GOVERNOR CUOMO

Siena poll: Most New York voters hold unfavorable view of Cuomo amid controversies

BY Nick Reisman City of Albany

More than half of New York voters have a negative view of Gov. Andrew Cuomo, even as a similar majority do not believe he should resign from the office in the wake of myriad controversies he is facing, a Siena College poll released Monday morning found.

The poll shows Cuomo's favorable rating with voters in New York is now at 40%, with 52% holding a negative view of him. That's a decline from 43% to 45% split in March, and a drop from 56% to 39% in February.

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Leading Democrat provides Cuomo impeachment update

BY Nick Reisman City of Albany

The Democratic lawmaker leading the state Assembly's impeachment investigation on Friday said Gov. Andrew Cuomo's administration was formally told to not retaliate against potential witnesses in the case and to preserve documents.

The lawmaker, Assembly Judiciary Committee Chairman Charles Lavine, also confirmed the investigation is reviewing "reports relating to the publishing of the governor's memoir last year" in addition to allegations of sexual harassment, COVID-19 reporting in nursing homes and reported defects on the construction of the Mario Cuomo Bridge.

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Zeldin's Entry Marks Early Start to Governor's Race

BY Nick Reisman City of Albany

Republican Rep. Lee Zeldin's announcement on Thursday launching his campaign for governor marks an unusually early — and unofficial — start for the 2022 election season.

Hours after Zeldin's announcement, North Rep. Elise Stefanik's political team issued its own statement not ruling out a run for her as well.

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Cuomo Says He Had No 'Intimate' Oversight of COVID Testing

BY Nick Reisman City of Albany

People who visited Gov. Andrew Cuomo during the early days of the COVID-19 pandemic would be tested for the virus, the governor said Wednesday, responding for the first time to reports his family members had access when supplies were scarce.

But at the same time, Cuomo said he was not deeply involved at that level of testing for COVID.

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Assembly Impeachment Probe Launches Hotline

BY Nick Reisman City of Albany

The Assembly impeachment investigation on Thursday announced it had launched a hotline for people to report information relevant to the probe of Gov. Andrew Cuomo and his administration.

The impeachment investigation also has an email for reporting information. Both the number, (212) 450-3600, and the email address, NY.Assembly.Investigation@davispolk.com, are through the law firm hired to aid with the investigation, Davis Polk & Wardwell LLP.

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Ethics Complaint Filed Over Cuomo Book Promotion

BY Nick Reisman City of Albany

A national good-government organization on Thursday filed an ethics complaint over Gov. Andrew Cuomo's promotion of his book about the pandemic last year, pointing to the use of his re-election campaign resources to sell the book.

The complaint notes Cuomo's re-election committee promoting the book through his email list when it was first released last October.

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Cuomo Signs Marijuana Legalization Bill Into Law

BY Nick Reisman City of Albany

A bill legalizing marijuana and cannabis products in New York was signed into law on Wednesday morning by Gov. Andrew Cuomo, cementing a milestone victory for advocates who had sought the measure over the last several years.

The measure will usher in what is expected to be multi-billion market in the coming years and makes New York the latest state to legalize adult-use marijuana for those over the age of 21. Fifteen other states have approved similar adult-use laws.

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Ortt Calls for JCOPE Probe of Cuomo COVID Testing Controversy

BY Nick Reisman City of Albany

The top Republican in the state Senate on Friday urged New York's ethics enforcement agency to investigation allegations state resources were used to test members of Gov. Andrew Cuomo's family and those close to him in the early days of the pandemic last year.

“It does not take a stretch of the imagination to see a clear connection between Governor Cuomo using his official position as the head of state government and the unwarranted privileges provided to his own family members and close associates," Senate Minority Leader Robert Ortt wrote in the letter to the Joint Commission on Public Ethics. "Obviously, while these actions would be egregious during normal times, they are particularly unconscionable because they occurred early on during the pandemic, at a time when testing was in short supply and high demand."

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Cuomo: COVID-19 Hospitalizations Lowest Since Post- Holiday Peak

BY Hayley Foran New York State

Hospitalizations for the coronavirus in New York State are the lowest they've been since December 4, according to a press release from Governor Cuomo's office on Sunday. There has been a 53% drop since the holiday peak, down to 4,355.

At present, 890 patients are in the ICU and 572 are intubated. As of Saturday, 54 new deaths were recorded.

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Report: Second Current Aide Makes Harassment Claim Against Cuomo

BY Nick Reisman City of Albany
UPDATED 6:17 PM ET Mar. 19, 2021

An aide to Gov. Andrew Cuomo has become the latest person to accuse him of sexual harassment, alleging a pattern of inappropriate behavior, including comments about her looks, questions about her personal life and "ogling her body," The New York Times reported on Friday.

The allegations in the Times from Alyssa McGrath are the latest in a series of harassment claims leveled against the governor, which has drawn bipartisan calls for his resignation.

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Analysis: Cuomo's 3-Part Survival Plan

BY Nick Reisman City of Albany

Embattled Gov. Andrew Cuomo has insisted he won't resign. And right now one of the surest ways to remain in office amid allegations of sexual harassment and inappropriate behavior is relatively simple: Just hang in there.

But as calls for his resignation have grown from Democrats in the state Legislature and from virtually the entire New York congressional delegation, Cuomo has settled into what appears to be, roughly, a three-part plan for survival.

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Health Care Union Boosts Pressure for Nursing Home Protections

BY Nick Reisman City of Albany

The health care union 1199SEIU on Thursday is set to release a new ad highlighting the labor group's push for nursing home protections as the state budget season comes to a head in Albany.

