Andrew Cuomo

Cuomo Approves Law Blocking Car Fees If A Customer Dies

Early termination fees on car contracts when a customer dies before the contract ends will be blocked in New York after a measure was signed into law Thursday by Gov. Andrew Cuomo.

Similar laws are already in place for service providers for phone, Internet and TV.

“Losing a loved one is hard enough – facing an early termination fee on a motor vehicle lease that belonged to a departed loved one is just salt in the wound,” Cuomo said. “Television, internet and phone providers are already banned from issuing these fees, and with this new law we’re doing the same for motor vehicle leases to ensure grieving relatives will be protected from this additional stress.”

The measure was sponsored by Sen. Kevin Thomas and Assemblywoman Aileen Gunther.

“This law not only serves as a necessary consumer protection but is also the right thing to do for New York families,” Gunther said.

“The idea of having to deal with the death of a love one and then being charged an early termination fee on a lease agreement is particularly infuriating. This bill will ensure that no family in New York State will be subject to this injustice.”

Cuomo Says Medicaid Hospital Cuts Could Hurt New York

Cuts to the Medicaid Disproportionate Share Hospital program could lead to billions of dollars in lost funding for New York, Gov. Andrew Cuomo warned in a statement.

Cuomo in a statement on Thursday urged Congress to restore the cuts to the DSH program.

“The impending Medicaid Disproportionate Share Hospital program cuts would decimate hospitals that provide uncompensated care to uninsured and low-income New Yorkers by taking away over $2.6 billion over the next 18 months and more than $14.5 billion cumulatively through 2025,” he said.

“Health care is a right, not a privilege, and Congress must stand up for the safety of our most vulnerable neighbors. I am calling on Congress to immediately rescind these impending cuts before they take effect on October 1st. If they don’t, they will put critical health care services at risk for millions of New Yorkers.”

The current DSH funding formula has been in place since 1992 and hospitals for years have pushed back against reductions. The cuts were triggered in part by a court ruling on a federal government rule that lowered reimbursement rates for hospitals Medicaid-eligible patients.

Reed Criticizes Governor For Death In Salamanca

From the Morning Memo:

Rep. Tom Reed is connecting the recent death in Salamanca to the state’s failure to deliver funding to the city.

In a press release, Reed shared the story from Fire Chief Nick Bocharski. The chief said last week there was only one firefighter available to respond to a person suffering from cardiac arrest.

He said the emergency responder performed what life-saving measures he could by himself but without enough staff to immediately transport, the “person passed away, even after being revived, due to a 29-minute delay.”

“Governor, this falls directly in your lap,” Bocharski was quoted in Reed’s release.

The congressman noted the city had been planning on hiring two more firefighter but was unable to because of a budget shortfall. The state typically shares casino revenue from the Seneca Nation with the three cities where the Seneca Casino’s operate: Niagara Falls, Buffalo and Salamanca.

However, the Nation stopped making those payments since 2017 and the funding to the cities subsequently stopped.

“It is clear the Governor has taken this political spat with the Seneca Nation too far,” Reed said. “It is time for the Governor to end this dispute. Deliver the funds before someone else dies and resolve the unrelated Seneca dispute in the appropriate forum. We are happy to mediate if needed.”

A arbitration panel did rule the Senecas still owe the state for the payments but the Senecas have continued to refuse as they pursue legal options. This summer the state did front Niagara Falls $5 million to help cover its shortfall.

Reed said the Salamanca mayor has said the state owes the city $15 million. However, the governor’s office said the it last spoke with Salamanca leaders in April and nobody has asked for any assistance.

“Once again the Seneca’s favorite lackey has shown he will say anything and do anything to give cover to his friends and deflect from the fact that they reneged on their obligations under the compact and under the agreed upon arbitration. The only good news is that the more time Reed commits to these craven stunts, the less time he has to attempt to shred our Medicaid system – just like he tried to do with his partner in crime, indicted Wall Street fraudster Chris Collins,” Governor Cuomo’s Senior Advisor Rich Azzopardi said.

Reed’s office and the governor’s office have publicly feuded for about a month now over the condition of a portion of the Thruway running through Seneca Territory.

Cuomo Appoints Senior Communications Advisor, Digital Director

Gov. Andrew Cuomo announced a new slate of appointees on Wednesday including a senior communications advisor.

