First Read 12/2/2019

December 02, 2019
Latest News
After Assemblyman Robin Schimminger recently said he will retire upon completing his 22nd term in 2020, Erie County Democratic Committee Chairman Jeremy Zellner is emerging as the party favorite for the 140th District seat.
The New York State Rifle and Pistol Association will be before the U.S. Supreme Court on Monday arguing one of the few gun cases to come before the court in nearly a decade, a potential test on how the court might rule on other Second Amendment issues.
New York City Housing Authority General Manager Vito Mustaciuolo, who is supposed to be tackling NYCHA’s lead crisis, failed to protect the city’s private buildings from the toxic substance in his previous gig with the city Department of Housing Preservation and Development.
Some lawmakers are proposing to equip state troopers with body cameras in New York, one of the few states where the primary law enforcement agency doesn’t have body or dashboard cameras already.
State Sen. George Amedore, who first took office in 2015, will not seek reelection in 2020, the latest in a string of Republicans leaving the chamber after losing the majority in 2018.
New York City’s top legal defense organizations want state lawmakers and Cuomo to keep criminal justice reforms at the top of their to-do list, calling on them to legalize marijuana and build on the sweeping changes enacted earlier this year.
State Comptroller Thomas DiNapoli wants Gov. Andrew Cuomo to quickly provide more information about potential cuts to the Medicaid program, which the governor’s office recently put on the table to deal with a $4 billion cost overrun.
New York City Police Department Commissioner Dermot Shea, who was sworn in Saturday, asked cops to turn their focus toward crime prevention in a departmentwide email.
The recommendations from the state campaign finance commission has set the stage for yet another December filled with hypothesizing about the prospects for a special session, as lawmakers have until Dec. 22 to make changes to the binding proposals.
New York’s move to use state money to help fund political campaigns comes with some landmark changes that would make it much harder for minor parties and individuals to get on ballots to challenge Democrats and Republicans.
The panel tasked with overhauling New York’s campaign finance laws and creating a public matching funds system released its final report, recommending lower contribution limits and a progressive matching ratio.
City University of New York’s 30,000-member staff union has ratified its contract after a lengthy contract negotiation with university officials, solidifying higher wages for both tenured faculty and adjunct professors.
Federal prosecutors asked for another delay in the sentencing of political operative G. Steven Pigeon, coming just three weeks after the FBI conducted a court-ordered search of Buffalo City Hall as part of a public corruption investigation.
Brooklyn rapper Paperboy Prince, who has a knack for making viral videos, has thrown his hat – or rather his silver tinsel wig – into the ring for New York’s 7th Congressional District, challenging Rep. Nydia Velázquez.
New York City students at Beacon High School, an elite high school in midtown Manhattan, walked out of class as part of what they called a “strike for integration,” itself part of a student-led push for greater diversity at city schools.
A new law signed by Gov. Andrew Cuomo will allow New Yorkers to opt out of pesky phone calls from telemarketers and mandates that live telemarketing operators give consumers the option to add themselves to a do not call list.
New York City has reached a trifecta of milestones in the fight against HIV and AIDS, with nine in 10 New Yorkers diagnosed with HIV getting treatment, 93% of people with HIV knowing their status and 92% of those on treatment being “virally suppressed."
After being sworn in on Saturday, Dermot Shea was publicly sworn in as the 44th NYPD commissioner during a ceremony officiated by de Blasio, taking over from the departing James O’Neill.
For the second time this week, a “thin blue line” flag was spotted on New York City Police Department property – this time in Harlem and days after the NYPD said it was investigating the flag’s appearance at a stationhouse in Brooklyn.
New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio warned New Yorkers to take the incoming winter storm “seriously” as forecasts show that the Big Apple could be pelted with around 3 inches of snow.
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The Trump campaign announced that it will no longer credential Bloomberg reporters for campaign events in response to the outlet’s decision not to investigate its owner, former New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg, or his Democratic rivals for president.
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Editorial Pages
The U.S. Supreme Court will hear its first Second Amendment case in nearly a decade, one from New York, and it’s about time – 11 years after the court’s landmark District of Columbia v. Heller ruling, liberals are still in denial and need a judicial reminder.
Cuomo has been a staunch supporter of clean water on Long Island, but legacies that are hard-won also can be easily tarnished, so the governor needs to do the right thing again and sign several bills that will help ensure drinking water remains clean.
Cuomo’s recent threat to strip National Grid of its license did the trick, bending the natural gas utility to his will, but the “victory” doesn’t solve the root problem – a gas shortage that he created – and, worse, adds new risks to New York’s economic future.
From City & State
National Politics
Trump has vowed to lower the cost of prescription drugs, and a U.S. Senate committee has approved a bipartisan bill to do just that, yet the plan is going nowhere fast, reflecting the unceasing gridlock of today’s Senate.
Lawyers for President Donald Trump said that they would not participate in the House Judiciary Committee’s first public impeachment hearing on Wednesday, airing a long list of complaints that they said prevented “any semblance of a fair process.”
Georgia businesswoman Kelly Loeffler is expected to be tapped later this week to the U.S. Senate seat being vacated by retiring Sen. Johnny Isakson in Georgia, defying allies of Trump who had publicly lobbied for Rep. Doug Collins to be selected.
President Donald Trump said that he would impose tariffs on steel and aluminum from Brazil and Argentina, a move that would shatter previous agreements with those countries and widen a global trade war that the president had appeared ready to scale back.
In Depth
For more than a generation, Penn Station, New York’s most important gateway, has been a grimy relic, and powerful figures have plotted to redevelop the whole complex into a world-class facility, but time and again, their efforts have faltered.
A financial reckoning is playing out in populous Catholic strongholds like New York, California and New Jersey, among the eight states that go the furthest with lookback windows in new laws that allow sex abuse claims no matter how old.
Cuomo, enjoying the benefits of a good national economy, has ridden the fiscal waves for the past decade, but that wave is about to become gnarly for the governor and New York lawmakers as the state faces a massive deficit.
Michael Bloomberg is getting into the Democratic presidential primary late, he’s out of step with his party and the news media thinks he’s a joke – but all of that was true when he first ran for mayor of New York City, and he won.
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