THE YOUNG ANDY CUOMO CHRONICLES

OPINIONS, ANALYSIS AND DISCUSSION OF ISSUES CONFRONTING US IN OUR TIMES
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Re: THE YOUNG ANDY CUOMO CHRONICLES

Post by thelivyjr » Mon Jul 22, 2019 1:40 p

THE NEW YORK TIMES

"Power Restored to Manhattan’s West Side After Major Blackout"


James Barron and Mihir Zaveri

7/14/2019

A power failure plunged a stretch of the West Side of Manhattan into darkness on Saturday night, trapping people in subway cars and elevators for a time, leaving drivers to fend for themselves at intersections with no traffic signals and eerily dimming the lights in a swath of Times Square.

Stores emptied out, and Broadway shows did not go on: Most theaters canceled their performances.

In restaurants and bars, people drank by the glow of their smartphones.

But the lights — and, on a warm Saturday night in midsummer, the air conditioning and fans that keep people cool — began to return about 10 p.m.

Power was fully restored by midnight, with cheers ringing out on the streets in response.

Con Edison said that the power failed at 6:47 p.m. and that 73,000 customers were in the dark for at least three hours, mainly on the West Side.

The blackout stretched from 72nd Street to the West 40s, and from Fifth Avenue to the Hudson River.

Con Edison said the failure apparently stemmed from a problem at a substation on West 49th Street, and affected six power sectors.

John McAvoy, Con Edison’s chairman and chief executive, suggested it was a mechanical failure but emphasized that the utility would not know the cause until an investigation was completed.

Gov. Andrew Cuomo was more specific, saying the failure started with an explosion and fire at a substation that caused other substations to “lose power and malfunction.”

“Once we get past the emergency, then I want to know what the heck happened,” Mr. Cuomo told WABC-TV, “because this is not the first time we have had a substation issue.”


Mayor Bill de Blasio, who was in Iowa campaigning for his presidential bid, ruled out terrorism or criminal activity.

Con Edison customers “expect to have a system that contemplates, anticipates and prevents foreseeable occurrences,” he said.

The blackout happened on the same date that a large power failure in 1977 plunged the city into darkness.

Now as then, Times Square — usually blindingly bright with tourists and crowds strolling to theaters — was dark, and traffic signals were out.

For several hours on Saturday night, the police asked drivers to avoid much of the West Side — the area between 42nd and 74th Streets, between Fifth and 12th Avenues.

At intersections, police officers and civilians worked together to direct traffic while fire trucks and ambulances screamed down side streets.

Two young women posed for a selfie in the middle of 46th Street before an officer rushed over and chastised them, saying, “Ladies, this is not the time.”

The Metropolitan Transportation Authority, which runs the subway, said the blackout affected the entire system, with limited service for a time on several lines.

Ellie Shanahan, 23, was on the A train between 50th and 59th Streets when the train stopped unexpectedly.

She waited with the other passengers for nearly 20 minutes before an M.T.A. worker announced that there was a power outage and that there would be no train service between 59th and 163rd Streets.

After evacuating the subway station, she said, she noticed police officers trying to monitor the frantic crowds at 50th Street.

She got on a Citi Bike and rode it to 125th Street.

“What was craziest to me was there were no traffic lights,” Ms. Shanahan said.

“I was in shock, but people still seemed to know what to do."

"Everyone was being polite, even though there were no lights to tell us when to go.”

May Martinez, 33, who lives in Inwood, said she got stuck on a different A train when the power went out.

“It was scary,” she said.

“We were just wondering — are we going to sleep here?”

Ms. Martinez said the lights and air conditioning remained on, but the train stopped.

Eventually, she said, the train started, but the rest of its trip was erratic.

It took 40 minutes to reach Columbus Circle, where she and the other passengers got off the train.

Most Broadway shows — including “Moulin Rouge! The Musical,” “Hadestown,” “Harry Potter and the Cursed Child” and “Aladdin” — canceled their performances.

On the sidewalks outside the theaters, the casts staged impromptu outdoor shows.

Performers from “Waitress” and “Come From Away” sang versions of songs from their shows, and actors from “Hadestown” improvised a blackout-themed rendition of one of its songs.

Carnegie Hall canceled all performances Saturday night.

At Lincoln Center, a performance from the Mark Morris Dance Group was canceled, but outside, the Midsummer Night Swing band kept going.

Some took the blackout in stride.

Renee Chung, 35, of Brooklyn, was having dinner at a restaurant at 63rd Street and Broadway when the power went out.

“In New York, we’re used to things like this,” she said.


Ms. Chung said the restaurant was using an honor system for customers who did not have cash because its credit card machines were not working.

But then there was the challenge of getting home to Brooklyn.

“We’re just going to walk for a little bit and see what happens,” Ms. Chung said.

At the Jennifer Lopez birthday-themed extravaganza at Madison Square Garden, the power failure happened during the fourth song.

The lights had been shining and the bass thumping and the opening notes of “Dinero,” Ms. Lopez’s hit Latin pop song, had sounded.

A crew of dancers was onstage.

Suddenly, the lights went dark, and the speakers fell silent.

The only sound was a live drum set, still playing as dancers continued their routine.

It soon became apparent that this was not part of the show.

Ms. Lopez appeared on the stage and seemed to be speaking.

But with her microphone out, her message could not be heard.

After a while, a backup generator kicked in, and the lights came on.

Minutes after that, a high-pitched chime sounded, and the audience was told to leave.

In the darkness outside, some fans were frustrated.

“I’ve waited my whole life to see Jennifer Lopez, and I didn’t get to see but five minutes of it,” said Jennifer Walker, 35, of Brentwood, N.Y.

Reporting was contributed by Neil Vigdor, Mariel Padilla, Liam Stack, Jeffery C. Mays, Nancy Coleman, Michael Paulson and Michael Gold.

http://www.msn.com/en-us/news/us/power- ... id=HPDHP17

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Re: THE YOUNG ANDY CUOMO CHRONICLES

Post by thelivyjr » Fri Aug 02, 2019 1:40 p

THE CAPE CHARLES MIRROR APRIL 12, 2019 AT 9:54 AM

So, what are we really looking at here, people, with the “Green New Deal?”

How about fundraising based on false pretenses, which makes this “Green New Deal” one of the slickest SCAMS to come down the pike in a long, long time, made possible by Al Gore’s invention of the internet as a potent and powerful fund-raising tool, as we are seeing in the case of this “Green New Deal,” which is being used to raise internet funds on several different but inter-connected websites, such as the Sunrise Movement and the Justice Democrats, to wit:

OF, BY, AND FOR THE PEOPLE

A Platform Democrats Can Fight For


Opinion polls in the United States demonstrate that these policy positions are overwhelmingly popular.

Indeed, throughout the industrialized world these ideas are considered moderate.

This is a movement about freedom and justice.

