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

Also at 9 a.m., a diverse coalition of local community leaders, business and tech groups, neighborhood activists, CUNY students, and veterans will hold a press conference in support of Amazon’s new headquarters coming to Long Island City, Queens, Million Dollar Staircase, 3rd Fl., state Capitol, Albany.

At 9:45 a.m., Van Jones, national criminal justice reform advocate and a key architect of the bipartisan FIRST STEP Act, joins New Yorkers United for Justice leaders Khalil Cumberbatch and Topeka Sam to support passing criminal justice reforms this session, outside Senate lobby, 3rd Fl., state Capitol, Albany.

Also at 9 a.m., the state Senate Labor Committee meets, Room 124, state Capitol, Albany.

Also at 9 a.m., the state Senate Cities Committee meets, Room 123, state Capitol, Albany.

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

At 9:30 a.m., the state Senate holds a joint legislative public hearing on 2019-2020 executive budget, focused on economic development, Hearing Room B, second floor, state Capitol, Albany.

At 10 a.m., NYC Councilman Jimmy Van Bramer is joined by other council members to talk about why Councilman Ruben Diaz Sr.’s homophobic comments are so hurtful and dangerous – and to reiterate calls for his resignation, City Hall steps, Manhattan. (Former Council Speaker Melissa Mark-Viverito, a NYC public advocate candidate, will attend and speak).

Also at 10 a.m., the NYC Subcommittee on Capital Budget meets jointly with the Committee on Finance, Committee Room, City Hall, Manhattan.

At 10:30 a.m., NYC housing agencies, project partners and elected officials attend a ribbon-cutting to celebrate the completion of 380 affordable homes, 147-36 94th Ave., Queens.

Also at 10:30 a.m., LG Kathy Hochul tours the Binghamton University School of Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Sciences, 96 Corliss Ave., Johnson City.

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

Also at 11 a.m., the NYC Council Committee on Standards and Ethics meets, 250 Broadway, 14th floor, Committee Room, Manhattan.

Also at 11 a.m., more than 800 students, faculty and staff from across the state rally to urge lawmakers to make dramatic investments at SUNY and CUNY schools, Meeting Rooms 2-4, Empire State Plaza Concourse, Albany.

At noon, NYC Councilman Brad Lander, with Families for Safe Streets and Transportation Alternatives, holds a press conference demanding the passage of legislation to keep reckless drivers off the road, City Hall steps, Manhattan.

Also at noon, members and leaders of Communities United for Police Reform will hold a press conference and rally calling on the Legislature and Cuomo to pass the Safer New York Act and repeal 50-a, New York’s “harmful police secrecy law,” Million Dollar Staircase, state Capitol, Albany.

At 12:15 p.m., Hochul tours the progress of downtown revitalization projects with Elmira Mayor Daniel Mandell, Elmira City Hall, 317 E. Church St., Elmira.

At 12:30 p.m., Patriotic Millionaires Chair Morris Pearl will join NYC Comptroller Scott Stringer and numerous organizations from across the state to urge state lawmakers to raise additional revenues by asking the wealthiest New Yorkers to pay a little more, outside Hearing Room B, 2nd Fl., Legislative Office Building, Albany.

At 1 p.m., the state Senate Committee on Environmental Conservation holds a public hearing to discuss the Climate and Community Protection Act, Room 124, state Capitol, Albany.

Also at 1 p.m., the joint legislative budget hearing focuses on the tax portion of the governor’s proposed 2019-20 budget, Hearing Room B, LOB, Albany.

Also at 1 p.m., the state Legislature will begin the bi-partisan interview process of the state Board of Regents, Assembly Parlor, 3rd Fl., state Capitol, Albany.

Also at 1 p.m., the NYC Council Committee on Technology meets, Council Chambers, City Hall, Manhattan.

Also at 1 p.m., the NYC Council Committee on Juvenile Justice meets with the Committee on Youth Services, Committee Room, City Hall, Manhattan.

At 2 p.m., Hochul announces the opening of the EkoStinger Manufacturing Facility, Elmira Corning Regional Airport, 1250 Schweizer Rd., Horseheads.

At 8 p.m., Hochul delivers remarks at a memorial service for victims of Flight 3407, and joins a candlelight vigil walk, Zion Lutheran Church, 9535 Clarence Center Rd., Clarence Center.

Headlines…

House and Senate negotiators last night agreed in principle to provide $1.375 billion for fencing and other physical barriers at the Mexican border, part of a broader agreement that would stave off another partial government shutdown without funding President Donald Trump’s wall.

The breakthrough puts immense pressure on the President, who has insisted he won’t sign any budget that doesn’t earmark at least $5.7 billion for his coveted border barrier — a stubborn demand that in December resulted in a record 35-day federal shutdown that stretched to Jan. 25.

Trump took aim at El Paso mayor Dee Margo, a fellow Republican, when he said “people were full of crap” if they say a border fence hasn’t made a difference in reducing crime in El Paso, Texas.

A line from Trump’s speech on border security – “we’re only getting stronger together” – was quickly turned into a graphic by the Republican Party. That was Hillary Clinton’s 2016 campaign slogan, as well as the title of the book she wrote with running mate, Virginia Sen. Tim Kaine.

Trump was met by El Paso’s favorite son, Beto O’Rourke, who is mulling a 2020 run. He held a dueling rally and denounced the president’s claim that walls reduce violent crime and led the city’s residents in his own boisterous show of opposition.

Gov. Gavin Newsom of California announced that he would withdraw nearly 400 of his state’s National Guard troops from deployment along the border with Mexico and assign them to other duties.

Trump said that freshman Democratic Rep. Ilhan Omar “should be ashamed of herself” over tweets suggesting that a powerful pro-Israel interest group paid members of Congress to support Israel, even though she “unequivocally” apologized” after being rebuked by fellow Democrats.

The uncompromising views on Israel of Omar, of Minnesota, and her fellow freshman Muslim congresswoman, Rashida Tlaib, of Michigan, have made them perhaps the most embattled new members of the Democratic House majority.

Is Queens Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez the Democratic party’s best bet to challenge Trump for the White House? The math says maybe, if only she were 35.

Days after introducing her Green New Deal — a plan to combat climate change that has won the endorsement of several Democratic presidential candidates — Ocasio-Cortez found the proposal enmeshed in confusion when her staff published a summary that included provisions not endorsed by the candidates.

Gov. Andrew Cuomo said he backs the ultimate goal of Ocasio-Cortez’s “Green New Deal” proposal to eliminate carbon emissions, but he indicated concerns about how best to achieve such an ambitious target.

