Business Groups Urge Approval Of Regulatory Relief Bills

From the Morning Memo:

More than two dozen local and statewide business groups on Monday will urge Gov. Andrew Cuomo in a letter to sign a pair of bills meant to spur regulatory relief in New York.

One bill, sponsored by Assemblyman John McDonald and Sen. Anna Kaplan, would provide a grace period for small businesses to correct and address first-time violations rather than face a fine. The bill would not cover violations for regulations that cover protections for public safety, health, the environment or civil rights laws.

The groups are also pushing for the approval of a bill that would require state agencies to assess how a proposed regulation would affect small businesses. The measure would require the consideration of how long it would take a business to comply with new regulations.

And state agencies would be required to consider the financial and legal impact for small businesses if the measure is approved.

The letter, backed by the New York chapter of the National Federation fo Independent Business, was signed by 25 business advocacy groups.

“New York’s tax burden is well known, but just as challenging for small, independent businesses that drive New York’s economy and define its communities is the state’s archaic, cumbersome, and often punitive regulatory environment. Small businesses consistently cite aggressive and arbitrary enforcement of newly enacted or poorly communicated regulations as a serious problem,” said Greg Biryla, NFIB’s New York state director.

“These bills are a positive step in a better direction that will encourage the state’s enforcement agencies to work with small businesses on compliance issues and give them some reprieve from onerous fines imposed for minor infractions.”

SmallBusinessRegReform JointSupportLettertoGovernor8919 FINAL by Nick Reisman on Scribd

Here And Now

Good morning! The weekend was gorgeous and, hopefully, the week will be as well.

Happening today:

Gov. Andrew Cuomo is in New York City with nothing public planned.

At 10 a.m., Lt. Gov. Kathy Hochul will deliver opening remarks at the opening of the Dunkirk Pier and Harbor, Dunkirk City Pier, 2 Central Ave., Dunkirk.

Also at 10 a.m., a coalition of elected officials and community leaders will call on the state to require an environmental review with public input at Atlantic Yards and withhold new development rights there. Carlton Avenue Bridge between Pacific Street and Atlantic Avenue, Brooklyn.

At 7 p.m., New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio will appear on NY1’s Inside City Hall.

Headlines:

Sixteen Democratic candidates in all passed through Saturday’s gun safety forum hosted by former Mayor Bloomberg’s group, Everytown for Gun Safety. Mayor de Blasio’s late slot meant much of the crowd had cleared out, but he did his best to grab some attention.

Sen. Chuck Schumer proposed legislation that would require the FBI to regulate the sale of body armor in the U.S.

The one-year look-back window for victims and survivors of childhood sexual abuse is set to open on Wednesday, a key provision of the Child Victims Act taking effect.

A statewide coalition of educational groups is calling on New York to spend more money on children’s formative years — including child care and social services.

The state’s top information technology official has quietly departed his post amid an inspector general investigation.

From a ban on undetectable knives to barring discrimination based on facial hair, August has brought a flurry of new laws for the state.

A fire fighting crew on Friday composed of state Department of Environmental Conservation employees and volunteers are traveling west to fight the fires for two weeks.

The Bronx borough president is proposing an online registry for gun criminals, similar to the one for sex offenders.

Sergeant, Station Commander Jeffrey Cicora passed away Saturday due to an illness from his service at the World Trade Center on September 11, 2001, according to the New York State Police.

Two mass shootings, less than 24 hours apart, highlighted more violence on display in the United States. UAlbany Professor Frankie Bailey studies the intersection of criminality and mass media. She says there is no simple answer as to why these events continue to occur in American society.

About 350 people will have their marijuana arrest and conviction records expunged based on a a class action settlement.

Nearly 90 percent of NYCHA apartments lost heat and hot water during the winter, a report found.

Regulators at the Department of Financial Services are investigating whether the NRA received illegal $14 million kickbacks for gun insurance.

The Buffalo News profiled newly minted New York Republican Chairman Nick Langworthy, who is optimistic he can rebuild the GOP in a Democratic-dominated state.

A number of questions remain over the details of the state’s ban on plastic bags.

Ex-Mount Vernon Mayor Richard Thomas has been approved for a $35,000 payout after he challenged the circumstances surrounding how his tenure as mayor ended.

The New Rochelle Board of Education voted 8-1 against using armed police officers as security guards in schools.

Days after re-opening following months of flooding, Silk O’Loughlin’s was the site for a protest of the International Joint Commission’s Plan 2014 Saturday.

Democrat Nate McMurray is giving it another go in New York’s 27th Congressional District.

