On the 10th anniversary of New York City banning smoking in bars and restaurants, Mayor Michael Bloomberg rebuffed any claims that his controversial public health policies violate the underpinnings of American capitalism.
“We interfere with free enterprise all the time,” Mr. Bloomberg said this morning at a press conference commemorating the Smoke-Free Air Act. “We set minimum prices and sizes on lots of things. … Most of the cost of cigarettes is in taxes and they’re taxes that are enacted by Albany. So if you don’t like that, my suggestion is you go up to Albany and ask them why they’re taxing cigarettes. I happen to think it’s a great idea because it saves kids’s lives, so maybe you want to also talk to the parents of the kids and say, ‘We’re gonna try to stop this and have them smoke and they’ll die.’”
On The Capitol Pressroom this morning, the host, Susan Arbetter, pressed Governor Andrew Cuomo on whether he values the end product of legislation is more important than having a democratic and open process when passing it. Mr. Cuomo, who worked with the Legislature to pass a massive set of bills while you were probably asleep last night, said he wasn’t especially worried about the issue.
“The issue of transparency always comes up in Albany,” Mr. Cuomo admitted. ”It’s true, you can always have more transparency. On the other hand, I think you can become overly fixated with observing … process with no product.”
Albany garage sale
Earlier this afternoon, Governor Andrew Cuomo announced he’s going to be selling New York State’s old stuff on eBay, to the excitement of whomever is interested in the state government’s old office supplies, furniture, and highway equipment.
Why is New York State selling its old stuff? Is New York State moving out of its old dusty Albany apartment to a new loft in Williamsburg?
Probably not, it seems.
In his statement, Mr. Cuomo said the government is selling “unneeded equipment and supplies” in order to “reduce operating costs and cut back on excess spending and inventory.”