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New York Democrats are starkly divided over bail reform. While Republicans all seem to have gotten the memo to treat the bail overhaul as a watch word for the perils of liberal governance, Democrats are riven along ideological lines, with many moderates pushing for changes while progressives largely stand firm behind the new law.
So where does Mayor Bill de Blasio stand? Not with the progressives. Its the latest law enforcement issue to put de Blasio at odds with the left wing of his party, Erin and Anna report.
De Blasio has been pushing to change the new law, which ended cash bail for misdemeanors and non-violent felonies, advocating discretion for judges to consider whether a defendant is dangerous before cutting them loose. To detractors, its part of a pattern for the mayor of being too deferential to the NYPD. Its not a good look, said Public Advocate Jumaane Williams. It seems whenever we try to make a real progressive step forward, if it gets a little hot, there seems to be an immediate retreat, and thats very concerning.
Whether de Blasios stance will change any minds in Albany is another question. Assembly Speaker Carl Heastie, the closest thing he has to a reliable ally there, has refused to entertain rolling back the laws. We knew where he stood when we passed the law, said Sen. Mike Gianaris, a Queens Democrat. Were hearing from a lot of people across the spectrum. His is another voice that were hearing from.
WHERES ANDREW? With no public events scheduled by press time.
WHERES BILL? In Washington, D.C., for the U.S. Conference of Mayors' 88th Winter Meeting.
THE METROPOLITAN TRANSPORTATION AUTHORITY has recently lured away at least 125 officers from the New York Police Department with offers of higher pay and more days off as the transit agency bulks up its patrol force, according to people familiar with the matter. The state-controlled MTA announced in September that it was hiring 500 officers in large part to tackle homelessness, assaults on transit workers and fare evasion on the subway. Some officers will also patrol other MTA facilities such as its two commuter railroads. The first cohort of 140 officers hired as part of the initiative begin in waves this month, and the majority come from the NYPD, officials said. Its mainly the pay, but the hours are easier, one former NYPD officer who is starting at the MTA said in an interview last week. Its approximately $15,000 more. Its huge. Base salaries for MTA officer jobs top out at about $100,000 after seven years, according to the agency. Base salaries for the NYPD top out at roughly $85,000 after 5 years on the job. Wall Street Journals Ben Chapman and Paul Berger
The MTAs six senior hires since July have all been men.
IN THE WAKE of sweeping, tenant-friendly legislation passed last June, landlord groups predicted that New York City's housing stock would deteriorate and that the new laws would make it too onerous for landlords to pay for upkeep. But data on basic housing maintenance violations so far shows otherwise, according to numbers gleaned from Open Data and crunched by the Legal Aid Society. According to an analysis by the organization, housing maintenance violations decreased slightly between 2018 and 2019. One of the first things that we heard from the landlord groups that the greater tenant protections found in the Housing Stability and Tenant Protection Act would mean that the landlords would be unable to maintain their buildings, Ellen Davidson, a Legal Aid staff attorney for the Civil Law Reform Unit, told Gothamist. But it hasn't been backed up with anything. It's just been threats. Legal Aid's analysis of housing maintenance code violations issued by the Department of Housing Preservation and Development decreased by 2,891 from June 14th to December 31st between 2018 and 2019, a decline of 1 percent. Gothamists Sydney Pereira
A MAYOR BILL DE BLASIO administration scheme to get more subway homeless people to take the city up on supportive programs instead of getting summonses for bad behavior has backfired, an anonymous letter purportedly sent by transit cops to homeless advocates alleged Tuesday. De Blasio announced his Subway Diversion Project in June touting Supports, not Summonses in a press release. The project allows homeless people found violating MTA rules like taking up more than one subway seat to avoid paying civil summonses by opting into the program offering a host of social support services. But the letter unveiled Tuesday by the Coalition for the Homeless charges that transit cops are constantly being threatened and told by our immediate supervisors to get diversions. While civil summonses could be issued on the ground, the homeless caught in the act are instead arrested and brought to NYPD commands, where they are coerced to opt into the program, the letter states. New York Posts Craig McCarthy, David Meyer, and Vincent Barone
IT WAS A provocative, possibly divisive, message from a mainstream mayoral candidate in New York City. The candidate, Eric L. Adams, the Brooklyn borough president, spoke of how new arrivals to New York were hijacking apartments from longtime residents. Go back to Iowa, Mr. Adams, a Democrat, said on Monday at the Rev. Al Sharptons National Action Network headquarters in Harlem, at his annual Martin Luther Kings Birthday event. You go back to Ohio. New York City belongs to the people that was here and made New York City what it is. His comments struck at a broader anxiety across all five boroughs about gentrification and affordability, and whether those forces have homogenized the city for the worse. In neighborhoods across the city, in places like Harlem, Washington Heights, Long Island City and Bushwick, residential and commercial rents have risen, displacing longtime businesses and residents, and upending the character of those areas. Yet some leaders in New York suggested that Mr. Adams had gone too far. Indeed, Mr. Adams on Tuesday sought to clarify his comments, signaling that he did not, in fact, want newer residents to start packing their bags. New York Times Emma G. Fitzsimmons
FIRST IN PLAYBOOK: Adams will outline his agenda in a speech Wednesday to the Association for Better New York. He plans to call for the creation of real-time command centers, modeled on the NYPDs Real Time Crime Center, for agencies like NYCHA, the Department of Education and the Human Resources Administration. A command center for NYCHA would track what boilers are out, for how long, the track record of the installer, where repair teams are located and an algorithm predicting which boilers might go out next. Bostons CityScore system is another model for the proposal.