The parent company of Resorts World Catskills in Monticello is considering bankruptcy for the resort as it weighs an uncertain financial future.

Sullivan County is responding to plans for the New York state Electric and Gas Corporation to raise rates and shut down a local office. Those comments from the legislature made their way to the state’s public service commission on Friday.

A judge put the brakes on New York City’s plan to essentially ban all cars from 14th Street.

A $2 billion, 15-turbine wind energy project is set to be developed within two years, but continues to draw opposition in the Hamptons.

More high-earning Millennials are leaving New York than any other state, a study found.

In national news:

Questions remain over the death of Jeffrey Epstein, who officials say died by suicide while in custody at the federal Metropolitan Correctional Center.

Epstein’s death has sparked an investigation and turned the spotlight on the rich and powerful he has associated with over the years.

One area investigators are turning to: The source and nature of Epstein’s opaque finances and vast fortune.

Despite having been on suicide watch due to a previous attempt, Epstein was not closely monitored when he died.

Epstein’s guards were working extreme overtime shifts.

Epstein’s death has also fueled conspiracy theories on social media, one of which was amplified by President Trump’s Twitter feed.

Some labor union leaders are parting with former Vice President Joe Biden’s claims over the Medicare for all proposal.

The news did not break with a bang, but slipped out quietly. A leading New York Democrat says an impeachment inquiry against President Trump is already underway.

Americans are struggling to debate about guns and race more than a week after two mass shootings killed dozens of people.

Sen. Kamala Harris says the immigration raids will distort the 2020 Census count.

From the editorial pages:

The New York Post criticized Gov. Andrew Cuomo for failing to restore oversight and accountability powers to Comptroller Tom DiNapoli’s office, which was part of a handshake agreement earlier this year.

The Daily News welcomed the new NYCHA chief to the job and said it’s time to get to work fixing the troubled housing authority.

The Times Union writes that infrastructure projects need to assess the effect they have on small businesses when the working is going on.

Fred LeBrun criticizes the Joint Commission on Public Ethics for pursuing an unregistered lobbying investigation against a rape survivor.

From the sports pages:

The Yankees beat the Jays, 1-0.

The Mets snapped a nine-game winning streak.

Tim Tebow is out for the season at the Syracuse Mets.

The Albany Empire has won the Arena Football League’s championship.

NY-27: McMurray Running For Congress Again

It’s official.

Democrat Nate McMurray is giving it another go in New York’s 27th Congressional District.

McMurray lost to incumbent Republican Chris Collins last year in one of the country’s closest contests. The campaign gained national attention as the district is widely considered the reddest in the state.

“I have a lot of fire for NY-27 and I’m excited about doing it again,” he said.

Over the last year, McMurray said he never really stopped campaigning and meeting with voters. That was particularly obvious on social media where he regularly voiced opinions on issues like gun control and criticized Collins and President Donald Trump.

Yet, after a grueling 2018 experience, he admitted he was hesitant to jump back into the fray for 2020.

“It was hard to full commit because I know what this takes. It’s such a personal commitment,” he said. “It’s so difficult emotionally. It’s difficult on your family.”

One of the reasons the race was likely close to begin with last year was Collins was indicted on federal insider trading charges. Those charges are now a year old and the incumbent recently fared well in a poll testing against Republican challengers.

However, McMurray believes many of the same conditions still exist as two year ago and noted Collins is still scheduled to stand trial in February 2020.

“It’s different but right now we’re in the same place we were in a year ago. Chris Collins is still indicted. There’s other people saying they want to take his place and the biggest difference is I’m stronger than I was a year ago,” he said.

Collins has not actually announced whether he plans to seek his fifth term but McMurray believes he will. He said the Republicans recent $500,000 loan to his campaign account indicates that and expedited McMurray’s own decision.

“I think his best way of staying out of jail and preserving his freedom is to try to hold onto that seat as long as possible and I know firsthand, better than anybody, how hard he will fight to hold onto that seat and I don’t foresee him dropping out,” he said.

Two Republican, current state Senator Chris Jacobs and Fox News contributor Beth Parlato, have already announced they are running for the seat. McMurray becomes the first Democrat and believes he will have a clear path to the party’s nomination.

He said he’ll start off with more institutional support than he did in 2018, particularly from national Dems who were slow to enter the race last year.

“To win we need to do a lot of the same things we did before but we need to improve and get better and we have already looked at the numbers from last time, we see where we were weak and we know how to strengthen those areas and we also need to raise more money,” he said.

