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.”

Pataki To Hold Forum On Rebuilding World Trade Center

Former Gov. George Pataki next week will appear with architect Daniel Libeskind to discuss the building of 1 World Trade Center in the aftermath of the Sept. 11 attacks.

The forum with Pataki and Libeskind will be held at the New York Marriott Downtown in New York City next Wednesday, the 18th anniversary of the terrorist attacks.

The event will be hosted by the George E. Pataki Leadership Center.

Pataki, the governor at the time, also oversaw the politically fraught and complex rebuilding, site design and construction process.

The foundation of 1 World Trade Center began in April 2006 and it was opened by November 2014.

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.”

Cuomo Urged To Sign School Bus Legislation

From the Morning Memo:

A coalition of groups in a letter to be released Wednesday urged Gov. Andrew Cuomo to approve a measure meant to ensure benefits for school bus drivers and attendants in New York City.

The push, being made by student advocacy groups and labor unions, is being framed around the needs of students, especially those with disabilities, who rely on school bus drivers and attendants to provide stability and continuity of routine.

“As parents and advocates, the safety of our children in their journey to and from school each day is paramount,” the groups wrote in the letter.

“Bus drivers and attendants are a major source of stability for our children, offering a stable routine day-in and day-out to ensure our children can pursue their education with no hitches. As all parents know, a delay or change in routine at the start of the day can easily throw off the entire rhythm of a child’s day. It is absolutely essential for children across the city to have
experienced and reliable drivers and attendants to keep them safe and allow them to focus on what is most important — their education.”

The coalition had initially made a push for the measure in March during the state budget negotiations. The bill ultimately was approved as a standalone measure in June.

A similar measure was approved three years ago, but was vetoed by Gov. Andrew Cuomo, who had argued the legislation should be considered as part of the budget.

The current version of the bill has New York City on the hook for the spending.

Larkin’s Senate Neighbor Says He Was ‘Cut From A Different Cloth’

From the Morning Memo:

Former state Legislator Bill Larkin spent four decades splitting time between his district and the Capitol in Albany.

For most of that last decade, his neighbor in the Senate chambers was Republican Pat Gallivan. The lawmaker said he considered Larkin a mentor and a friend – someone he began learning from as soon as he was sworn in.

“I was very saddened to learn of Senator Larkin’s passing,” Gallivan said. “I was very lucky to be assigned a seat right next to him in the Senate chamber and I sat next to him for eight years before he retired, learned a tremendous amount and he really had an incredible life.”

Larkin passed away this weekend at the age of 91. Gallivan said he was “cut from the cloth” and really had three separate careers – first as a veteran of two wars, then as supervisor for the Town of New Windsor and finally his long tenure with the Legislature.

He said for Larkin, it was all about service.

“He didn’t hesitate with all his experience to ask for advice if he had a problem with a constituent that he wasn’t quite sure how to handle,” Gallivan said.

Larkin was a champion for veterans causes, a member of the Genesis Club which founded the National Purple Heart Hall of Honor in New Windsor and the founder of the campaign to create the Purple Heart Forever Stamp.

Gallivan said it was a symbol that meant a lot to him and he didn’t let his neighbor forget it.

“Every day he shared with me a Purple Heart pin so I’ve got a collection of about 500 Purple Heart pins,” he said.

Larkin retired last year but Gallivan believed he would have continued to serve if his health had allowed it.

Here And Now

Good morning and a happy Wednesday to all. It feels like the week is already half over!

Happening today:

Gov. Cuomo is yet to release a public schedule.

At 10 a.m., Rep. Paul Tonko will hold a roundtable discussion focused on transportation planning in Halfmoon with Census and local officials. Halfmoon Town Hall, 2 Halfmoon Town Plaza, Halfmoon.

Also at 10 a.m., Senate Majority Leader Andrea Stewart-Cousins, Westchester County Executive George Latimer, Congressmember Eliot Engel, State Senator Shelley Mayer, and other state, federal, and local officials will gather on the steps of New Rochelle City Hall to urge Verizon to consider the public interest and reevaluate their decision not to renew their contract with RNN. New Rochelle City Hall. 515 North Ave, New Rochelle.

At 10:30 a.m., New York City Public Advocate Jumaane Williams will speak about the summer’s major power outages and demand accountability from Con Edison at this joint oversight hearing by the Committees on Environmental Protection, Consumer Affairs and Business Licensing, and Resiliency and Waterfronts. City Council Chambers, City Hall, New York City.

