Good afternoon and welcome to The Point!
And the winners are ...
Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo’s version of the Academy Awards returns to Albany on Thursday with the unveiling of the winners of this year’s regional economic development council competition. At stake is $750 million in state funding and tax credits.
The money is usually spread out among 10 regional councils. And this might not be Long Island’s year. After all, Long Island is one of the competition’s stars, named a top performer and big regional winner in four of the competition’s five years. The region has won $425 million in grants and credits altogether. By comparison, New York City has won just $320 million over the same five contests — and has never been named one of the state’s top performers.
Will New York City be one of this year’s big winners? If it is, the city’s priority projects that could benefit include a shuttle bus service to connect the Brooklyn Navy Yard with public transit, a manufacturing and design center in Long Island City, and new workforce development efforts across the city.
On Long Island, meanwhile, officials are seeking funds for the Nassau Hub, Wyandanch Rising, biotechnology manufacturing facilities at Farmingdale State College, Luminati Aerospace’s planned expansion at Calverton, an expansion of Winthrop University Hospital’s family care center in Hempstead, and a cancer center at Southampton Hospital, among other projects.
Come Thursday, we'll see who gets bragging rights for being at the top of the list — and who doesn’t.
Randi F. Marshall
Point of No Return?
Take it to the limit
There is little indication that a special session of the State Legislature will come together by the end of the year to increase lawmakers’ salaries in return for some big changes that would alter the culture of Albany. While the Senate leadership opposes limits on outside income, concern in the Assembly is about keeping jobs.
Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo’s proposal to raise legislators’ pay in exchange for limiting lawmakers to two four-year terms is most vocally opposed by Assembly Speaker Carl Heastie -- and the raw numbers show why.
In the Assembly, 50 of the 105 Democratic members were elected in 2008 or earlier. So, if legislators were limited to serving eight years, those 50 would have been ineligible to run in last month’s election. The same is true for 17 of the 43 Republican Assembly members and the one independent, Fred Thiele. (There are 150 members, including one Conservative, Angela Wozniak of Erie County,who was elected in 2014.)
In the State Senate, 30 of 63 state senators have completed eight years in office. Those 30 include 15 Republicans, 12 Democrats and three members of the Independent Democratic Conference.
So, 48 percent of the Senate and 45 percent of the Assembly would have been ineligible to run for re-election in 2016 if eight-year term limits were in place. And 48 percent of the Assembly Democratic majority would have faced the same term-limited end.
Remembering Pearl Harbor
Trump points to Newsday clip in Time profile
When Newsday’s editorial board conducted a telephone interview with Donald Trump before April’s New York presidential primary, Trump led things off by bantering that he loved Newsday, and is a subscriber. “I see it — every morning I see it,” he said. “They deliver to Trump Tower, so I get it with the others and I like it.”
We assumed he might be telling us what we wanted to hear, as when he told us that his divisive rhetoric (what he called his “tough tone”) would be a thing of the past as the primary season came to a close.
It continued unabated, and he won.
But it seems Trump was telling the truth about his Newsday habit. Time magazine’s Person of the Year article about Trump, published Wednesday, describes the president-elect excusing himself during an exchange with a Time reporter to find that morning’s copy of Newsday in order to prove a point:
The front-page headline reads, ‘EXTREMELY VIOLENT’ GANG FACTION, with an article about a surge of local crime by foreign-born assailants.
“They come from Central America. They’re tougher than any people you’ve ever met,” Trump says. “They’re killing and raping everybody out there. They’re illegal. And they are finished.”
Trump appears to slide Newsday’s Brentwood story cleanly and without complication into his worldview, summarizing it in stark, hyperbolic terms.
Time will tell if Trump continues being shaped by his New York-centric worldview and reading habits when he arrives in the White House.