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
Owen Johnson, the longest-tenured state senator in Long Island history, who helped form a powerhouse Republican core in the chamber for decades, has died, Senate officials said.
Johnson, 85, of West Babylon, represented a Babylon-Islip district from 1973-2012 as one of the "Long Island Nine," a moniker for the all-Republican Long Island delegation that had powerful influence over state spending...Read more »
Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo has until Dec. 29 to sign or veto a bill that orders the state Department of Environmental Conservation to outline a plan to contain a toxic waste site in Bethpage.
The site has contaminated underground plumes traced to aircraft manufacturing operations by the U.S. Navy and Grumman Aircraft Engineering Corp., now Northrop Grumman.
DEC has issued a cleanup plan for...Read more »
Add Sen.-elect Michael Venditto to list of those opposing the idea of giving the Freeport Armory to a church-affiliated nonprofit for $1.
Venditto, a Republican who takes office on New Year’s Day, has written a letter to Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo asking him to veto a bill backed by Assemb. Earlene Hooper (D-Hempstead) to transfer the property to Cedarmore Corp., a nonprofit affiliated with Zion...Read more »
With the State Legislature set to convene the first week of January, it’s still unclear if Senate co-leaders Dean Skelos (R-Rockville Centre) and Jeff Klein (D-Bronx) will remain, in fact, joint leaders.
After Republicans won an outright Senate majority last month, Skelos doesn’t need Klein and his band of five renegade Democrats to be elected leader. But both men have said they...Read more »
ALBANY -- Freeport Mayor Robert T. Kennedy left his home at 5 a.m. Friday to rush to the State Capitol to deliver petitions and letters carrying about 1,000 signatures opposing the transfer of the local armory to a church-affiliated nonprofit.
With Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo facing a Dec. 30 deadline to sign or veto a bill allowing the transfer, Kennedy wanted to make clear that he and many others...Read more »
Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo will deliver his second inauguration address at the World Trade Center site on New Year’s Day, an administration source said.
Cuomo, a Democrat, will be sworn-in for his second term the night before in Albany, after hosting a public open house at the executive mansion.
He then will go to Manhattan on New Year’s Day to give an inaugural speech. He will follow that...Read more »
Suffolk County’s new area code will be 934, the state announced Friday. The area code will apply to new telephone numbers issued beginning in the second half of 2016, the Public Service Commission said.
Earlier this year, the PSC said the 631 area code currently used for Suffolk will be out of available numbers in 2016, sparking the need for an additional code.
Notably, when the new...Read more »
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 »
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 »