Also at 10:30 a.m., state lawmakers will hold a press conference to announce new state legislation to ban 24-hour workdays for home attendants. Outside 23-29 Washington Place (corner of Greene Street), New York City.

Also at 10:30 a.m., Bronxites and transit advocates will demand the governor spend more money on the imminent Bronx bus redesign in order to add more frequent service, re-balance bus stop spacing, optimize routes and create new routes to major job hubs. Eastbound Bx6 Select Bus Service stop on the SW corner of E 161 St & River Avenue (opposite Yankee Stadium), the Bronx.

At 11 a.m., VOCAL-NY will rally at City Hall tomorrow to demand massive community investments as part of the City’s plan to Close Rikers Island. City Hall, New York City.

Also at 11 a.m., the Long Island Community Foundation, the Claire Friedlander Family Foundation, the Fiscal Policy Institute and the Long Island Council on Alcoholism and Drug Dependence (LICADD) will mark National Recovery Month by unveiling a ground-breaking report “The Staggering Cost of Long Island’s Opioid Crisis” showing the economic impact of addiction. THRIVE Suffolk, 1324 Motor Parkway, Suite 102, Hauppauge.

At noon, Mayor de Blasio will hold a media availability. 1 Police Plaza, New York City.

At 1 p.m., Sen. Jim Tedisco and local officials will hold a news conference to criticize the license plate replacement program. 636 Plank Road, Suite 205, Clifton Park.

Headlines:

There are chronic elevator outages that have plagued buildings at the New York City Housing Authority, a NY1 investigation found.

The license plate design vote has fueled theories online that it’s meant to split the vote in favor of a design of the Mario Cuomo Bridge.

Losing your wallet or cellphone can be frustrating. But losing $9,000 in cash? Terrifying. That’s what happened to one Long Island Rail Road rider, until conductor Jerry Savino saved the day.

As the school year begins, some parents who have not vaccinated their children are facing a choice after the state ended the religious exemption for vaccinations earlier this year.

This time it was cooks, waitresses and busboys who were the ones being served. The wait staff: Congressman Hakeem Jeffries, and Assembly Members Ellen Jaffee and Walter Mosley.

The New York City Planning Commission has approved a plan that would lead to the shutdown of Rikers Island.

The mayor of Floral Park wants to meet with Gov. Cuomo over concerns with the Belmont Park project.

New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio skipped chances to tout his administration’s accomplishments in favor of an interview with a niche website to talk about his long-shot presidential bid.

Gov. Cuomo signed legislation designed to give law enforcement officials more information on gun owners.

Just a week before the 2019-2020 school year begins, New York City says another 920 classrooms tested positive for peeling lead paint, bringing the total to 1,858 classrooms.

Albany County District Attorney David Soares says lawmakers did not think through the criminal justice law changes approved earlier this year, especially the financial impact local governments will face as a result.

There won’t be anymore oil tankers traveling through downtown Albany, but rail safety experts warn regulatory rollbacks by the federal government remain a concern.

The Rockland County executive was aware of plans by local Republicans to make Aaron Weider the face of the campaign season before the local GOP committee created a video widely condemned for being anti-Semitic.

The Albany Police Chief is standing by his officers who were involved in a traffic stop that led to an arrest. Video of that encounter is going viral on social media.

Attorney General Letitia James’s office says members of a non-profit cemetery’s board in Queens stole from its coffers.

Hempstead has ousted its acting comptroller, who was hand-picked by the Nassau County executive.

The New York City schools chancellor says the gifted and talented programs will not be effected this year by proposed changes.

University at Albany officials have gotten a good look at a new building that will focus on, among other things, emergency preparedness and disaster response. State University of New York Chancellor Kristina Johnson says it will be home to the statewide sensor network that predicts weather.

A bill introduced by the top Republican in the state Senate on Tuesday would provide safeguards to state Department of Motor Vehicle workers who do not comply with a new law that allows undocumented immigrants to apply for driver’s licenses in New York.

Gaming regulators officially allowed sports gambling in New York in June and over the course of this summer, casinos have been opening their sports facilities.

Another state fair is in the books. While more attendance records were broken, there’s also more cash coming through the fairgrounds as well.