The ad from the politically powerful union highlights a push for measures meant to boost staffing levels in nursing homes, which have struggled during the COVID-19 pandemic.

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Law Firm Leading Cuomo Impeachment Investigation Draws Criticism

BY Morgan McKay City of Albany

The New York State Assembly announced Wednesday that they have hired an outside law firm to lead the impeachment investigation into the numerous allegations facing Governor Andrew Cuomo.

The law firm, Davis Polk & Wardwell, is already drawing criticism, however, since the firm has ties to state Chief Judge Janet DiFiore, a Cuomo appointee.

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Citing Investigations, Cuomo Won't Comment on Harassment Allegations

BY Nick Reisman City of Albany

Gov. Andrew Cuomo, days after investigations were officially announced by the state attorney general and the Democratic-led state Assembly, said on Wednesday he will no longer comment about the sexual harassment allegations leveled against him by seven women.

“I’m going to respect the review and I won’t comment on it or related matters,” Cuomo said in a conference call with reporters when asked about several of the specific allegations raised by former aide Charlotte Bennett, who alleges he asked about her sex life.

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Siena Poll: Half of Voters Do Not Think Cuomo Should Resign

BY Nick Reisman City of Albany

Half of voters in New York do not think embattled Gov. Andrew Cuomo should resign amid a barrage of sexual harassment allegations, while a plurality of voters believe he can continue to do an effective job as governor, a Siena College poll released Monday morning found.

The poll comes as Cuomo is fighting to remain in office amid bipartisan calls for his resignation and the start of an impeachment investigation by the Democratic-led Assembly.

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Cuomo Retains Crucial Backing in Fight to Stay

BY Nick Reisman City of Albany

There's a story Gov. Andrew Cuomo has often told over the years that is meant to highlight the humbling of those in power: When his father was moving into the Executive Mansion in Albany, the younger Cuomo saw outgoing Gov. Hugh Carey himself juggling with some moving boxes while walking down the staircase.

The lesson Cuomo drew from this: When it's over, it's really over.

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Cuomo Says Elected Officials "Bowing" to "Cancel Culture" in Resignation Calls

BY Nick Reisman City of Albany

A defiant Gov. Andrew Cuomo continued to insist on Friday he would not resign, denied the allegations of sexual harassment and inappropriate behavior leveled against him and knocked the elected officials who have called on him to step down, saying in a conference call they are "bowing" to a "cancel culture" without knowing the facts.

"Women have a right to come forward and be heard and I encourage that fully," Cuomo said. "But I also want to be clear there's a question of the truth."

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NY House Democrats, Including Ocasio-Cortez, Call for Cuomo Resignation

BY Nick Reisman City of Albany

A cascade of Democratic members of Congress who represent New York in Washington on Friday called for Gov. Andrew Cuomo to resign amid allegations from a half dozen women he sexually harassed them or engaged in inappropriate behavior.

The calls for Cuomo to step down include influential members like Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez. The Queens progressive released a joint statement with Rep. Jamaal Bowman, who pointed to the dozens of Democrats in the state Senate and Assembly who have also called for Cuomo to resign.

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Top Assembly Republican: Don't Drag Out Impeachment Investigation

BY Morgan McKay City of Albany

Assembly Minority Leader Will Barclay is urging the Assembly Committee on Judiciary to move quickly on the impeachment investigation reviewing alleged misconduct by Gov. Andrew Cuomo.

“The Committee on Judiciary’s investigation cannot be used as a mechanism to buy more time,” Barclay wrote. “We have a budget to develop, a public health crisis to deal with, and the state’s economic recovery to advance.

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Q&A: How Does Impeachment Work in New York?

BY Nick Reisman City of Albany

The Democratic-controlled state Assembly on Thursday moved to authorize the Assembly Judiciary Committee to begin an impeachment investigation as Gov. Andrew Cuomo is facing multiple allegations of sexual harassment and scrutiny over his administration's handling of nursing home deaths in New York.

But how would impeachment work in New York if it comes to that? Here's a question and answer below.

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Democratic Calls Mount for Cuomo to Go Amid Latest Allegation

BY Nick Reisman City of Albany

Calls for Gov. Andrew Cuomo's impeachment on Wednesday continued, as Queens Democratic Assemblywoman Jessica González-Rojas called for his removal as new reported details emerge of sexual harassment complaints made against him.

"I’ve had enough," González-Rojas wrote on Twitter last night in response. "Cuomo must be impeached."

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As Calls for Cuomo Resignation Rise, Some Still Prefer the Waiting Game

BY Morgan McKay City of Albany

There are now reportedly six sexual harassment allegations against Governor Andrew Cuomo and the number of lawmakers calling on Cuomo to resign continues to grow.

Senate Majority Leader Andrea Stewart-Cousins over the weekend issued a powerful statement, saying that it was time for the governor to step aside for the good of New York.

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Fighting for Political Life, Cuomo Retains His Defenders

BY Nick Reisman City of Albany

Last month, as specific sexual harassment allegations began to be leveled against Gov. Andrew Cuomo, a longtime supporter of his family sent out an essay entitled, "Our Extraordinary Governor."

The brief essay by William O'Shaughnessy, the owner of a local radio station in Westchester County, heaped lavish praise on the governor, noting he purchased 200 copies of Cuomo's book about the pandemic.

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Hochul Places Trust in AG's Investigation of Cuomo Harassment Allegations

BY Nick Reisman City of Albany
UPDATED 1:35 PM ET Mar. 09, 2021

Lt. Gov. Kathy Hochul in a statement on Tuesday said she trusts the investigation being overseen by former federal prosecutor Joon Kim and employment attorney Anne Clark into allegations facing Gov. Andrew Cuomo of sexual harassment and inappropriate behavior.

