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
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 »
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 »
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 »