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
New York’s top court on Thursday upheld tougher rules for testing race horses for illegal substances, allowing the state’s Racing and Wagering Board to conduct tests "off track."
The Court of Appeals, in a 6-0 decision, rejected a claim by some harness-racing horse owners that inspectors should only be able to test horses at tracks and near the day of competition. The horse owners claimed...Read more »
ALBANY -- Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo on Wednesday said the state plans to ban the drilling of natural gas upstate after a four-year review by his staff determined it would threaten public health and yield far fewer jobs than projected.
State Health Commissioner Howard Zucker said there is no solid scientific basis to show that hydrofracturing drilling, known as fracking, is safe. He said the little...Read more »
A day before Nassau Legis. David Denenberg appeared in federal court Dec. 11 to answer charges of mail fraud, the Merrick Democrat sent out a county-paid mailing announcing a series of workshops he was hosting to teach constituents how to protest their property tax assessments — including four dates after he is supposed to enter a guilty plea next month.
U.S. District Court Judge Joanna Seybert...Read more »
(Updates with comment by a casino bidder and credit line)
ALBANY _ New York’s Southern Tier which has struggled with one of the state’s most sluggish economies for years lost out Wednesday on both a bid for a casino and in fracking.
A state commission rejected a bid by Tioga Downs race track west of Binghamton for a casino, opting instead to locate a casino in Seneca County in the Finger...Read more »
New York State could save $20 billion annually through a single-payer health care system that would provide coverage for all residents no matter their ability to pay, said State Assembly Health Committee Chairman Richard Gottfried Wednesday at a news conference in Mineola.
Gottfried (D-Manhattan) was joined by labor leaders, church officials and health care professionals for the fifth of six...Read more »
Two huge upstate decisions could be handed down by the Cuomo administration Wednesday: casinos and natural gas drilling.
A gambling panel is slated to announce up to four sites for upstate casinos; the panel’s meeting is set for 2 p.m. at the Empire State Plaza in Albany.
Separately, Cuomo has scheduled a late-morning cabinet meeting where he has promised an update in his review of a...Read more »
A slated deposition by Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver in a federal sexual harassment lawsuit filed against former Assemb. Vito Lopez has been postponed, sparking the prospect of a pending settlement.
Silver (D-Manhattan) was scheduled to be deposed Wednesday, said Kevin Mintzer, the lawyer for onetime Lopez staffers Victoria Burhans and Chloe Rivera. But that’s been put on hold, said Mintzer,...Read more »
ALBANY _ Taxpayers spent millions of dollars in November to defend the Assembly in sexual harassment cases, to fight subpoenas so lawmakers could keep details of their outside jobs secret, and to implement the Common Core in public schools, according to a report released Tuesday.
State Comptroller Thomas DiNapoli approved more than 2,000 contracts in November valued at $2.1 billion, including:
*...Read more »
New York’s top court has ordered a new hearing for a man convicted of rape and murder in Manhattan in 1980, citing potential DNA evidence.
In a 6-0 ruling, the Court of Appeals said a midlevel court “abused its discretion” by not allowing Clifford Jones a chance to present new evidence that could clear him. The decision means Jones will be allowed to present the evidence at a trial court.
Jones...Read more »
The Public Employees Federation endorsed insurgent Zephyr Teachout in September’s Democratic gubernatorial primary. Now, Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo apparently is taking at whack at PEF membership, according to the union’s website.
PEF, a 50,000-member union that represents the state’s white-collar workforce, said the Cuomo administration has sent notices to nearly 1,000 of its members saying it...Read more »