Plugged In @ Hinman Straub – February 1, 2019

What’s Inside

  • Legislature Passes Child Victims Act
  • Legislature Passes Gun Control Package
  • Governor Announces Staff Appointments
  • Agreement Reached between NYC Mayor and Federal Government in NYCHA Suit
  • New York City Council Speaker Announces Run for Mayor
  • Governor Announces Appointments to New York State Complete Count Commission
  • Sports Betting Regulations Approved by Gaming Commission
  • MGM Resorts Gets Approval to Purchase Empire City Casino and Yonkers Raceway
  • Conservative Party Chair Steps Down
  • Updates, Reminders and Links

Legislature Passes Child Victims Act

On Monday, the legislature passed the Child Victims Act, extending the statute of limitations for both criminal and civil cases for sexual offenses committed against a child and opening a one year look back window for filing legal claims. The bill passed on Monday would apply to both public and private institutions, where previous iterations of the bill would have only applied to private institutions.

After passage, Senate Majority Leader Stewart-Cousins said:

“When we took up this fight for the Child Victims Act, none of us thought it was going to be this tough or take this long. Government has a responsibility to stand up for the survivors of these heinous crimes. That is why the Senate Democratic Majority has been fighting alongside survivors and advocates for years to pass the Child Victims Act and remove the barriers that have been protecting predators. I’ve been proud to work with Senator Brad Hoylman, who has championed and shepherded this legislation, and I commend him on its passage. Justice is finally being delivered.”

The bill now goes to the Governor for his approval or veto.

Legislature Passes Gun Control Package

The Senate and Assembly voted on a package of gun control bills which was hailed as the first significant action on gun control since the passage of the SAFE act in 2013. Among the measures passed was a bill to extend the allowable waiting period for gun purchases from 3 days to 30 days in cases were the National Instant Background Check does not provide immediate approval. Another bill would prohibit teachers or other school officials from carrying a firearm in school, currently the decision to allow a properly licensed school official to carry a firearm is conferred on each individual school district to make locally. Bump stocks or other modification devices which accelerate the rate of fire of a weapon are now banned from being processed, manufactured or sold in this state. Previously, the use of such devices was banned as part of the SAFE act in 2013, but possession was not explicitly prohibited. Another bill compels individuals seeking a firearm license, who are domiciled in another state, to sign waiver of confidentiality allowing out of state mental health records to be viewed by the licensing officer.

Perhaps the most significant legislation included in the package is what is known as the “red flag bill” which allows a police officer, district attorney, family member, school administrator, teacher or other licensed school official to petition a judge to issue an extreme risk protection order for anyone they believe could pose a risk or threat of violence. A judge would then have to determine whether or not to grant the order. If granted, the respondent would be prohibited from purchasing any firearm and whatever firearms the respondent currently possesses could be confiscated by the police, until such time as the order is lifted.

The Governor has yet to act on these bills. In addition, more gun control bills are expected later this year as statements made by the Majority Leader Stewart-Cousins suggest drafting concerns left a few bills on the cutting room floor. Among those bills that are not yet ready are measures that would require microstamping of ammunition, ban 3D printed guns, and create the crime of not storing guns safely.

Governor Announces Staff Appointments

This week the Governor announced additional appointments to his staff via press release. Those appointments include:

  • Jill DesRosiers as Chief of Staff
  • Major General Patrick A. Murphy as Commissioner of the Division of Homeland Security and Emergency Services
  • Angela Fernandez as Commissioner of the Division of Human Rights
  • Dale Bryk as Deputy Secretary for Energy and the Environment
  • Johnathan Smith as Deputy Secretary for Civil Rights
  • Maria Vullo as a member of State of New York Mortgage Agency
  • Mimi Reisner as Senior Advisor for Communications and Digital Strategy
  • John Maggiore promoted to Senior Advisor to the Governor
  • Amanda Lefton as First Assistant Secretary for Energy and the Environment
  • Lauren Melendez as Assistant Secretary for Transportation
  • Daniel Horwitz appointed to the Joint Commission on Public Ethics
  • Jihoon Kimas Chief of Staff to the Senior Advisor, John Maggiore

The Governor Said:

“From day one, our administration has delivered real results for New Yorkers, and I am proud to work with this brilliant and talented team to keep our momentum moving forward. Together, we will make New York a stronger, fairer and more prosperous state for all.”

Agreement Reached between Mayor and Federal Government to drop NYCHA Suit

Details emerged this week on the agreement to drop the federal lawsuit over NYCHA living conditions. In a joint press conference with HUD Secretary Ben Carson, Mayor de Blasio announced that an agreement was in place that created a framework for moving forward. As part of the settlement a federal monitor will be placed to oversee NYCHA. The settlement also requires the replacement of interim NYCHA Chairman Stanley Brezenoff, and sets hard deadlines to fix issues involving lead paint, mold, rats, broken elevators, and leaking pipes. The federal monitor is expected to be chosen within the next few weeks.