Trump blasted Ocasio-Cortez’s Green New Deal as a flunky high school idea, prompting the Bronx congresswoman to mock the president’s intellect.

Trump said that one of his announced Democratic 2020 opponents, Massachusetts Sen. Elizabeth Warren, should focus “on her heritage” rather than investigating his businesses.

Trump’s approval rating has reached 52 percent, according to a new Rasmussen poll, his highest level since shortly after his inauguration in 2017.

As the embattled Virginia governor preps for his upcoming “listening tour” to get a statewide conversation about race relations going, those close to him say he should consider reading Roots.

Sponsors of a measure to create a single-payer health care system in New York have offered a revised bill, but its future is uncertain, since Cuomo said the state might not be able to afford it.

NYC Mayor Bill de Blasio and Council Speaker Corey Johnson joined the chorus of people calling for Councilman Ruben Diaz Sr. to resign over homophobic comments, for which he has steadfastly refused to apologize.

Cuomo did not call for Díaz Sr. to resign, but characterized his remarks as “outrageous” and “disrespectful.” De Blasio was more blunt, saying: “Unless he apologizes, he should leave.”

Diaz Sr.’s son, Bronx Borough President Rudeb Diaz Jr., said he spoke to his father to ask him to apologize, but his father has refused. “I can understand why folks are calling for him to resign,” the younger Diaz said. “I can understand the hurt.”

Johnson, who is gay and HIV positive, said the Council is “currently reviewing all potential disciplinary scenarios” for Diaz Sr., adding: “Nothing is off the table.”

De Blasio will travel to the early presidential voting state of New Hampshire on Friday as he considers running for president in 2020.

More >

Extras

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and other top House Democrats condemned anti-Semitism and called on freshman Minnesota Rep. Ilhan Omar to apologize for tweets many viewed as anti-Semitic. They did not say whether Omar would be disciplined or lose committee assignments.

Omar issued a statement saying her intention “is never to offend my constituents or Jewish Americans as a whole” and said she “unequivocally” apologized. But she also reaffirmed “the problematic role of lobbyists in our politics, whether it be AIPAC, the NRA or the fossil fuel industry.”

President Trump headed to El Paso, Texas for a rally to champion his border wall with Mexico even as a demonstration is planned by angry residents and Democratic lawmakers who denounce his claim that walls reduce violent crime.

While in El Paso, Trump will engage in his most direct conflict with a possible rival — former Democratic Rep. Beto O’Rourke, a native of the city that shares a border with Mexico.

The dust-up between Amazon.com Inc. founder Jeff Bezos and National Enquirer parent American Media LLC has raised questions about the media company’s connections to Saudi Arabia.

Millions of Americans filling out their 2018 taxes will probably be surprised to learn that their refunds will be less than expected or that they owe money to the Internal Revenue Service after years of receiving refunds.

California Sen. Kamala Harris called for the legalization of marijuana at a federal level, making her the latest 2020 contender to weigh in on an issue that has become front-and-center as the presidential campaign season begins. “Listen, I think it gives a lot of people joy,” she said. “And we need more joy.”

Newly minted 2020 presidential candidate Sen. Amy Klobuchar, of Minnesota, is winning praise from Republican senators, with several describing her as “respectful” and “responsible” and calling attention to her willingness to compromise.

Attorneys for the Donald J. Trump Foundation accused the New York attorney general’s office of political motivation in its civil lawsuit against the nonprofit, citing recent comments made by Letitia James, who took office in January.

Testifying at a joint legislative budget hearing, NYC Mayor Bill de Blasio called it “mission critical” for the city to land one of Amazon’s second headquarters and the tens of thousands of jobs the company promises to create.

Nate McMurray, who narrowly lost to GOP Rep. Chris Collins in a bitter congressional contest last year, will not run for re-election as Grand Island supervisor this fall, though he’ll finish out the term and is keeping his options open for a rematch with Collins.

Randall Terry, an outspoken opponent of abortion who founded Operation Rescue and brought hundreds of people to Buffalo in 1992 during the “Spring of Life” protests, embarked on a 20-city tour throughout the state of New York this week. “I want people to think of Andrew Cuomo as a god-hating, left-wing baby-killer,” he said.

The National Transportation Safety Board’s initial report on the Oct. 6, 2018, limousine crash that killed 20 people in Schoharie County was released, but it contains little information not already known to the public.

The NYC Council held a hearing on what caused December’s “Astoria Borealis” – a malfunction at a Con Edison substation in Queens that sent out a blue light that could be seen for miles.

The state Office of Alcoholism and Substance Abuse Services today announced the launch of the “Know the Facts” campaign – an effort to dispel myths, provide facts, and raise awareness about addiction services in New York and to help direct people to addiction services and help.

Upstate lawmakers sent a message to their downstate colleagues: If you don’t want Amazon, we’ll take it.

One-time restaurateur Harendra Singh testified in the corruption retrial of former Nassau County Executive Edward Mangano and his wife, Linda Mangano, that any food tastings Linda Mangano did at his business weren’t part of her employment duties in what the prosecution says was a bribe to the politician disguised as a “no-show” job.

Hillary Clinton has been counseling prospective 2020 candidates, including Sens. Amy Klobuchar and Kamala Harris, on their bids for the White House.

WNY labor leaders are looking to MLB to help save some 200 jobs at a cap factory in Derby, much like the league did for hundreds of workers making uniforms in Pennsylvania less than tow years ago.

East Hampton Town has passed a law banning the intentional release of balloons, a move intended to cut down on litter and protect the wildlife that often ingests them.

Here and Now

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

The state Legislature is in session in Albany.

Today’s joint legislative budget hearing focuses on the local government portion of Cuomo’s proposed budget, bringing a parade of mayors and other local officials – led by NYC Mayor Bill de Blasio – to testify. This phenomenon is known around the state Capitol as the “tin cup brigade,” due to the fact that the local elected officials tend to decry the lack of funding in the governor’s spending plan, and explain why they need more.

At 10 a.m., the state Senate Women’s Issues Committee meets, Legislative Office Building, Room 945, state Capitol, Albany.

Also 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 Justice System meets, Committee Room, City Hall, Manhattan.

Also at 10 a.m., the NYC Council Committee on Environmental Protection meets, Council Chambers, City Hall, Manhattan.

At 10:30 a.m., state Sen. James Sanders Jr. holds a press conference announcing his introduction of a Green New Deal for New York bill, state Capitol, third floor, Albany.

