News, views and commentary on Long Island, state and national politics
BloggersDan Janison Rick Brand Tom Brune Robert Brodsky Paul LaRocco Yancey Roy Celeste Hadrick
A Suffolk County bill that would raise the age to purchase tobacco products from 19 to 21 cleared a legislative committee Thursday on a split vote, leading up to a decisive vote at the Suffolk Legislature on Tuesday.
Opponents and advocates debated the proper role of government, particularly in regulating those over 18.
The bill’s sponsor, Legis. William Spencer (D-Centerport), said...Read more »
ALBANY -- Senate Republicans seek $217 million more in school aid in the 2014-15 state budget while Assembly Democrats seek $400 million more than the increase proposed by Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo.
Traditionally the legislature increases a governor's school aid proposal, especially in an election year.
Cuomo has committed the state to increases of about 4 percent in school aid. That’s far...Read more »
ALBANY - Good-government advocates and Democratic lawmakers cheered the inclusion of a mention of public financing for campaigns in the state Senate’s budget proposal Thursday.
But in writing, it turned out to be only that: just a mention.
The budget proposal states that “the Senate proposes to modify” Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo’s campaign finance proposals and then appears to list the elements...Read more »
ALBANY -- The State Senate's majority coalition Thursday proposed fully funding an expansion of prekindergarten in New York City for five years, legislators and staffers said Thursday.
The measure was among the budget priorities of the bipartisan Senate majority coalition. Advocates of prekindergarten statewide claimed an early victory, although negotiations on a final state budget have just...Read more »
ALBANY -- Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo and Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver squared off Thursday over whether charter schools should receive free classroom space within traditional public schools.
"They feel they are in jeopardy," said Cuomo of charter schools statewide. He said the need to help charter schools flourish will be the most contentious and important education issue in the 2014-15 state...Read more »
Backers of congressional candidate Bruce Blakeman are trying to make it very difficult for his potential primary opponent to get a coveted minor party line.
Executive leaders of Nassau’s GOP Committee – which endorsed the Republican Blakeman to succeed Carolyn McCarthy in the 4th District – recently received a memo asking them to seek the same ballot petitioning signatures that Republican...Read more »
Westchester County Executive and likely Republican gubernatorial candidate Rob Astorino will be a featured guest speaker Friday night at a Nassau GOP “Inaugural Ball,” honoring last year’s reelection of County Executive Edward Mangano.
The annual $500-per-plate fundraiser at the Crest Hollow Country Club in Woodbury is hosted by the Nassau County Republican Committee and is closed to the press,...Read more »
ALBANY -- The state Assembly's Democratic majority Wednesday gave its critical support to cut a "temporary" state utility tax paid by families and businesses which had been extended to balance state budgets.
The Assembly will propose an end to the Temporary State Energy and Utility Service Conservation Assessment, known as "18a" for its provision in law. The tax is next scheduled to expire...Read more »
ALBANY — New York's state budget process was off to a rocky start this week as the Senate's bipartisan majority stalled when it came to putting dollars to priorities that divide the coalition.
The Senate's Republicans and the Independent Democratic Conference, which shares majority control of the chamber, struggled to agree on a combined budget proposal. Sticking points include the proposed...Read more »
Brookhaven’s Republican Receiver of Taxes Louis Marcoccia has become the first person to formally declare as a candidate for Suffolk comptroller, even though the job may go out of existence by the year’s end.
Marcoccia, 64, of East Setauket, disclosed his candidacy in letters Tuesday to Brookhaven GOP chairman Jesse Garcia and Suffolk Republican chairman John Jay LaValle. Several other...Read more »