You might have heard, maybe even saw or felt it last night if you were anywhere between Southern Jefferson County and Syracuse. There was a loud boom, explosive sound around 5:15 p.m. Monday that had people wondering where it came from.

The Lewiston police chief tells Spectrum News there have been 10 to 15 reports of people being mailed racist flyers, calling people to join a white supremacist gathering at the Peach Festival this weekend.

A Western New Yorker has joined the International Joint Commission (IJC)’s the International Lake Ontario-St. Lawrence River Board.

More details have been released by the Buffalo Diocese after another priest was put on administrative leave last week. Father Jeffrey Nowak was removed from ministry at Our Lady of Help Christians on Union Road in Cheektowaga.

Five new child sexual abuse lawsuits were filed against the Boy Scouts of America in Westchester County last month.

The 135-plus acres that make up the former Tonawanda Coke site will be sold on September 23.

In national news:

Hurricane Dorian continues to slowly inch its way toward the southeastern United States after causing widespread devastation in the Bahamas.

The Pentagon has approved a diversion of military construction money to help pay for the border wall President Trump has pledged to build.

Britain may face a snap election after a plan by Prime Minister Boris Johnson to secure a potential no-deal exit from the European Union failed.

Walmart will stop selling ammunition for handguns and assault-style rifles.

A federal judge has ordered the White House to reinstate the press pass of a correspondent for Playboy magazine.

The sequel to The Handmaid’s Tale is out.

From the editorial pages:

Newsday writes the latest mass shooting has evoked a “typical” response from Republicans on gun control.

The Daily News says Walmart’s decision to stop selling ammo for certain guns is a “devastating real-world indictment” of gun policy.

The New York Post chided Mayor de Blasio for only showing up to work for seven hours in all of August while he runs for president.

The Buffalo News writes angry property owners on Lake Ontario should refrain from suing the International Joint Commission.

From the sports pages:

The Yankees were held scoreless for the first time in a year, but roared back on Tuesday with 10 runs.

The Mets faltered against the Nationals, who won in a walk-off.

Bill Would Close Loophole In Sex Crimes Cases Involving Intoxication

Sen. Alessandra Biaggi says there’s a loophole in New York’s rape laws: Victims who become voluntarily intoxicated aren’t considered mentally incapacitated, limiting the ability of prosecutors to being charges in sex crimes cases.

Biaggi, a Bronx Democrat, has introduced legislation meant to close that loophole.

The measure introduced last week addresses the penal code’s definition of incapacitation, which only covers substances taken voluntarily. The bill memo states the measure will “rightfully clarify” that the ability to consent whether they are voluntarily or involuntarily intoxicated.

“As we know, mental incapacitation and the subsequent (in)ability to consent to sexual acts is not determinative on whether an individual voluntarily or involuntarily consumed an intoxicating substance,” the bill’s sponsor’s memo states. “When laws make such arbitrary determinations, we advance a culture that denies a voice to victims and further denies access to a criminal justice system meant to support, not further punish sexual abuse survivors.”

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.

Erie County Executive Candidate Launches Television Ad

The political season is shifting into another gear post Labor Day with county races at the top of the ballot this year.

Independent Erie County Executive Candidate Lynne Dixon has released her first television advertisement. The commercial portrays the current county legislator as a “different kind of leader.”

“I’m a single working mom with four kids,” Dixon said. “I’m not a Republican. I’m not a Democrat. I’m an Independent who does not care about partisan politics. I only care about the right ideas and doing the right things.”

While Dixon is registered to the minor Independence Party, she is endorsed by the Erie County Republican Committee, which circulated the campaign email Tuesday. She is running against incumbent Democrat Mark Poloncarz.

“The campaign for CE offers a clear choice – an independent in Lynne Dixon who’s running to take politics out of government or a partisan bully in Mark Poloncarz who brags about being Erie County’s progressive version of Bill DeBlasio. The more voters hear from Lynne the easier that choice is for them,” campaign consultant Chris Grant said.

According to Federal Communications Commission files, the campaign spent more than $13,000 to air the ad on local broadcast networks through September 8. Dixon’s campaign said there are also additional cable and digital buys which are not yet noted in the FCC reports.

In July, the candidate reported having more than $216,000 in campaign funds available. Poloncarz had north of $637,000.

We’ve reached out to the county executive’s campaign for a statement.