A message from the Healthcare Education Project:
Tell Albany: Keep the Medicaid Promise! Medicaid is the difference between life and death for some of the most vulnerable New Yorkers, including seniors, children, and people with disabilities. One third of all New Yorkers are covered by Medicaid and millions more benefit indirectly from this essential program. KeepTheMedicaidPromise.com
IF YOU'RE looking for a flashy, innovative playbook for the state to twist its way out of a $6.1 billion deficit, Gov. Andrew Cuomo isnt offering one. The governors $178 billion executive budget proposal focuses on methods hes used before structural redesign for the states Medicaid program and expected trims across the system to achieve financial solvency. This is not the time to come up with creative although irresponsible revenue sources, Cuomo said in his budget address in Albany. Cuomos budget excludes any significant new moneymakers such as new taxes which have already proven a divisive topic among Democrats in an election year or revenue from programs like casino expansion or legalizing recreational marijuana. In any case, most of the money from such programs would be unlikely to materialize quickly enough for the rest of this fiscal year, which ends in late March. The first prong in his gap-closing plan is something the state did once before in 2011 using a Medicaid Redesign Team (MRT) to reassess the way the programs current implementation is driving unsustainable costs, Cuomo said. In a little more than two months before the budget is due, Cuomo says this new team led by Michael Dowling, president and CEO of Northwell Health, and Dennis Rivera, the former president of SEIU 1199 will find $2.5 billion in savings by addressing industry inefficiencies and rooting out waste, fraud and abuse. POLITICOs Anna Gronewold and Shannon Young
His budget included a call for legalizing marijuana, which the governor has predicted cant get done outside the budget, increased funding to combat homelessness, and a modest $826 million school aid increase.
He indicated a willingness, but not urgency, to reexamine the states bail reform laws.
Cuomo wants to make the states 2015 fracking ban permanent, and celebs love it!
His long focus on the state's economic development and job growth efforts now are taking a back seat to the environmental, social, educational and other progressive issues that are dominating the national political debate, notes Buffalo News Jonathan D. Epstein.
Cuomo also proposed extending the State Fair for an 18-day run between Aug. 21 to Sept. 7, causing concern about the structural resilience of the butter sculpture.
Without seeing the budget bills, legislative leaders said they dont hate Cuomos proposal...yet.
The Legislature announced its joint budget hearing schedule, which begins January 27.
A FEDERAL APPEALS COURT on Tuesday partially overturned the 2018 corruption conviction of Sheldon Silver, once the powerful speaker of the New York State Assembly, but allowed much of the conviction to stand likely ending his hopes of remaining out of prison. Mr. Silver, a Democrat from Manhattans Lower East Side, had been sentenced to seven years in federal prison for accepting nearly $4 million in illicit payments in return for taking official actions on behalf of a cancer researcher and two real estate developers. Mr. Silvers lawyer had argued that the trial raised substantial legal issues that were likely to result in a reversal of his conviction or a new trial. In its unanimous ruling on Tuesday, a three-judge appellate panel upheld Mr. Silvers conviction in a real estate scheme and a separate money-laundering count, but overturned his conviction related to his arrangement with the cancer researcher. New York Times Benjamin Weiser
#UpstateAmerica: Derek Jeter's induction into the National Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum could break a 2007 attendance record in Cooperstown this summer.
FORMER NEW YORK mayor Mike Bloomberg plans to shift his television ad message this week to directly call for President Trumps removal from office, with a new spot that will run in states with Republican senators who face competitive reelection fights this year. The decision to spend money on impeachment ads in the states of vulnerable senators like Cory Gardner (R-Colo.), Martha McSally (R-Ariz.), Susan Collins (R-Maine) and Thom Tillis (R-N.C.) fits into a larger strategy by Bloomberg since he started running for the Democratic nomination for president. He has tried to direct spending for his own long-shot presidential bid to also benefit other goals, like defeating Trump in November, even if he is not the nominee, and helping other Democrats down ballot. The 30-second spot will begin running Monday afternoon in 27 states and on the national cable networks MSNBC, ESPN and CNN, replacing other ads that are already in rotation. Washington Posts Michael Scherer
Mayor de Blasio will skip Bloombergs speech at the U.S. Conference of Mayors.