And it’s a movement of, by, and for working people.

If the Democrats refuse to embrace this platform, they’ll continue to lose, either to Republicans or to us.

Transform Our Economy

We need a bold economic vision that will both reclaim lost capital and put money back in the pockets of hard-working Americans, and create millions of new jobs for those who have been left out of the workforce.

GREEN NEW DEAL

Scientists are sounding the alarm on climate change.

Communities are fighting back.

It’s time to drastically and immediately move away from fossil fuels, develop the technologies of the future, and create prosperity for all of us — not just those on top.

The Green New Deal is a mass mobilization to dramatically expand existing renewable power sources and deploy new production capacity with the goal of meeting 100% of national power demand through renewable sources.

The Green New Deal will also provide all members of our society, across all regions and all communities, the opportunity, training and education to be a full and equal participant in the transition, including through a job guarantee program to assure a living wage job to every person who wants one and ensure a ‘just transition’ for all workers, low-income communities, communities of color, indigenous communities, rural and urban communities and the front-line communities most affected by climate change, pollution and other environmental harm including by ensuring that local implementation of the transition is led from the community level and by prioritizing solutions that end the harms faced by front-line communities from climate change and environmental pollution.

SECURE A LIVING WAGE AND TIE IT TO INFLATION

ENACT A FEDERAL JOBS GUARANTEE

REBUILD OUR CRUMBLING INFRASTRUCTURE

BLOCK BAD TRADE DEALS

END TAX DODGING AND LOOPHOLES

END UNNECESSARY WARS AND NATION BUILDING

https://www.justicedemocrats.com/issues

end quotes

And up at the top of the page is that box that says “DONATE.”

Except what you are donating for, as AOC herself informed us on the MSNBC Town Hall with Chris Hayes on 03/29/19, is nothing at all, to wit:

OCASIO-CORTEZ: And first all of we wave a magic wand and we passed the Green New Deal resolution tomorrow, what happens?

Nothing because it’s a resolution.

end quotes

So why aren’t the people being asked to donate on these various websites touting and promoting the “Green New Deal” as the cure for everything that ails this country being told the truth that if the “Green New Deal” were to be passed this afternoon, nothing is going to happen and nothing is going to change?

And where is all that donation money going to?

And for what cause then?


http://www.capecharlesmirror.com/news/g ... ent-140073
WE HAVE PLENTY OF ENVIRONMENTAL INJUSTICE HERE IN THE CORRUPT ****HOLE OF AOC'S NEW YORK STATE THANKS TO DEMOCRATIC SOCIALIST GOVERNOR YOUNG ANDY CUOMO, SO ANYTHING AOC AND KAMALA HARRIS CAN DO TO REIN IN HIS INJUSTICES WOULD BE APPRECIATED ...

THE WASHINGTON EXAMINER

"Harris announces 'landmark bill' with AOC to fight 'environmental injustice'"


John Gage

30 JULY 2019

Sen. Kamala Harris announced she was teaming up with Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez to make sure the Green New Deal would lift up low-income communities, people of color, and indigenous communities.

"Too many communities in America face systemic environmental injustice — that must end," the California Democrat said Monday on Twitter.


"Today, I'm partnering with @AOC to announce a landmark bill to ensure that a Green New Deal leaves no one behind and lifts up low-income communities, people of color, and indigenous communities."

The bill, titled "Climate Equity Act of 2019," would require congressional climate and environmental bills to have an equity score and require additional review for "climate equity" in federal regulations.

The bill would additionally require all major federal climate and environmental investments to consider front-line groups, including low-income communities, indigenous communities, and communities of color.

The bill would create an office of Climate and Environmental Justice Accountability to handle new responsibilities created by the bill.

Harris is currently polling in fourth place at 11% in the Democratic presidential primary according to RealClearPolitics.

Ocasio-Cortez originally introduced the Green New Deal in February.

The bill seeks to shift large amounts of the U.S. economy to be directed at fighting climate change.


The non-binding resolution includes calls for the U.S. to deal with "a large racial wealth divide."

The resolution also claimed environmental issues "disproportionately" affect indigenous communities.

Ocasio-Cortez's chief of staff Saikat Chakrabarti claimed earlier this month about the Green New Deal that "it wasn’t originally a climate thing at all ... we really think of it as a how-do-you-change-the-entire-economy thing."

http://www.msn.com/en-us/news/politics/ ... P17#page=2

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Re: THE YOUNG ANDY CUOMO CHRONICLES

Post by thelivyjr » Tue Aug 06, 2019 1:40 p

ALBANY, NEW YORK IS A "SANCTUARY" CITY WHERE LAWS ARE NOT ENFORCED AND ANYTHING GOES ...

THE NEW YORK POST

"Son of Albany mayor robbed and beaten while delivering pizzas: report"


By Jon Levine

August 3, 2019 | 9:53am

The son of Albany mayor Kathy Sheehan was beaten and robbed while delivering pizzas late Wednesday evening, the Times Union reported.

“Two black males in their 20s, both wearing dark-colored clothing, jumped out of bushes and began to punch and kick the pizza delivery driver,” Albany police officer Steven Smith told the paper.


“They stole two pizzas and his money."

"The driver had some injuries to his face as a result of being punched, and refused medical attention.”

Violent crime has surged in Albany in recent years, with the paper noting that 2018 “was one of the deadliest the city has seen in the last two decades.”

The attack on Sheehan’s son comes as the city also faces an acute shortage of police officers.


The force is down more than 40 officers as a result of retirements and resignations, Albany Police Officers Union officials told the paper.

https://nypost.com/2019/08/03/son-of-al ... as-report/

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Re: THE YOUNG ANDY CUOMO CHRONICLES

Post by thelivyjr » Tue Aug 13, 2019 1:40 p

"Albany police staffing concerns aired - But per capita, city fares well compared with neighbors"

By Amanda Fries, Albany, New York Times Union

Updated 7:34 pm EDT, Thursday, August 8, 2019

ALBANY — The city police force is down nearly 50 police officers, a situation that leaves law enforcement in dire straits, a police union leader says.

The shortages have forced officers to work overtime, which is mandated on the newest officers in the force, unless a senior officer volunteers, according to the police union contract.

"The younger officers are getting mandated at such an alarming rate we're burning them out," Albany Police Officers Union President Greg McGee said Thursday.

But just what constitutes adequate staffing in a big city department can be a complicated issue.

Vacancies in Albany's department from retirements, suspensions and transfers still leave the force with double the number of officers compared to other Capital Region agencies.

City populations, police officer functions, geography and the influx of visitors and workers, among other things, all affect the potential workload.

The Albany department has about 300 uniformed officers, while Troy and Schenectady have about half that number even when fully staffed.

In Troy and Schenectady, with populations of 49,374 and 65,575 respectively, have about half as many officers as Albany, which had a population of over 97,000, according to 2018 U.S. Census estimates.