"With yesterday’s announcement launching the independent investigation led by Joon H. Kim and Anne L. Clark, I am confident everyone’s voice will be heard and taken seriously," Hochul said. "I trust the inquiry to be completed as thoroughly and expeditiously as possible. New Yorkers should be confident that through this process they will soon learn the facts."

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Assembly GOP Presses Impeachment of Cuomo

BY Nick Reisman City of Albany

Gov. Andrew Cuomo has said he won't voluntarily leave office as crises engulfing his administration — including allegations by multiple women of sexual harassment and inappropriate behavior, as well as scruinty over his handling of nursing home deaths during the pandemic — continue to mount.

"There is no way I resign," he said Sunday in a conference call. "Let's do the attorney general's investigation and let's go from there."

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Democratic Women: Wait for AG's Investigation to Unfold

BY Nick Reisman City of Albany

More than a dozen women in the state Assembly on Monday called for Attorney General Letitia James to be given "the appropriate time" to conduct an investigation of allegations of sexual harassment and inappropriate behavior leveled against Gov. Andrew Cuomo.

The statement comes amid growing calls for Cuomo to step down from the governor's office and as some Democrats begin open talk of impeaching him if he does not resign.

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Cuomo Urges People of Color to Get Vaccinated

BY Nick Reisman City of Albany

Facing growing calls for his resignation or impeachment in Albany, Gov. Andrew Cuomo on Monday left town for a tour of a mass vaccination site in New York City.

Cuomo, appearing at the Jacob Javits Convention Center in Manhattan, was flanked by Black clergy members and state officials, urging people of color to get their vaccines and boost participation.

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Why Some Say Cuomo's Impeachment Should Be on the Table

BY Nick Reisman City of Albany

The top Democrats in the state Senate think Gov. Andrew Cuomo should resign. Assembly Speaker Carl Heastie questioned whether the governor can remain in office.

But Cuomo has indicated hours before those blockbuster statements on Sunday that there is no way he'll be leaving office voluntarily, as his administration is beset by multiple scandals ranging from the reporting of nursing home deaths during the COVID-19 pandemic, to allegations of sexual harassment and inappropriate behavior with women.

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Will Cuomo Face Any Political Fallout?

BY Nick Reisman City of Albany

The problems facing Gov. Andrew Cuomo seem insurmountable for any politician to stay in elected office. And the controversies continue to snowball.

On Thursday, former aide Charlotte Bennett detailed in a national televised interview the sexual harassment allegations she has leveled against the governor, including intimate questions about her sex life. Hours later, The New York Times and Wall Street Journal each published stories of how the top aides in the Cuomo administration withheld key fatality data from a Department of Health report issued in July that had largely absolved the decision to require nursing homes to not turn away COVID-19-positive patients.

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Reports: Cuomo Administration Altered Data From Report on Nursing Home Deaths

BY Morgan McKay City of Albany

Two bombshell articles dropped within hours of each other, first from The Wall Street Journal and then from The New York Times, revealing that top Governor Andrew Cuomo aides altered a COVID-19 report, purposefully withholding the complete number of nursing home resident deaths.

On July 6, State Health Department Commissioner Dr. Howard Zucker sat down in front of cameras and released a detailed report showing that 6,432 nursing home residents died from COVID-19 and blamed the spread of the virus on COVID-positive staffers that unknowingly carried it in with them from the community.

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Assembly GOP Expands Cuomo Impeachment Push to Include Sexual Harassment Allegations

BY Nick Reisman City of Albany

Republicans in the state Assembly on Thursday signaled they would expand their push to impeach Gov. Andrew Cuomo to include allegations he sexually harrassed multiple women.

Republicans in the Assembly had previously announced an impeachment commission amid an ongoing controversy surrounding the administration's handling of nursing home deaths during the pandemic and reporting where fatalities occurred over the last year.

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Accusers Say Cuomo's Apology Falls Short and GOP Says It Was "A Performance Worthy of an Emmy"

BY Morgan McKay City of Albany
UPDATED 6:00 AM ET Mar. 04, 2021

Governor Andrew Cuomo’s daily COVID-19 press conferences were considered “must watch” daytime television around this time last year, with New Yorkers across the state finding comfort in his PowerPoint presentations at the height of the pandemic.

But after three women came forward to accuse the governor of sexual harassment, he slid into hiding for more than a week, skipping three of his scheduled press briefings.

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Cuomo Apologizes Amid Sexual Harassment Allegations, Says He's Not Resigning

BY Zack Fink , Spectrum News Staff and Hayley Foran City of Albany
UPDATED 5:26 PM ET Mar. 03, 2021

ALBANY — Addressing the public in person for the first time in more than a week, Gov. Andrew Cuomo apologized to the women who have alleged he sexually harassed them, saying he "never touched anyone inappropriately."

He said he was "embarrassed" by the allegations, but asked that New Yorkers wait for the state attorney general’s investigation before reaching conclusions, adding that he's not resigning.

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Analysis Reviews New York's Nursing Home Claims

BY Morgan McKay City of Albany

Many of Governor Andrew Cuomo’s claims when it comes to how the state handled nursing homes during the pandemic has been rated “Mostly False” by PolitiFact in a new article.

First, in September Cuomo touted that New York ranked 46th out of 50 states when it came to preventing nursing home COVID deaths.

