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Long IslandColumnistsDan Janison

New York 2016 election may have 3 primary days again

New York Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo speaks to

New York Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo speaks to labor leaders and union workers at a rally in Union Square on May 7, 2015, in New York City. Photo Credit: Getty Images / Spencer Platt

For the moment, the odds look long on a move to combine at least two of next year's statewide voting dates into one.

State election board members Andrew Spano and Douglas Kellner last week called on Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo and state lawmakers to schedule the presidential primary and congressional primaries on the same date.

The presidential primary is expected to be April 26. The federal primary, involving congressional seats, is expected to be June 28.

Combining these events could save about $50 million and enhance voter participation, Spano and Kellner, both Democrats, said in a statement.

Since the major parties jointly control the election process, it takes the GOP to agree to any changes, which have yet to be negotiated.

Then there's the matter of primaries for state and local offices, slated for September. Twice since 2012, congressional party primaries, which used to be held the same day in September, took place in June as the Assembly's Democratic majority and the Senate's Republican majority failed to agree on a date. The GOP wanted both in August; the Democrats, both in June.

So barring an accord among new Assembly Speaker Carl Heastie (D-Bronx), new Senate Majority Leader John Flanagan (R-East Northport) and other party bigs, it seems likely there will be three primary days in 2016, as in 2012 -- presidential, congressional, state-local.

BUS BLUEPRINT: The chairman and CEO of Uniondale-based RXR Realty, Scott Rechler, has served since 2011 as vice chairman of the bi-state Port Authority. In a recent appearance before a New York City civic group, Rechler, who has been a frequent adviser to Cuomo, drew attention for suggesting that the needs of regional transit merit a change in toll structures and methods.

Rechler made another newsworthy suggestion. Rather than invest an estimated $9 billion to revamp the Port Authority Bus Terminal in Manhattan, he said, perhaps a new bus facility should go in New Jersey, which could prove way less expensive. Buses there could hook up with existing rail lines to the city or a proposed new Hudson River tunnel. Rechler said it's at least worth considering.

PUMPING UP TRUMP: Partners in the Garden City law and consulting firm of Bradley Gerstman, David Schwartz and Bob Malito are touting "an historic announcement" from their client Donald Trump a week from tomorrow at the Trump Tower in Manhattan.

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