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Opinion

Opting in and out

Good afternoon and welcome to The Point!

Daily Point

It’s 3 p.m. Do you know where your state budget is?

In theory, Wednesday night is the deadline to work out the final pieces of the deal so the State Legislature and the governor can meet the April 1 deadline. So, with just a few hours left on the shot clock, the latest from Albany is that the chaos is on schedule.

Sticking points: For “raise the age,” there’s no resolution of whether family court or adult court or a hybrid will the jurisdiction for certain 16- and 17-year-olds in some violent felonies; the State Senate is still trying to get more money for K-12 education; and the Assembly wants a lower cap on charter schools.

Rita Ciolli

Talking Point

The Long Island Wives Club

Here’s much of what you need to know about family-centric Long Island politics in one handy web:

State Sen. Phil Boyle is an 18-year Albany veteran whose major party line is Republican, but whose roots are deeper in the Conservative Party. He is now that party’s named favorite in the race for Suffolk County sheriff after party leaders abandoned their standard bearer, incumbent Vincent DeMarco, whom they blame for bringing down Edward Walsh, the Suffolk party chairman.

If Boyle should win in November, for about two months he will be a state senator preparing to become sheriff and take over the county jail.

In that suspended time zone, he would simultaneously employ:

-- Patricia Walsh, the wife of Edward, who awaits sentencing in federal court for theft of government funds. Patricia Walsh is an $80,000-a-year aide in Boyle’s Senate office.

-- Claudia Tantone, Boyle’s $60,000-a-year chief of staff and the wife of former Islip Republican Party chairman Frank Tantone.

-- And at the jail, Kristin MacKay, the $100,000-a-year public relations head for the sheriff’s office and the wife of state Independence Party chairman Frank MacKay.

The not-so-secret wives club of Long Island.

Lane Filler

Pencil Point

It’s opt-out season again

So little has progressed on this issue that I was able to opt out of drawing a new cartoon. Here’s what we ran in Newsday on April 16, 2015.

Matt Davies

See more Davies cartoons

Pointing Out

MTA’s rat race

Rats love the New York City subway system, and they love trash.

In 2011, the MTA made a counterintuitive attempt to clean things up by removing garbage cans from a few stations. The theory was that people would treat the system like a national park and carry out their trash. And less trash underground would mean fewer of our rodent friends.

That pilot program has ended, longtime critic of the garbage initiative state Comptroller Thomas DiNapoli said on Tuesday. In its place? More straightforward cleaning methods like track vacuums. Not that any method has ever succeeded in really banishing litter and rats.

This might be the only edge the Long Island Rail Road has on the subway. MTA spokeswoman Beth DeFalco says the Long Island system hasn’t seen the same issues with trash, and there was no similar pilot program at LIRR stations.

So when you are stuck in the cold waiting for the 8:05, you are alone. The rats have greener pastures.

Mark Chiusano

Columns