Also at 10:30 a.m., mayors from across the state discuss state budget priorities and goals for the 2019 Winter Legislative Meeting, Hilton Albany, 40 Lodge St., Albany.

Also at 10:30 a.m., Suffolk County Executive Steve Bellone will announce a new online tool to equip local governments with the ability to obtain lower purchasing costs for services, equipment, and technology, H. Lee Dennison Building, Media Room, 100 Veterans Memorial Highway, Hauppauge, Long Island.

Also at 10:30 a.m., the state Senate Children’s and Families Committee meets, Legislative Office Building, Room 915, state Capitol, Albany.

At 11 a.m., the state Senate Judiciary Committee meets, Room 124, state Capitol, Albany.

Also at 11 a.m., state Senate Finance Committee Chair Liz Krueger and Assembly Ways and Means Committee Chair Helene Weinstein hold the 11th in a series of 13 hearings on the 2019-20 Executive Budget, Hearing Room B, Legislative Office Building, Albany.

(De Blasio is scheduled to kick off the testimony, and then will meet with legislative leaders afterwards).

At 11:30 a.m., the state Senate Health Committee meets, Room 124, state Capitol, Albany.

Also at 11:30 a.m., “The Brian Lehrer Show” features Assemblyman Richard Gottfried, WNYC.

At noon, Progressive #FixTheSubway coalition and legislators rally to call on Cuomo and the Legislature to ensure the passage of congestion pricing in the state budget, Assembly staircase, third floor, state Capitol, Albany.

Also at noon, Rep. Carolyn Maloney joins elected officials to call on New York state to fund the LIRR station in Sunnyside Rail Yards as part of the East Side Access plan and to create a transportation hub, 44th Drive and Jackson Avenue, Queens.

Also at noon,, the state Senate Alcoholism and Substance Abuse Committee meets, Legislative Office Building, Room 813, state Capitol, Albany.

At 12:30 p.m., Health Committee Chairs Sen. Gustavo Rivera and Assemblyman Richard Gottfried join advocates for a press conference on the reintroduction of the New York Health Act, now with long-term care, outside Senate Chambers, Capitol Building, Albany.

Also at 12:30 p.m., Smart Approaches to Marijuana New York President Dr. Kevin Sabet, a onetime drug policy advisor to President Obama, will be joined by victims of drug abuse, education advocates, law enforcement and healthcare experts to urge lawmakers to reject rushing to commercialize marijuana in New York, Assembly staircase, 3rd Fl. state Capitol, Albany.

At 12:45 p.m., LG Kathy Hochul delivers remarks at NYCOM’s winter legislative meeting, Hilton Albany, 40 Lodge St., Albany.

1 p.m., the NYC Council Committee on Immigration meets, Committee Room, City Hall, Manhattan.

Also at 1 p.m., Assemblywoman Melissa Miller holds a press conference to discuss the importance of CDPAP and how to fight against Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s proposed $75 million cut to this program, Million Dollar Staircase, state Capitol, Albany.

Also at 1 p.m., the NYC Council Subcommittee on Planning, Dispositions and Concessions meets, 250 Broadway, 16th floor, Committee Room, Manhattan.

Also at 1 p.m., Assemblywoman Melissa Miller; Bob Policastro, founder of Angela’s House; Douglas King, a disability rights advocate, and CDPAANYS explain why New York will fight Cuomo’s proposed $75 million cut to the Consumer Directed Personal Assistance Program, Million Dollar Staircase, 3rd Fl., state Capitol, Albany.

At 1:15 p.m., Assemblyman Harvey Epstein, CUNY interim Vice Chancellor Christopher Rosa, and more than 100 student leaders with disabilities from across the state rally in support of a budget proposal to enhance funding for services for college students with disabilities, Million Dollar Staircase, state Capitol, Albany.

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

At 5:30 p.m., Queens Borough President Melinda Katz hears a presentation from the New York City Department of City Planning regarding its proposed Zoning Text Amendment intended to promote flood resilience, Borough Hall, 120-55 Queens Blvd., Queens.

At 7 p.m., NYC Councilwoman Adrienne Adams delivers her first annual State of the District address for District 28, High School for Construction Trades, Engineering and Architecture, 94-06 104th St., Queens.

Headlines…

Congressional efforts to reach a border security deal ahead of another government shutdown broke down over Democratic demands to limit the detention of undocumented immigrants, as President Trump moved more troops to the border and prepared to rally supporters in Texas today.

The president, congressional negotiators and other lawmakers are sending conflicting signals about whether a deal to fund border security and avoid another government shutdown is possible before a Friday deadline.

Acting White House Chief of Staff Mick Mulvaney said he “absolutely cannot” guarantee there won’t be another government shutdown when the current funding bill expires at the end of the week.

Ahead of Trump’s scheduled rally in this West Texas city aimed at building support for his proposed wall on the border with Mexico, people from across the ideological spectrum in El Paso had a message for him: Don’t speak for us.

Amy Klobuchar, the third-term Minnesota senator, entered the race for the Democratic presidential nomination, hopeful that her moderate politics, Midwestern roots and carefully cultivated history of bipartisanship can appeal to a broad swath of voters in contentious times.

Klobuchar pledged not to neglect Wisconsin — a swing state Hillary Clinton did not visit once during the 2016 general election and lost to Trump.

Countless Democratic leaders have urged the party not to spend the 2020 campaign tangling with Trump over tweets and taunts. But Sen. Elizabeth Warren of Massachusetts made a novel argument for ignoring the president: He could soon be in jail.

New York Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand, an announced 2020 contender, spent the weekend campaigning in South Carolina.

Never before have two female candidates faced off at a televised presidential debate; this year there could be at least six.

Amazon owner Jeff Bezos’ alleged nude photos and racy texts were reportedly leaked to the National Enquirer by his mistress’ Trump-fan brother.

Virginia Gov. Ralph Northam said he thought about resigning due to the blackface scandal that has engulfed him, but then reconsidered, inciting: “I really think that I’m in a position where I can take Virginia to the next level.”

Virginia LG Justin Fairfax claims encounters with the two women accusing him of sexual assault were consensual — and called on the Federal Bureau of Investigation to look into their allegations.

Trump on Twitter cited a recent Gallup survey that showed 42 million people living in Latin America or the Caribbean would migrate to the US as evidence bolstering his demand to build a wall on the southern border.

Trump took to Twitter to defend his use of “Executive Time,” arguing that his approach to the presidency should be taken “as a positive” after leaked schedules showed much of his workdays since the midterms have been free of scheduled commitments.