New York City Council Speaker Corey Johnson Announces Mayoral Bid

Corey Johnson became the second person to officially announce they are considering a run for Mayor of New York City, joining Bronx Borough President Ruben Diaz Jr. as the first to enter the race. Johnson said his decision to announce a mayoral run was informed by his effort to be transparent about his plans and begin fundraising now as he also announced that his campaign will cap contributions at $250 instead of the legal limit of $2,000 and will refuse money from the real-estate industry, lobbyists and corporate political committees. It was reported that within 24 hours of the announcement, Johnson had received 388 contributions.

Governor Announces Appointment to New York State Complete Count Commission

This week, the Governor announced his appointments to the New York State Complete Count Commission tasked with directing the State’s efforts in the upcoming 2020 Federal Census. Among his appointments were the following:

  • Rossana Rosado, New York State Secretary of State – Co-Chair
  • Jim Malatras, President, Rockefeller Institute of Government – Co-Chair
  • Steve Bellone, Suffolk County Executive
  • Karim Camara, Executive Director and Deputy Commissioner, Governor’s Office of Faith-Based Community Development
  • Bitta Mostofi, Commissioner of New York City Mayor’s Office on Immigrant Affairs
  • Roberta Reardon, Commissioner, New York State Department of Labor
  • Joseph Salvo, New York City Planning Department
  • Lovely Warren, Mayor of the City of Rochester

Governor Cuomo said:

“While the federal government shamefully tries to use the census as a tool to attack immigrants and wage war on blue states, in New York we are committed to a robust, comprehensive effort to ensure that every New Yorker is counted and that we receive our fair share of representation and federal funding. I’m proud that this highly qualified Commission will work with traditionally underrepresented groups and local governments across the state to ensure a full count.”

Sports Betting Regulations Approved by State Gaming Commission

On Monday, the state gaming commission preliminarily approved sports betting regulations, paving the way for legalized sports betting in any of the four land-based casinos or seven Indian-nation casinos in New York. This action will start the clock on the 60 day public comment period which could open the door to betting by mid-April, provided the state approves applications to do so. It will be up to the gaming commission to approve the types of bets each casino is allowed to accept. Most professional and collegiate sports will be made available for betting, except any college game taking place in New York or any game featuring a New York based team.

Ron Ochrym, the Gaming Commission’s Acting Executive Director said:

“The intention of these rules is to provide a solid regulatory structure that would enable the four facilities to get running as soon as practicable with the concept that novel or unique concepts and ideas can be revisited at a future date.”

MGM Resorts Gets Approval to Purchase Empire City Casino and Yonkers Raceway

In addition to taking up sports betting regulations, the State Gaming Commission also approved a series licenses that will allow MGM Resorts to purchase Empire City Casino and Yonkers Raceway. The price tag for the purchase is reported to be in the $850 million range and it is expected that MGM will develop a hotel and entertainment venue on the site. It is also assumed that MGM will pursue a full-scale gaming license, though several hurdles will need to be cleared for that to happen.

MGM said in a statement:

“We appreciate the work of the New York Gaming Commission and the approval of our license. We couldn’t be more excited to become part of the Yonkers community and welcome Empire City’s 1,200 team members to the MGM Resorts family. MGM is looking forward to bringing another world-class entertainment destination to the Northeast.”

Conservative Party Chair Steps Down

Mike Long, chair of the New York State Conservative Party for the last 30 years, announced his decision to step down from the post. The party is expected to hold a vote on his replacement next month.

Updates and Reminders

City & State NY’s weekly Winners & Losers here.

Timothy Cardinal Dolan pens Op-Ed to Cuomo.

Governor Cuomo fires back at the Cardinal.

Stanley Hill, former DC37 union leader passed away at 82.

Charles Hynes, former Brooklyn DA passed away at 83.

Mayor de Blasio appoints/reappoints 46 Judges.

Cuomo issues consumer alert regarding FaceTime bug that allows for spying on other users.

Learn how to disable FaceTime here.

Oops, Nassau County error eliminates tax exemption for veterans.

The Governor personally enforces the winter storm thruway truck ban.

City and State NY’s profile of New York legislators with tattoos.

Women trapped in an elevator for an entire weekend.

Coming Up

Joint Budget Hearing Schedule.

The PSC will hold its next meeting on February 7th at 10:30am.

The Board of Regents will hold its next meeting on February 11th and 12th

The Senate will hold a hearing on the Climate and Community Protection Act, February 12th.

The legislature will hold a joint public hearing on Sexual Harassment on February 13th.

JCOPE will meet Tuesday, February 29th.

The Senate plans to hold a hearing on LIRR on-time performance, no date set currently.