Bloomberg would like to create more projects like the proposed LaGuardia AirTrain, according to an infrastructure plan expected to roll out on Wednesday.
Manhattan District Attorney Cy Vance raised less money than two of his primary challengers, amid growing calls for his resignation.
Price Chopper will charge for plastic bags.
Council Member Jimmy Van Bramers withdrawal from the Queens Borough President race may have strengthened Council Member Donovan Richards' odds, but it could also mean good things for Council Member Costa Constantinides.
A Brooklyn man registered his beer as an emotional support animal in hopes of bringing it on public transportation.
Assault charges were dropped against the brother of City Comptroller Scott Stringer.
Harvey Weinsteins lawyers said his accusers bragged about having sex with him.
Rep. Hakeem Jeffries quoted The Notorious B.I.G. "and if you don't know, now you know" on Capitol Hill to the delight of the Twittersphere.
VICE reported Newburghs water crisis for a second time.
A homeless man laden with bed bugs was found dead on an uptown D train.
A French publisher has apologized for a history textbook that said the CIA no doubt orchestrated the September 11 attacks.
HAPPY BIRTHDAY: Josh Earnest, chief comms officer and SVP at United Airlines, is 45 Rajiv Chandrasekaran CNNs Kevin Bohn Ashley Codianni, EP and global head of social and emerging media at CNN Elise Flick, who last year married WSJs Nick Hatcher pic ... POLITICOs Zach Warmbrodt and Jesse Shapiro Josh Riley, a partner at Boies, Schiller & Flexner Jim Oliphant, national politics correspondent at Reuters Gail Shalan is 3-0
MAKING MOVES Andrew Holt, former publisher of City & State magazine, has joined the Bloomberg 2020 campaign in their New York office. Jim Low is now president of Rip Van, a Brooklyn, NY-based food company making low sugar and protein snacks. He was previously EVP of marketing and sales at Schuman Cheese and is also a Mondelz alum. Microsoft is relocating John Frank , currently the companys VP of EU government affairs in Brussels, to New York City to establish Microsofts new United Nations representation office. Martin Auerbach has started as head of international law firm Withers white collar and investigations practice in New York.
MEDIAWATCH Casey Seiler has been named editor and vice president of the Albany Times Union. Hes been managing editor of the paper since 2018. Seiler succeeds Rex Smith, who has served as editor since 2002, and will continue to run the opinion page and write his column.
GOV. ANDREW CUOMO pledged more funding toward homeless housing and services during his state budget address [on Tuesday]. The state will commit an additional $69 million towards supportive housing on top of existing funding commitments, generating an estimated 1,000 such apartments, according to the governor's office. The new funding will go toward the Homeless Housing and Assistance program, which funds capital construction of housing for people that comes with wrap-around services. The states existing $20 billion affordable housing plan, announced in 2017, involves various funding commitments over five years to create and preserve more low- and middle-income housing. POLITICOs Janaki Chadha
A message from the Healthcare Education Project:
One third of all New Yorkers are directly covered by Medicaid. New Yorks Medicaid program provides critical health insurance to low-income children and adults, seniors, and people with disabilities so that they and their families can get the healthcare they need to get healthy and stay healthy. It allows them to see a doctor when they are sick, get check-ups, buy medications, and go to the hospital. Medicaid is the difference between life and death for some of the most vulnerable in our communities, and there are millions more who benefit indirectly from this essential program. No New Yorker should have to choose between paying for healthcare and paying for rent or groceries. As our state leaders address the budget deficit, they must recognize essential spending on services and a quality workforce and end profiteering by big insurance and drug companies. Tell Albany: Keep the Medicaid Promise! KeepTheMedicaidPromise.com
Derek Jeter, an obvious Hall of Famer since approximately his rookie season, ascended officially on Tuesday. The best of the recollections of Jeter came from Bernie Williams, noted jazz musician and center fielder: My first recollection of Derek was in 92 or 93 when I saw this big wide-eyed skinny guy on the other side of the cage in Fort Lauderdale. I didnt see him again until 95 when he played a couple of games with the team. After that he was a mainstay with the team after they decided to give him the job in 96. According to him he said I didnt talk to him for the first three or four years of his career, but I have a different recollection of that! All kidding aside, I remember sitting in the back of the plane with him, playing my guitar, and if he was in a good mood, hed sing a little Lionel Ritchie with me, but most of the time hed tell me to shut up because I was being too loud. Derek, congratulations. Its a well-deserved honor. Im proud to say that I was your teammate and your friend. You were the best teammate that anybody could ever have. You were the captain and carried that responsibility with dignity. Everything that is great about being a Yankee, you exemplified. I cant wait to celebrate with you this summer.
The day ahead: LeBron and the Lakers show comes to The Garden. Stony Brook women's basketball looks to move to 19-1 at Binghamton.
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