Also last week, the New York State Independent Redistricting Commission failed to reach a bipartisan consensus on a new set of district boundaries for the State Assembly, Senate, and United States Congress ahead of a January 15th deadline. After a tense meeting, the Commission voted along party lines to send two different sets of maps to the Legislature. The Legislature will consider both sets of plans this week. If the Legislature fails to approve either by a two-thirds majority, the Commission will have until February 28th to present a new set of maps. As we discussed in last week’s Legislative Session Preview, the current pace of the Commission has cast doubt that the June Primary schedule will hold.
Albany City Court Judge Holly Trexler dismissed a misdemeanor charge of forcible touching against former Governor Andrew Cuomo. Cuomo Attorney Rita Glavin followed the court session with a press availability in which she said that the case has “been shown to be what it always was, which was a blatant political act by an astonishingly unprofessional and rogue sheriff.” Longtime Cuomo Spokesman Rich Azzopardi released a lengthy statement saying Cuomo’s silence over the last several weeks was “based on respect for the justice system… stay tuned.”
In another blow to the Democrats’ main priority, the Build Back Better Act, it appears Senator Joe Manchin’s $1.8 trillion counteroffer to the White House is no longer on the table. Manchin said publicly this week that he was no longer involved in talks with the White House over the economic package. Privately, he has also made clear that he is not interested in approving legislation resembling Biden’s Build Back Better package and that Democrats should fundamentally rethink their approach.
Times Union: Hochul’s Taxpayer-Funded Air Travel May violate Ethics Rules
Amid a whirlwind schedule juggling governmental and campaign activities, Hochul used state-issued aircraft for 45 flights over the first 45 days in office. None of the trips were considered “mixed use” by Hochul’s office — consisting of both government and campaign-related activities — despite a busy campaign schedule on many of the trips. And none of the flight costs for using either a state-owned Beechcraft King Air 250 or a state helicopter were reimbursed to taxpayers by Hochul’s campaign. [Read more.]
Democrats Prepare for Future Without Pelosi, Jeffries Seen As Successor
With Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s expected exit from leadership, Democratic leaders ponder the future. House Democratic Caucus Chair Hakeem Jeffries is seen as the favorite to succeed Pelosi. [Read more.]