For a state that likes to brag about being first to make progress legislatively, it sure did take a while to ensure car passengers are all wearing seat belts. But thanks to legislation sponsored by state Sen. David Carlucci and Assembly Member Walter Mosley, New York just became the 30th state to require that all car passengers wear seat belts. We may not be the leader of the pack on this issue, but it’s slightly better than, say, New York being the 46th state to outlaw revenge porn.
This week's biggest Winners & Losers
This week's biggest Winners & Losers
In New York politics, there’s one thing that’s almost as certain as death and taxes – the rivalry between Gov. Andrew Cuomo and New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio. Whether it’s reopening the schools or the policing of protests – even dealing with a dying deer – our fearless leaders are sure to find a way to feud about it. Maybe it makes them feel like winners, but it makes the rest of us losers.
It seems like the Bronx boys club still has a few tricks up its sleeve. Eric Dinowitz, the son of Assembly Member and Riverdale power broker Jeffrey Dinowitz, has been eyeing a New York City Council seat held by Andy Cohen since at least last year. And his dad has not been shy about wanting his son to rep the area. Now that the Bronx Democratic Party has nominated Cohen for a judgeship, the cogs are moving along in the political machine. Cohen plans to resign in December, which will trigger a lower-turnout special election that will heavily favor Eric, likely handing the seat to him.
After losing two state education commissioners in less than a year, New York turned to a state official who already understands the ins and outs of the job. Betty Rosa had served since 2016 as chancellor of the state Board of Regents, which sets education policy in New York and works closely with the state Education Department. At a minimum Rosa, who was just named interim commissioner, will understand what the other regents really want.
The respective heads of Con Edison and PSEG are feeling the heat as the governor blasted them for doing a "lousy job" after Tropical Storm Isaias. A week after the storm slammed New York and cut power to homes and businesses, thousands of people in New York City and the surrounding suburbs were still left in the dark. Now, Cuomo has launched an investigation into the utilities' response, state legislators are set to grill them and now some elected officials are even pondering a public utility to replace the companies. And the cherry on top for Con Ed: paying one of the state Public Service Commission’s largest fines for its response to storms back in 2018.
The NYPD commissioner just can’t catch a break. You’ve got to wonder if he sometimes regrets taking the job of top cop, what with the rising gun violence, declining trust in police, and high-profile incidents that keep making his boss unhappy with him. Add to that a gender discrimination lawsuit, renewed scrutiny of the many officers still living outside the city, and even the friendly New York Post calling them out for being “misleading.” Maybe James O’Neill wants his old job back?
State Health Commissioner Howard Zucker, who’s in the unenviable position of being New York’s top health official during a pandemic, was once again grilled by the state Legislature about pandemic responses this week, this time drawing lawmakers’ ire for claiming hospitals had enough personal protective equipment throughout the pandemic. All those reports stating otherwise, of doctors fearful for their safety and nurses resorting to garbage bags? The fact that the state’s largest nurses union sued the state over the issue? Don’t believe everything you read, according to Zucker. You’d think a man with dual medical and law degrees could come up with a more convincing answer.