Trump’s former personal attorney, Michael Cohen, previously aspired to run for New York City mayor or a statewide office.

US Housing and Urban Development Regional Director Lynne Patton told radio host John Catsimatidis she’s decamping her ritzy Trump Tower apartment to live in the city’s crumbling public housing system.

…Patton plans to move in today, and says she will be residing “with 4 different families in 4 different public housing properties each week.”

U.S. Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer announced legislation to crack down on fentanyl producers in China, the world’s largest exporter of the lethal synthetic drug.

Queens DA Richard Brown, cited the Reproductive Health Act as the reason for dropping an abortion charge against a man who the police say fatally stabbed his former girlfriend when she was 14 weeks pregnant, fueling the right’s opposition to the new law.

In a recent TU OpEd, Democratic Sens. Liz Krueger and Anna Kaplan sought to clarify what the RHA does, arguing physical attacks that end pregnancies can be prosecuted as first-degree assault, which carries a prison sentence of up to 25 years – more than the sentence for “unlawful abortion.”

Assembly Democrats were said to be split last week when privately discussing the idea of congestion pricing as a way to raise needed money for the cash-strapped MTA.

A group of six Long Island Democratic state senators this weekend expressed fears to Senate Majority Leader Andrea Stewart-Cousins that they could be harmed politically if the deal to bring Amazon to Queens unravels, multiple sources told the Daily News’ Ken Lovett.

More >

The Weekend That Was

A second woman came forward Friday with claims that she had been sexually assaulted by LGJustin Fairfax of Virginia, intensifying the weeklong political crisis in the state and leading top fellow Democrats to call for him to resign.

Fairfax has denied both accusations and vowed he would not resign. “I demand a full investigation into these unsubstantiated and false allegations,” he said. “Such an investigation will confirm my account because I am telling the truth.”

Coalescing scandals have engulfed Virginia’s leaders, plunging the state into political free fall. If the governor, LG and AG are all forced from office, Kirk Cox, the Republican speaker of the House of Delegates, would become governor. “I have never been in blackface, unequivocal,” Cox has said.

Matthew Whitaker, the acting attorney general, told Congress on Friday that he had “not interfered in any way with the special counsel’s investigation” into Russia’s 2016 election-manipulation operation since Trump installed him atop the Justice Department.

Appearing before the House Judiciary Committee, the acting AG repeatedly clashed with Dems who wanted him to tell them what assurances he may have given Trump before he was handpicked to replace Jeff Sessions and what role he has played while overseeing Mueller’s inquiry.

Rudy Giuliani said Trump’s legal team should be given the chance to “correct” Mueller’s investigation before it’s released to Congress or the public.

Jeff Bezos, the founder of Amazon and the owner of The Washington Post, has risked significant personal embarrassment in taking on American Media Inc., the company that owns The National Enquirer, which last month devoted 11 pages to the tale of his extramarital affair, but is willing to get dirty in the pursuit of victory.

Vermont U.S. Sen. Bernie Sanders would begin a 2020 presidential bid with 2.1 million online donors, a massive lead among low-dollar contributors that is roughly equivalent to the donor base of all the other Democratic hopefuls combined.

U.S. Sen. Elizabeth Warren of Massachusetts formally announced her 2020 presidential bid Saturday, calling for “fundamental change” on behalf of working people and arguing that Trump is “just the latest and most extreme symptom of what’s gone wrong in America.”

Hours after Warren’s announcement, Trump weighed in on his newest campaign opponent, appearing to make a joke with reference to the Trail of Tears.

New York U.S. Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand took her 2020 presidential campaign to South Carolina, where she touted her roots in “red” upstate, saying: “People there feel left behind. They don’t feel like anyone had their back.”

Former NYC Mayor Mike Bloomberg assailed Trump as “xenophobic” and called his family separation policy “un-American” during a Friday night Miami speech that sounded like a warmup for a 2020 presidential bid.

Also joining the 2020 field: Minnesota Democratic Sen. Amy Klobuchar.

White House senior adviser Kellyanne Conway said in an interview Friday that she was assaulted in a Maryland restaurant last year by a woman while Conway’s middle school-age daughter looked on and videotaped the altercation.

Several politicians and community leaders who oppose the deal say they’re skeptical that Amazon and its political supporters — chiefly, Cuomo and de Blasio — are floating the threat of Amazon leaving as a tactic to pressure opponents into backing down.

Company executives did not share their reported concerns with the Democratic majority leader of the state Senate, Andrea Stewart-Cousins, when they met with her on Tuesday. The executives gave no indication that they were changing their plans to come to New York City, according to a person who was briefed on the meeting.

Queens Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez took to Twitter to celebrate the potential demise of the Amazon deal, saying: “Can everyday people come together and effectively organize against creeping overreach of one of the world’s biggest corporations? Yes, they can.”

Now that Amazon has an uncertain future in Queens, the other cities in contention for the coveted HQ2 facility are primed to jump back into action. But, it appears Broome County isn’t going down without a fight.

A city council member from a Dallas suburb took aim at Ocasio-Cortez on his personal Twitter account, calling her a “bimbo,” before quickly backtracking and apologizing.

Ocasio-Cortez is prepared for the possibility that Democrats in New York could redraw her district after the 2020 election, she told The Intercept in an interview.

The freshman congresswoman and her aides are rushing to clarify details of her recently proposed Green New Deal (GND) after an FAQ sheet it released sparked an uproar.

Cuomo claims the state Senate is pushing to pass a new tax on millionaires — an assertion immediately denounced as “fake news” by the Democrats who control the legislative body.

The NY Daily News sides with Cuomo in the Amazon fight, saying: “Political opportunists are ready to sacrifice opportunity for the next generation to curry favor with the far left of their party. Shame on them.”

More >

Extras

Amazon.com is reconsidering its plan to bring 25,000 jobs to a new campus in New York City following a wave of opposition from local politicians, according to two people familiar with the company’s thinking.

Amazon has yet to build or lease any space in Long Island City and isn’t expected to receive full approval from local governments until 2020. That makes walking back a deal relatively easy.

USA Today says losing HQ2 “would be very bad news for New York,” adding: “As prosperous as the city is, its economy remains overly dependent on financials services. Building up its thriving, but still small, tech industry would help its quest for diversification.”

“I’ve never seen a more absurd situation,” the governor said at an unrelated event on Long Island.

