January 8, 2020 – Albany, NY – Governor Andrew M. Cuomo delivers his 2020 State of the State Address in Albany. (Mike Groll/Office of Governor Andrew M. Cuomo)ALBANY — New York lawmakers on Thursday delayed immediate decisions on how to find $10 billion in potential spending cuts in an elastic state budget aimed at keeping state government running amid a crisis brought on by a virus outbreak that has hammered New York City and upended the economy.Seated in their offices or far apart from one another in the largely vacant chambers, lawmakers took final votes on budget bills. The exact size of the budget for the next year was unclear, but lawmakers are attempting to slash as much as $10 billion from the $178 billion originally proposed by Gov. Andrew Cuomo.The extent of spending cuts will depend on whether New York receives enough federal funding or if the economy recovers enough to make up for a potential $10 to $15 billion loss in state revenue.“We can all agree that the budget we are passing is not the budget that any of us hoped to pass at the beginning of the session,” Democratic Senate Leader Andrea Stewart-Cousins said. “It’s not even the budget we expected to pass a month ago. Our state’s financial situation has been thrust into true economic crisis.” Lawmakers have agreed that the ongoing epidemic necessitates expanding the governor’s role over state spending and response efforts. The governor’s budget office would have to notify lawmakers about 1% revenue shortfalls or overspending, and the administration could cut spending if lawmakers don’t come up with their own plan in ten days.The budget deal is also set to include at least $8 billion in short-term borrowing to help the state handle a tax deadline delayed to July 15. The state can also access a $3 billion line of credit.Cuomo, a Democrat, and Stewart-Cousins called for urgent, additional federal funding to help New York respond to the outbreak.New York state government is set to receive at least $5 billion in federal aid for the cost of responding to the virus, on top of over $1 billion in emergency education funding. But Cuomo has said the amount is not enough to offset possible revenue loss and response costs that have already exceeded $1 billion.Schools are receiving nearly the same amount of funding as last year — about $28 million. Cuomo had proposed $800 million in extra school aid in January. New York will lose out on extra federal education aid if funding falls further.The budget also allows Cuomo’s administration to reduce healthcare spending this year or next.Cuomo had complained New York would lose out on billions of dollars in emergency Medicaid funds because Congress prohibited states from restricting Medicaid until the outbreak is declared over. A state task force was tasked this year to propose trimming $2.5 billion in Medicaid spending.The budget allows Cuomo’s administration to delay some Medicaid proposals amid the crisis — including another 0.5% in across-the-board Medicaid payment cuts, a cap on managed long-term care enrollment and restrictions on Medicaid-funded personal care aide programs.A coalition of several health consumer groups said cuts during or after the pandemic will devastate struggling hospitals shouldering the brunt of the outbreak.Several left-leaning advocacy groups including VOCAL-NY slammed lawmakers for failing to consider higher taxes on the state’s wealthiest residents to help provide more revenue for schools.Republicans criticized Democrats for including a host of new laws in the budget that have received little public scrutiny in recent weeks: from the legalization of paid surrogacy, to a ban on Styrofoam containers, a sweeping new paid sick leave law, an expansion of prevailing wage mandates, a ban on flavored vaping, a new small-donor public financing system, and an increased ballot threshold making it harder for third parties to qualify for the ballot.New York will also legalize e-bikes and e-scooters, add E Pluribus Unum to the state’s coat of arms, seize weapons from certain individuals linked to possible domestic abuse, establish a new “domestic act of terrorism motivated by hate” felony, and ban high-risk sexual offenders from rising the MTA.New York is also tweaking a law allowing undocumented immigrants to apply for drivers’ licenses that drew rebuke from President Trump’s administration, which had halted the import and export of used vehicles in New York and cut residents from “trusted traveler” programs. New York can now share certain state motor vehicle records that federal officials say is needed to import and export vehicles and vet New Yorkers applying to trusted traveler programs. The law aims to ensure that data can’t be used for immigration enforcement.Another budget measure backed by Cuomo would also tweak a new state law that started in January to end cash bail for 90% of crimes, allowing thousands of New Yorkers facing charges for mostly non-violent crimes to avoid being held in jail while awaiting trial.Republicans and many law enforcement officials around the state initially raised concerns that the law was emptying jails and endangering the public, while supporters said cash bail unjustly oppresses poor and minority communities.Cuomo’s proposed tweak includes making more crimes eligible for bail starting in 90 days — including felony sex trafficking, money laundering, strangulation, certain hate crimes, criminal possession of a weapon on school grounds, grand larceny, escape and failing to register as a sex offender.Cuomo said Thursday that his administration has looked at the roll-out of the new law: “I think we made the right change now.” Share:Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to email this to a friend (Opens in new window)
