Here And Now
Gov. Andrew Cuomo is in Albany with no public schedule.
He’s probably still basking in the glow of is big victory yesterday – signing the SAFE Act into law and making New York the first state in the nation to act on gun control since the Dec. 14 Newtown massacre.
“I am proud to be a New Yorker because New York is going something,” Cuomo said at the bill signing ceremony, which was NOT attended by any Republicans, including Senate GOP Leader Dean Skelos, whom the governor said was “out of town.”
The governor signed the bill just before dinner time, minutes after the Assembly sent it to his desk on a 104-43 vote. He called it “the most comprehensive package in the nation.”
The SAFE Act took effect immediately. In other words, less than 24 hours before President Obama is scheduled to make his gun control announcement at 11:45 a.m. this morning at the White House.
Obama’s proposals will include a new federal gun trafficking law — a measure long sought by big-city mayors as a way to keep out-of-state forearms off their streets.
When he makes his announcement, the president will be flanked by children who wrote him in the aftermath of the Sandy Hook shooting.
Details of the SAFE Act, which classifies some rifles as “assault weapons” if they have certain features.
Harold W. “Budd” Schroeder, a longtime gun rights advocate from Lancaster, sent out an email identifying the SAFE Act as “the rape of gun rights.”
Lines stretched out the doors of gun shops from Binghamton to Buffalo and elsewhere upstate as enthusiasts rushed to purchase assault weapons, high capacity magazines and other soon-to-be-banned items.
Cuomo also beat Maryland Gov. Martin O’Malley to the punch on gun control. O’Malley, like Cuomo, is widely viewed as a potential Democratic 2016 presidential contender.
Former NY Post Editorial Page Editor Bob McManus called the SAFE Act a “cynical exercise,” adding: “Pure Cuomo, in other words – a man for whom it’s always all about the polls.”
The NYT says the SAFE Act “substantially strengthens” New York’s gun laws, but also “contains troubling provisions involving mental health and public access to important records that should be revisited and reworked.”
Says the TU: “(T)he way this bill was rammed through — introduced, passed and signed in barely 24 hours — violated the transparency Mr. Cuomo talks so much of and which was so clearly needed on a bill of this scope and complexity.”
Mental health experts say the new tougher New York state gun control law might interfere with treatment of potentially dangerous people and even discourage them from seeking help.
The SAFE Act was the first test of the new power-sharing coalition running the state Senate. Its leaders say they passed with flying colors.
Mike Lupica: “The rest of the country had to look to New York on guns Tuesday night, had to take another look at the way government works here. Had to see the way Andrew Cuomo took the lead on this, on this night when Cuomo had what the President of the United States wants.”
The top trade association for American gun manufacturers has largely refrained from participating in the public debate over guns since Newtown, (it happens to be located just miles for Sandy Hook Elementary School). But the group is getting ready to break its silence.
State Comptroller Thomas DiNapoli announced he is freezing investment by the public workers’ pension fund in firearms companies following recent shooting tragedies.
TIME’s latest cover features VP Biden, Mayor Bloomberg and former Rep. Gabby Giffords with the headline: “The Gunfighters: Can a billionaire, a Vice President and a shooting survivor stop the violence?”
The NRA released a a tough TV ad that calls Obama an “elitist hypocrite” for having daughters with armed guards while he expresses skepticism at the NRA’s call for armed police in every American public school.
Also happening today…
Members of Cuomo’s cabinet continue to spread the gospel of his State of the State address across New York. No fewer than seven speeches will be delivered today.
Former Assemblywoman-turned-Deputy Secretary of State for Local Government Dede Scozzafava will speak twice – at the Gouverneur Village Courtroom at the Gouverneur Village Offices (33 Clinton St.) at 10 a.m., and the Wild Center
(45 Museum Dr.) in Tupper Lake at 2 p.m.
At 10 a.m., the NYC Council Committees on Public Safety, Fire and Criminal Justice Services, Aging and other committees hold an oversight hearing on emergency planning during Superstorm Sandy. City Hall, Council Chambers, Lower Manhattan.
At 11 a.m., the Assembly holds a public hearing on the environmental causes and effects of extreme weather events, 250 Broadway, 19th Floor, Manhattan.
