Congressman Paul Ryan isn’t entirely new to New York’s political scene. Congresswoman Kathy Hochul won a ruby red Western New York district in a special election based on blasting Mr. Ryan’s budget and her GOP opponent’s support for it last year. Now, with Mr. Ryan named as Mitt Romney’s number two man as he faces off against President Obama, Democrats around the state are ready to fully embrace him as well, and their press releases have been pouring in.
Campaigning for a Staten Island-based district, Democrat Mark Murphy said the following about his Republican opponent, Congressman Michael Grimm:
Bill Thompson has a message for Ray Kelly: Are you in or out?
Nan Hayworth is in a trick spot: she is a surrounded by conservative Tea Party freshman, but she has an openly gay son.
New bribery charges were filed against Joe Bruno.
82-year-old Louise Slaughter faces a challenge like never before: a newly drawn, more conservative district; a long recovery from a broken leg; and a well-liked challenger in Maggie Brooks.
Settlement money from the CityTime scandal Read More
Mayor Michael Bloomberg will unveil his Fiscal Year 2013 Executive Budget tomorrow at noon that will show the city’s economy and tax revenues continuing to grow relative to last year, but with significantly less money than was predicted last February.
Combined with increased costs, there is now a $495 million hole in what was Mr. Bloomberg’s preliminary budget plan for 2012 and 2013, a fact that mean for some difficult negotiations with the City Council over the coming days and weeks.
However, the financial pain won’t be as bad as it appears, as most of the hole will be filled by CityTime’s settlement with Science Applications International Corporation.
Governor Andrew Cuomo, Senate Majority Leader Dean Skelos and Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver held a press conference in the Red Room at the State Capitol to pat themselves on the back for reaching a budget agreement on time for the second straight year. On-time budgets have been approved in Albany just seven times in the last 37 years.
“This state government has come a very long way in a very short period of time. At one time, this state government was a joke. They were literally laughing about it on the late night shows, it was a point of ridicule for many, many years,” Governor Cuomo said. “We went from a model of dysfunction to I believe a model of function.”
In a Wall Street Journal op-ed piece and in an interview on CBS This Morning today, Mayor Michael Bloomberg argued President Barack Obama’s economic proposals — as well as those espoused by Republican presidential candidates — are fundamentally unrealistic.
“Over the past year, as the candidates jockeying for the Republican nomination raced to the right, the Obama campaign has sought to re-energize its base by tacking left,” Mr. Bloomberg wrote. “The president not only embraced the frustration expressed by Occupy Wall Street protesters—which was real—but he adopted their economic populism.”
On Fred Dicker’s radio show this morning, Governor Andrew Cuomo was asked if the reportedly frosty relationship between Mayor Michael Bloomberg and himself has warmed with the recent budget deal cheered by Mr. Bloomberg.
“Those stories of the mayor and I being at odds were grossly overblown. I understand the sensational value of them, but it just wasn’t true,” Mr. Cuomo responded. “It is true, institutionally, a governor and a mayor sometimes advocate for their own causes and sometime advocate for different causes, because of their institutional roles.”
Mr. Cuomo went on to stress his personal friendliness with New York City’s mayor.
Governor Andrew Cuomo and the leaders of the Legislature touted a major agreement for this year’s budget negotiations today, which, according to a statement, “closes a multi-billion dollar deficit with no new taxes, fees or gimmicks” and “limits spending growth to two percent or below for the second year in a row.”
Mr. Cuomo extolled “New York Works” — an iniaitive to invest in infrastructure — for his official quote on the budget.
“The cornerstone of this budget is the New York Works program, a new and smarter strategy for putting New Yorkers back to work by rebuilding our aging infrastructure and helping put our state’s economy back on track, just the way we have put our state government back on track,” he said.
As Albany moves forward with its budget negotiations, Mayor Michael Bloomberg and Reverend Al Sharpton made sure to tout a recent agreement to reform juvenile detention centers. The changes will allow New York City to place young offenders in facilities closer to the city, and it appears likely this reform will ultimately come to pass.
“For too long, too many of our City’s young people have been shunted off upstate – hundreds of miles from family, school and community and far from the support they need to get back on course,” Mr. Bloomberg and Mr. Sharpton said in a statement this afternoon. “Today’s budget agreement includes a landmark overhaul of our juvenile justice system, paving the way for young people in the system to receive services close to their families and more easily transition back into their communities and productive lives.”
Night of the Living Deals
Governor Andrew Cuomo defended himself against criticism of last week’s night of dealmaking in an appearance on Fred Dicker’s radio show, “Live From The State Capitol” this morning. While critics say the all night Albany negotiations didn’t allow for public input and went against the governor’s promises of transparency and his pledge to veto redistricting lines not drawn through an independent process, the dealmaking also led to the passage of some of his pet projects; pension reform, the expansion of the DNA databank, lifting the ban on casino gambling and teacher evaluations. Overall, Mr. Cuomo described the marathon legislative session as a success and dismissed critiques of the suite of deals that have been described as the “big ugly.”
“Last week, the government worked it performed it passed bills,” Governor Cuomo said.
In a Q&A session with reporters after the cabinet meeting today Governor Andrew Cuomo discussed the state of his push to reform the pension system for public workers. Governor Cuomo was asked about legislators who are demanding he negotiate the reforms with the unions and get them to agree to a plan, but he was adamant that there’s nothing to negotiate and the unions are inherently opposed to reform.
“We just finished negotiating quote-un-quote with our public employee unions; salaries, benefits, et cetera when we did contracts. The contracts were ratified. Pensions are not subject to collective bargaining negotiations, so you can’t negotiate a pension in the collective bargaining. If you just finished negotiating a contract and someone says, ‘Well, go negotiate the pension with the unions and I’ll only pass pension reform if the union agrees,’ there’s nothing left to negotiate with the union,” Governor Cuomo said. “By definition, the unions don’t want a reform that would diminish pension benefits, so the answer’s always going to be, ‘No.’”