Federal prosecutors are reportedly reviewing the National Enquirer’s handling of its story about Jeff Bezos’ extramarital affair to determine if the company violated an earlier cooperation deal with prosecutors.

Acting Attorney General Matt Whitaker said it was “deeply concerning” to him how CNN appeared to have advance knowledge of a raid on the home of political operative Roger Stone.

The New York State Common Retirement Fund posted an estimated return, net of fees, of -7.2 percent, for the three months ended Dec. 31, the third quarter of its fiscal year.

A small group of House Democrats and Republicans will head to Camp David this evening at the invitation of Trump’s acting chief of staff, former Rep. Mick Mulvaney to discuss any possible areas of bipartisan agreement on legislative matters.

A second woman has come forward accusing Virginia Lieutenant Governor Justin Fairfax of sexual assault.

A company owned by Keith Schiller, Trump’s former longtime bodyguard, has received $225,000 from the Republican National Committee for security consulting since he left his job as White House director of Oval Office operations in September 2017.

Former New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg says he’s planning to decide by the end of the month whether he’ll seek the presidency in 2020 after openly contemplating a Democratic White House bid since late last year.

A new John Jay College of Criminal Justice report examined misdemeanor marijuana possession arrests from 1990 to 2017, breaking out data on New York City, upstate cities and the rest of the state. The analysis found wide disparities in arrest rates among race, gender and age groups.

Five years ago, Norman Seabrook was one of the most politically powerful figures in New York City, the longtime leader of the 20,000-member union representing correction officers. Today, he was sentenced to 58 months in prison, the final chapter in a remarkable fall from grace that began when federal prosecutors started asking questions about his handling of the union’s funds.

Beginning Presidents’ Day Weekend, hikers in the Adirondacks will see state Department of Environmental Conservation forest rangers and Adirondack groups on trails trying to reduce the number of search-and-rescue incidents.

Trump’s campaign has spent nearly $100,000 of donor money to pay legal bills to the firm representing Jared Kushner, the latest campaign finance records show.

The MTA hid the extent of the subway crisis for years with phony statistics and misleading remarks so riders wouldn’t know just how bad the system was, a report from NYC Comptroller Scott Stringer says.

The Grand Hyatt New York — Donald Trump’s first big Manhattan real estate windfall — will be torn down as part of a deal with developers to buy the Midtown hotel.

State Senate Minority Leader Andrea Stewart-Cousins traveled to Buffalo to reassure upstaters that the Queen City – and other communities north and west of Albany – matter to her and her downstate-dominated conference.

A Manhattan federal judge has denied the request of former top Cuomo aide Joseph Percoco to stay out of prison pending his appeal. He must surrender to federal custody March 1 to begin serving his six-year prison tern after being convicted on bribery charges.

Erie County Legislator Lynne Dixon, a Hamburg resident and member of the state Independence Party, confirmed she is “weighing her options” and contemplating challenging Democratic Erie County Executive Mark Poloncarz for the county executive’s seat this year.

Chris Bragg: Over the past two months, a slew of taxpayer-funded public officials, including Cuomo administration spokespeople, open records officers, and top advisers to the governor, have declined to directly answer a basic, factual question about the administration’s record-keeping system.

Here and Now

Gov. Andrew Cuomo is in New York City with no public events or interviews yet scheduled. According to Newsday, he’s supposed to deliver remarks to the Long Island Association and then meet with the paper’s editorial board.

Acting Attorney General Matt Whitaker will testify before the House Judiciary Committee today, according to Chairman Jerry Nadler – a Manhattan Democrat – following a tumultuous couple of days where Whitaker threatened to not show up while Democrats prepared to subpoena his appearance.

Vice President Mike Pence is in Maryland at the Port of Baltimore, where he receives a briefing on Non-Intrusive Inspection Systems Program (NII) Technology, participates in a tour of the facility and observes NII Technology operations, and delivers remarks to U.S. Customs and Border Protection employees.

At 8:15 a.m., Rick Cotton, executive director of the Port Authority, speaks at a City Law breakfast, 185 West Broadway, Manhattan.

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

At 10:30 a.m., LG Kathy Hochul announces significant state funding for the Niagara County SPCA, 2100 Lockport Rd., Niagara Falls.

At 11 a.m., former Corrections union leader Norman Seabrook is scheduled to be sentenced on corruption charges, 500 Pearl St., Judge Hellerstein, Room 14D, Manhattan.

Also at 11 a.m., New Yorkers with autism, Down syndrome, cerebral palsy and other developmental disabilities and their family members; direct support professionals and others rally to urge the governor and lawmakers to pay this professionals a living wage, Broome County Courthouse lawn, 92 Court St., Binghamton.

Also at 11 a.m., “The Capitol Pressroom” features City & State staff reporter Zach Williams, WCNY

At 11:30 a.m., de Blasio will make an announcement on the Bronx Plan, The Highbridge Green School, 200 West 167th St., the Bronx.

At noon, the Alzheimer’s Foundation of America (AFA) is donating 100 bracelets/transmitters to Westchester County to use as part of its Project Lifesaver program, which helps protect individuals with Alzheimer’s disease and autism from wandering, Mohansic Golf Course, 1500 Baldwin Rd., Yorktown Heights.

At 3 p.m., the Westchester County state Senate delegation hosts a budget forum regarding the proposed state budget, Greenburgh Public Library, 300 Tarrytown Rd., Elmsford.

Later today, de Blasio will make a previously scheduled trip to Bangor, Maine to see his aged aunt and speak at a small arts center, which had been delayed due to a snow storm.

Headlines…

President Donald Trump continues to have a blunt message for upstate New York residents who are worried about the region’s economy: Get out.

Trump, a New York City native who has routinely denigrated upstate, said: “If New York isn’t going to treat them better, I would recommend they go to another state where they can get a great job.” (New York Republicans said they weren’t offended, and some even agreed with his assessment).

“Trump talking about upstate New York is like me talking about Antarctica, you know, I’ve never been there and I know nothing about it,” Gov. Andrew Cuomo said.

Rich Azzopardi, a senior adviser to Cuomo, said the president is misinformed about the economic trends in Upstate New York since the end of the Great Recession.

New York lawmakers pushed both forward and back on Trump’s statement he is “open to talking about” revisions in the Republican 2017 tax law that placed a $10,000 cap on deductions for state-income and local-property taxes.

Lawmakers said they were making progress in their talks over border barriers, while Trump signaled to negotiators that he was eager to sign a bipartisan deal rather than declare a national emergency.