Even with the vacant positions, Albany has 3.1 officers for every 1,000 city residents, well above the average number of officers for communities with a population between 50,000 and 100,000, of 1.6 per 1,000 residents in 2016, according to Governing, a national media outlet covering politics, policy and management for state and local governments.

Troy and Schenectady have 2.6 officers and 2.3 officers per 1,000 residents respectively.

McGee noted, however, that when taking into account recruits and command staff – the latter being busy running day-to-day operations who don’t respond to emergencies – Albany has about 230 officers.

“There’s really no guarantee that we’re going to get (all) the recruits in the academy,” he said, noting some drop out or get jobs at other agencies upon graduation.

“It absolutely is a staffing crisis.”

Albany has been criticized for the how large the department is.

The police force is budgeted for 342 sworn officers, but currently is down 45 officers – a number that includes three officers suspended after a violent confrontation on First Street in March, according to police spokesman Officer Steve Smith.

Training, special tasks

Mayor Kathy Sheehan said programs the department is committed to, like the neighborhood engagement unit, require more officers that other agencies may not schedule if they’re focused on responding to calls.

“When we created neighborhood engagement units, we couldn’t take away from the cohort of officers that need to be available to respond to calls for service,” she said, noting some units have gone without an engagement officer during the staffing shortage.

“We want to get back up to full strength.”

The department also began doing its training academy in-house, which has limited how many recruits can be trained at one time, Sheehan said.

For the next academy, the mayor said the department has found a place that will allow upwards of 40 recruits to be trained at once.

The department is taking applications through Aug. 12.

Audio reviewed by the Times Union but not released to the public revealed Officer Luke Deer telling a supervisor he lost control during a March confrontation on First Street and had just worked two double shifts.

Police were caught on body camera footage pulling one black man out of a residence at 523 First St. and beating him as well as two other men after answering complaints about a loud party.

The men were arrested on a slew of charges that were dismissed after the video came to light.

The incident led to the April 2 arrest of Deer on a felony assault charge and a misdemeanor official misconduct charge.

Two other officers were suspended.

An Albany County grand jury is investigating.

While officers may be working more on overtime, the Albany department remains under budget, having spent about $3 million as of July 31, city figures show.

The city budgeted nearly $4.2 million for overtime in 2019.

Retention issues

Police agencies across the country are facing recruitment and retention issues, police Chief Eric Hawkins said, and it’s something he reminds his officers of often.

“One of the things I tell my officers is that the fear and frustration that they’re feeling is the same concern and frustration that officers across the country are feeling."

"This is not just an Albany, New York issue,” he said.

“They’re short-staffed, morale is low, they don’t feel that they’re getting the support they need and deserve.”

At the same time Albany struggles to attract and retain officers, the Guardian Angels – a New York City volunteer street-safety patrol group – returned to the capital city Thursday to assist police.

Hawkins said he welcomes the group as long as they follow department guidelines and policies.

McGee said the union regularly brainstorms with Hawkins on ways to improve morale and retain officers, from buying new equipment and uniforms to encouraging Albany officers to reach out to members at other agencies who may be looking to transfer.

The police officers’ union remains at a standstill in negotiations for a new contract with the city.

The detectives are creating their own bargaining unit and patrol officers also want to shift their representation to the Police Benevolent Association, issues that union leaders are waiting on the Public Employees Relations Board to rule on, McGee said.


The current parent union is Council 82.

The union previously rejected a contract proposed by the city that would have covered officers through 2018 and provided raises.

Instead, the union went to arbitration and last year was awarded no raises for 2014 and a 1 percent increase for 2015.

Sheehan said she wants to be able to hammer out a contract for police officers – especially since salaries must be negotiated and voted on by union members, but the internal union issues must be resolved first.

“I want nothing more than to have a contract, and I also want to ensure that we have competitive salaries for our officers,” she said.

https://www.timesunion.com/news/article ... DailyBrief

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Re: THE YOUNG ANDY CUOMO CHRONICLES

Post by thelivyjr » Fri Jan 03, 2020 1:40 p

THE NEW YORK TIMES

"New York to Approve One of the World’s Most Ambitious Climate Plans - The state would pledge to eliminate net greenhouse gas emissions by 2050, with all its electricity coming from carbon-free sources."


By Jesse McKinley and Brad Plumer

June 18, 2019

New York lawmakers have agreed to pass a sweeping climate plan that calls for the state to all but eliminate its greenhouse gas emissions by 2050, envisioning an era when gas-guzzling cars, oil-burning heaters and furnaces would be phased out, and all of the state’s electricity would come from carbon-free sources.

Under an agreement reached this week between legislative leaders and Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo, the Climate Leadership and Community Protection Act would require the state to slash its planet-warming pollution 85 percent below 1990 levels by 2050, and offset the remaining 15 percent, possibly through measures to remove carbon dioxide from the atmosphere.

If the state manages to hit those targets, it would effectively create a so-called net-zero economy, the ultimate goal of environmentalists and others seeking to slow the pace of global warming.

Many Democratic-led states have passed laws designed to reduce their greenhouse gas emissions, in response to the Trump administration’s sustained efforts to loosen or abandon environmental regulations on power plants and vehicles.

But New York’s bill, which comes amid a number of Democratic presidential candidates proposing net-zero targets for the United States, would set one of the most ambitious climate targets by a legislature anywhere in the world.

“This unquestionably puts New York in a global leadership position,” said Jesse Jenkins, an energy expert and postdoctoral fellow at Harvard University.


The challenges of reaching such goals are daunting.

New York has so far only managed to reduce its emissions 8 percent between 1990 and 2015, according to the most recent state inventory.

“New Yorkers are going to pay a lot for their electricity because of this bill,” said Gavin Donohue, the president of the Independent Power Producers of New York, whose members produce about three-quarters of the state’s electricity.

“There’s no doubt about that.”


There are also numerous questions about whether the energy, real estate and business communities can adapt by 2050, and how much it would cost to do so.

Business groups in the state had derided the bill as impractical and potentially disastrous for companies forced to move to green energy sources.

The bill requires New York to get 70 percent of its electricity from renewable sources like wind, solar and hydropower by 2030 and shift entirely to carbon-free power a decade later.

But every corner of the state’s economy would need to become drastically cleaner, including industrial facilities, heating for residential homes and office buildings and the transportation system, including approximately 10 million cars, trucks and buses.

New York currently produces about 60 percent of its electricity from carbon-free sources, mostly from hydroelectric dams and nuclear power plants, with small amounts of wind and solar power.

To help meet its new targets, the state plans to erect massive offshore wind turbines, ramp up rooftop solar programs and install large new batteries to juggle all that renewable power.

But transportation, which makes up one-third of the state’s emissions, will be tougher to tackle.

The Trump administration is seeking to roll back federal vehicle efficiency rules and prevent states, like New York, from setting their own stricter standards.

