Andrew Cuomo

Cuomo Says No Stadium Talks While He Attended Bills Game

From the Morning Memo:

Maybe Gov. Andrew Cuomo, D-NY, and his dog Captain had an excuse for mistakenly awarding the New York Jets a victory a full day before the team actually played (and got demolished by the New England Patriots).

After all, Cuomo was in a suite at the Buffalo Bills stadium watching the only team that plays home games in the state shortly before the erroneous tweet. The governor watched the Bills beat Miami with team owners Kim and Terry Pegula.
“I was not talking about the Jets or the Giants,” Cuomo joked when asked what he discussed with the Pegulas. “I can tell you that.”

There is the small matter of new stadium lease negotiations approaching quickly. The current deal expires in the summer of 2023.

However, Cuomo said he was not discussing a new deal or the possibility of building a new stadium either.

“We we’re talking about the Bills. We were talking about the game and we were talking about Western New York,” he said.

The NFL has indicated it believes a new stadium would help ensure the long-term viability of the team in Western New York. There is much less talk about the team moving now though than there was during the last negotiations.

While the state and the county will take some credit for including a non-relocation clause in the deal, most observers believe the Pegulas $1.4 billion purchase solidified the teams future.

Whoever is responsible, Cuomo said it was a good thing for the entire region.

“We have spent a lot of time investing in Western New York and getting past the pessimism and the cynicism, saying to people we can revive Western New York. It doesn’t have to be that people leave and businesses leave and I believe strongly that there is a new chapter in the future of Western New York and keeping the Bills in Western New York, I think, was critical to that process,” he said.

The governor seems to be reveling in the successful start for the Bills and the Pegula-owned Sabres hockey team too. He said the winning ways are increasing pride in the region.

He probably has another reason to be pleased the football team avoided losing to the winless Dolphins while he was at the stadium. Bills fans are known to be a bit superstitious.

CUNY’s Contract Makes Gains For Covers Adjuncts

A tentative five-year contract agreement for faculty at the City University of New York will make gains for adjunct staff, the union on Wednesday announced.

The agreement would cover nearly 30,000 full and part-time staff as well as professional staff for the public university system in New York City.

The tentative deal was hailed by Gov. Andrew Cuomo.

“CUNY and the Professional Staff Congress should be applauded for their hard work to reach this historic, nationally significant agreement, which will improve the educational experience across the board in the CUNY system,” Cuomo said.

“With the tentative agreement now in place, we can look forward to its full ratification by the CUNY board, and faculty and professional staff can continue to focus on developing New York’s next generation of leaders by providing a world-class education right here in the city.”

At the same time, the deal will provide for wage gains and restructures the workload of adjunct faculty members that is aimed at allowing them spend more time working with students and advising and holding office hours, the Professional Staff Congress said in a statement.

“This agreement reflects the University’s strong and unwavering commitment to its faculty, both full-time and part-time, and staff across our 25 colleges,” said CUNY Chancellor Félix V. Matos Rodríguez. “We are thankful to Governor Cuomo for his leadership and effort to get this done, as it will further strengthen our ability to compete for top-tier faculty to teach our students. Equally as important, all of our faculty will now devote more time to meeting with and advising students and engaging in professional development.”

The contract would be retroactive to Dec. 2017 and runs through Feb. 28, 2023. It must still be approved by the CUNY Board of Trustees and the PSC’s rank-and-file membership.

Cuomo Says April 28 Still Eyed For NY-27 Special Election

Gov. Andrew Cuomo once again indicated he is considering April 28 as the date for a special election to fill the seat held by disgraced former Rep. Chris Collins in Congress.

The date could potentially be a fraught one for Republicans given the state will hold its presidential primary the same day. With President Donald Trump at the moment not facing any meaningful opposition to the GOP nomination in New York, Democrats are expected to turn out heavily for the vote.

Still, the district is a Republican heavy one in western New York.

Cuomo said his consideration was driven by keeping the costs of a special election low and to ensure people will vote.

“My position in all these position is I don’t like to leave a seat open because we lose a voice, we lose a proponent, whether it’s a Republican or Democrat,” Cuomo told reporters during a stop in western New York on Wednesday. “If you leave a seat open, you have one less person on the team, you have one less person fighting for you.”

