Saturday, December 31, 2016

Cuomo Special Session Pay Raise Deal Blew Up, He Faces Anger From Both Parties In 2017

Tuesday: Cuomo Still Trying to Get Albany It Pay Raise to Avoid Lawmakers Backlash Would Need Senate Dems Who Were Cut Out of the Bill, GOP Leadership Not on Board
In recent days, Cuomo's office has still been trying to resurrect a potential special legislative session after state Senate Majority Leader John Flanagan pulled the plug on negotiations Friday night
Cuomo seeking legislative pay raise deal before end of 2016 (NYDN) uomo's office in recent days has been trying to resurrect a potential special legislative session that would pave the way for the first lawmaker pay raise since 1999, legislators on both sides of the aisle told the Daily News Monday night. But the plan would be contingent on the state Senate Democratic minority — which is upset about having been frozen out of the negotiations — providing the bulk of the votes to pass legislation pertaining to the pay raise and other issues sought by the governor, something they have been refusing to do, the source say. After weeks of negotiations, Senate GOP Majority Leader John Flanagan on Friday night pulled the plug after weeks of negotiations, saying a deal could not be struck.  But Republican and Democratic senators said that since Flanagan's announcement, there have been some discussions between Cuomo and legislative leadership about trying to resurrect a special session. Unless a pay raise is approved by the end of the year, lawmakers by law will have to wait another two years to get another opportunity.  Legislators have said if no pay raise is approved they expect a hostile relationship with Cuomo in 2017 that could hurt his agenda.  "I know the governor has made a couple of phone calls, but I think we're in the same place that we were Friday," said one Republican. "There's too many impediments."  Multiple sources said the Republican majority does not have nearly enough votes on its own to pass a package during the special session.  And the Senate Democrats have maintained it is "unreasonable and irresponsible" to expect them to provide the bulk of the votes to pass a legislative package they had no part in crafting, one said.* New York state’s legislative session is set to begin next month in Albany with tensions simmering between Gov. Andrew Cuomo and lawmakers after negotiations to boost legislative salaries fell through, The Wall Street Journal writes.  * Cuomo has spent less time in Albany during the annual legislative session each year he’s been governor, as his focus has shifted to other parts of the state, the Times Union writes. State ofthe State hits the road (TU)

Cuomo Ducks Possible Lawmakers Pay Protect Boycott Albany SOS Replaces SOS With Six Local Speeches to People Across the State 
Cuomo to ditch State of the State address for series of six speeches ‘to the people’ across New York (NYDN)  Cuomo, who has been warring with state lawmakers, is set to skip the traditional January gubernatorial address before the Legislature in favor of a series of regional speeches aimed directly at the public, sources told the Daily News.  The sources say he’s now set to do six speeches across the state. One will be in Albany — but is expected to be held somewhere away from the Capitol complex and geared more for the public than state lawmakers, a number of whom have been threatening to boycott his speech next year out of anger.

Michael Benjamin ‏@SquarePegDem    Cuomo can give a 7th State of the State from Mars & he still won't be far enough away from the stench of 2nd Floor/Albany/SUNY corruption.

Michael Benjamin ‏@SquarePegDem   Cuomo really has reporters in his thrall about his 6 out of Albany 2017 State of the State addresses. This has been his s.o.p. for 2 yrs.
Buffalo Billion Investigation

Albany Special Session to Raise Pay: 95% YES, DEAD

Zack Fink ‏@ZackFinkNews  Source says 95% chance lawmakers are back Tuesday to vote in a special session. Among the items being considered is pay hike for legislators

Michael Benjamin ‏@SquarePegDem   Special session is more abt Cuomo’s ego & how he's trying to distract from the stink of 2nd Flr corruption he missed than it is pay raises.

Jimmy Vielkind ‏@JimmyVielkind Special session is deadSenate GOP source says John Flanagan has told leaders he's pulling plug. Confirmed by three other sources.

Flanagan Does Not Have GOP Members Support? What the Real Reason Only 2 Men in This Room

N.Y. Sen. John Flanagan pulls plug on plans to booststate lawmakers’ pay (NYDN) State Senate GOP Majority Leader John Flanagan late Friday night pulled the plug on a legislative special session that could have paved the way for the first legislative pay raise since 1999.  Gov. Cuomo, whose administration has been rocked by a pay-to-play and bid-rigging scandal, has said he would not sign off on the idea of a pay raise unless the Legislature approves ethics reforms and other business.  But after weeks of negotiations, Flanagan in a late night statement said that that discussions to provide more money to fight homelessness, expand ridesharing services like Uber and Lyft to upstate, and enact reforms to the procurement process ultimately "have not borne fruit."* The Daily News writes that, as Cuomo has insisted, a pay raise for state legislators must come with reform, and that the Legislature should spend this week far from Albany unless the holiday spirit inspired them to pass ethics reform.
Albany Budget, Ethics, Pay Raise, Three Men in the Room, Pork