Democrats took the first cautious steps in their quest to obtain Trump’s long-hidden tax returns, further inflaming the contentious relationship between the president and the newly empowered House.

Trump lashed out against House Democrats, complaining that the system of checks and balances giving his political opponents power equates to “Unlimited Presidential Harassment.”

Queens Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez bent over backward to insist that being left off a special committee on climate change by Nancy Pelosi didn’t signal bad blood between the two — and that they were “100 percent” on the same page.

Ocasio-Cortez unveiled her long-awaited “Green New Deal” and quickly courted high-profile support for the ambitious legislative framework seeking to combat climate change and income inequality.

Trump’s attorney general pick, William Barr, who served as AG under former President George H.W. Bush, was approved by the Senate Judiciary Committee, sending his controversial nomination to the full chamber.

Just 58 percent of Americans are against blackface — while 42 percent either condone it or are unsure, a new poll has found.

The news of former Michigan Democratic Rep. John Dingell’s death at the age of 92 shook the political world last night as memorials poured in from political leaders spanning his decades as the House’s longest-serving member.

The U.S. Supreme Court blocked a Louisiana abortion access law from going into effect for now, dealing a victory to opponents of the law who argued it could decimate “safe and legal” abortions in the state.

Since the nomination of Brett Kavanaugh to the Supreme Court in July, abortion rights groups have warned of a threat to Roe v. Wade, the landmark 1973 ruling that made abortion legal nationwide, prompting some states to try to shore up access to the procedure. Anti-abortion groups have been pushing for more restrictions.

A U.S. Senate ethics panel that admonished New Jersey Sen. Bob Menendez for taking gifts from a Florida eye surgeon closed the case after the Democratic lawmaker paid back their value.

Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman of Saudi Arabia told a top aide in a conversation in 2017 that he would use “a bullet” on Jamal Khashoggi, the journalist killed in October, if Mr. Khashoggi did not return to the kingdom and end his criticism of the Saudi government.

Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos dropped bombshell allegations against the National Enquirer, accusing it of trying to blackmail him with nude selfies.

Ronan Farrow says he’s also been threatened by the National Enquirer, explaining: “I and at least one other prominent journalist involved in breaking stories about the National Enquirer’s arrangement with Trump fielded similar ‘stop digging or we’ll ruin you’ blackmail efforts from AMI.'”

Woody Allen sued Amazon in federal court, seeking at least $68 million and saying that the company’s streaming service had improperly backed out of a four-movie deal because of a renewed focus on allegations of sexual abuse on Allen’s part.

Cuomo offered New Yorkers a stark choice yesterday, saying that unless lawmakers authorize new tolls for motorists entering the busiest parts of Manhattan, fares and tolls for subways, buses, tunnels and bridges will go up by 30 percent.

State Department of Environmental Conservation commissioner Basil Seggos has announced that he will stay on as head of the department, reversing a previous decision to leave.

More >

Extras

Virginia sank deeper into political turmoil today as another top Democrat — Attorney General Mark Herring — admitted putting on blackface in the 1980s, when he was a college student.

Herring released a statement saying that he dressed like the rapper Kurtis Blow as the Virginia governor, Ralph Northam, under siege over a racist photo in his medical school yearbook, admitted last week that he once blackened his face as part of a Michael Jackson costume.

Herring said he was “deeply, deeply sorry” but did not indicate if he would remain in office. He resigned as the co-chairman of the Democratic Attorneys General Association.

Vanessa Tyson, the woman who alleges Virginia LG Justin Fairfax sexually assaulted her in 2004, released a statement detailing her memory of the incident and rebuking his claims that the encounter was consensual.

The former mayor of Moscow has confirmed Trump met with officials in Russia in the 1990s to discuss a possible building project after archival footage of the meeting was posted online.

In a NYT OpEd, Cuomo lambasted the president’s “diatribe” in the SOTU about late-term abortion, calling it “part of the far-right’s escalation of its assault on a woman’s constitutional rights.”

The head of the Republican National Committee wrote to the State Bar of Texas seeking disciplinary action against Sen. Elizabeth Warren, a Massachusetts Democrat and 2020 contender, for identifying herself as American Indian on her registration card decades ago.

Vowing not to be “intimidated” by Trump, the new Democratic chairman of the House Intelligence Committee, Rep. Adam Schiff, said the panel will probe whether foreign governments had improper leverage over the president or his business interests.

Queens Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez shot back at critics who complained that she didn’t show much enthusiasm while attending the State of the Union address, saying Trump’s speech was an “unsettling night for our country.”

Beto O’Rourke, the Texas Democrat whose near miss Senate bid last year catapulted him to national fame, said he would decide by the end of February whether to run for president in 2020.

Minnesota Democratic Sen. Amy Klobuchar will reveal her plans about 2020 on Sunday at an event in Minneapolis.

Unless she’s partial to anticlimax, it seems likely Klobuchar will make official what’s long been assumed: She’s running.

A new audit from state Comptroller Tom DiNapoli’s office says state-run gambling treatment has not been offered in large areas of the state, including those with new state-sanctioned gambling outlets.

A lawyer for the Buffalo Diocese defended retired Bishop Edward U. Kmiec’s handling of a case of alleged clergy sex abuse from Kmiec’s time as bishop of the Nashville Diocese.

A new poll is finding broad support for an annual wealth tax on people with assets of at least $50 million, underlining support for taxing the rich.

Williamsville Mayor Daniel O. DeLano Jr., who has held his elected post for just 13 months, is not seeking re-election to a full four-year term, clearing the way for a challenger in June’s village elections.

A group of business executives and former public officials, including past HUD Secretary Henry Cisneros and ex-NYC Comptroller Bill Thompson, have launched an investment firm focused on small infrastructure projects and other developments for government, nonprofit and education clients.

New York should not end its system of fusion voting that lets minor parties play a major role in the state’s politics, a slew of federal officials – including U.S. Sens. Kirsten Gillibrand and Chusck Schumer – argued in a letter that’s being sent to state legislators this week.

“Here are some other reasons state revenue could be lower than expected. Most have nothing to do with Trump.”

American Airlines Group Inc. and British Airways will invest $344 million in John F. Kennedy International Airport – namely Terminal 8 – as part of Cuomo’s plan to modernize the airport with 90 percent private funding.

A federal judge in Brooklyn has refused — for the third time — to let accused Nxivm sex cult leader Keith Raniere out on bail ahead of his trial.

Cuomo pledged $15 million to continue a Rochester business competition aimed at startups in optics, photonics and imaging. The money will fund another three rounds of Luminate NY, now in its second year.