Cuomo is turning to Matthew Saal, a two-time Emmy winning producer who has worked as an executive producer at Bloomberg LP, producing “The David Rubenstein Show: Peer to Peer Conversations.” He previously worked as a creator and executive producer at MSNBC, working on programs that included “The Rachel Maddow Show,” “Politics Nation” and “Verdict with Dan Abrams.”

Saal’s appointment was announced with Colleen Curtis as the senior director of digital strategy and social media. She previously worked for Starz Entertainment and as the director of digital content in President Obama’s administration.

“New York is poised to continue our upward momentum after concluding the most productive legislative session in modern political history,” Cuomo said. “I am proud to welcome this group of talented individuals to our administration and look forward to the work we will get done together on behalf of the people of this state.”

Cuomo Signs Bill Extending Statute Of Limitations In Domestic Violence Suits

Victims and survivors of domestic violence who have filed civil lawsuits related to their injuries will have a longer time to make claims based on legislation signed Wednesday by Gov. Andrew Cuomo.

The governor signed a measure into law that extends the statute of limitations in civil domestic violence cases to two years. Current law requires such lawsuits be filed within one year after an incident.

Supporters of extending the statute of limitations say the prior law does not take into consideration the emotional toll domestic violence takes on victims.

“The trauma of domestic violence can take years to overcome, and frankly one year isn’t enough time for survivors to come to terms with what happened to them and to take action against their attacker,” Cuomo said in a statement. “This new measure will help address this injustice, providing victims more time to file a lawsuit and ensuring people who are guilty of domestic violence are held accountable.”

The bill was sponsored by Sen. Anna Kaplan and Assemblyman Ken Zebrowski. The measure is the latest to be signed into law by the governor meant to bolster rights of domestic violence victims.

“For many survivors of domestic violence, the decision to file a civil suit against their abuser is a complicated one that can take a lot of time to consider,” Kaplan said.

“This bill doubles the amount of time that a survivor has to make that decision and initiate action against an abuser, and it’s one of many bills supporting survivors that I’m proud to have helped pass this session. I thank Governor Cuomo for his leadership to support survivors in New York State, and applaud him for signing this bill into law.”

New Gun Control Laws Will Give Law Enforcement With More Information

From the Morning Memo:

Gov. Andrew Cuomo on Tuesday approved a pair of gun control measures meant to provide law enforcement officials with more information on gun owners in order to prevent dangerously mentally ill people from obtaining a firearm.

The measures are the latest in a string of new control laws being approved in New York as Cuomo has railed against federal inaction on the issue in the wake of a series of mass shootings around the country this summer.

One of the new laws is meant to close what Cuomo’s office called a loophole in allowing law enforcement to access out-of-state gun records in order to bar people deemed to be too dangerous from obtaining a gun license.

The bill was sponsored by Sen. Anna Kaplan and Assemblywoman Pamela Hunter.

Another new law will provide local and state law enforcement officers more access to a person’s information on a firearm license application.

That measure was backed Sen. Alessandra Biaggi and Assemblywoman Amy Paulin.

The measures are meant to build on the state’s red flag law, which took effect last month, and is meant to keep guns away from those deemed to be a danger to themselves or others by a court order.

“While Washington stands idly by and allows a gun violence epidemic to tear our nation apart at the seams, causing more and more families to grieve and children to grow up without their parents, New York is leading the way and enacting smart, common sense gun safety laws to help prevent these needless tragedies,” Cuomo said.

“These measures continue to build on our nation-leading gun laws by helping keep guns out of the hands of dangerous individuals and providing law enforcement with the tools and knowledge they need to keep our communities safe from situations that may involve a deadly firearm.”

New Law Requires Info For Parents On Football Head Injuries

A measure that would require youth tackle football programs to provide parents and guardians with information on concussions and sub-concussive blows was signed into law on Tuesday by Gov. Andrew Cuomo.

The new law, approved as the school season and the football season for schools and youth leagues begin, is meant to address the growing concern over the effect tackle football has on developing brains.

“The medical research on the long-term effects of concussions and sub-concussive hits continues to evolve and it is essential that we provide the parents of young athletes with the latest up-to-date information,” Cuomo said. “Parents should have the facts when it comes to the wellbeing of their children and access to this information will help with decision-making and encourage best practices on the field.”