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The WFP Calls for Cuomo to Resign

BY Nick Reisman City of Albany

Every four years in New York for the last decade, a little side drama has played out in the state's gubernatorial elections: Will Gov. Andrew Cuomo run on the ballot line of the progressive Working Families Party?

The party has seemingly always been at odds with the Democratic governor, but inevitably reconciles with him for an uneasy peace by the time the general election rolls out. On Tuesday morning, the WFP in a statement said it had seen enough amid the sexual harassment allegations roiling the governor's administration.

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Dwindling Allies: The Controversies Straining Governor's Relationship with State Democrats

BY Nick Reisman City of Albany
UPDATED 6:00 AM ET Mar. 02, 2021

Gov. Andrew Cuomo is facing growing calls among fellow Democrats in New York to resign after a third woman accused him of sexual harassment and misbehavior.

Other lawmakers, meanwhile, said the third allegation by Anna Ruch that Cuomo made unwanted sexual advances at a 2019 wedding should expedite the investigation now in the hands of Attorney General Letitia James.

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Cuomo Faces Questions Over Management Style

BY Nick Reisman City of Albany

Andrew Cuomo, admittedly, is a difficult boss. But over the last several weeks, episodes have been thrust into the public view that has illustrated what, in modern parlance, would be considered a deeply toxic work environment.

The governor's office and Cuomo himself have defended the hard-charging style as effective and necessary in the hothouse world of New York politics.

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Key Labor Union Releases Ad Campaign for Nursing Home Reforms

BY Nick Reisman City of Albany

The politically influential labor union 1199 on Wednesday launched an ad campaign to boost nursing home policy changes amid a broader controversy surrounding fatality reporting by Gov. Andrew Cuomo's administration.

The ad released by the union, which has served as a key ally for Cuomo over the last decade, credited the governor and state lawmakers for backing reform plans.

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Doctor Called Advisor by Cuomo's Team Says He's Only Spoken to Cuomo Once

BY Morgan McKay City of Albany

A doctor, who Governor Andrew Cuomo’s top aide says was one of the Governor's chief health advisors, said he has had only one five-minute conversation with Cuomo in his entire life.

“I’ve had one five-minute conversation my entire life with Governor Cuomo, just a few weeks ago when he called me just to congratulate me on a TV program appearance,” Dr. Michael Osterholm said in an interview with Firing Line show host, Margaret Hoover.

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How Local Governments Could Get Some Cost Savings

BY Nick Reisman City of Albany

It has not been the easiest 11 months for local governments as they contend with the financial burden created by the COVID-19 pandemic.

But Gov. Andrew Cuomo's budget proposal includes a little-noticed provision that could give local officials some relief heading into the new fiscal year.

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How Cuomo Wants to Spend Legal Marijuana Revenue

BY Nick Reisman City of Albany

Job placement, mental health programs, and housing would benefit from the legalization of marijuana in New York if a plan backed by Gov. Andrew Cuomo is made law.

Cuomo on Tuesday outlined amendments to his budget plan first announced last month, fleshing out the details of his proposals to legalize marijuana for adult use in the state.

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Cuomo Administration Lays Out Nursing Home Timeline After Leaked Conversation

BY Nick Reisman City of Albany

Last summer, state lawmakers were probing what went wrong in nursing homes and long-term care facilities during the COVID-19 pandemic and some of the responses by Health Commissioner Howard Zucker during an Aug. 3 public hearing left them unsatisfied. Later that month they requested more information from the Department of Health.

Less than a week later, the Department of Justice signaled an inquiry into nursing home deaths in New York and several Democratic-led states. The Legislature's request was set aside as state officials also began to contend with a vaccine rollout and resurgent COVID-19 cases. That's the timeline laid out by Melissa DeRosa in a statement to Spectrum News as Gov. Andrew Cuomo's administration faces questions over its handling of nursing homes during the pandemic.

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Community-Based Physicians Seek More Vaccine Doses

BY Nick Reisman City of Albany

The Medical Society of New York on Wednesday urged state officials to send more vaccine doses to community-based doctors so they can begin to immunize their patients.

The push from the organization comes as New York has opened pop-up sites for vaccine distribution as well as mass distribution sites at public colleges and university campuses and is opening a site at Yankee Stadium in the Bronx on Friday.

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New York Extends Open Enrollment for Health Care Marketplace

BY Nick Reisman City of Albany

The open enrollment period for applying for coverage in the state's health marketplace has been extended to March 31, Gov. Andrew Cuomo on Thursday said.

The governor's office said this was in response to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, which has been resurgent this winter.

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New York Schools May Face the Worst of "Worst-Case" Budget

BY Nick Reisman City of Albany

Education officials, from school leaders to union leaders, took one look at the worst case budget as proposed by Gov. Andrew Cuomo on Tuesday and gulped.

The budget line for education is second only to health care in its cost to the state, giving teachers unions, superintendents, school districts and families among those with the highest stakes in the coming weeks as New York seeks billions of dollars in aid from Congress.

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Cuomo Calls for Smart Speaker Disclosure

BY Nick Reisman City of Albany

Companies that make recording-capable smartphones, speakers, and TVs should prominently disclose that information, Gov. Andrew Cuomo proposed as part of his 2021 agenda.

The propsal would require the disclosure in the form of written warnings for consumers as Internet-connect devices with the ability to record, retain and transmit audio.

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Unpublished Link Led to Unauthorized COVID-19 Vaccine Appointments

BY Nick Reisman City of Albany

A link shared on social media and group chats this week allowed some New Yorkers to make COVID-19 vaccination appointments.

The problem? The link was unpublished, the appointments were not authorized, and the vaccination sites in Binghamton, Buffalo, Plattsburgh, Potsdam, Stony Brook, and Utica were either not open or taking appointments.

