Gov. Andrew Cuomo presents his budget message at St. Joseph's...

Gov. Andrew Cuomo presents his budget message at St. Joseph's College's McGann Conference Center. (Feb. 23, 2011) Credit: Charles Eckert

At least this state budget process has begun differently than any other - even if the details have yet to be parsed.

Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo's Medicaid revision team included the interested parties, and it voted last week to back 79 recommendations aimed at curbing program costs. So, unions and hospitals are expected to forgo critical TV ad blitzes. That suggests less pressure on - or less support for - any effort by Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver (D-Manhattan) or Senate Majority Leader Dean Skelos (R-Rockville Centre) to make massive restorations.

Beware, though. Health care funding is complex, and deal-breakers may lurk.


KUMAR CLASH: Last week's removal by the Independence Party of Nassau chairman Bobby Kumar's power to cross-endorse candidates looked like a win for local Democratic chairman Jay Jacobs, who's clashed with Kumar, and a loss for GOP chairman Joseph Mondello. The internal fight may be headed for litigation. The minor party's state and Suffolk chairman, Frank MacKay, considers the Nassau chairmanship officially vacant, but Kumar asserted Friday: "I am the elected chairman of a constituted county committee." He said if MacKay's state committee does not accept his paperwork to that effect, "a court will decide."


IT TAKES VILLAGES:Matthew Weiss, Advocacy Group candidate for East Hills mayor, obtained village billings from the firm Rivkin Radler through a freedom-of-information request that show incumbent Michael Koblenz' son Adam billed for village work while employed by the firm ... Meanwhile, Mayor Koblenz, running with the Unity Party, said that, through the village's efforts, property on Northern Boulevard was sold for commercial development, and won't be a Lowe's Home Center, a plan that aroused community concern ... Expect some fireworks in nearby Roslyn Estates between Mayor Susan Ben-Moshe on the Evergreen Party ticket and TeamVisionRE challenger Jeffrey Schwartzberg.


SARAH AND THOSE SHOES:Long Island Association president Kevin Law said Friday that yes, he did notice the snazzy leopard-print heels worn by Sarah Palin, whom he interviewed on stage for an hour at the organization's luncheon. But that was only after he heard a guest at the private reception tell Palin: "I love your shoes!"

Law's opinion? "I thought they were pretty neat," he said. "As for whether they're presidential, I'll leave that to the fashion gurus."

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