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Senate GOP standing alone
The multiyear push to allow child victims of sexual abuse more time to file civil claims against their predators and the institutions that shielded them is now further along than ever with legislation introduced Wednesday by Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo.
Now, the coalition of victims groups, the governor, the Assembly, Senate Democrats and the Senate Independent Democratic Conference that shares power with the GOP are all finally on the same page.
But Senate Republicans are key and there is little enthusiasm on that side of the aisle because of a provision that would allow a one-year look back on claims that would be barred by the existing statute of limitations. The bill would create a five-member commission to weed out frivolous claims, but as of now the Catholic Church, the Boy Scouts and the politically powerful Hasidic Jewish community oppose the look-back clause.
Supporters of the measure hope that in the final days of legislative negotiations, Cuomo can use his leverage to get the GOP on board. But there’s a growing sense there is nothing Republicans, as well as Sen. Simcha Felder, the Brooklyn Democrat who caucuses with them, want badly enough to make them abandon their core supporters.
Candidate for sheriff wants to leave town
Republican colleagues of State Sen. Phil Boyle are a little antsy about his run for Suffolk County sheriff this fall, preferring not to have to defend another seat in 2018 as they struggle to keep control of the chamber. The Senate majority relies on all of its red seats and the support of the Independent Democratic Conference.
Publicly, they’re mostly staying quiet, but on Tuesday night there were murmurs of “Sheriff Boyle” in Albany. David Lombardo, a reporter for NY State Watch, tweeted that he heard the remarks on the floor while the chamber considered a bill Boyle was sponsoring.
Boyle told The Point that he doesn’t know whether his Republican colleagues support his run, and we’d “have to ask them.” So, we did.
Scott Reif, Majority Leader John Flanagan’s director of communications, said Boyle is a “valuable member of the Senate Republican conference,” and that Flanagan wishes him well in the sheriff run. But that’s not a ringing endorsement, and no other Republican state senator from Long Island returned multiple requests for comment.
While Reif was confident that Senate Republicans would retain and grow their majority regardless of Boyle’s run, Republicans in the State Assembly were just as confident that they would hold on to the 9th District seat last month, a small part of which is in Boyle’s district. Instead, Christine Pellegrino, a longtime schoolteacher from West Islip, became the first Democrat to win that seat.
A bubble for your thoughts
What’s worse than falling off a horse, being burned at the stake or sailing in turbulent seas? Commuting on the Long Island Rail Road. And that’s been the prevailing sentiment for a long time.
On Nov. 30, 1971, Newsday editorial cartoonist Tom Darcy taunted readers to fill in the thought bubbles of these harrowing scenes with the phrase “Only the LIRR is worse than this!”
This cartoon followed the paper’s Nov. 29 cover story profile of the difficult daily grind of one commuter, chronicling frustrations like late, short and outdated trains. Sound familiar, commuters?
Nearly 46 years later and with a difficult summer ahead, commuters seem to be aggravated just as much.
Gang logo influenced operation name
In Thursday’s Point, we questioned the name of U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s New York-area MS-13 initiative, called Operation Matador.
After our deadline, ICE spokeswoman Rachael Yong Yow got to the bottom of the naming process and provided an alternate take: Angel M. Melendez, special agent in charge of Homeland Security Investigations New York, chose the name “because the MS-13 symbol is bull horns. A matador is a bullfighter and it takes several swords to slay the bull. (Joint effort).”
Now you know.