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Details Count Once Again in Marijuana Legalization Push

BY Nick Reisman City of Albany

The legalization of cannabis in New York is once again on the agend for Gov. Andrew Cuomo and many state lawmakers.

But even as the proposal is being pushed in part to aid a cash-strapped state by generating more revenue, the measure could once again face similar scrutiny over how it aids communities affect by stricter drug laws of the past.

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New York Wades Back in to Legalized Cannabis Debate

BY Nick Reisman City of Albany

Legalizing sales of cannabis products at the retail level is once again expected to be part of Gov. Andrew Cuomo's budget this year, he announced Wednesday, once again igniting a debate over how New York should approach the issue.

The measure has stalled in the past not over whether marijuana should be legalized, but over the specifics of how to do it. How should it be taxed? How should communities affected by drug laws benefit? Where can cannabis products be sold? Should New Yorkers be allowed to grow small amounts of the plant on their own?

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Cuomo Bet on a Democratic U.S. Senate. Now What?

BY Nick Reisman City of Albany

Gov. Andrew Cuomo was seeking the equivalent of a political bank shot: Joe Biden wins the presidency, Democrats gain control of the U.S. Senate, and New York gets a friendlier Washington that could lead to direct aid for a beleaguered state budget.

On Wednesday, the verdict came in: The Democrats have full, if narrow, conrol of Washington with victories by both Raphael Warnock and Jon Ossoff in a pair of runoff elections in Georgia.

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Cuomo: Snow Won't Disrupt Vaccine Distribution in New York

BY Nick Reisman New York State

The widespread snow that was dumped on much of New York won't create a broad disruption for the distribution of a COVID-19 vaccine, Gov. Andrew Cuomo on Thursday said.

Cuomo, in Kingston for a briefing on the snow, said 120 people were confirmed to have died of the virus in the last 24 hours. There are more than 6,000 people who remain hospitalized due to the virus and the state's positivity rate remains above 6% in the last day.

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Cuomo Defends Waiting for Federal Stimulus Help

BY Nick Reisman City of Albany

Since the spring, New York state and local governments have been waiting for some sort of federal assistance to recoup the billions of dollars in lost tax revenue as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic.

And in effect, New York has been treading water: Money has been withheld in some instances by the state and pay raises for some public employees have been halted during the crisis. But waiting around forever is not an option as county governments have budgets set to pass by the end of the calendar year that will likely have more question marks than dollar signs.

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Cuomo Approves Ban on PFAS in Food Packaging

BY Nick Reisman City of Albany

A ban on the usage of PFAS chemicals in food packaging was approved this week by Gov. Andrew Cuomo.

PFAS chemicals have been found in food packaging as well as in food containers used for takeout orders at restaurants.

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New York to Receive First Batch of COVID-19 Vaccines in Coming Weeks

BY Nick Reisman New York State

New York will receive 170,000 doses of the coronavirus vaccine in the coming weeks, Gov. Andrew Cuomo said Wednesday, as COVID-19 cases in the state continue to rise and state officials continue to carefully watch increasing hospitalizations.

Frontline health care workers and people who live in nursing homes and long-term care facilities are expected to be among those with the first priority in receiving the first batch of the vaccine manufactured by pharmaceutical company Pfizer. A second batch of vaccines will be provided by Moderna.

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Federal Aid for the Unemployed Faces Renewal

BY Nick Reisman New York State

Federal aid for people who have lost their jobs during the COVID-19 pandemic is set to expire at the end of December unless Congress acts in the coming weeks.

At the same time, New York along with other states will be seeing additional effects of federal support sunsetting, including support for hospitals amid a surge of coronavirus cases that is expected to crest through the holiday season.

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Once Approved, Cuomo Says He'll Be Among First for COVID Vaccine

BY Nick Reisman City of Albany
UPDATED 1:20 PM ET Nov. 27, 2020

Governor Andrew Cuomo will be among the first to take a COVID-19 vaccine to show that it is safe, he said on Thursday in a conference call.

"I want people to feel confident, that's why I am willing to be one of the first ones to take the vaccine," Cuomo said in the call. “I would never ask the people of the state to take a vaccine that wasn’t safe."

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How Cities Can Survive Post-COVID Pandemic

BY Nick Reisman City of Albany
UPDATED 1:20 PM ET Nov. 27, 2020

Liz Farmer is not ready to write off cities just yet. Though the American city, especially in New York, is taking its blows during the COVID-19 pandemic.

But Farmer, a researcher at the Rockefeller Institute of Government, argued in a report for the think tank that cities need to start ways of figuring out how to bring back workers and residents.

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A Long Road Back to Power for New York Senate Democrats

BY Nick Reisman City of Albany

Around this time 10 years ago, Senate Democratic leader John Sampson held a news conference to tout his conference's accomplishments. The issues he highlighted — measures like reforming Off-Track Betting parlors in New York — were paltry.

Democrats had been turned out of power in the state Senate weeks earlier in the tea party wave election and had become the laughingstock of state government. They were concluding a single, two-year term in the majority mired by dysfunction and a paralyzing leadership coup.

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Cuomo: 'Defund the Police' Stuck in Voters' Minds

BY Nick Reisman New York State

Calls to "defund the police" earlier this year in the wake of the killing of George Floyd in Minneapolis stuck with voters when they cast ballots this year and may have hurt Democrats at the polls, Gov. Andrew Cuomo on Wednesday said in a radio interview.

"I think 'defund the police' went too far," Cuomo said. “I think law and order makes a difference in people's lives."