McMurray said the contest is about more than just the charges Collins faces. He plans to focus on issues like joblessness around the district and improving the agriculture industry.

Extras

Mayor Bill de Blasio is back on the campaign trail this weekend in Iowa — this as his campaign faces questions over funding for these trips.

Immigration agents reportedly tried to gain access to a homeless shelter in Brooklyn earlier this week.

The Bronx borough president is proposing an online registry for gun criminals, similar to the one for sex offenders.

A prayer vigil is being held on the steps of Schenectady City Hall Friday evening, honoring the lives lost in recent mass shootings.

Hudson Valley Rep. Sean Patrick Maloney calling on Washington to get back to work to pass the Bipartisan Background Checks Act and the Enhanced Background Checks Act after last weekend’s deadly mass shootings in El Paso, Texas, and Dayton, Ohio.

The International Joint Commission says Lake Ontario Water levels remain at record highs, but progress is being made.

There’s some excitement in the air in the town of Macedon, as Grammy winner Alicia Keys and her husband, producer Swiss Beatz, announced they’ll be developing a music and arts center in the community.

Republican Rep. Chris Collins may still be the favorite in a 2020 GOP primary for New York’s 27th Congressional District despite the cloud of a federal insider trading trial hanging over his office.

An immigration judge has once again denied bond for the former East High School student who made an online threat against the school.

Gillibrand Launches $1M Ad Campaign

The presidential campaign of Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand on Friday announced a $1 million TV ad campaign to begin in Iowa and New Hampshire this weekend.

The ad comes as Gillibrand is pushing to move up in the crowded Democratic presidential primary field’s polls and qualify for the stage at the next presidential debate in September.

“My promise to the American people is that I will restore compassion, courage and humanity to the White House,” Gillibrand said in a statement.

“Despite what we feel today, it’s not impossible to have affordable health care for all, to protect our environment, to keep our kids safe and to root out the corrupting influence of money in our politics. As our campaign gains momentum, I’m excited to share my message with Iowa caucus-goers and New Hampshire voters.”

The ad is largely light on specifics and does not mention President Donald Trump, while largely focusing on broad themes.

“Imagine an America where harmony displaces hate,” the ad’s narrator says. “That protects our planet, provides healthcare for everyone. An America where public places are safe spaces. Where morality overrides money. Power restored to the people.”

Cuomo Says Trump Has ‘Fomented’ Hate

Gov. Andrew Cuomo in an interview with Mike Lupica’s podcast said President Donald Trump has “fomented” and stirred up hatred in the United States.

“I believe he has incited that. This is a president who came to office who never really offered a positive agenda, Mike. He’s a builder; he’s a developer; he was going to spend $1 trillion. He hasn’t built anything. There has been nothing constructive, nothing positive – it’s negative,” Cuomo said.

“It’s always negative. His strategy – divide and conquer – the oldest political strategy, the oldest social strategy in the book, divide and conquer.”

Cuomo in the interview once again called on Democrats running for president to make gun control — including a platform that backs a ban on assault-style rifles and strengthened background checks — a centerpiece issue in the campaign following a pair of mass shootings in Dayton and El Paso last weekend.

But Cuomo also pointed to Trump’s rhetoric, including his claim the U.S. was being “invaded” by immigrants.

“Well what do you do when you’re told you’re being invaded? You arm yourself against the invaders,” Cuomo said.

Ortiz Fires Staffer Accused Of Stealing $80K

Assemblyman Felix Oritz on Friday announced he has fired Maruf Alam, the staffer who is accused by federal law enforcement of stealing $80,000 from a campaign account.

“Given the circumstances and the seriousness of the charges brought by the United States Attorney, this employee is being terminated effective immediately,” Ortiz said in a statement.

“These are very serious charges. I am personally appalled, hurt and disappointed that an employee would violate my trust. My constituents come first and they deserve to know that public employees are always working on their behalf. I want to thank the FBI and the U.S. Attorney’s office for their efforts and I look forward to working with them to ensure that justice is served.”

Alam was arrested on Thursday and accused of wire fraud. He has acted as a volunteer treasurer for two campaign accounts and was in charge of filing disclosure reports for the campaign committee account.

WFP Endorses Ocasio-Cortez And Fellow ‘Squad’ Members

Last year, the Working Families Party had endorsed Rep. Joe Crowley’s seemingly assured re-election.

Then, Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez upended expectations and defeated him in a June primary.

On Friday, nearly 10 months away from her re-election bid beginning in earnest, the WFP endorsed Ocasio-Cortez for a second term.

