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A road to new infrastructure
Democrats in the U.S. Senate led by New York’s Chuck Schumer unveiled a $1 trillion infrastructure plan for roads, bridges, rail, broadband and the like on Tuesday. The proposal included $70 billion to modernize the nation’s ports, airports and waterways — and that could have a significant impact for Long Island.
Insiders say Schumer, now the No. 1 Democrat in Washington, could push for funding to turn the dream of a new terminal at Long Island MacArthur Airport into reality.
The airport has received commitments for $32 million toward faster connections and a new customs facility, money that could be a down payment on a new terminal on the airport’s north side.
A federal infrastructure program — a concept strongly supported by President Donald Trump, who is likely to want to take care of his home state — could be the vehicle to raise the rest.
Schumer has been an effective and longtime supporter of MacArthur. And those in the know tell The Point it is telling that his news conference earlier this month about infrastructure spending was held at the Ronkonkoma train station, directly across the tracks from where a new terminal might be positioned.
Bill is back
Legislators in Albany have introduced a Medical Aid in Dying Act for the second year in a row — but its chances appear tougher than last year, when neither the Assembly nor the Senate voted on the bill.
In 2016, the legislation had a Republican sponsor in the Senate, Sen. John Bonacic. This year, he declined to sign on for reasons he hasn’t stated publicly. Instead, Sen. Diane Savino of the Independent Democratic Conference, which caucuses with Republicans, is sponsoring the measure in the Senate. Democrats Amy Paulin and Richard Gottfried are carrying the bill in the Assembly.
The legislation would make it easier for terminally ill New York patients to get fatal doses of drugs from their doctors. The Catholic Church and disability rights organizations oppose it. Former state Attorney General Dennis Vacco is leading the opposition on talk shows and elsewhere.
Steve Greenberg, the New York lobbyist for Compassion & Choices, a nonprofit organization involved in end-of-life issues, is taking the setback philosophically. “It’s an education process, and this is a very difficult issue,” he told The Point. “Nobody wants to talk about death.”
LaGuardia takes off
The editorial board is meeting with LaGuardia Gateway Partners Tuesday afternoon to discuss the $4 billion makeover underway at the airport.
What has been your experience with the renovations? Click here to tell us what you think and to see what other readers have shared about the construction. Check back Wednesday to hear some of what we learned at the meeting.
All politics is dramatic
The Academy Award nominations announced Tuesday, in which a certain musical tied two other best picture movies for the record for most nominations, can be seen as a parable of our political times: With so many voters still in a daze from the election (“La La Land”), convinced that the country is headed for disaster (“Titanic”), everyone is heeding the immortal advice of Bette Davis, “Fasten your seat belts, it’s going to be a bumpy night” (“All About Eve”).