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An unconventional united front against Cuomo
Here’s one more indicator of the hostility between the State Legislature and Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo because he thwarted the plan to get them a pay raise.
Traditionally, the Senate and Assembly each write their own budgets and then work with the governor to develop a final plan. Members of both chambers are now talking about doing a single budget to present a united front against the governor.
State lawmakers, however, admit such a bill is a long shot given huge disagreements between the two chambers on issues like the millionaire’s tax (Assembly) and school aid (Senate). But it’s not the only expression of their seething discontent.
Another topic of conversation: making sure the spending plan is approved after deadline so Cuomo cannot claim to have produced another on-time budget. As for Cuomo’s proposal that the executive branch be allowed to make mid-year changes to the budget without legislative approval, one lawmaker said simply, “It’s dead on arrival.”
Candidate elected at 18 moving on up
Nassau County Democrats are looking to capitalize on Republican scandals in the county and the Town of Oyster Bay, including seeking control of the 19-seat county legislature. That means picking up three seats and holding the seven they have.
For one of those pick-up attempts, Nassau Democratic Party leader Jay Jacobs has recruited a candidate with a high-profile and an unusual story. Joshua Lafazan, elected to the Syosset school board in 2012 as an 18-year-old and re-elected last year, is going after two-term Republican Legis. Donald MacKenzie in the North Shore’s 18th District.
Lafazan graduated from Cornell University last year and will complete a master’s degree in education from Harvard University this fall.
Jacobs thinks the seat is ripe for the taking because of discontent among Republican voters, citing MacKenzie’s slim 400-vote win over unknown optometrist Dean Hart in 2015. MacKenzie doesn’t see it that way, according to his bio on the Nassau County website.
He calls his 52 percent-to-48 percent win in 2015 a “wide margin.”
An ax to grind
How your reps scored
The New York League of Conservation Voters has released its annual environmental scorecard, and once again it tells a tale of two parties.
The scorecard for 2016, which covers 17 votes in the U.S. Senate and 38 in the House of Representatives, gives House Republicans an average score of 5 percent and Democrats an average of 94 percent. Some GOP members from New York scored better than their party’s average, but none scored higher than 47. But 15 of the state’s 18 Democrats scored 95 or higher, helping New York finish in ninth place in the state standings.
Here’s the Long Island tally:
Steve Israel (now retired): 100
Gregory Meeks: 92
Kathleen Rice: 89
Peter King: 13
Lee Zeldin: 8
Senate scores were 14 for Republicans and 95 for Democrats. Both New York senators, Chuck Schumer and Kirsten Gillibrand, scored 100.