Good Morning from the Nation’s Capital
- Two years of free community college;
- Universal preschool for all three- and four- year-olds;
- A comprehensive paid family and medical leave program;
- $9 billion in funding to support American teachers;
- An investment of $45 billion to critical nutrition assistance programs to reduce childhood hunger;
- An extension of the Child Tax Credit and other tax cuts;
- A tax hike on the wealthiest of Americans to largely fund the proposal, with a pledge to not increase taxes for any household making under $400,000.
In the State Capital…
It is unclear what the new map will look like and which district will be eliminated. The map-drawing process will begin in September—led by the Independent Redistricting Commission (created by a Constitutional Amendment in 2012)—when the U.S. Census Bureau makes public the local area population counts. The Commission must draw these new district lines in time for the Congressional Midterm Primary Elections in June 2022. Maps will then be submitted to the state Legislature at the beginning of January 2022. However, the state Legislature, which is controlled by Democrats, can ultimately overrule whatever decision is made by the Commission and draw its own district maps if they choose. Potential partisan targets for Democrats could be New York’s 22nd Congressional District, currently held by Rep. Claudia Tenney; the 23rd Congressional District which will be vacated by Rep. Tom Reed, who announced he would not run again in 2022 amidst sexual harassment allegations; and New York’s 27th Congressional District held by Rep. Chris Jacobs.
Governor Cuomo addressed allegations of sexual harassment directly last week, a departure from his usual non-responses. On Thursday, he lashed out at his public accusers saying it was “unfair” that he Is not allowed to tell his side of the story. “What has happened is, the complainants have continued to go to the press and make their complaint in the press,” Cuomo said during an appearance in Buffalo. “And I have not been able to respond. That’s not fair and it’s not right.” Cuomo also said he has not yet spoken with investigators appointed by Attorney General Tish James, but that he is “eager to tell [his] side of the story.”
Cuomo’s vaccine czar and one of his most trusted advisers—Larry Schwartz—stepped down last week, just about five months after he was recruited by the Governor to spearhead New York’s vaccine rollout. His resignation came as the State Legislature restored state provisions to the public officers law that would have affected him had he remained in the position. Schwartz, who took on the role as an unpaid volunteer, could have been treated as a public officer following the legislative changes, which would have required him to file financial disclosure forms and be subject to a two-year lobbying ban after his service to the state, according to two people familiar with the matter.
Last week was lighter in terms of Committee agendas and floor activity but that should change: the Legislature is scheduled to vote today on an extension of the COVID-19 eviction moratorium—which expired on Saturday. The bill will be retroactive to include the weekend. The ban has been in place first through executive order and later by a state law, and is estimated to have helped 40,000 tenants stay in their homes, said Assembly Sponsor Jeff Dinowitz, a Democrat from the Bronx. “That suggests tens of thousands of people have been impacted,” he said. “We can’t let them be homeless. It’s really that simple.”
For a complete guide on what to expect before the Legislature adjourns in June, check out O’Donnell and Associates End of Session “Policy Season” Preview.
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