Also at 11 a.m., Sen. David Carlucci announces legislation dealing with mold from water damage caused by Hurricane Sandy and the response by insurance companies, home of James and Veronica Artrip, 425 Piermont Ave., Piermont.
Syracuse Mayor Stephanie Miner plans to make an announcement at noon today on her decision to run this year for another term. (She’s widely expected to seek re-election).
SUNY Board of Trustees holds an open formal meeting at 1 p.m., State University Plaza, 353 Broadway, Albany.
At 6 p.m., the Medical Advisory Board of the New York State Athletic Commission holds open meeting, Department of State, 2nd Floor Conference Room, Room 238, 123 William St., Manhattan.
Also at 6 p.m., the NYC mayoral candidates participate in a forum on public health sponsored by Doctors Council SEIU, Kumble Theater for the Performing Arts, LIU, One University Plaza, Brooklyn.
Yonkers Mayor Mike Spano speaks at Empire Center for New York State Policy forum, 7 p.m., Westchester County Center, Meeting Room H, 198 Central Ave., White Plains.
In other news…
More than 8,000 NYC school bus drivers and matrons went on strike over job protection this morning, leaving some 152,000 students, many disabled, trying to find other ways to get to school.
Former MTA Chairman Joe Lhota is leading the GOP NYC mayoral field with 23 percent of the vote, but the biggest share – 53 percent – goes to “undecided,” a new Q poll finds.
Also, all the Democratic hopefuls beat Lhota by a margin of at least 3 to 1.
NYC Council Speaker Christine Quinn, who continues to lead the Democratic field, was jeered at a National Action Network forum last night after reiterating that she would keep Ray Kelly as NYPD commissioner if she’s elected.
Quinn laid out in a speech a series of proposals for improving the city’s schools, which included replacing textbooks with computer tablets, creating online resources for parents and extending the school day for many students.
After fierce lobbying by political leaders in states across the Northeast, the House last night approved a long-awaited $50.7 billion emergency bill to provide help to victims of Hurricane Sandy. The vote was 241 to 180, with 49 Republicans joining 192 Democrats.
The Senate is expected to follow suit, and Obama is expected to sign the bill into law.
Former Rep. Anthony Weiner isn’t running for anything (that we know of), but continued to shell out bucks from his campaign account. He spent $36,999 over the past six months, and a sizable portion of that went to legal fees.
Cuomo has nearly $22.5 million on hand for his 2014 re-election bid – a sum likely to scare off most would-be opponents. To raise that cash, he focused mainly on well-heeled donors – especially real estate developers.
AG Eric Schneiderman held his first public hearing on proposed donor disclosure rules for independent expenditure organizations.
Cuomo selected CUNY Law School Prof. Jenny Rivera, to serve on the state’s highest court. Subject to Senate confirmation, she will replace Judge Carmen Beauchamp Ciparick, who retired at the end of last year.
Don’t expect too much from Secretary of State Hillary Clinton’s Benghazi testimony on Jan. 23.
Former President Bill Clinton says his wife will have a very long life, despite her recent health scare, joking: “”I tell her…she’s still got time to have three more husbands after me. So I think she’ll live to be 120.”
Chelsea Clinton says her mom is “doing great” and will be “back to full health very soon.”
Philippe Reines, Hillary Clinton’s chief spokesman, has logged 111 countries with his boss in four years. He says “the key to packing is to never unpack.” (Fixed).
Ken Salazar, the secretary of the interior, will reportedly leave his post at the end of March.
The State University of New York will grow to become the country’s biggest provider of online education courses and will develop a three-year degree, Chancellor Nancy Zimpher said in her annual State of SUNY address.
Andrew Rudnick discusses his decision to retire in June from his post as president of the Buffalo Niagara Partnership.
The furor continues over The Journal News’ decision last month to publish an on-line interactive map of handgun permit holders in Westchester and Rockland counties.
Thomas Ryan, who served as chief of staff of the New York State Thruway Authority and Canal Corporation, has been appointed director of the New York State Fair. He replaces Dan O’Hara, who is moving to another (yet unannounced) state government post.
The news comes as another report on the fair is expected in coming weeks from the state’s inspector general.
|Print article||This entry was posted by Liz Benjamin on January 16, 2013 at 7:30 am, and is filed under Uncategorized. Follow any responses to this post through RSS 2.0. Both comments and pings are currently closed.|