New York Republican Chairman Nick Langworthy last week blasted Cuomo for considering April 28, saying that doing so would favor the Democratic candidate.

Democrat Nate McMurray narrowly lost in 2018 to Collins, who was under indictment, accused of insider trading. Collins resigned his seat in Congress this month and pleaded guilty to related charges. McMurray is making his second bid for the seat.

A slew of Republican candidates have lined up to run for the seat, including state Sens. Chris Jacobs and Robert Ortt as well as attorney Beth Paralto.

Cuomo is yet to formally call the special election.

Cuomo Signs Bill Codifying The Federal Johnson Amendment

A bill that restricts non-profit corporations from participating in political efforts on behalf of a candidate seeking elected office was signed into law Wednesday by Gov. Andrew Cuomo.

The measure codifies into state law the federal Johnson Amendment, which bars non-profit entities like religious organizations from endorsing candidates or donating to political campaigns.

Cuomo’s approval of the measure, backed by Sen. Liz Krueger and Assemblywoman Amy Paulin, comes after President Donald Trump in 2017 approved an executive order that was aimed at loosening the Johnson Amendment’s restrictions on non-profit political participation.

The New York attorney general’s office last year filed a legal complaint that alleged the charity founded by the president violated the amendment’s ban on providing support to candidates, a move that eventually led to the Trump Foundation dissolving.

“This is a simple bill that serves an important purpose – to keep in place standards we have had in this country for over sixty years that shield not-for-profits and houses of worship from political entanglement. The administration in Washington has repeatedly said they want to repeal these protections, and open the door for big-money donors to launder campaign contributions through churches, mosques, and synagogues,” Krueger said.

“This would politicize non-profits, undermining their focus on their primary missions, and damaging public trust in the non-profit sector. I thank Governor Cuomo for signing this bill into law today, and making clear that in New York State we know this long-held standard is not broken, and we don’t want Washington to try to ‘fix’ it.”

Bill Increasing Accidental Death Benefits For First Responders Approved

A bill that will increase special benefits for family members after the accidental deaths of police officers and firefighters killed in the line of duty was signed into law on Tuesday by Gov. Andrew Cuomo.

The new law takes effect immediately and will benefit spouses and children of first responders.

“Police and firefighters who lose their lives in the line of duty are mothers, fathers, husbands and wives – and the family members they leave behind must be properly cared for,” Cuomo said. “With this measure, we continue to honor these brave first responders and better help ensure their families get the support and the benefits they deserve.”

The measure was sponsored by Sen. Andrew Gounardes and Assemblywoman Latoya Joyner.

“When a police officer or firefighter dies in the line of duty, we must do all we can to support their loved ones left behind,” Gounardes. “I would like to thank Governor Cuomo for signing my bill to provide a cost of living increase in for widows and widowers who would not receive adequate benefits otherwise. This benefit will ensure their families sacrifice is not forgotten.”

Cuomo Approves Bill Boosting Library Construction

A bill approved by Gov. Andrew Cuomo on Tuesday is meant to boost state funding for public library in economically struggling communities.

The measure will provide state funding for up to 90 percent of a project’s total approved costs for the construction of public libraries. At the same time, the bill creates new eligibility requirements for any project receiving state funding for up to 75 percent or greater of the total costs of the project.

“Libraries are cornerstones of any community and great equalizers that provide resources and access to information to all New Yorkers, no matter who they are, where they come from, or how rich or poor they are,” Cuomo said in a statement. “With this new law, we strengthen our library system, focusing our resources on those who need it most and creating a stronger and more equal Empire State for all.”

The provision was sponsored by Assemblywoman Didi Barrett and Sen. Shelley Mayer.

A grant program for the state for public library construction provides matching funds for approved costs of construction, including renovation and the cost of acquisition and broadband installation.

The program previously allowed for state funding match of up to 75 percent of the total project costs for public libraries in economically disadvantaged communities.

Women Who Are Breastfeeding Will Now Be Exempt From Jury Duty In New York

A bill signed Monday by Gov. Andrew Cuomo will exempt women who are breastfeeding for up to two years from serving on a jury.

Cuomo said the measure will enable women who are new moms provide time to care for their infants.