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Cuomo: Local Governments Can Require Masks for Schools

BY Nick Reisman New York State

City and county governments will be empowered to set mask wearing mandates in schools, Gov. Andrew Cuomo said on Wednesday.

Westchester County Executive George Latimer had made the request, which Cuomo is granting statewide.

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Cuomo Accuses Trump of COVID-19 "Capitulation"

BY Nick Reisman New York State

Gov. Andrew Cuomo on Sunday seized on comments from White House Chief of Staff Mark Meadows that the coronavirus cannot be controlled, accusing the Trump administration of capitulation amid the ongoing pandemic.

Meadows on Sunday said, "we can't control the virus" amid rising cases in parts of the country. New York, too, is seeing COVID cases in parts of New York City, the Hudson Valley and Southern Tier regions.

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Lawmaker: Sue Trump to Get COVID Aid

BY Nick Reisman New York State

New York state should sue the Trump administration over a lack of state and local government aid during the coronavirus pandemic, Assemblyman Joe Lentol on Friday said.

A COVID stimulus measure that could potentially provide billions of dollars in aid to New York's state and local governments remains in limbo in Washington amid disagreements over the size and scope of the measure as well as whether state governments should be helped.

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Polling Places Will Stay Open in New York's COVID Red Zones

BY Nick Reisman New York State

Polling places will remain open in designated "red zones" of concentrated coronavirus cases, an advisor to Gov. Andrew Cuomo on Thursday said.

New York has sought in recent weeks to stamp out COVID cases in a block-by-block or "cluster" strategy that focuses on a large number of cases in a specific area. Using color-coded designations, the state has moved to close schools and non-essential businesses in areas where coronavirus case increases have been especially sharp.

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Why Vaccinations in New York Will Overshadow the Testing Challenge

BY Morgan McKay New York State

"Administering a vaccine is going to make testing look simple,” Governor Andrew Cuomo emphasized on Monday during a press conference call.

Cuomo highlighted the enormous task of trying to get 19.5 million New Yorkers vaccinated against COVID-19, once a vaccine is released most likely next year.

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Groups Urge Against Higher Education Cuts in New York

BY Nick Reisman New York State

Higher education and community groups on Friday released a letter to Gov. Andrew Cuomo urging him to not cut spending for New York's colleges and universities amid an historic economic downturn due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

The coalition of 166 organizations include faculty and student organizations.

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State Continues to Hunt for COVID-19 Clusters

BY Nick Reisman New York State

New York is dealing with two "different realities," as Governor Andrew Cuomo on Sunday put it.

In one space, there's the coronavirus pandemic like it was during the summer: An infection rate of less than 1 percent out of thousands of tests in most areas. Then there's the other side: clusters of cases in Brooklyn, Queens, as well as Orange and Rockland counties, and some spots in the Southern Tier region.

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Cuomo Says Deficit Decisions Will Hold Until After Election Day

BY Morgan McKay New York State

"Life is options and we don't have any good ones,” Governor Andrew Cuomo said during a press call on Wednesday about federal stimulus talks being stalled again.

President Donald Trump on Tuesday called on the U.S. Senate to stop negotiating on a stimulus deal and focus instead on confirming his Supreme Court justice pick.

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Hospital Groups Concerned By Prescription Drug Change

BY Nick Reisman New York State

A change in Medicaid funding for prescription drugs could cost New York safety net hospitals big in the state budget, industry groups warned state officials last week in a letter.

Leading hospital associations in the state are urging the Department of Health and Governor Andrew Cuomo to reverse the provision, which switches the Medicaid pharmacy benefit from Medicaid managed care to fee-for-service.

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Advocates Call for Broad Residential Eviction Ban in New York

BY Nick Reisman New York State

Housing advocates on Monday called for a broad ban of residential tenant evictions in New York as Governor Andrew Cuomo extended a moratorium until the start of 2021.

Cuomo announced the extension for residential renters suffering financial hardship due to the effects of COVID-19 pandemic. A commercial tenant moratorium has also been extended.

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Residential Eviction Moratorium Extended to January for New York

BY Nick Reisman New York State

A ban on residential tenant evictions will continue for the rest of the year in New York state, Gov. Andrew Cuomo announced Monday.

The extension of the moratorium for residential tenants came after the state also extended an executive order limiting commercial evictions.

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New York's Limited Budget Options

BY Nick Reisman New York State

Governor Andrew Cuomo has acknowledged the various paths New York's state budget can take are not pretty if no federal aid comes through from Washington.

New York is seeking billions of dollars in aid from federal officials to offset the revenue that vanished amid the shutdown due to the coronavirus pandemic.

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Why David Paterson's Book of Trials Resonates

BY Nick Reisman New York State

This is a year for books by New York governors. Former Gov. George Pataki's new book details the response to the Sept. 11 attacks. Next month, incumbent Andrew Cuomo will publish a book on the early days of the coronavirus pandemic.

And David Paterson this week published his own account of being a governor in a time of multiple crises and struggles.

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AG James Ready to Sue if Federal Funding for NYC is Cut

BY Nick Reisman New York State

Attorney General Letitia James on Monday signaled she was ready to take the federal government to court if designating New York City an "anarchist jurisdiction" would lead to cuts in federal funding.

James in a statement called the designation and an attempt to distract voters from the ongoing crisis of the coronavirus pandemic.

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Calls for Prison Reform Made on Attica Anniversary

BY Nick Reisman New York State

Advocates and former inmates on Sunday commemorated the anniversary of the final day of the Attica prison uprising with a push for an end to solitary confinement and the closure of correctional facilities around the state.