Football programs included under the law include those that are organized by schools, leagues or another adult-run organization. Information packets on head injuries must be available free of charge on the organization’s website.

The bill was sponsored by Sen. Liz Krueger and Assemblyman Michael Benedetto.

“The impacts of a concussion on a child’s developing brain can be devastating,” Krueger said.

“That’s why it’s so important that parents and guardians have complete and accurate information about the risks of traumatic brain injury involved in tackle football. I thank the Governor for signing this legislation and helping to protect one of New York’s most important resources – our kids.”

Cuomo Appoints New Counsels

Another former top aide to Republicans in the state Senate is joining Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s administration, his office on Tuesday announced.

Beth Garvey, the general counsel at the State University of New York since 2018, has been appointed special counsel and senior advisor to Cuomo.

Garvey is a well-regarded former aide to and counsel to the Senate GOP. She is the third former top-level staffer from the Senate Republicans to join his administration, including Division of Budget Director Robert Mujica and Kelly Cummings, the director of state operations and infrastructure.

Her appointment was first reported by Politico.

Cuomo also on Tuesday announced the appointment of Kumiki Gibson to the role of counsel to the governor, succeeding Alphonso David, who left earlier this year to become the president of the Human Rights Campaign.

Gibson served as counsel to former Vice President Al Gore and as the senior vice president and counselor to the president of the Naitonla Urban League, the commissioner of the New York State Division of Human Rights and general counsel at Johns Hopkins University.

“New York is poised to continue our upward momentum after concluding the most productive legislative session in modern political history,” Cuomo said. “I am proud to welcome this group of talented individuals to our administration and look forward to the work we will get done together on behalf of the people of this state.”

Cuomo also appointed Jim McDonough the director of Division of Veterans’ Services, Jesse Campoamor the deputy secretary for intergovernmental affairs, Simonida Subotic deputy secretary for economic development and Jeremy Shockett deputy secretary for public safety.

Cuomo Says Trump’s Inaction On Guns Part Of A ‘List Of Horribles’

From the Morning Memo:

Gov. Andrew Cuomo in an interview on NY1 Monday condemned President Donald Trump for failing to act on gun violence, saying it’s part of a “list of horribles” that will be “right at the top” of his legacy.

Cuomo was reacting to the latest mass shooting, this time in west Texas that killed seven people on Saturday.

“I mean this is shear madness. How many times do we have to see the same newscast before we understand it?” Cuomo said in the interview. “How many mass shootings, how many innocent people have to die before common sense will trump the president’s pure partisanship and political agenda?”

Cuomo has been a prominent voice for new gun control legislation, pointing to the state’s stringent laws that include the SAFE Act as well as measures approved earlier this year meant to restrict gun possession for those who deemed by a court to be too dangerous as well as a law requiring safe storage of firearms in homes where a minor lives.

Trump has in recent weeks raised the possibility of strengthening background checks and approving a federal-level version of the “red flag” law, but has subsequently backtracked.

In the interview, Cuomo said no gun owner’s Second Amendment rights have been violated as a result of the state’s laws.

“No Second Amendment was violated and for this president not to stand up and tell that Senate we have to act with meaningful legislation – not symbolic political statements – it’s a disgrace, it’s governmental malpractice and he’s going to live with it for the rest of his life,” he said.

After Latest Mass Shooting, Cuomo Urges Trump To ‘DO SOMETING’

After the latest mass shooting that killed at least seven people in Texas on Saturday, Gov. Andrew Cuomo urged President Trump, in capital letters, to “DO SOMETHING” about gun violence.

“Mr. President: DO SOMETHING,” Cuomo said in a statement.

“How many more families will lose loved ones, how many more communities will be torn apart? How many more tragedies will it take before “leaders” act?”

A pair of mass shootings earlier this month led the president to initially support potential measures like a “red flag” proposal that is meant to remove guns from people deemed by a court to be a danger to themselves or others.

Additional measures under initial discussion also include laws to strengthen background checks.

But gun control talk over the last several weeks has slowed amid opposition from gun-rights organizations like the NRA.

“The bloodshed must end now,” Cuomo said. “DO SOMETHING.”