National Grid surrendered to Gov. Andrew Cuomo this week by agreeing to lift its moratorium on new gas hookups in Brooklyn, Queens and on Long Island – as well as pay $36 million in penalties. In return, the Guv will back off efforts to revoke the company’s downstate license. The deal makes Cuomo a hero for downstate gas customers – but he still has to reject once and for all a proposed natural gas pipeline across Lower New York Harbor before environmentalists can join in on the celebration.
This week’s biggest Winners & Losers
This week’s biggest Winners & Losers
There were a lot of things to be thankful for this Thanksgiving – family, friends, an extra day or two off from work. And we’re continuing the festive mood into Friday with our latest Winners & Losers – although not everyone on this week’s list is celebrating.
New York's landlords may resent delayed rent, but it looks like they've gained some newfound patience. Eviction cases in the state have slashed by nearly half since these two state legislative leaders spearheaded a sweeping package of tenant protections, giving landlords a pause before booting renters and looking at lawsuits.
The New York City Council Speaker of Banning Car Culture did his best to call Mayor Bill de Blasio’s bluff this week, passing a legislative package cracking down on parking placard abuse – because the mayor’s own supposed crackdown hasn’t done a thing. Johnson has earned a victory puff of his mint Juul before throwing away the pod forever.
The New York City Council passed a flavored e-cigarette ban passed by a vote of 49 to 2 on Tuesday, thanks in large part to City Councilman Mark Levine, who sponsored the legislation amid concerns over vapid-related illnesses and deaths throughout the state. The ban will take place in July of next year, so CoJo better load up on all the Juuls he can post haste!
Rookie Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez raised more money for her reelection than any other House Democrat in the last quarter, between July 1 and Sept. 30. The $1.42 million she amassed in donations – most of which were small-dollar contributions of $200 or less – put her ahead of seasoned House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, who only earned $1.145 million, though that’s certainly nothing to sneeze at.
Amazon founder and CEO Jeff Bezos may have thought that in pulling out of plans to build a new headquarters in Queens he could leave behind those ornery progressive New Yorkers bad-mouthing his company. But this week, workers at the company’s Staten Island fulfillment center showed that there’s no shortage of remaining ill will towards Amazon, as they protested unsafe working conditions following reports of high injury rates at the facility. If anything, Amazon opposition appears to be growing stronger in New York and across the country. Unlike the behemoth company’s tax bill, this latest string of bad press may carry a price that Bezos will eventually have to pay.
Voters in southern Brooklyn must be feeling some serious electoral déjà vufollowing reports that Mathylde Frontus tried to secure $100,000 in funds for a non-existent nonprofit. It’s the type of thing that brings to mind her predecessor, former Assemblywoman Pamela Harris, who was sentenced last year to six months in federal prison for misusing Superstorm Sandy funding. To be sure, Frontus is not facing any criminal charges, but an unflattering photo in the New York Post only adds insult to her self-inflicted political injury.
The Working Families Party has long been a thorn in Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s side, but staying that way just got a bit harder for the third party’s New York director, Bill Lipton. The state Public Campaign Finance Reform Commission voted in favor of changes that will make it more difficult for minor political parties to appear on the ballot, including more than doubling the number of votes needed for automatic ballot access. Lipton can scream all he wants that the decision made by Cuomo’s political appointees on the commission was a “power grab,” but Cuomo has heard – and survived – worse insults.
The state budget chief has a few weeks to figure out how Cuomo can spin a $6.1 billion budget hole in his upcoming State of the State address. Mujica has some serious fiscal smarts, but he may have been too clever for his own good earlier this year when he shifted $1.7 billion in Medicaid payments from one fiscal year to another. If he finds a way of balancing the books, it will be as good a Christmas gift as any that Andy can hope for this year.
Does he realize this isn’t about insects? Despite being a noted lover of task forces and commissions, Gov. Andrew Cuomo has apparently found one he can’t handle: one to study how to expand the game of cricket in New York. Cuomo vetoed the bill sponsored by these two state legislators, saying it would throw the budget plan out of balance. That would make sense if it mandated wickets and bats for every newborn in the state ... but it doesn’t.