The protests, held in New York City and in Albany, come as criminal justice advocates have also called for the release of inmates during the coronavirus pandemic amid concerns the virus can easily spread in congregate settings like prisons.

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Casinos Can Open Next Wednesday in New York, Cuomo Says

BY Nick Reisman New York State

New York casinos can re-open next Wednesday with social distancing and filtration guidelines in place, Gov. Andrew Cuomo said Thursday morning.

The casinos must operate at 25 percent capacity and install filtration systems that have been shown to remove coronavirus particles from the air.

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Cuomo, Labor Leaders: $59B in Federal Aid Needed

BY Nick Reisman New York State

State and local governments in New York need $59 billion in federal aid or across-the-board spending cuts are likely, Gov. Andrew Cuomo warned Monday in a letter backed by prominent labor leaders.

The letter warns "no combination" of state-based solutions like raising taxes and cutting spending can offset the need for federal aid as the economic fallout from the pandemic continues.

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Cuomo: Colleges With COVID Spikes Will Move to Remote Learning

BY Nick Reisman New York State

Colleges and universities in New York that see elevated coronavirus cases will move to two weeks of remote learning, Gov. Andrew Cuomo on Thursday said.

The criteria announced Thursday in a conference call comes as SUNY campuses around New York are already in session with students on campus. A student this week at the University at Albany tested positive this week.

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Cuomo: DOJ's Nursing Home Request Is "All Politics"

BY Nick Reisman New York State

New York will comply with a request for information on deaths at five state-run nursing homes at the height of COVID-19 pandemic in the state, Gov. Andrew Cuomo on Thursday said in a conference call.

But Cuomo also blasted the request from the U.S. Department of Justice as a political effort aimed at Democratic governors like him and his counterparts in Michigan, New Jersey and Pennsylvania.

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MTA Faces Dire Need for Federal Help, NY Officials Say

BY Nick Reisman New York City

New York City's mass transit system is in dire need of a federal aid package or risk a potentially costly borrowing plan and fare hikes, state officials on Thursday warned.

The Metropolitan Transportation Authority's finances were devastated by the coronavirus pandemic and subsequent shutdown. Commuters stayed home or largely avoided trains, buses and subways and fares plummeted to levels never seen before, starving the MTA of revenue.

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Cuomo, Health Commissioner Criticize New CDC Guidance on COVID-19 Testing

BY Morgan McKay New York State

Governor Andrew Cuomo, joined by State Health Department Commissioner Dr. Howard Zucker, criticized recent changes to Centers for Disease Control guidance when it comes to being tested for COVID-19.

Overnight, the CDC changed its guidance, recommending that if someone is in close contact with a person who has tested positive for COVID-19 for less than 15 minutes, then they do not have to be tested if they are asymptomatic. This is different than their original guidance that recommended for a person who is in contact with a COVID-positive person to be tested, even if they are asymptomatic.

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Cuomo Signs Bill to Expand Narcan Use

BY Morgan McKay New York State

Restaurants and bars are now joining a growing list of businesses that will be able to carry opioid antagonists, like Narcan, in the case of an opioid-related overdose.

Governor Andrew Cuomo signed legislation on Monday that expands the list of establishments that are allowed to possess and administer opioid overdose reversal medication. This list will now include malls, beauty parlors, theaters, hotels, restaurants, bars and retail establishments.

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COVID Hospitalizations Drop Below 500 Patients

BY Nick Reisman New York State

Coronavirus hospitalizations have fallen below 500 patients for the first time since March 16 as New York's overall new infection rate has plunged to below 1% for two weeks, Gov. Andrew Cuomo on Friday said.

"Part of the reason we were able to tame the beast in New York is because of our aggressive testing strategy. When the federal administration fell down, New York stepped up - and yesterday we raised the bar even higher with nearly 100,000 tests reported in a single day," Cuomo said.

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New York's Unemployment Rate Remains High, But Jobs See Gains

BY Nick Reisman New York State

New York's unemployment rate continued to climb, reaching 15.9% in July even as the private sector added jobs last month, the state Department of Labor on Thursday reported.

The state saw an increase of 244,200 jobs, a 3.6% increase in July. But issues remains as the coronavirus pandemic-induced recession lingers across the economy.

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Cuomo Signs Bills Expanding Absentee Ballot Access

BY Nick Reisman New York State

A three-part package of bills that are meant to expand access to absentee ballots and ensure they are received by Election Day was signed onto law on Thursday by Gov. Andrew Cuomo.

The measures come amid heightened concerns around absentee and mail-in voting ahead of the November general election.

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How Biden, Cuomo Share a Base and Approach to Politics

BY Nick Reisman New York State

It seemed like Gov. Andrew Cuomo was putting his money on a long shot.

Last year, Cuomo was praising former Vice Joe Biden as the candidate best suited to take on President Donald Trump. Cuomo did so over the canddiacy of fellow New Yorker Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand, against all the conventional wisdom that suggested at the time Democrats would nominate a younger candidate, not a 77-year-old white man.

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Coronavirus Book Will Be "Halftime" Review of Pandemic, Cuomo Says

BY Nick Reisman City of Albany

Gov. Andrew Cuomo's forthcoming book on the coronavirus pandemic will be forward looking, as well as a "halftime" assessment on how the crisis was handled, he said on Wednesday in a conference call.

"The book is not the history of COVID," Cuomo said in the call with reporters. "That totally misses the point. We are very much in the midst of it. We have learned much. We have more to learn. We have done some things right, we have done some things wrong."