And about one-quarter of New York’s emissions come from homes and commercial buildings, which typically burn natural gas or fuel oil for heating.

Most of those systems would need to be revamped to run on carbon-free electricity or renewable gas.


While New York City recently passed a law requiring its biggest skyscrapers to become more energy efficient, the new law could mean retrofitting thousands of buildings statewide.

For building owners to just comply with the city’s law, the estimated cost exceeded $4 billion.

“It’s going to be a major lift,” said Michael Gerrard, director of the Sabin Center for Climate Change Law at Columbia University.

He noted that technology to curb emissions from certain sectors, like cement plants or airplanes, is still in its infancy.

To offset those sources, the state may have to pursue methods to remove carbon from the atmosphere, like tree-planting, wetlands restoration or carbon capture.

If the measure becomes law, New York would join California, Colorado, Nevada, New Mexico and Washington, who have all passed bills aiming to get 100 percent of their electricity from carbon-free sources — such as wind, solar, hydropower dams and in some cases nuclear power — by midcentury or sooner.

In September, Jerry Brown, then the outgoing governor of California, signed an executive order that set a goal of making the entire state’s economy carbon-neutral by 2045, though that has not been approved by the legislature.

Mr. Donohue, of the Independent Power Producers of New York, said that while the state’s bill had “some laudable goals,” there were not “a lot of details on how to get there.”

The bill, which was expected to come to a vote before the State Senate as early as Tuesday evening, is the latest and perhaps most far-reaching accomplishment for a newly elected Democratic majority in Albany, including a coterie of new progressive lawmakers for whom fighting climate change is a top priority.

The bill had previously passed the Democrat-dominated State Assembly on three occasions before bogging down in the Republican-led Senate.

But November’s blue wave changed the balance of power in Albany, even as climate activists began to demand action at the state level.


“This is going to change the way every New Yorker lives,” said state Senator Todd Kaminsky, the bill’s sponsor in Albany’s upper chamber.

“We are going to be deriving our power from clean energy sources, running our cars on renewable energy and going to work in buildings that do not emit carbon.”

It would also be the first major legislation from Representative Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez’s home state to embrace elements of the Green New Deal, including that plan’s emphasis on using environmental law to help low-income communities.

New York’s bill would funnel hundreds of millions of dollars into economically disadvantaged areas around the state, particularly those that have been devastated by pollution and other industrial byproducts.


For supporters, the bill added a measure of certainty that previous environmental orders by the governor did not.

“They don’t live and die on the whims of an executive,” said Peter M. Iwanowicz, executive director of Environmental Advocates of New York.

The bill’s passage would be the culmination of several years of activism by groups like New York Renews, a coalition of nearly 200 organizations, which repeatedly rallied in Albany and pushed policymakers to act.

Those officials included Mr. Cuomo, who said earlier this month that he had doubts about climate legislation that “put forward goals and dates that we cannot make.”

In a radio interview on Tuesday, however, Mr. Cuomo called the negotiated bill “the most aggressive climate change program in the United States of America, period.”

“I think climate change is the issue of our lifetime, frankly,” the governor, a third-term Democrat, said.

“And the legacy we leave our children.”

The bill codified several initiatives of Mr. Cuomo’s from earlier this year into law, including greatly increasing New York’s offshore wind goals, solar deployment and energy storage.

Supporters said the mandates handed down would likely require a vast work force to weatherize homes, swap out furnaces and install solar panels, and build wind farms and other clean energy infrastructure.

“This new law will spur the growth of green jobs across the state for decades,” said Julie Tighe, the president of the New York League of Conservation Voters.

But Greg Biryla, the New York director of the National Federation of Independent Business, said the bill offered few details of how small companies, working on small margins, would rejigger their manufacturing and other operations.

“There doesn’t appear to be a fiscal impact statement for something that aims to completely reinvent our state’s economy,” he said, adding it would inevitably lead to companies migrating elsewhere.

“This just makes other states that much more attractive for investment.”

The nuts and bolts of how to implement the plan would be left to a 22-person “climate action council” comprising top state officials, covering an array of topics like health, economic development, energy, labor and the environment, and advised by smaller working groups with expertise in everything from land use to forestry.

The council would be required to issue recommendations for how to meet the goals in two years, after which the state’s regulatory agencies would issue rules to compel industries and residents to meet the standards outlined in the bill.


Alphonso David, the counsel to Mr. Cuomo, said that while the aggressive goals might lead to measures to curb gas-powered cars or inefficient furnaces, there was no knowing how exactly the state would get there.

“There’s new technology we are discovering every single day,” said Mr. David.

“We may be talking about a very different world in terms of how we think about cars, how we think about airplanes and how we think about gasoline.”

https://www.nytimes.com/2019/06/18/nyre ... es-ny.html

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Re: THE YOUNG ANDY CUOMO CHRONICLES

Post by thelivyjr » Fri Jan 03, 2020 1:40 p

"Albany man accused of woman's death set free under new bail rules"

By Robert Gavin, Albany, New York Times Union

Updated 9:12 am EST, Friday, January 3, 2020

ALBANY — It did not take long for New York's criminal justice reforms to impact the Capital Region.

Or, for lawyers on opposing sides to clash bitterly over them.

On Thursday, Albany County District Attorney David Soares highlighted the release of 52-year-old Paul Barbaritano -- a man charged with recklessly choking and stabbing a woman to death in a Brevator Street apartment last July -- as a tragic example of the failure of bail and discovery reforms swept into law in last year's state budget.


In turn, Barbaritano's attorney, Assistant Public Defender Rebekah Sokol, said her client mortally injured 29-year-old Nicole Jennings following a sexual encounter involving erotic asphyxiation.

Her client, she said, accidentally stabbed Jennings while trying to cut a belt from Jennings' neck.

The two had been using drugs, according to the defense, and knew one another for some time.

Barbaritano had self-inflicted wounds.

"He was absolutely trying to save this woman's life."

"What happened was the result of a horrific accident -- a perfect storm of tragic events," Sokol told the Times Union.

"He never intended to hurt her."

The exchange of arguments came on the first day of criminal justice reforms that went into effect at the stroke of midnight on Wednesday.

Judges can no longer detain or set bail for defendants charged with most misdemeanors and non-violent felonies, as well as two violent felonies: second-degree robbery and second-degree (residential) burglary.


Prosecutors have 15 days from the date of an arraignment to turn over discovery material (the disclosure of evidence) including statements, names of witnesses, recordings, 911 calls and other discoverable material.

Police and prosecutors say that in early July, Barbaritano wrapped a nylon-styled belt around Jennings' neck, tied multiple knots, tightened it and plunged a knife into her throat.

She was found July 5 inside 8 Brevator St.


On Thursday, Assistant District Attorney Ariel Fallon informed Albany County Judge William Carter that the case could be upgraded to second-degree murder.