Plans for a seasonal weekend train service to the Berkshires in western Massachusetts are progressing, with a pilot program seeking to launch by Memorial Day of 2020.

The scion of a well-connected Big Apple family is facing a possible life sentence for the attempted murder of a cop — six months after the original case against him faltered due to a flubbed search warrant.

Auburn Community Hospital looked the other way when a doctor needlessly admitted patients, overbilled and often provided lousy care that led to one patient’s death, according to a federal lawsuit.

Extras

Aides say the president plans to deliver an “optimistic” State of the Union address that will highlight what he sees as his achievements, while laying out objectives for the coming year.

Hours before he planned to issue a call for unity, Trump was trading verbal barbs with U.S. Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer.

Markets should “pay close attention” as Trump may sound more upbeat about the economy during tonight’s SOTU, but “many of his core supporters don’t feel it,” Horizon Investments’ chief global strategist Greg Valliere wrote in a note.

This is Trump’s first SOTU before a divided Congress. The new Democratic members – many of them women, and many of them people of color — are planning to send their own pointed messages to the president with their choices of guests and attire.

NPR host Rachel Martin asked White House counselor Kellyanne Conway if it was hypocritical for the president to invite an 11-year-old who has been bulled to the State of the Union, saying Trump has his own history of “cyberbullying people with whom he disagrees.”

The boy, Joshua Trump, lives in Wilmington, Delaware, and has been bullied because of his last name. He is not related to the president. The school changed his name in databases to try to fix the problem, and his parents homeschooled him for a time, too.

SKDKnickerbocker, a progressive public affairs and consulting firm, is privately urging top officials in the party to leave Starbucks out of the burgeoning feud with the company’s former CEO and presidential aspirant, Howard Schultz.

“The moniker ‘billionaire’ now has become the catchphrase,” Schultz said during an interview last month. “I would rephrase that and say that ‘people of means’ have been able to leverage their wealth and their interest in ways that are unfair.”

A federal judge in Los Angeles formally dismissed porn actress Stormy Daniels’ defamation lawsuit against Trump’s former lawyer Michael Cohen.

Four of Trump’s trips to his Mar-a-Lago resort in Palm Beach, Florida during the first three months of his presidency cost the federal government nearly $14 million, according to a report from the Government Accountability Office.

G. Steven Pigeon, a longtime ally and confidant of top Democrats around New York, is reportedly sharing his knowledge with law enforcement in a bid to reduce or even eliminate jail time.

Former New York City mayor and potential presidential nominee Michael Bloomberg took issue with the $3 billion in incentives New York City and state are providing Amazon, while celebrating the company’s decision to open a new headquarters in Queens.

Trump’s company has fired at least 18 undocumented workers from five golf courses in New York and New Jersey in the past two months, part of a purge after reports about the clubs’ employment of workers without legal status.

Nuns have suffered and are still suffering sexual abuse at the hands of Catholic priests and bishops, and even being held as sexual slaves, Pope Francis confirmed. The abuse was so severe in one case that an entire congregation of nuns was dissolved by former Pope Benedict.

While more than half a dozen Democrats have declared they are running for president in 2020 or launched exploratory committees, it’s a significantly smaller crowd than the estimated two or three dozen that were once mentioned as would-be contenders – though it’s still early in the cycle.

New Jersey Sen. Cory Booker, one of the announced Democratic 2020 contenders, has “got a boo.”

The NYC Department of Health is barring restaurants and bars from selling food or drinks containing cannabidiol, or CBD — a non-psychoactive compound found in marijuana that’s said to have calming effects.

As Democrats in the state Legislature continue a rapid pace of passing legislation to start the new session, the state Senate seems poised to advance another round of election and voting reforms, including approving the use of electronic poll books to administer elections.

A federal panel of judges has found that DEC’s denial letter for National Fuel’s Northern Access pipeline didn’t explain the rational basis for the decision. Vacates the permit denial and sends back to DEC for further explanation.

Charter Communications, the company that owns Spectrum cable, is getting close to a deal with state regulators that would allow it to continue to provide cable television, phone and internet service across New York, according to a state Public Service Commission member.

A growing list of public officials in high-tax states are expressing alarm that big earners are bolting to low-tax states as new data suggests some home buyers are moving in response to the year-old change in the federal tax law.

Gannett, the publisher of USA Today and more than 100 other newspapers across nearly three dozen states, rejected a $1.3 billion hostile takeover bid from a hedge fund-backed newspaper group, kicking off a battle for shareholder votes to determine the future of the company.

Here and Now

President Donald Trump delivers his (belated) State of the Union address in the House chamber at 9 p.m.

The state Legislature is in session.

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

At 8 a.m., NYN Media hosts Nonprofit BoardCon, a conference for nonprofits and their boards of directors, UFT Shanker Hall, 52 Broadway, Manhattan.

Also at 8 a.m., Gramercy Communications hosts state Comptroller Tom DiNapoli as its guest for the second installment in the firm’s Capitol View event series, Bull Moose Club, 150 State St., fourth floor, Albany.

At 8:30 a.m., Bronx Borough President Ruben Diaz Jr. is a guest on “The Joe Piscopo Show,” AM 970 The Answer.

Also at 8:30 a.m., the Westchester County Planning Board meets, Michaelian Office Building, Conference Room 420, 4th Floor, 148 Martine Ave., White Plains.

At 9 a.m., the state Senate Investigations and Government Operations Committee meets, Legislative Office Building, room 816, state Capitol, Albany.

Also at 9 a.m., LG Kathy Hochul delivers remarks at the state Public Employee Conference’s annual legislative breakfast, The Egg, Hart Lounge, 1 Empire State Plaza, Albany.

Also at 9 a.m., the state Senate Education Committee meets, Legislative Office Building, room 510, state Capitol, Albany.

Also at 9 a.m., the state Senate Cultural Affairs, Tourism, Parks and Recreation Committee meets, state Capitol, room 123, Albany.

At 9:30 a.m., the NYC Council Committee on Standards and Ethics meets to continue a recessed meeting, 250 Broadway, 15th floor, Manhattan.

Also at 9:30 a.m., Hochul keynotes the LGBT Network’s legislative and governmental Breakfast, Cornerstone at the Plaza, South Mall Arterial, Albany.

Also at 9:30 a.m., a joint legislative budget hearing is held on the healthcare and Medicaid portion of the governor’s 2019-20 proposed spending plan, Hearing Room A, LOB, Albany.

