Good Morning from New York… 

b59e6f9c 41a4 462c 98e2 d6633c948423The start of the 2020 Legislative Session—and Governor Andrew Cuomo’s State of the State Address—is a week and a half away. Cuomo has already announced thirteen proposals in advance of his address. These proposals include: a high speed rail panel to dust off old plans for a line from Albany to New York City; the New York Buy American Act requiring all structural steel and iron used in State bridge and road projects be made in America; net neutrality protections; a cap for prescription drug payments; and a mandate for automatic recounts in close elections. For a full list of the thirteen State of the State proposals that have been announced so far, click here.

What else could be in the Governor’s Address next Wednesday? Here are the issues to watch for in the State of the State and throughout 2020 Legislative Session.

  • Sports Betting—Since former Governor Chris Christie (pictured, right)9aa5a979 9763 4c81 9b62 6f1d35cd0f6c legalized mobile sports betting, New Jersey has seen record revenues as New Yorkers travel across the border to place bets on their mobile devices. New York State hired a firm to conduct a comprehensive market study that will likely touch on sports betting. While Gaming Chairs Senator Joseph Addabbo and Assembly Member Gary Pretlow punted on the issue last year, the potential revenue and the deep pockets of the gaming players will keep this issue front and center for 2020. 
While Legislators and the Governor consider all of the above and more, they will be doing so in a very different environment. This is the first year with consolidated June primaries and many legislators are facing primaries. Expect those races to weigh heavily on decision making throughout 2020. 

— Jack O’Donnell

Republican Exodus Has Democrats Eyeing Big Gains in State Senate

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The blue wave that swept over the state capital last year is being followed by a red riptide as Senate Republicans head for the exits and Democrats eye a super majority. In the four short weeks between Thanksgiving and Christmas, the number of GOP senators who announced plans to retire grew to eight, opening the door for Democrats looking to expand their power by reclaiming competitive districts… [Read more.]


Activists Demand Quick Reforms to Failing Yeshivas, Slam De Blasio For ‘Corrupt’ Handling of Investigation

Critics of Orthodox Jewish yeshivas recently found to be providing woefully inadequate education to thousands of children called on the city and state to make sure those institutions speed up reforms — or shut down if they can’t be fixed in the short term. [Read more.]

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Democratic Insiders: Bernie Could Win the Nomination

Suddenly, Bernie Sanders’ presidential campaign is being taken seriously. For months, the Vermont senator was written off by Democratic Party insiders as a candidate with a committed but narrow base who was too far left to win the primary. But in the past few weeks, something has changed. [Read more.]

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Very Cold War: Legal Feud Casts Chill Over America’s Ice-Castle Builders

It is ice castle season in the frozen corners of America, where builders from Alaska to New Hampshire are grappling with everything from freak warm-ups to handling an arsenal of chain saws, sledgehammers, shovels and axes. But a legal case over what constitutes an icicle is impacting business as usual for ice castle companies in Utah and Idaho. [Read more.]

Tom Reed Positions Himself as a Cuomo Nemesis – and Possible Rival

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Rep. Tom Reed bills himself as a problem-solver in the nation’s capital, but he’s increasingly turning his attention to what he sees as a partisan problem in Albany: New York Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo. The friendly Republican lawmaker from Corning has grown increasingly feisty in the past two years when it comes to the combative Democratic governor. [Read more.]

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Impeachment Trial will Supercharge Battle for Senate

The battle for the Senate majority in 2020 was always going to be heated. And now here comes impeachment. The Senate’s impeachment trial of President Donald Trump is stuck in limbo, but the looming verdict will likely be the most consequential vote senators take before next year’s elections — and a weighty position for challengers seeking to join the chamber. [Read More.]

Brooklyn Subway Raccoon Continues to Evade Capture

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The elusive Nevins Street subway station raccoon was back on the tracks Saturday in Brooklyn — frustrating officers tasked with wrangling the masked bandit. [Read more.]