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Good Morning on this Election Day Eve…

In the midst of the 2021 election GOTV, the 2022 season has shifted into high gear. There were also the bizarre twists and turns we have all come to expect in New York State politics.

To recap:
  • A criminal charge of forcible touching was filed against former Governor Andrew Cuomo by Albany County Sheriff Craig Apple. However, Sheriff Apple acknowledged that he had acted without consultation with Albany County District Attorney David Soares and without securing the cooperation and agreement of the victim. Subsequently, the victim’s lawyer declared that his client—Brittany Commisso—would cooperate.  Apple declared his case was “solid” and that he was confident the DA would proceed. If so, Cuomo will be arraigned and booked in the near future (tentatively scheduled for 11/17).  
Those 2021 elections, of course, still come first. Here are a few races the OD&A team is watching:
    • Mayor of Buffalo: The front line of the battle within the Democratic Party between center left and Democratic Socialists. With incumbent Byron Brown running a write-in campaign, in addition to who wins, the question is when will the race be decided? Read more on the race in the final days herehere, and here. 
    There are also a couple New York City Council races worth watching though they will make no real difference:


    • One of Queens’ only remaining Republican seats—currently represented by Eric Ulrich is up for grabs, and Felicia Singh, a teacher and progressive Democrat, is hoping to flip it, but Joann Ariola, Chair of the Queens Republican Party is fighting to hang onto the GOP foothold.
    • In Brooklyn’s District 48, the race is marked by “party hopping”. Democratic candidate Steven Saperstein previously ran for office as a Republican, while Republican contender Inna Vernikov used to be a registered Democrat.
    Finally, a reminder that there are also five referendums—ranging from amending the redistricting process to an environmental rights amendment—on the BACK of the ballot. A primer is here.  
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    In the Nation’s Capital…
    President Biden and the White House released a framework agreement on reconciliation or the Build Back Better package. The framework was supposed to secure a vote on the Bipartisan Infrastructure Plan but, once again, that fizzled and was delayed because of opposition from progressive Members of the House lead by Rep. Pramila Jayapal, chairwoman of the Congressional Progressive Caucus. That said, even Jayapal expressed optimism they are close to a bill—and other members, including House Appropriations Chair Rose DeLauro (D-Ct.) have echoed that optimism that Biden’s framework is bringing Democrats closer to a deal.
    What’s in the deal?
    • Expansion of healthcare coverage: The proposal will significantly expand coverage under Affordable Care Act, add hearing benefits for seniors, and reduce premiums for more than 9 million Americans
    • $150 billion in funding for affordable housing
    • A one-year expansion of the Earned Income Tax Credit and the Child Tax Credit
    • An increase in the maximum Pell Grant by $550 along with expanded access to Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) and funding for infrastructure and financial aid at historically Black colleges and universities (HBCUs)
    • $100 billion aimed at reducing immigration backlogs
    • Clean energy tax credits: The framework provides $320 billion in tax credits for transmission, storage, manufacturing, residential homes, passenger & commercial vehicles
    • Pay fors: The framework released by the White House says the spending and tax cuts in the bill would be fully financed, primarily by tax increases on high-income households and corporations 
    What’s out?
    • Paid Family Leave: As a concession made to Senator Manchin the proposal—originally proposed at 12 weeks—was fully stripped from the framework
    • Clean Energy Performance program, which would have provided incentives for electric utilities to move away from fossil fuel generation was fully stripped from the proposal
    • Drug Pricing: Primarily due to Senator Kyrsten Sinema’s opposition, the framework dropped a proposal to allow Medicare to negotiate lower prices
    • Expansion of Medicare coverage for dental and vision
    • Billionaire’s Tax: Democrats dropped a proposal by Senate Finance Chair Ron Wyden and Elizabeth Warren that would have targeted unrealized capital gains 
    Read more on the final package here.
    Be sure to vote! See you after Election Day.

    -Jack O’Donnell

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    What Should You Know About The New York Privacy Act?
    The New York Privacy Act is promising broad reaching policy changes. If you missed the forum sponsored by OD&A and The Data Privacy Alliance, you can watch it here.

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    OD&A in the News 

    The candidates in the race for Buffalo mayor debated for a second time last week at St. Joseph’s Collegiate InstituteWhat happened and how will it affect the vote? Our Jack O’Donnell provided analysis on the debate on WIVB-TV. Watch here.  He also weighed in on the mayoral race with Capital Tonight and WBEN.

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    Democrats Wanting to Replace Letitia James as New York AG

    A gubernatorial campaign for James would mean a competitive primary to choose her potential replacement. Who are the candidates eyeing the race? [Read more.]

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    Who Gets Fido in the Divorce? New Law Could Help Solve Bone of Contention

    But who gets the dog? A new state law signed by Gov. Kathy Hochul could answer that question during a divorce proceeding. [Read more.]