“While jury service is a critically important civic duty, we also know new moms oftentimes juggle countless responsibilities and navigate enormous adjustments in the early stages of their child’s life,” Cuomo said. “This commonsense measure takes that reality into account by providing new moms the flexibility and option to postpone jury service while they care for a newborn.”

To request a jury duty postponement, an applicant must have a note from a doctor to provide verification and the service cannot have already been postponed or excused.

The measure was sponsored by Assemblyman Marcos Crespo and Sen. Velmanette Montgomery.

“Nursing mothers have extraordinary commitments and this new law will remove one extra source of stress for them,” Montgomery said. “I thank Governor Cuomo for signing this bill so we can provide some real relief to breast feeding moms by allowing them to postpone jury duty.”

Cuomo Addresses Quoting The N-Word In Radio Interview

Gov. Andrew Cuomo on Sunday defended quoting the n-word in a live radio interview, pointing to the word being used directly in a Times article about discrimination against Italians he was referencing.

“I was directly quoting The New York Times which wrote an article about offensive slurs to Italian Americans that were also racially offensive,” Cuomo said a news conference touting the opening of an Albany Airport exit on the Northway. “That was the point of the article and I directly quoted The New York Times.”

Asked if he felt it was appropriate to use the word, Cuomo again pointed to The New York Times.

“Talk to the New York Times if you think it’s inappropriate,” he said. “I was just quoting the Times. If I was quoting the Post, I would say talk to the Post.

Cuomo in the interview last week was discussing discrimination against Italian Americans in the United States as he works to have the state commission a statue honoring the famed Catholic nun and saint Mother Cabrini.

Cuomo railed against the prejudice Italians have faced, and quoted a Times article the ran last weekend about the discrimination immigrants faced by the white establishment in the United States.

Cuomo was knocked for using the word by the Working Families Party and New York City Public Advocate Jumaane Williams, both long-standing critics of the governor. But Sen. James Sanders, a Queens Democrat, also was critical of the governor quoting the word and also criticized the Times for writing in the piece.

Assembly Speaker Carl Heastie in a statement said he did not take issue with Cuomo quoting it, however, as did the local NAACP and Sen. Kevin Parker.

Once Again, Cuomo Wants A 2 Percent Spending Cap At State Departments And Agencies

Spending growth should once again be held at 2 percent for state agencies and departments in the coming 2020-2021 fiscal year, Division of Budget Director Robert Mujica wrote to state commissioners in a letter on Friday.

Mujica writes New York continues to face “economic headwinds due to the trade war, as well as policies imposed by President Donald Trump’s administration on taxation, health care and public assistance.

The letter from the Division of Budget director to department and agency chiefs has been a perennial one for the administration, with 2 percent limit being a targeted spending cap now entering a third term. the letter serves to formally ask department and agency chiefs for their budget proposals for the new fiscal year.

The 2 percent spending cap does not include school aid or Medicaid spending, which is subject to statutory limits as well as federal funding.

“Your agency strategic plans and program inventories are critical in delivering a high performing government for New Yorkers, and your budget requests should reflect the performance strategies your agency is undertaking which provide the best value for New York taxpayers,” Mujica wrote in the letter.

“Together with risk management strategies and internal controls, strategic planning ensures New York is both fiscally responsible and service driven.”

Gov. Andrew Cuomo is due to propose his 10th budget early next year; it is scheduled to pass the Legislature by March 31, the end of the state’s fiscal year.

2020-21 Call Letter by Nick Reisman on Scribd

Cuomo Signs Prescription Drug Recall Measure

Gov. Andrew Cuomo signed legislation that will require pharmacies to notify patients of Class I drug recalls by the Food and Drug Administration within a week.

The legislation, backed Assemblyman Daniel Rosenthal and Sen. Leroy Comrie in the Legislature, is meant to reduce the risk of severe health effects caused by the use of drugs under recall.

The risks of elderly patients, in particular, is an acute one given the prevalence of long-term medication.

“People deserve to know when a medication that’s supposed to make them feel better may actually make them sicker, and it’s common sense that pharmacies communicate that information to patients in real time,” Cuomo said. “This measure will help ensure patients get the facts about a recalled drug quickly so they can talk to their doctor about safer alternatives.”