At 10 a.m., the NYC Council Committee on Standards and Ethics meets, 250 Broadway, 14th floor Committee Room, Manhattan.

At 10:30 a.m., NYC Mayor Bill de Blasio and NYPD Commissioner James O’Neill will hold a media availability on crime statistics, Van Dyke Community Center, 392 Blake Ave., Brooklyn.

At 11 a.m., “The Capitol Pressroom” features Assembly Minority Leader Brian Kolb and others, WCNY.

Also at 11 a.m., public hospital nurses, elected officials and community leaders host a New York City Public Hospitals: A Call for Action and Justice rally, Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture, American Negro Theater, 1st floor, 515 Malcolm X Blvd., Manhattan.

Also at 11 a.m., mayors from across Westchester County hold a press conference to discuss the proposed elimination of AIM funding, Village of Port Chester Senior Center, 222 Grace Church St., Port Chester.

Also at 11 a.m., the state Senate is in session, Senate Chambers, state Capitol, Albany.

At 11:30 a.m., members of the Upstate Downstate Housing Alliance, Assemblywomen Maritza Davila, Diana Richardson and Pamela Hunter, and state Sens. Julia Salazar and Jessica Ramos attend a press conference with the Women of Color Caucus to highlight the disproportionate impact weak housing laws have on women, Million Dollar Staircase, state Capitol, Albany.

At noon, professional drivers from New York City caravan to Albany to denounce the congestion surcharge that went into effect on Saturday for taxi and for-hire-vehicle rides in Manhattan’s central business district, state Capitol, Albany.

At 1 p.m., lawmakers, advocates and homeowners call on Cuomo to dedicate $20 million in funding to Communities First to continue critical services for vulnerable homeowners, Million Dollar Staircase, state Capitol, Albany.

Also at 1 p.m., the Repeal the Blindfold Coalition – a statewide organization of grassroots groups, victims of the antiquated discovery law, defense attorneys, retired law enforcement officers, labor unions and advocacy groups – call for passage of the Discovery for Justice Reform Act, outside the state Senate chamber, 3rd Fl., state Capitol, Albany.

At 1:30 p.m., de Blasio will deliver remarks at the Chinese Consolidated Benevolent Association’s Lunar New Year event, Dr. Sun Yat-Sen Memorial Auditorium, 62 Mott St., Manhattan.

At 6 p.m., Diaz speaks as part of the Metropolitan College of New York’s School of Public Affairs and Administration’s “Urban Dialogue” series, MCNY Bronx Campus, 463 E. 149th St., the Bronx.

Headlines…

President Donald Trump’s legislative path to a border wall has narrowed significantly on the eve of tonight’s State of the Union speech, and his fallback plan to circumvent Congress by declaring a state of emergency could create a major division in his own party.

Across the state, New Yorkers savored the brief respite from frigid winter temperatures, enjoying spring-like weather while it lasted.

Less than three weeks after he proposed his 2019 state budget, Gov. Andrew Cuomo raised red flags over slipping tax revenues and suggested that some popular items in the fiscal plan, including state aid to schools, could face cuts from what he offered in mid-January.

“That’s a $2.3 billion drop in revenues,” the governor said. “That’s as serious as a heart attack. This is worse than we had anticipated This reduction must be addressed in this year’s budget.”

The governor is blaming the Republican-backed federal tax overhaul that capped state and local tax deductions at $10,000 for the shortfall. He says it’s prompting many of the state’s richest residents — who pay 46 percent of the state’s income tax — to either change their primary residence or leave New York entirely.

Cuomo is not alone in decrying the SALT cap and blaming it for falling revenues. New Jersey Gov. Phil Murphy has made similar claims.

Cuomo warned against adding additional tax tiers to the wealthy, saying New York already imposes the second highest taxes on millionaires in the nation. “This is the flip side,” he said. “Tax the rich, tax the rich, tax the rich. The rich leave, and now what do you do?”

State lawmakers, meanwhile, adopted a wait-and-see attitude over New York’s fiscal status, saying they need more information. “It’s still a little too early to determine what we can and can’t do, is this just a blip, is this just a delay?” said Assembly Speaker Carl Heastie.

Escalating one of the investigations into Trump’s inaugural committee, federal prosecutors ordered that its officials turn over documents about donors, finances and activities, according to two people familiar with the inquiry.

Trump will nominate senior Treasury official David Malpass – a onetime Republican U.S. Senate candidate in New York – to lead the World Bank, according to two administration officials, moving to place at its helm a critic of the development lender and its internationalist principles.

Malpass is an outspoken critic of the World Bank and has pushed to overhaul its longstanding practices.

A Russian-born lobbyist who attended the controversial Trump Tower meeting in June 2016 reportedly received a series of suspicious payments totaling half a million dollars before and after the encounter.

Republican Texas Rep. Dan Crenshaw — the former Navy SEAL who got into a short-lived television beef with “SNL” cast member Pete Davidson last year — tried blasting a few shots at Queens Democratic Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez via Twitter Sunday night, and was taken to the woodshed for it.

The head of the medical school whose yearbook sparked controversy after racist photos surfaced on Virginia Gov. Ralph Northam’s page in 1984 got rid of the annual after he found pictures of students in Confederate garb.

U.S. Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg made her first public appearance since having surgery to remove cancerous nodules from her lung, attending a production celebrating her life.

Puerto Rico Gov. Ricardo Rossello will attend the SOTU tonight, and he’s bringing a poignant message for the commander-in-chief from the hurricane-ravaged island.

It didn’t take long for members of the Patriots to start fielding the question that has become inevitable for champions: Will you visit the White House? Some have already said they won’t.

Yesterday, Nevada’s statehouse begins its legislative session by marking a major milestone. It’s the first time in our nation’s history that any state legislature holds a majority of female lawmakers.

Staten Island Democratic Rep. Max Rose hasn’t been in Congress for a month, but he’s already angry enough to dock his colleagues’ pay.

The Wall Street Journal: “Last week’s polar vortex brought another chilling reminder about the economic damage of New York Governor Andrew Cuomo’s shale-drilling blockade. His energy policies are hurting upstate and leaving New York City’s suburbs out in the cold.”

Queens Sen. Mike Gianaris, a leading critic of Amazon’s proposal to develop a campus in Long Island City, was nominated by his conference leader to a seat on the state’s Public Authorities Control Board, where he could ultimately veto state actions on the project.

Gianaris “will bring an important perspective and accountability to this board as it reviews numerous projects,” Senate Majority Leader Andrea Stewart-Cousins said in a statement.

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