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Good Morning from Albany, New York  where things are . . . slow. So slow that arguably the biggest news was an announcement by the Hochul Administration of the shark monitoring drones (📸:AP) for New York’s beaches. 

There was some action in New York City where Mayor Eric Adams and the City Council agreed to a $107 billion budget for the upcoming fiscal year. The agreement includes an expansion of the meals program for seniors and low-income New Yorkers, increased funding for youth apprenticeships and jobs training, and $465 million for assisting migrants to offset a lack of federal aid. The budget also keeps all NYC public schools funded at or higher than the previous fiscal year, even if a school has decreased enrollment. In a statement, Mayor Adams offered, “ We are proud to have reached a budget that makes strategic investments to keep our city safe and clean, and ensures working families have the services they need, while simultaneously maintaining strong reserves that will allow our city to be prepared for the future.” Some education advocates worry that school budgets could be subject to mid-year cuts if the city becomes strapped for cash. Mayor Adams offered that he has “no desire” to cut school funding in the future, but ominously added there are “no guarantees in life.”

Mayor Adams was also in the news for a different reason: Adams has often claimed to keep a picture in his wallet of his friend and former police officer, Robert Venable, who died in the line of duty, and said he has done so for decades. However, a former aide, speaking on the condition of anonymity, claimed the photo was made recently in the Mayor’s office and was wrinkled and splashed with coffee to make it look old. When asked for comment, a spokesman for the Mayor responded, “The Times’s efforts to attack the mayor here would be laughable if it were not so utterly offensive.” The 1,600 word rebuttal released by the Mayor’s office includes numerous quotes from friends attesting to the Adams’ character and his friendship with Venable. 

In another New York Times story involving a (former) NYC Mayor, Bill de Blasio and his wife Chirlane McCray announced they are separating. In their three-hour interview, the couple said they are not filing for divorce and will continue to share their Park Slope home while seeing other people. McCray, who once wrote an article titled “I Am a Lesbian,” plans to continue her work on mental health initiatives while de Blasio has said he is done with electoral politics after a failed 2020 presidential bid and 2022 Congressional race.  

Behind the scenes, everyone in politics is watching the court case by New York State Democrats seeking to redraw the state’s Congressional lines after the map drawn by a court-ordered special master led to sweeping GOP gains. While seemingly unrelated, the Supreme Court’s decision to strike down President Biden’s student-debt cancellation plan has resulted in an update in this case. The Supreme Court’s ruling found that the statutory language of “modify” permits modest changes, but does not permit Biden to completely overhaul the student loan program. In the redistricting case, the lawyers for the State GOP are now arguing the same logic should apply to Democrats’ efforts to completely redraw congressional boundaries saying, “ Just as the term ‘modify’ cannot support the fundamental changes at issue in Biden, neither can it reasonably be read to permit a court to restart the … process and replace a reapportionment plan that a court lawfully adopted.” 

In Washington, D.C., lawmakers will return to town today with just three weeks left before the scheduled August Recess. The weeks leading up to the August Recess, and then Labor Day, will need to be productive if there is any hope of meeting a mountain of deadlines for September 30th:

1.) FAA Reauthorization Act
2.) Farm Bill 
3.) Coast Guard Authorization Act
4.) Pandemic and All-Hazards Preparedness and Advancing Innovation Act 
5.) Government Funding 

A deal to fund the government is the most consequential and very well may be the most difficult for House Speaker Kevin McCarthy, Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer, and the White House to obtain. The House must advance a series of 12 appropriations bills to begin the budget process, and after feeling betrayed by McCarthy’s handling of the debt ceiling, GOP hardliners have vowed to play hardball to accomplish their priorities. Last month, far-right members of the GOP blocked a number of bills from coming to floor in an attempt to flex their legislative muscle and signal their displeasure with McCarthy. The Speaker could very well court centrist Democrats to advance a spending bill, but with the Motion to Vacate hanging over McCarthy’s head, another end-around his far-right members could be costly. 

Including today, there are just 22 days where both Houses are scheduled to be in Washington before the September 30th deadline. 

Finally, be careful out there,  the classic “Hidden Ball Trick” caused an international dispute in the world of cricket.

-Jack O’Donnell

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She’s the ONLY currently serving female County Executive in NY, has a PhD, and is a former NY Senator.
But what you might not know is Jen Metzger grew up poor.
Grab your 🎧 as our Alec Lewis shares her story in our latest podcast episode.





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New York State Built Elon Musk a $1 Billion Factory. ‘It Was a Bad Deal.’

New York spent nearly $1 billion over the past decade on Elon Musk’s ambitious plan for what was supposed to be the largest solar-panel factory in the Western Hemisphere, one of the largest-ever public cash outlays of its kind. “You almost have to pinch yourself, right?” New York’s then-Gov. Andrew Cuomo said at a construction ceremony for the factory in 2015. “That this is too good to be true.” Eight years later, that looks like a pretty good assessment. [Read more.]




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New To The NYS Legislature

Senator Dean Murray won the general election on November 8, 2022 against political newcomer Farzeen Bham, a Democrat, to represent the 3rd District that encompasses Suffolk County. Senator Murray, an East Patchogue resident, previously represented the State’s 3rd Assembly District. His terms of office went from 2010 to 2012 and then again from 2015 to 2018. While in the Assembly, Senator Murray led the fight to repeal the MTA payroll tax, eliminate the salt-water fishing license fee, pass the largest middle class tax cut in decades and adopt the I-STOP program to help fight the serious problem of prescription drug abuse. Senator Murray is a graduate of the Broadcast Institute of Maryland and for many years was involved in all aspects of radio and television news throughout Delaware, Maryland, Pennsylvania and New York. He also ran his own advertising agency for nearly 25 years. He’s been an active member of several Chamber of Commerce chapters throughout Suffolk County, served as a board member with the Patchogue Medford Youth & Community Services, the Focus East Patchogue Civic Organization, was a member of the Suffolk County Police Reserves, and also served on the Suffolk County Workforce Investment Board.




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Client News: Niagara University to Open New Science Research Lab

OD&A joined our client, Niagara University, as Congressman Brian Higgins announced $750,000 in federal funding to create a NU science research lab on the second floor of a building on the Buffalo Niagara Medical Campus. It’s where officials hope groundbreaking work can be conducted in the heart of Buffalo by university researchers and their students. [Read more.]