“Alexandria has become a superstar in American politics for a very simple reason,” said Maurice Mitchell, national director of the Working Families Party.

“She speaks authentically about the needs of working families, and proposes solutions that meet the scale of those needs. We have Alexandria’s back in 2020 through the Democratic primary, the general election, and beyond. We’re proud to partner with her to build a New York and an America for the many, not the few.”

Meanwhile, the party on Friday also endorsed Reps. Ilhan Omar, Ayanna Pressley and Rashida Tlaib. All are Ocasio-Cortez’s fellow members of “The Squad” — a group of progressive freshman in Congress who had drawn the public ire of President Donald Trump this summer.

Trump set off a firestorm in July when he tweeted the four lawmakers should “go back” and fix countries they are from, despite three having been born in the U.S. and Omar being a naturalized citizen. The attacks on Twitter were widely condemned as racist.

Bill Barring Discrimination Based On Facial Hair And Clothing Approved By Cuomo

A bill that would bar employers from discriminating against religious attire, clothing or facial hire was approved on Friday by Gov. Andrew Cuomo.

“As New Yorkers we celebrate our diversity and we champion freedom of religious expression in all places, including the workplace,” Cuomo said in a statement.

“This law will protect people from discriminatory employment practices based on religious attire or facial hair and makes it crystal clear to anyone who may still have doubts that New York has zero tolerance for bigotry of any kind.”

The new law specifies protections in the state’s Human Rights Law that bars employers from treating job applicants or workers based on religious beliefs and also requires employers to make reasonable accommodations for an employee’s religious practices.

“Today, New York expressly prohibits discrimination by employers on the basis of religious attire and appearance,” said Sen. John Liu, a Democrat from Queens. “In these divisive times, New York must lead in protecting religious expression and eradicating bigotry and intolerance. Thank you to Governor Cuomo for signing this historic bill and protecting New Yorkers of all faiths.”

NY-27 Poll: Embattled Collins Still Favored In GOP Primary

Republican Congressman Chris Collins may still be the favorite in a 2020 GOP primary for New York’s 27th Congressional District despite the cloud of a federal insider trading trial hanging over his office.

That’s the headline from a new poll conducted by Western New York-based company Tel Opinion Research. Live interviewers spoke over the phone with 500 “Republicans with a history of voting in Republican primary elections” in the district.

Collins, who has maintained his innocence, has yet to make a decision about whether he will seek another term and his trial is scheduled for February 2020. Meanwhile, two GOP candidates so far, state Senator Chris Jacobs and attorney Beth Parlato, have officially announced their candidacy.

If the incumbent faced just those candidates in a primary today, 34 percent of those polled said they would vote for Collins with another 11 percent saying they would lean toward him. Twenty-one percent said they would vote for Jacobs with another 6 percent leaning toward him, while only 4 percent said they’d vote for Parlato.

That’s noteworthy since a year ago the congressman squeaked out a victory by less than half a percentage point over Democrat Nate McMurray, following his indictment, in what’s widely considered the state’s reddest seat. The poll confirmed the district still strongly supports the president, with eight of ten voters approving of the job Donald Trump is doing.

Collins also saw a relatively high favorability rating with 60 percent saying they had either a favorable or somewhat favorable opinion of him. A quarter of those polled did say they had an unfavorable opinion of the congressman.

The poll also considered the possibility of Collins not running in 2020, which GOP pollster and Tel Opinion Vice President Barry Zeplowitz noted would be likely should he not be acquitted in February. Tel Opinion asked about a number of potential Republican candidates who have not announced their intentions yet, including recent Medal Of Honor recipient David Bellavia, Erie County Comptroller Stefan Mychajliw, state Senator Rob Ortt and Assemblyman Steve Hawley.

Among all those candidates not named Chris Collins, the poll suggested Bellavia would be the front runner.

His favorability rating was at 58 percent and 33 percent said he was their preferred candidate if the incumbent didn’t run. Jacobs came in second on that question with roughly a quarter saying they would vote for him if Collins wasn’t in the race.

Zeplowitz pointed out there are several important factors to consider about the survey results. Not least important, a lot can change over the next ten months, it’s still unclear who will get in the race and Jacobs has a significant fundraising headstart over other candidates.

He also noted the president could have a significant impact on the race, should he choose to weigh in. Two out of three voters polled said it was at least somewhat likely they would support any candidate who Trump publicly supported.

The poll did not ask who voters would prefer if Collins were to run against Bellavia. The margin of error is +/- 4.5 percent.

nypoll by Anonymous JTOvBZl on Scribd