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Cuomo, Albany lawmakers will blow past budget deadline

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ALBANY — Gov. Andrew Cuomo and state lawmakers were still negotiating the final details of the state’s mammoth $200 billion spending proposal for the next fiscal year as of late Wednesday, as big ticket items remain unresolved — meaning Albany will officially blow past it’s April 1 state budget deadline.

“We are running a bit late this year because it is almost at the deadline of when the fiscal year ends.. we have quite a few budget bills remaining to get done,” said state Senator Liz Krueger (D-Manhattan) on the chamber floor around 10 p.m. Wednesday, ahead of passing the first of 10 bills making up the spending package.

“We may discover that there is some slight change in the amount of money that the state is going to be spending because we don’t have a final number on the spending for the state, or the revenue for the state.”

But Cuomo and the Democratic-controlled Legislature are at odds over measures including raising taxes on wealthy New Yorkers and big businesses, more funding for schools statewide and greenlighting other potential sources of revenue — such as legalizing mobile sports betting

Cuomo’s state budget director Robert Mujica argues New York needs to make up roughly $2.5 billion to help fund the Empire State’s coronavirus recovery, but the state Assembly and Senate place that number much higher — at $7 billion.  

Meanwhile, Cuomo is embroiled in dueling scandals involving a federal probe into his handling of the coronavirus in nursing homes and two investigations into multiple allegations of sexual harassment against him, including those by former and current staffers.

Critics argue Cuomo is distracted this year and not as engaged in budget talks, which his office has denied. 

Critics of New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo suggested he was distracted by the two scandals he is currently facing.
Critics of New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo suggested he was distracted by the two scandals he is currently facing.
Hans Pennink

Lawmakers did pass legislation late Tuesday legalizing recreational marijuana in New York, which Cuomo signed Wednesday morning, following a three-way agreement between the executive and Legislature.

Legislative sources speculate negotiations — primarily done remotely to abide by COVID-19 gathering restrictions and safety precautions — could bleed into the weekend, potentially disrupting the Easter holiday, and lead to voting as late as next week. 

“It’s weird to see the hallways empty and to see that during budget time,” state Sen. Joe Addabbo (D-Queens) told The Post during a phone call from his office, one of a handful of lawmakers who made the trip from his district up to Albany. 

But he said some things never change in Albany, as he received a 2 a.m. phone call from staffers early Wednesday morning, who are still in talks with Cuomo and other legislative leaders about sealing a “hybrid” deal on legalizing app-based sports betting.

“We’re trying to work out something between the governor’s proposal and our idea. One or two platform providers and negotiating additional skins remains to be seen,” he said.



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Suspect arrested in fatal Brooklyn stabbing

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Police have apprehended a suspect in the fatal December stabbing of a Brooklyn man, cops said on Saturday.

The suspect, John Headley, 32, also of Brooklyn, was taken into custody Friday and charged with murder and weapons possession for the Dec. 12 knifing of Ken Baird, 37, police said.

Baird was stabbed multiple times in the chest following a dispute on Crown Street near Utica Avenue in Crown Heights at about 6:40 p.m., police said.

EMS transported Baird to King County Hospital, where he was pronounced dead, cops said.

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Man dies after jumping from Staten Island Ferry

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A 53-year-old man died Saturday after jumping from the Staten Island Ferry into the chilly waters of New York Harbor, police said.

NYPD Harbor launch officers pulled the man out of the water after responding to reports of a jumper near the Whitehall Ferry Terminal in Manhattan at around 2 p.m.

“He jumped off the ferry as it pulled away from the dock,” an NYPD spokesman told The Post. He jumped off the Ferryboat Andrew J. Barberi, police said.

The unidentified victim was removed to Pier 11 and transported to New York-Presbyterian Hospital, where he was pronounced dead shortly after 3:10 p.m.

A newsstand worker said there were “about 50 or so emergency people” at Pier 11 following a valiant effort — which included CPR — to save the man’s life.

Ferry1

An NYPD spokesman says the 53-year-old man “jumped off the ferry as it pulled away from the dock.”

Michael Dalton

Ferry3

The 53-year-old man was transported to New York-Presbyterian Hospital where he was pronounced dead.

Michael Dalton

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Kemp Lashes M.L.B. as Republicans Defend Georgia’s Voting Law

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Mr. Kemp, who is gearing up to run for re-election in 2022, has striven to re-enter the good graces of Republican voters after becoming a central political target of former President Donald J. Trump because of his refusal to help Mr. Trump overturn the state’s election results last year. A former secretary of state of Georgia who has his own record of decisions that made voting harder for the state’s residents, he is again a key G.O.P. voice leading the charge on the issue.

On Saturday, he repeatedly tried to paint the league’s decision as driven by Stacey Abrams, the voting rights advocate and former Democratic candidate for governor in Georgia who is seen as likely to challenge Mr. Kemp again next year.

Ms. Abrams, one of the most prominent critics of Georgia’s voting law, has pushed back on calls for sports leagues and corporations to boycott the state. She said on Friday that she was “disappointed” baseball officials had pulled the All-Star Game but that she was “proud of their stance on voting rights.”

In defending the law in Georgia, Mr. Kemp singled out two Democratically controlled states, New York and Delaware, and compared their voting regulations with the new law in Georgia. Those states do not offer as many options for early voting as Georgia does, but they have also not passed new laws instituting restrictions on voting.

“In New York, they have 10 days of early voting,” Mr. Kemp said (New York actually has nine). “In Georgia, we have a minimum of 17, with two additional Sundays that are optional in our state. In New York, you have to have an excuse to vote absentee. In Georgia, you can vote absentee for any reason.”



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