Holland coach Louis van Gaal emerged as the early front-runner to succeed Moyes, whose 10-month reign came to an end on Tuesday when he was fired following a meeting with vice-chairman Ed Woodward at Carrington. Press Association Sport understands the United board first discussed the possibility of getting rid of Moyes on Sunday night following the team’s 11th defeat of the season at Everton. On Monday the board, which includes Ferguson and Sir Bobby Charlton, decided Moyes should be sacked and he was summoned to the AON Training Complex the following morning to be dismissed. Although Ferguson was responsible for appointing Moyes, he will play a part in choosing his compatriot’s successor, although this time he will not be the sole man responsible. United are looking to appoint an experienced manager who has a history of signing top-class players and managing them. For that reason, the club are known to be interested in Van Gaal, who has won titles in Spain and Germany. The 62-year-old also won the Champions League with Ajax in 1995. The Dutchman has made it clear he wants to move to England when his contract expires at the end of the World Cup. Another potential candidate, according to reports, is Carlo Ancelotti, whose position at Real Madrid could be in jeopardy if the Italian fails to win either the Spanish league or the Champions League. The United board will back their new manager in the transfer market, with the £150million kitty promised to Moyes still available. Ryan Giggs will take care of the team “until a permanent appointment can be made,” United said. Press Association Sport understands Giggs will not be considered as a full-time replacement, but they hope United’s most-decorated player will become part of the new manager’s backroom staff. For the final four games of the season, Giggs will be assisted by Nicky Butt, Phil Neville and Chris Woods – the latter two keeping their jobs despite being brought in by Moyes. Steve Round and Jimmy Lumsden were also brought in by the Scot but they have been fired. One United source said the board started worrying about Moyes’ capabilities during the 2-0 defeat to Olympiacos. “The players didn’t look up for it,” the source said. Once more “lacklustre” performances followed, the source added, Moyes had to go. Fans and shareholders widely backed Moyes’ dismissal, although former captain Roy Keane said the players should take a large portion of the blame. “Some of the players should be ashamed of themselves,” Keane told ITV1. On Tuesday evening the club’s share price on the New York Stock Exchange climbed sharply to its highest point since Ferguson’s retirement last May. Moyes is locked in discussions with his former employers about a severance package, with some estimates stating such negotiations could take up to two weeks. The Scot left United seventh in the Barclays Premier League, some 23 points behind leaders Liverpool. Sir Alex Ferguson will be asked for his view on who should replace David Moyes as manager of Manchester United. Ferguson, a director at the Old Trafford club who hand-picked the former Everton boss as his successor last year, will be able to express his opinion along with every member of the Manchester United board. And whoever takes over from the Scot will be given significant funds to rebuild the squad, sources said. Press Association
HAVANA – Internationally renowned dissident Oswaldo Paya on Thursday announced a new group with more than 300 members to promote reconciliation and push for laws that allow Cubans more individual liberties. Paya said the Citizen Committee for Reconciliation and Dialogue seeks to get average Cubans involved in efforts to change laws to “guarantee the exercise of fundamental rights of all Cubans, whether they live inside or outside” the communist-run island. It builds on Paya’s Varela Project, which amassed more than 25,000 signatures asking for a referendum to change Cuba’s electoral law and to guarantee freedoms of speech, assembly and private business ownership. The European Union honored that project in 2002 by awarding Paya its top human rights prize. AD Quality Auto 360p 720p 1080p Top articles1/5READ MOREPettersson scores another winner, Canucks beat KingsWhile some members of the new committee are established dissidents, most are ordinary citizens, Paya told a small group of reporters. “The majority of Cubans want change,” said Paya, 55, a devout Roman Catholic who founded the opposition Christian Liberation Movement a decade ago to emphasize peaceful change. “Never before have the Cuban people been so conscious that change is near and that Cuba has to change.” The island’s 81-year-old leader, Fidel Castro, underwent emergency intestinal surgery last year and stepped aside provisionally for his brother Raul, the 76-year-old defense minister and his constitutionally appointed successor. Communist leaders insist that no major changes will occur after Fidel Castro is gone and dismiss opposition leaders such as Paya as “counterrevolutionaries” and “mercenaries.” Paya’s projects are less militant and more inclusive than most opposition projects in Cuba, bringing him criticism from some people in the exile community. He insists that change on the island must be homegrown and rejects proposals for change made by governments and groups outside the island, such as the recent White House project to promote a “democratic transition” in Cuba. In a “Declaration of Liberty for Cubans” accompanying Thursday’s announcement, Paya said, “The Cuban people, and especially the new generations, want to live in peace, in an environment free of fakery, fear, hate, rancor, without revenge or vengeance.”160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set!