Cuomo's Independent Pay Commission Block, Will Weaken Cuomo in 2017 Look for Lawmakers Out to Get the Gov From Both Parties
Barring a re-opening of the talks, the collapse of a deal could have profound repercussions for the 2017 legislative session.  Word spread Friday evening of a potential deal that could have also included ethics-related measures such as more oversight of procurement procedures – a discussion sparked by the latest public corruption scandal that reached into the governor’s inner circle – and a public financing system for judicial campaigns.  But just as quickly as talk of a deal surfaced, so did oppositions to the proposals – and talk of recriminations from anonymous sources involved in the negotiations.  One source with direct knowledge of the talks groused that Flanagan could not deliver the votes in the GOP-controlled Senate for the session, due the closely-divided nature of his chamber.  The source added that “this was after weeks of negotiation in which he himself agreed to do the deal,” suggesting the legislative leadership and Gov. Andrew Cuomo were in agreement at one point, but rank-and-file lawmakers themselves could not be brought along.  A second source sympathetic to Flanagan, meanwhile, blamed Cuomo for the deal’s demise, saying the governor had the most to lose if a session is not ultimately held. “He meddled with independent pay commission and nixed potential pay hike,” the source said, “now faces angry Legislature.”

The Grinch In Conspiracy With Albany Lawmakers Ignore Public Opinion and Go for A Pay Raise Other Christmas Goodies for Gov Like a Personal Prosecutor For the Grinch That Closed Moreland and Cut the Controller Who Can't Supervise His Pension Fund, Out of the Buffalo Billion Oversight 
Update Three sources said Assembly members have been briefed on potential items for a special session of the state Legislature, including public financing of state Supreme Court races, the expansion of ride-hailing services and ethics measures, the Times Union reports.

Cuomo’s Proposal for an Executive-Branch Prosecutor Is Called a ‘Scheme’ (NYT)  Amid haggling over raising lawmakers’ pay, Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo of New York has proposed a new prosecutor, controlled by him, to investigate state spending.  As negotiations continue over the possibility of a special legislative session, concern has spread here over the prospect of last-minute gifts that Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo and state lawmakers might exchange.  For its part, the Cuomo administration recently floated proposals to create a new inspector general with oversight of state issues at the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey, and a new special prosecutor with broad investigative powers over the state procurement process. For their part, legislative leaders continue to have their hopes set on a raise for their members.  The prosecutor proposal has set off another skirmish between Mr. Cuomo and the state attorney general, Eric T. Schneiderman, a fellow Democrat. Mr. Schneiderman expressed his displeasure over the proposal in a letter to Mr. Cuomo and legislative leaders on Wednesday, calling the idea of an executive branch prosecutor “likely unconstitutional” and “a scheme.”  The governor first floated the concept of such executive oversight in a statement last month, just before Joseph Percoco, one of his closest aides and a former confidant, was indicted in a corruption scandal involving hundreds of millions of dollars in state contracts. Also indicted was Alain Kaloyeros, who resigned as president of the State University of New York Polytechnic Institute, which has been central to the governor’s upstate economic policies and would also be subject to the powers of the proposed procurement prosecutor. But the attorney general’s office, which has squabbled with Mr. Cuomo before, said “the governor’s proposal would allow executive agencies to simply police themselves.” Last week, Thomas P. DiNapoli, the comptroller, asked the governor to restore his powers to monitor the state and city university systems’ spending and state contracts. He said his authority in those areas had been substantially reduced by executive and legislative actions during Mr. Cuomo’s time in office. The possibility of a special session has been percolating since last month, when a commission formed to evaluate a raise for lawmakers and members of the executive branch disbanded after Mr. Cuomo’s appointees helped block approval of a raise proposal. Mr. Cuomo, who has a reputation for wielding a heavy hand in all things Albany, then offered up the basics of a possible deal: supporting a salary increase in exchange for action on ethics and other policy proposals.* Cuomo faced pushback over proposals that would give him more authority over the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey and state procurement practices, The Wall Street Journal reports.  * There’s talk about scheduling a legislative session day on Tuesday or the possibility that some Democrats will be so upset if they can’t vote on a potential pay raise that they will respond by not attending Cuomo’s State of the State, the Times Union reports.

Schneiderman Cuomo's Special Prosecutor A Distraction and Potentially Unconstitutional 
Schneiderman assails Cuomo reform measure as 'a distraction' (PoliticoNY)  Schneiderman said the Democratic governor’s proposal was duplicative and potentially unconstitutional. Cuomo announced he wanted to create a special inspector general — who he would appoint — after a bribery and bid-rigging scandal ensnared several members of his inner circle, including Joe Percoco, a political adviser and surrogate brother.  Both Schneiderman and Comptroller Tom DiNapoli have questioned the idea of self-policing by the governor's office, and said their own offices should be empowered if the governor has a true desire to increase oversight.  “I do hope procurement reform, which is such a big and important issue, that it not be done in a rushed or jammed way,” DiNapoli, also a Democrat, said as he responded to a pay-to-play scandal in his own office. “A special session where nobody knows what’s happening until the last minute and there’s a message of necessity — that’s not the way.”  Another source shared with POLITICO draft bill language, dated last week, that detailed Cuomo's plans to create special inspectors general at SUNY and CUNY.  Both the SUNY and CUNY IGs will “serve at the pleasure of the governor,” would “have full and unrestricted access to all records, information … correspondence and any other materials” maintained by the university systems. They would also have subpoena power, as well as the ability to fire any employee who declines to answer questions.  On Wednesday, speaking to reporters at his office in Manhattan, Cuomo said conversations with legislative leaders were continuing in “good faith” and “good spirit,” and said the lack of transparency surrounding the proposals wasn't a significant concern. 

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