Carter released Barbaritano from jail because the charge the defendant faces -- second-degree manslaughter -- does not meet the criteria for bail to be set or for him to locked up pending trial.

The judge was powerless to hold Barbaritano even if he wanted to do so.

"What you observed today in court is the new reality."

"This is what the new criminal justice system in New York will be moving forward until (Gov. Andrew Cuomo and legislative leaders) get together and decide to fix it," Soares later said in his office.


The fourth-term district attorney, a Democrat up for re-election in November, addressed reporters after the court appearance of Barbaritano, who since July had been held in the county jail charged with killing Jennings, the mother of a 3-year-old son.

"Anywhere in the country, any jurisdiction in the country, this is a case where an individual will be held pre-trial in a correction facility," Soares said, "while still maintaining his right to a trial and all of the rights that he’s afforded under the constitution of that state as well as the federal government."

"(Anywhere) but in New York state."

"And this is the new reality that we’re all trying to cope with.”


Senate Republican Leader John Flanagan issued a statement slamming the new reforms, which were passed by a Democratic-controlled Legislature and governor, and the release of Barbaritano.

"Another day, another individual accused of a heinous crime released back out into the community where they are free to offend again thanks to the radical policies of Democrats in the Senate and Assembly," a Suffolk County Republican.

He added that "2020 has only begun, we are already starting to see the real-life consequences of this dangerous new law."


In July, city police charged Barbaritano with second-degree manslaughter, which is considered a non-violent crime and carries a maximum penalty of five to 15 years in prison.

The charge is brought when police and prosecutors believe a defendant "recklessly caused" the death of another person.

Defendants charged with first-degree manslaughter, for someone who intends to cause a "serious physical injury" and it results in death, and all murder charges, can be held without bail.

Barbaritano, whom the defense noted is a former veteran and corrections officer, previously served a little over two years in state prison for robbery and attempted robbery.

Soares, his fellow prosecutors and law enforcement agencies have vehemently opposed the new changes.

On Thursday, Soares called for the governor and legislative leaders to fix the law saying: "Because there is going to be collateral consequences that I have to in my own that mind believe that they did not know before they put their names on this legislation."

Sokol scoffed at Soares' characterizations.

"The reason for this 'new reality' is the simple fact that everyone accused of a crime is presumed innocent until proven guilty," Sokol said.

"The district attorney’s office is talking as if my client is already convicted."

"In fact, he stands accused of a non-violent crime and, like every other defendant, he is presumed innocent."

"If Mr. Barbaritano had millions of dollars, had posted a bail amount, and had been released that way, assuredly we would not be hearing such opposition today."

Sokol said now Barbaritano — "after sitting for nearly six months waiting for something to happen on his case" — can receive mental health treatment.

She said he was not receiving adequate mental health treatment at the Albany County jail.

Sokol's office, headed by retired Albany County Judge Stephen Herrick, issued a statement late Thursday that said: "The new pre-trial laws were designed to promote fair and equal justice and improve the safety of our communities."

"Because of the court's decision today, we are connecting our client with the services and treatment that he needs.”


Barbaritano was one of three bail-related cases Carter presided over Thursday.

At least a dozen bail-related cases were scheduled before Carter for Friday.

https://www.timesunion.com/news/article ... DailyBrief

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Re: THE YOUNG ANDY CUOMO CHRONICLES

Post by thelivyjr » Sat Jan 04, 2020 1:40 p

THE CAPE CHARLES MIRROR January 2, 2020 at 7:30 pm

Paul Plante says :

The Democratic Socialist governor of the Soviet Socialist Republic of New York City, Young Andy Cuomo, who rules New York state as its emperor, and who truly occupies the office of governor of New York state because of New York City, whose population far outstrips that of rural upstate New York, and which city is Young Andy’s power base, because he doesn’t have one north of the Tappanzee Bridge, now has a solid DEMOCRAT LOCK on all political power in the state with a Democrat senate and a Democrat assembly, and Young Andy’s hand-picked judges at the appellate level and state court of appeals level, decreed a law this year that awards illegal immigrants in New York state the CONSTITUTIONAL RIGHT to a New York State Driver’s license, and the despotic tyrant, which is what results of a Democrat governor with a Democrat legislature and hand-picked judge becomes, threatened all the county clerks in the state, themselves elected officials answerable to the people and Constitution, not King Andy Cuomo, with serious jail time if they refused to issue valid licenses to illegal immigrants.

That we know from our county clerk who was one of those so threatened.

And there is absolutely no way for a citizen of this state to challenge him on this incredible action of his to blatantly put illegal immigrants on a political standing above that of an American citizen born here, nor do we have anything like a Cape Charles Mirror is this ****-hole state that allows us a voice of protest, as is the case down here, thanks to the Cape Charles Mirror.

We older folks joke about Young Andy wanting to re-populate the state with illegal immigrants, because unlike native New Yorkers, they can be counted on to question nothing, just obey, which for a despot like Young Andy intent of installing a socialist workers’ paradise in New York state, where everything is free makes them the ideal citizens of his new republic, at the same time knowing that the joke is really on us older folks unable to get out of this state, because native-born New Yorkers who can are fleeing this lawless state, to the point where NY is going to lose congressional representation, as a result, as Young Andy Cuomo leads NY into third-world ****-hole status with him as its tin-pot dictator in the mold of say, an Idi Amin, or Moamar Gaddafi, such is what unfettered democracy in the end always produces.

And just recently, and this thanks to the Cape Charles Mirror running a long series of articles on climate change hysteria and the Green New Deal and Greta FEVER, we here in New York State learned that Young Andy and his rubber-stamp legislature rammed through a “GREEN NEW DEAL FOR NEW YORK” that was BURIED in his executive budget, so it sailed though without question and without comment and without any protest from the taxpayers who never knew it was happening, given that we are not in any way privy to the governor’s executive budget, which is worked out behind closed doors in a smoke-filled room.

This is from his press release on that subject:

January 17, 2019

Albany, NY

“Governor Cuomo Announces Green New Deal Included in 2019 Executive Budget”

Governor Andrew M. Cuomo today announced the Green New Deal, a nation-leading clean energy and jobs agenda that will aggressively put New York State on a path to economy-wide carbon neutrality, is included in the 2019 Executive Budget.

The landmark plan provides for a just transition to clean energy that spurs growth of the green economy and prioritizes the needs of low- to moderate-income New Yorkers.

Video of the Governor making this announcement is available on YouTube here and in TV quality (h.264, mp4) format here.

“Climate change is a reality, and the consequences of delay are a matter of life and death.”

“We know what we must do.”

“Now we have to have the vision, the courage, and the competence to get it done,” Governor Cuomo said.

