Good Morning from Buffalo…
Congratulations to Eric Adams. The Brooklyn Borough President (and former state Senator and police officer) won the Democratic Primary in the race for New York City Mayor. As we reported last week, the count was almost as contentious as the campaign, but on Thursday his chief rivals—Kathryn Garcia and Maya Wiley—both conceded to Adams—who celebrated by getting his ear pierced (promises made, promises kept . . . I guess?). The race was close, ultimately Adams bested Garcia by about 8,400 votes. Adams will face Republican Curtis Sliwa in November but that is likely little more than a formality. Some people think the six-month delay between the primary and taking office is a mistake.
Governor Andrew Cuomo was in New York City to declare a “Gun Emergency”. The emergency disaster declaration, which Cuomo said was the first by a state to address current spikes in gun violence, would allow New York officials to quickly coordinate resources and provide funding for community-led efforts to prevent and respond to shootings. The “violence prevention effort” will include the creation of an Office of Gun Violence Prevention, requires—by Executive Order—that all police departments in the state share incident-level data with the Department of Criminal Justice Services, and a $138.7 million investment in intervention and prevention programs that were included in April’s final budget. Read more on the full plan here.
Attorney General Tish James had a big win, announcing the terms of $4.5 billion opioid settlement on Thursday. “This deal gets one of the nation’s most harmful drug dealers out of the opioid business. If approved, it will put an end to delays and legal maneuvering that could possibly continue for years,” said James. That led to a reminder that while the Attorney General’s Office continues its investigation of Cuomo, relations have, shall we say, deteriorated. The Governor also announced the same opioid settlement with no mention of James or the Attorney General’s Office’s work on the issue. Some—including frequent Cuomo critic Senate Health Chair Gustavo Rivera—took notice. “Another example of others taking credit for the leadership and work of Black women,” said Brooklyn NAACP President and Progressive Political Strategist L. Joy Williams.
Outside the White House, Washington was quiet as legislators continue an extended “State Work Period,” but things will heat up when they return from the Fourth of July Recess this week. United States Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer wrote to the members of the Senate Democratic Caucus on Friday, telling them to be prepared to work through nights and weekends, and possibly to remain in Washington well into the August State Work Period. On infrastructure, Schumer reiterated a commitment to the “two-track” legislative strategy: 1. Passing the bipartisan plan President Biden helped negotiate—which won the key endorsement of the Problem Solvers Caucus in the House last week—and 2. Passing a more ambitious plan driven by progressives through budget reconciliation (as we’ve discussed in more detail in our past few Monday Morning Memos). Democrats remain divided on the approach. When Senator Ed Markey of Massachussetts proposed scrapping the summer break to work on infrastructure (among other things), Senate Majority Whip Dick Durbin of Illinois quipped, “Tell Senator Markey to get a life.”
How productive was the Legislative Session in New York?
We take a look at what did, and did not get done in our End of Session Overview.
FOR DAILY UPDATES, FOLLOW US:
Client News: Albright-Knox Topping Out
As a crane lifted the last steel beam into place on the Albright-Knox Art Gallery‘s new building, money continued to come into the museum’s treasury to meet a patron’s $2.5 million challenge grant. [Read more.]
The Summer Read Everyone’s Waiting For: The Tish James Report
Few governors in recent New York history have dominated the news cycle — and the levers of government — like Andrew Cuomo, the state’s three-term governor. But in the summer of 2021, with an embattled Cuomo eyeing reelection next year, the future of state politics rests with another statewide official: Attorney General Tish James. [Read more.]
Chick-fil-A, Shake Shack and More: Here’s What’s Coming to NY Thruway Rest Stops
Coming soon to a New York State Thruway rest stop near you: Chick-fil-A, Popeyes, Shake Shack and more. Applegreen, the Irish convenience store chain taking over the lease on the Thruway’s 27 rest stops, will begin the first phase of a $300 million renovation project later this month. [Read more.]