Mark-Viverito Rips Skelos for Threatening to Block Pre-K Vote

Speaker Melissa Mark-Viverito today.
Speaker Melissa Mark-Viverito and other members of the council rallying today.

Council Speaker Melissa Mark-Viverito, joined by a large contingent of the City Council, slammed State Senator Dean Skelos this afternoon for threatening to block a vote on Mayor Bill de Blasio’s signature proposal to increase taxes on the rich to fund universal prekindergarten. Continue reading “Mark-Viverito Rips Skelos for Threatening to Block Pre-K Vote”

De Blasio Calls Clergy to Action on Pre-K Tax Plan

Mayor Bill de Blasio speaking at Bethany Baptist Church this morning.
Mayor Bill de Blasio speaking at Bethany Baptist Church this morning.

Mayor Bill de Blasio, in a rare display of anger, today railed against Albany lawmakers, slamming Senate co-leader Dean Skelos for refusing to bring to vote the mayor’s signature plan to tax the rich to fund universal pre-k and sounding a call to clergy leaders to mobilize on its behalf.

“The gauntlet’s been thrown in Albany. We will respond,” the mayor told religious leaders and elected officials gathered at the Bethany Baptist Church in Brooklyn, at a breakfast organized by the Rev. Al Sharpton to support the universal pre-K funding plan. Continue reading “De Blasio Calls Clergy to Action on Pre-K Tax Plan”

Andrew Cuomo Discusses Albany Corruption and Witches

Witches. (Photo: Getty)
Witches. (Photo: Getty)

Governor Andrew Cuomo and one of the state’s top legislative leaders don’t exactly see eye-to-eye on corruption metaphors.

Dean Skelos, the head of the State Senate’s Republican caucus expressed concerns yesterday that Mr. Cuomo’s recently-launched Moreland Commission, which will go after corruption in Albany, would amount to a “witch hunt” against sitting lawmakers. But asked about Mr. Skelos’s phrasing today, Mr. Cuomo questioned its applicability.

Continue reading “Andrew Cuomo Discusses Albany Corruption and Witches”

Cuomo Proposes Fix to the ‘Truly Ugly Picture of Our Political Landscape’

Governor Cuomo speaking at the press conference.
Governor Cuomo speaking at the press conference.

After a series of New York officials were arrested and charged with corruption last week, Governor Andrew Cuomo says he has the solution–or at least the first step. Accordingly, at press conference earlier this afternoon, Mr. Cuomo unveiled a legislative package aimed at curbing the problem.

“Over the past few days, there have been several charges brought against public officials; they span city and state government,” he began. “And they paint a truly ugly picture of our political landscape. I’d like to say that this is an unprecedented situation, that public corruption is a new problem. But it isn’t and, in many ways, that’s what makes it worse.”

Continue reading “Cuomo Proposes Fix to the ‘Truly Ugly Picture of Our Political Landscape’”

Multiple New Marijuana Proposals Waft Towards Albany

Seattle resident displaying a bag of marijuana shortly after a lew legalizing recreational use of the drug took effect in Washington State last month. (Photo: Getty)
Seattle resident displaying a bag of marijuana shortly after a lew legalizing recreational use of the drug took effect in Washington State last month. (Photo: Getty)

While a growing number of states have been legalizing medical and even recreational use of marijuana, the popular plant remains illegal in New York. However, an upcoming pair of new medical marijuana bills in the Legislature and Governor Andrew Cuomo’s proposal to decriminalize possession of small amounts of the drug may signal the Empire State is on its way to looser marijuana regulations.  Continue reading “Multiple New Marijuana Proposals Waft Towards Albany”

Dean Skelos Responds to Cuomo’s State of the State

(Photo: Facebook)
(Photo: Facebook)

As liberals rejoiced over the parts of Governor Andrew Cuomo’s State of the State address that promised tougher gun laws and campaign finance reform, the State Senate’s Republican Leader Dean Skelos released a video hinting at a legislative battle to come when he said he would not support the public financing of campaigns.

“I do not support taxpayer dollars to fund political campaigns,” Mr. Skelos said after explaining that Republicans did back increasing “transparency” and “accountability” in the campaign process. “If the public campaign finance system in New York City was applied statewide and to legislative campaigns, it would cost taxpayers more than 200 million dollars. That’s money that would be much better spent on property tax relief or investing more money in rural upstate school districts and underperforming school districts around the state.”

Continue reading “Dean Skelos Responds to Cuomo’s State of the State”

Governor Cuomo Warns State Senate Coalition

Governor Andrew Cuomo threw down the gauntlet on the new State Senate leadership coalition between the Republicans and the breakaway Independent Democratic Conference with a stern warning for them to support all of his agenda items that he has declared his “litmus test” for the group on Fred Dicker’s radio show this morning. Mr. Cuomo drew his line in the sand when the host asked about indications the new coalition might be hesitant to back all of the agenda items on the governor’s list. Mr. Cuomo, who has taken some heat from progressives for not doing more to oppose the coalition and back Democratic control of the Senate chamber, made it clear his tolerance for the group will cease if they don’t pass his test.

“If that’s true, then we’re going to have a problem Fred and we’re going to have a problem sooner rather than later,” said the governor. Continue reading “Governor Cuomo Warns State Senate Coalition”