“While the federal government shamefully ignores the reality of climate change and fails to take meaningful action, we are launching the first-in-the-nation Green New Deal to seize the potential of the clean energy economy, set nation’s most ambitious goal for carbon-free power, and ultimately eliminate our entire carbon footprint.”

end quotes

Will Virginia under the Democrats be next?

http://www.capecharlesmirror.com/news/r ... ent-214561

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Re: THE YOUNG ANDY CUOMO CHRONICLES

Post by thelivyjr » Sat Jan 04, 2020 1:40 p

THE CAPE CHARLES MIRROR January 3, 2020 at 7:22 pm

Paul Plante says :

And in one of those freakish cosmic confluences of events that seem to be attracted to tokenny like all the lint in a room swarming towards whoever is wearing a black sweater, just today, the Albany, Times Union had a story entitled “Albany man accused of woman’s death set free under new bail rules” by Robert Gavin on January 3, 2020 where we have this candid view of the madness being inflicted on the native-born citizens of the corrupt third-world ****-hole known as the Soviet Socialist Republic of New York City by Democratic Socialist tyrant Young Andy Cuomo, who is re-making this state in his image into a mecca for illegal immigrants and felons, to wit:

ALBANY — It did not take long for New York’s criminal justice reforms to impact the Capital Region.

Or, for lawyers on opposing sides to clash bitterly over them.

On Thursday, Albany County District Attorney David Soares highlighted the release of 52-year-old Paul Barbaritano — a man charged with recklessly choking and stabbing a woman to death in a Brevator Street apartment last July — as a tragic example of the failure of bail and discovery reforms swept into law in last year’s state budget.

end quotes

Yes, indeed, “swept into law in last year’s state budget!”

More like well-hidden from public scrutiny in last year’s state budget, which is how this Democrat Socialist tyrant Young Andy Cuomo is stripping us of our Constitution and its rights as he tips the balance over in favor of the illegal immigrants and felons who form his political base, which takes us back to that story, as follows:

Police and prosecutors say that in early July, Barbaritano wrapped a nylon-styled belt around Jennings’ neck, tied multiple knots, tightened it and plunged a knife into her throat.

She was found July 5 inside 8 Brevator St.

The fourth-term district attorney, a Democrat up for re-election in November, addressed reporters after the court appearance of Barbaritano, who since July had been held in the county jail charged with killing Jennings, the mother of a 3-year-old son.

“Anywhere in the country, any jurisdiction in the country, this is a case where an individual will be held pre-trial in a correction facility,” Soares said, “while still maintaining his right to a trial and all of the rights that he’s afforded under the constitution of that state as well as the federal government.”

“(Anywhere) but in New York state.”

“And this is the new reality that we’re all trying to cope with.”

Senate Republican Leader John Flanagan issued a statement slamming the new reforms, which were passed by a Democratic-controlled Legislature and governor, and the release of Barbaritano.

“Another day, another individual accused of a heinous crime released back out into the community where they are free to offend again thanks to the radical policies of Democrats in the Senate and Assembly,” a Suffolk County Republican.

He added that “2020 has only begun, we are already starting to see the real-life consequences of this dangerous new law.”

end quotes

Reminds me a lot of good old Willie Horton, the murderer the Democrats released from prison on a furlough so he could go out and get himself a latte and some intellectual stimulation, which takes us back to that story and a real tear-jerker, it is, to wit:

In turn, Barbaritano’s attorney, Assistant Public Defender Rebekah Sokol, said her client mortally injured 29-year-old Nicole Jennings following a sexual encounter involving erotic asphyxiation.

end quotes

Being big-hearted, very compassionate liberals, I’m sure that both Sorin and tokenny can emphasize with the dude – hey, we’re all human, afterall, and sometimes, people just get carried away a bit too much, but that don’t make them bad people, if they are Democrats, anyway, which takes us back to the tear-jerker, as follows:

Her client, she said, accidentally stabbed Jennings while trying to cut a belt from Jennings’ neck.

end quotes

Okay, people, an accident, everybody has a little accident every now and then, don’t they?

So, is it something they should have to rot in jail for?

Be shut away from the human company they so crave?

Let’s see what more the lawyerette has to say about it:

The two had been using drugs, according to the defense, and knew one another for some time.

Barbaritano had self-inflicted wounds.

“He was absolutely trying to save this woman’s life.”

“What happened was the result of a horrific accident — a perfect storm of tragic events,” Sokol told the Times Union.

“He never intended to hurt her.”

end quotes

And if everybody is not shedding copious tears here for this dude who is clearly the victim here, my goodness, you have a cold, cold heart!

Right, tokenny?

http://www.capecharlesmirror.com/news/r ... ent-214561

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Re: THE YOUNG ANDY CUOMO CHRONICLES

Post by thelivyjr » Sun Jan 05, 2020 1:40 p

GOVERNOR ANDREW M. CUOMO

January 17, 2019

Albany, NY

Governor Cuomo Announces Green New Deal Included in 2019 Executive Budget

* Nation-Leading Clean Energy and Jobs Agenda Puts New York on a Path to Carbon Neutrality

* Mandates 100 Percent Clean Power by 2040 and Enacts New Climate Action Council into Law to Develop Roadmap to Make New York Carbon Neutral

* Ensures a Just Transition to Clean Power - Spurring Growth of the Green Economy and Prioritizing Low- and Moderate-Income New Yorkers

* Invests $1.5 Billion in 20 Large-Scale Renewable Energy Projects Upstate and up to $200 Million in Port Infrastructure to Make New York the Nation's Offshore Wind Hub

* Builds on Governor's Environmental Record, Including Banning Fracking, Ending Coal Power, Unprecedented Investments in Renewable Energy and Establishing the U.S. Climate Alliance


Video of Governor Cuomo Announcing the Proposal Here

Governor Andrew M. Cuomo today announced the Green New Deal, a nation-leading clean energy and jobs agenda that will aggressively put New York State on a path to economy-wide carbon neutrality, is included in the 2019 Executive Budget.

The landmark plan provides for a just transition to clean energy that spurs growth of the green economy and prioritizes the needs of low- to moderate-income New Yorkers.

Video of the Governor making this announcement is available on YouTube here and in TV quality (h.264, mp4) format here.

"Climate change is a reality, and the consequences of delay are a matter of life and death."

"We know what we must do."

"Now we have to have the vision, the courage, and the competence to get it done," Governor Cuomo said.

"While the federal government shamefully ignores the reality of climate change and fails to take meaningful action, we are launching the first-in-the-nation Green New Deal to seize the potential of the clean energy economy, set nation's most ambitious goal for carbon-free power, and ultimately eliminate our entire carbon footprint."


During Governor Cuomo's first two terms, New York banned fracking of natural gas, committed to phasing out coal power by 2020, mandated 50 percent renewable power by 2030, and established the U.S. Climate Alliance to uphold the Paris Agreement.

Under the Reforming the Energy Vision agenda, New York has held the largest renewable energy procurements in U.S. history, solar has increased nearly 1,500 percent, and offshore wind is poised to transform the State's electricity supply to be cleaner and more sustainable.