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What to Watch For in Cuomo's DNC Address

BY Nick Reisman New York State

Four years ago, Gov. Andrew Cuomo was jockeying for a good speaking slot at the Democratic National Convention in Philadelphia against Mayor Bill de Blasio.

This year, even though de Blasio was one of the dozen or so Democrats who briefly sought the presidential nomination, Cuomo won't be fighting the mayor for speaking time.

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Cuomo, Ocasio-Cortez, and Schumer to Speak at DNC

BY Nick Reisman New York State

Gov. Andrew Cuomo has a speaking slot on Monday at the Democratic National Convention, while fellow New Yorkers Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez and Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer are scheduled to speak on Tuesday.

The convention this year will be a largely virtual event after much of the planned festivities in Milwaukee have been largely scaled back amid the coronavirus pandemic.

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Cuomo: $3 Billion New York Environmental Bond Act Postponed

BY Susan Arbetter New York State

The Restore Mother Nature Bond Act, which would have been the largest in state history, was supposed to reduce the risk of flooding for vulnerable communities, restore habitat, and prepare the state for climate change.

It’s become another victim of the COVID-19 pandemic.

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Cuomo Blasts Homeland Security Leaders Over Green Light Opposition

BY Nick Reisman City of Albany

Gov. Andrew Cuomo on Friday blasted the Trump administration's since-withdrawn effort to freeze access to trusted traveler programs for New Yorkers over the Green Light law after the Department of Justice acknowledged the opposition to the measure had been based on misstatements and falsehoods about the measure.

And Cuomo, who raised the possibility of legal action over the episode, suggested the dispute could have led to longer lines at aiports in New York, leading to a faster spread of coronavirus in the process.

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New York, Feds Resolve Trusted Traveler Program Dispute

BY Nick Reisman City of Albany

The federal government will allow New Yorkers to again apply for ease-of-entry programs for crossing the Canadian border and global entry programs, resolving a dispute that began earlier this year over allowing undocumented immigrants to apply for driver's licenses.

"After the Department of Homeland Security announced the ban on the Trusted Traveler Program for New York residents in February, I immediately met with President Trump at the White House to discuss what -- to the extent that there were bonafide concerns -- needed to be done to address the issue while still protecting the privacy of all New Yorkers," Gov. Andrew Cuomo said in a statement on Thursday.

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Cuomo: 2 Percent of Prison Inmates Over 55 COVID Positive

BY Nick Reisman City of Albany

Tests of more than 3,900 prison inmates age 55 and above found an infection rate of 1.9 percent, Gov. Andrew Cuomo on Thursday said, as criminal justice advocates have called for some inmates to be released in order to prevent the spread of the virus.

The test was designed to find asymptomatic prison inmates and all 77 inmates who were found to be positive were not showing symptoms.

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Cuomo, Hogan Again Push for Federal Pandemic Aid

BY Nick Reisman Albany County
UPDATED 4:37 PM ET Jul. 22, 2020

The governors of New York and Maryland are teaming up again on a renewed push for federal aid.

The effort from Republican Governor Larry Hogan of Maryland and New York's Andrew Cuomo comes as Congress is once again negotiating another federal stimulus bill.

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Nursing Home Liability Rollback Continues to Draw Opposition

BY Nick Reisman City of Albany

Health care interests in New York on Wednesday continued to push back against a measure meant to roll back liability protections for nursing homes and long-term care facilities during the coronavirus pandemic.

Gov. Andrew Cuomo, meanwhile, signaled he would be open to a version of the legislation that carved out COVID cases from liability, but said he would have to read the measure.

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Cuomo Says He Discouraged Trump Sending Federal Officers to New York City

BY Nick Reisman City of Albany

Gov. Andrew Cuomo said he discouraged President Donald Trump from sending federal law enforcement officials to New York City to handle rising crime, telling the president the state would step in if necessary.

Cuomo discussed the call held with the president on Tuesday in a conference call this morning with reporters, saying he does not believe the situation yet warrants state or federal action in New York City.

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Cuomo: New York's COVID-19 Positive Rate Remains Flat

BY Nick Reisman New York State

New York's coronavirus infection rate remains largely flat as the virus continues to spread in other areas of the country, Governor Andrew Cuomo said on Wednesday.

Cuomo said in a conference call nearly 70,000 test results in the last day found a positive rate of 1.04 percent, or 705 positive cases. The state's COVID positive rate has been largely flat in recent weeks.

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For Now, No Fans At College Games In New York

BY Nick Reisman City of Albany

The new roof at the Carrier Dome may not get admired by fans of the Syracuse Orange this fall.

Gov. Andrew Cuomo's budget advisor on Tuesday said at the moment there will not be fans in attendance for college sporting events this fall.

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Cuomo: Only 2 COVID Deaths Over 24 Hours In New York, 31 States Under Travel Quarantine

BY Nick Reisman City of Albany
UPDATED 2:54 PM ET Jul. 21, 2020

Two people have died from COVID-19 in the last 24 hours as the daily death toll from the pandemic continues to decline in New York, Gov. Andrew Cuomo announced Tuesday.

Meanwhile, New York added 10 more states to a list of states requiring travelers to submit to a 14-day quarantine. There are now 31 states on New York's quarantine list, more than half the country.

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Top GOP Lawmakers Back Nursing Home Investigation Bill

BY Nick Reisman City of Albany

The top Republican lawmakers in the state Senate and Assembly are signing onto a bill that would create an independent investigation of nursing home and long-term care facility deaths during the coronavirus pandemic.

The measure was originally introduced by Sen. Jim Tedisco and has the support of Senate Minority Leader Robert Ortt and Assembly Minority Leader Will Barclay.

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