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Extra innings in Albany
The State Legislature, which can’t seem to make a deal on the budget, will go into extra innings Monday and vote on an “extender” bill to keep the government operating until May.
That doesn’t mean Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo isn’t still trying to close the deal. As talks continue on the full package, there are a lot of bad feelings in Albany, but still some hope that exhaustion and the desire to get this off their plate — plus the governor refusing to allow legislators to get paid — will bring about last-minute clarity of mind for lawmakers.
If they can’t get the budget passed by Wednesday, the last day before the Easter break, however, it might take a while, The Point is told.
If you want to find the sticking points, take a deep dive into the more than 1,700 pages of the temporary budget being voted on. If they’re in the extender bills, then there already is agreement on such issues as funding for clean water, a key Long Island matter — $2.5 billion total, at least $75 million of which is designated for septic replacements. Not in any extenders so far: “raise the age,” free public college tuition, and 421a, the tax break for developers.
Striking out on Twitter
@realDonaldTrump’s tweets were zany as usual this weekend, from one missive blasting the “failing @nytimes” to another urging someone, perhaps his followers, to “find the leakers.”
It was business as usual for President Donald Trump, who has often spoken about the power of his social media reach, which enables him to communicate with 27.3 million followers on his personal Twitter account. Despite Trump’s Twitter lies and fights, perhaps the public is getting used to this 21st century version of the fireside chat.
Yet, his Twitter use still can be bizarre. On Monday morning, his tweets about Hillary Clinton receiving questions before a CNN campaign debate were soon followed by the breaking news of an explosion in the St. Petersburg subway system while President Vladimir Putin was visiting the Russian city.
Instead of ceasing unrelated Twitter activity given the gravity of the incident — potential links to terrorism and the chance of signs of danger for the United States — Trump continued with his latest beefs: “@FoxNews from multiple sources: ‘There was electronic surveillance of Trump, and people close to Trump. This is unprecedented.’ @FBI”
Also unprecedented: a public view into the preoccupations and priorities of a president even during times of international crisis.
- A federal judge in Kentucky allowed a lawsuit to go forward that accuses President Donald Trump of inciting violence against protesters when he said, “Get ’em out of here!” at a 2016 campaign stop. In other words, yes, Trump’s words should be taken literally.
- For anyone debating whether wearing a helmet will make girls lacrosse players compete more violently: Requiring seat belt use didn’t make anyone drive crazier, it made them safer.
- President Donald Trump tweeted that anyone who thinks health care reform is dead “does not know the love and strength” in the Republican Party. But people do know the rancor and division.
- At least three new ad campaigns against House Speaker Paul Ryan’s border adjustment tax have started, funded by conservative groups. Good to see tax reform is going to be easier than health care.
- Ethics experts say Jared Kushner’s continued business holdings pose potentials conflicts that mean the White House senior adviser should refrain from dealing with Russia, China, real estate, banks and tax reform, among others. Lichtenstein is OK, though.
- Fox News host Bill O’Reilly says his high-profile job leaves him vulnerable to lawsuits, at least five of which have resulted in $13 million in payments to settle charges of sexual harassment and inappropriate behavior. His actions apparently had nothing to do with it.
- New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio wants to close Rikers Island, Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo wants to close out budget negotiations, and President Donald Trump wants to close a deal, any deal. Whom would you bet on?
- A noted sports economist says the new Nassau Coliseum will be a “nice thing to have in your neighborhood, but it’s not going to drive the local economy.” Sounds like a Dairy Queen.