Through Governor Cuomo's Green New Deal, New York will take the bold next steps to secure a clean energy future that protects the environment for generations to come while growing the clean energy economy.

100 Percent Clean Power by 2040 Coupled with New Nation-leading Renewable Energy Mandates

The Green New Deal will statutorily mandate New York's power be 100 percent carbon-free by 2040, the most aggressive goal in the United States and five years ahead of a target recently adopted by California.

The cornerstone of this new mandate is a significant increase of New York's successful Clean Energy Standard mandate from 50 percent to 70 percent renewable electricity by 2030.

This globally unprecedented ramp-up of renewable energy will include:

• Quadrupling New York's offshore wind target to 9,000 megawatts by 2035, up from 2,400 megawatts by 2030

• Doubling distributed solar deployment to 6,000 megawatts by 2025, up from 3,000 megawatts by 2023

• More than doubling new large-scale land-based wind and solar resources through the Clean Energy Standard

• Maximizing the contributions and potential of New York's existing renewable resources

• Deploying 3,000 megawatts of energy storage by 2030, up from 1,500 megawatts by 2025

Develop an Implementation Plan to Make New York Carbon Neutral

The Green New Deal will create the State's first statutory Climate Action Council, comprised of the heads of relevant State agencies and other workforce, environmental justice, and clean energy experts to develop a comprehensive plan to make New York carbon neutral by significantly and cost-effectively reducing emissions from all major sources, including electricity, transportation, buildings, industry, commercial activity, and agriculture.

The Climate Action Council will consider a range of possible options, including the feasibility of working with the U.S. Climate Alliance to create a new multistate emissions reduction program that covers all sectors of the economy, including transportation and industry, and exploring ways to leverage the successful Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative to drive transformational investment in the clean energy economy and support a just transition.

The Green New Deal will also include an ambitious strategy to move New York's statewide building stock to carbon neutrality.

The agenda includes:

• Advancing legislative changes to strengthen building energy codes and establish appliance efficiency standards

• Directing State agencies to ensure that their facilities uphold the strongest energy efficiency and sustainability standards

• Developing a Net Zero Roadmap to chart a course to statewide carbon neutrality in buildings

A Multibillion Dollar Green New Deal Investment in the Clean Tech Economy that will Reduce Greenhouse Gas Emissions

Demonstrating New York's immediate commitment to implementing the nation's most ambitious clean energy agenda and creating high-quality clean energy jobs, Governor Cuomo is announcing $1.5 billion in competitive awards to support 20 large-scale solar, wind and energy storage projects across upstate New York.

These investments will add over 1,650 megawatts of capacity and generate over 3,800,000 megawatt-hours of renewable energy annually - enough to power nearly 550,000 homes and create over 2,600 short and long-term jobs.

Combined with the renewable energy projects previously announced under the Clean Energy Standard, New York has now awarded more than $2.9 billion to 46 projects statewide, enough to power over one million households.

The Green New Deal also includes new investments to jumpstart New York's offshore wind energy industry and support the State's world-leading target of 9,000 megawatts by 2035.

New York will invest up to $200 million in port infrastructure to match private sector investment in regional development of offshore wind.

This multi-location investment represents the nation's largest infrastructure commitment to offshore wind and solidifies New York's position as the hub of the burgeoning U.S. offshore wind industry.

These new investments build upon a $250 million commitment to electric vehicle infrastructure by the New York Power Authority's EVolve program, $3.5 billion in private investment in distributed solar driven by NYSERDA's NY-Sun program, and NY Green Bank transactions mobilizing nearly $1.75 billion in private capital for clean energy projects.

A Just Transition to a Clean Energy Economy

Deliver Climate Justice for Underserved Communities:


The Green New Deal will help historically underserved communities prepare for a clean energy future and adapt to climate change by:

• Giving communities a seat at the table by codifying the Environmental Justice and Just Transition Working Group into law and incorporating it into the planning process for the Green New Deal's implementation.

• Directing the State's low-income energy task force to identify reforms to achieve greater impact of the public energy funds expended each year in order to increase the effect of funds and initiatives that target energy affordability to underserved communities.

• Directing each of the State's ten Regional Economic Development Councils to develop an environmental justice strategy for their region.

Finance a Property Tax Compensation Fund to Help Communities Transition to the Clean Energy Economy:

Governor Cuomo is introducing legislation to finance the State's $70 million Property Tax Compensation Fund to continue helping communities directly affected by the transition away from dirty and obsolete energy industries and toward the new clean energy economy.

Specifically, this funding will protect communities impacted by the retirement of conventional power generation facilities.

Protect Labor Rights:

To ensure creation of high-quality clean energy jobs, large-scale renewable energy projects supported by the Green New Deal will require prevailing wage, and the State's offshore wind projects will be supported by a requirement for a Project Labor Agreement.

Develop the Clean Tech Workforce:

To prepare New York's workforce for the transition, New York State will take new steps to support workforce development, including establishing a New York State Advisory Council on Offshore Wind Economic and Workforce Development, as well as investing in an offshore wind training center that will provide New Yorkers with the skills and safety training required to construct this clean energy technology in New York.

Richard Kauffman, Chairman of Energy and Finance for New York, said, "Governor Cuomo's Green New Deal will advance New York State further into the clean energy future, and we won't let the Trump Administration push us backwards."

"Governor Cuomo's new commitments ensure New York is the undisputed national clean energy and climate leader, and we will continue to build upon the foundations of the REV agenda to achieve a sustainable economy and healthy environment for generations of New Yorkers to come."

Alicia Barton, President and CEO, NYSERDA, said, "Climate scientists have made frighteningly clear that averting the worst effects of climate change will require bold action, not incremental steps, and Governor Cuomo's Green New Deal boldly goes where no others have before."

"His unwavering climate agenda includes the most aggressive clean energy target in U.S. history, the largest commitments to renewable energy and to offshore wind in the nation, a massive mobilization of clean energy jobs and an unprecedented investment in offshore wind port infrastructure."

"Together these actions make New York the clear national leader in the fight against climate change, and will show the world that New York can and will achieve a clean energy future for the sake of future generations."


New York Power Authority President and CEO Gil C. Quiniones said, “Governor Cuomo’s Green New Deal puts New York on the fast track to realizing the goal of a carbon neutral energy system."

"Under the Governor’s Reforming the Energy Vision strategy, the Power Authority has dedicated $250 million through 2025 in energy storage and demand response programs, and $200-300 million a year in energy efficiency measures and customer-sited renewables in public buildings across the state to lead by example."

"We are excited to further build on this momentum under the Green New Deal.”

DEC Commissioner Basil Seggos said, "The threat of climate change calls for bold action like Governor Cuomo's comprehensive agenda to make New York State carbon neutral."

"The Green New Deal ensures New York is continuing our nation-leading efforts to capitalize on the economic potential of the clean energy economy, while making sure those most vulnerable to climate change are benefitting from the state's efforts and investments."

"I look forward to working with my agency and authority partners on the Climate Action Council to develop and implement meaningful solutions to reduce greenhouse gas emissions from all sectors of our economy."


John B. Rhodes, CEO, Department of Public Service, said, "With this nation-leading Green New Deal, Governor Cuomo puts New York on the path to fully clean electricity and to carbon neutrality with the strongest renewable energy goals in the nation."

"This will deliver the energy system that New York needs - cost-effective, reliable, and 100% clean."

Contact the Governor's Press Office

Contact us by phone:

Albany: (518) 474-8418

New York City: (212) 681-4640

Contact us by email:

Press.Office@exec.ny.gov

https://www.governor.ny.gov/news/govern ... ive-budget

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Re: THE YOUNG ANDY CUOMO CHRONICLES

Post by thelivyjr » Mon Jan 06, 2020 1:40 p

"As Legislature returns to Albany, $6 billion deficit awaits"

By Cayla Harris, Albany, New York Times Union

Updated 8:17 am EST, Sunday, January 5, 2020

ALBANY – The second half of 2020 will certainly be consumed by aggressive political campaigns and endless speculation about which party will rule Washington, D.C.

The same can’t be said at the state level.


Sure, there will be some aggressive campaigns, and pundits will never stop speculating – but Democrats are sitting pretty in Albany.

Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo isn’t up for re-election until 2022, the state Assembly has been solidly blue for 45 years, and Republican state senators are dropping like flies – making it look increasingly likely that Democrats will capture a supermajority this fall.

So, then, where’s the political fun in New York?

It’s right in the state Capitol building, folded into a front-loaded legislative session in which state lawmakers will tackle an increasingly progressive agenda while also balancing a significant budget shortfall.

The 2020 session starts Wednesday and ends June 2.

Here’s what to keep your eyes on:

Budget deficit

New York is facing a $6.1 billion problem.

It’s the largest state budget gap since the Great Recession, mostly attributed to $4 billion in Medicaid overspending.

It’s an issue that has already created friction among leading lawmakers: Unsurprisingly, Republicans have jumped to attack progressive agendas that require mass funding, but the state’s most liberal lawmakers have continued to push for more public programs that would multiply the state’s spending.


The Democratic leaders of the state Legislature are also split: Assembly Speaker Carl E. Heastie said he would prefer “raising revenue” to cutting spending, but Senate Majority Leader Andrea Stewart-Cousins has said that raising taxes would not be the “first fallback.”

For the governor’s part, he’s yet to hint what his solution is, sending reporters the same statement from his spokesman Richard Azzopardi for the past month: “Opinions are relevant when they are based on facts, and we will present actual numbers and options when we do the budget, as otherwise, this is all just speculation.”

The governor’s office declined to say whether Cuomo is in favor of raising taxes to alleviate the budget gap, though the state’s mid-year budget report indicated plans to delay billions in payments until the next fiscal year – a tactic that has been used to limit overruns since 2014.

“Ideally, cooler heads in the Assembly and Senate would recognize that the current situation was caused by unsustainable spending and bad fiscal management, and take the opportunity to restore some sanity,” said Bill Hammond, the director of health policy at The Empire Center.

“The danger is that lawmakers will take their cues from industry lobbyists — whose clients have a vested interest in bigger Medicaid spending — and resort to closing the gap with higher taxes and fiscal gimmicks.”


Criminal justice reform

State legislators passed sweeping criminal justice overhauls in last year’s budget plan, eliminating pre-trial detention and cash bail for most misdemeanors and non-violent felonies and speeding up the discovery process.

In the months since, Republican state legislators and law enforcement officials across the aisle have assailed the changes, especially bail reform, saying the law does not give judges enough discretion to detain dangerous criminals.

Critics of the reforms pounced last week when an Albany man charged with stabbing a 29-year-old woman to death was released back into the community.

Democrats, meanwhile, have called the attacks disingenuous, accusing opponents of “fear-mongering” and reiterating that the changes make the criminal justice system more equitable.

They note that criminals who could afford to post bail would also return to their communities.

Still, repealing or adjusting the reforms is an immediate priority for Republican lawmakers returning to Albany this week.

"At the top of the list is correcting the dangerous, pro-criminal reforms that have resulted in killers, bank robbers and serial offenders (being) back on the streets,” said state Senate GOP spokeswoman Candice Giove.

“Senate Republicans believe that victims and the public must come first.”

Marijuana legalization

It could be the year that New York legalizes the recreational use of marijuana, after years of buildup and increasing pressure to do so nationwide.

The governor said in a September radio interview that he would unveil a plan during his State of the State address to legalize cannabis, which he then intends to include in state budget negotiations.

Cuomo had introduced a bill during his budget address last year to legalize marijuana, but legislators could not reach an agreement on the proposal before the end of the session.

In the months since, Cuomo has discussed embracing a legalization plan that states surrounding New York can also agree on – “regional symmetry,” if you will.

Lawmakers have also suggested that legalizing marijuana could help the state’s budget shortfall, though others have also noted that the fiscal benefits of legalization likely would not be seen for several years.

Other priorities

While the reality of the state budget deficit stands to crush hopes of a totally left-wing agenda, state Democrats are building a war chest of priorities tackling education, voter rights and gun safety.

The Senate Majority has compiled a nine-point agenda with points ranging from “improving college affordability” to “limo regulation reforms” to “protecting children by advancing day care safety.”

In the Assembly, Democrats are “continuing to push our families-first agenda to help end the cycle of poverty for New Yorkers,” Heastie said.

That focus includes plans to tackle homelessness, increase school aid spending and make health care more affordable, he said.

Across the aisle, the Assembly Republican conference is also hoping to revisit bail reform and tackle the budget deficit without raising taxes, but members are looking at an overall goal of “re-prioritizing,” according to a statement issued by the conference.

“Legislative leaders and the governor need to refocus their efforts on helping New Yorkers who are breaking their backs paying their taxes,” the statement reads.

“When Albany does that, we'll really begin to address some of the structural problems we have.”

But, of course, any priorities from the legislative chambers will almost certainly require support from the governor, who will reveal his top issues in his State of the State address Wednesday in Albany.

In the weeks leading up to the address, Cuomo has slowly released a number of concerns he’ll touch on in the speech – including cracking down on vaping and re-evaluating high-speed rails in New York – all under the motto “Making Progress Happen.”

Cuomo spokesman Jason Conwall declined to identify any additional priorities the governor will discuss, including marijuana legalization: “We have already announced nearly 20 of our top priorities for 2020, and next week, the governor will lay out his full agenda, which will further build on the progress we've made in New York.”

https://www.timesunion.com/news/article ... ion&stn=nf

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