Cuomo’s Backroom Convos + Jumaane Williams is Public Advocate

Local News:

  • Governor Andrew Cuomo is trying to lure Amazon back to New York. On Friday he ran a full-page ad in The New York Times asking Jeff Bezos to reconsider his decision not to move forward with HQ2 in Long Island City, and reportedly telling various Amazon executives that he would personally help them navigate the governmental approval process.

  • Despite saying last year that he would support a bill granting driver’s licenses to undocumented immigrants if it were passed by the State legislature, Cuomo has been privately calling newly elected State Senators, telling them not to vote for such a bill. The bill could affect as many as 265,000 New Yorkers.

  • The State Democratic Party Committee is considering a ban on fusion voting, to be discussed at a meeting in Westchester today. The committee’s vote would not actually outlaw the practice but could potentially lead to legislative action.

  • Former State Senator and head of the now-dismantled IDC, Jeff Klein, has been retained as a lobbyist for a large Minneapolis-based cannabis company called PharmaCann.

  • The Civilian Complaint Review Board (CCRB) says they have launched an investigation into the death of Delrawn Small, who was killed by an off-duty police officer in 2016. A CCRB finding of misconduct could potentially lead to a departmental trial.

  • Mayor de Blasio came out in support of Cuomo’s congestion pricing plan this week, in a rare moment of alignment with the Governor. The proposal could still face an uphill battle in Albany, especially from a block of Democratic Senators in Long Island.

  • CUNY students are urging Bernie Sanders to publicly revoke his endorsement of Cuomo’s Excelsior Scholarship Program, which so far has led to full-tuition scholarships for only 3.2% of undergraduates.

  • Janet DiFiore, the Chief Judge of the New York State Court of Appeals, called for increased payment to attorneys representing indigent defendants, as well as a State constitutional amendment to restructure the State’s complicated trial court system.

  • The MTA board voted to slightly increase the price of weekly and monthly MetroCards, effective April 21st. The MTA will still face a $500 million operating deficit next year.

Elections:

  • Jumaane Williams beat 16 other candidates on Tuesday to become NYC’s new Public Advocate. He beat his closest opponent, Republican Council Mmember Eric Ulrich, by a 14-point margin. The overall turnout was around 9%.

  • Because this was a special election, Williams will still need to go through a Democratic primary in June and general election in November to secure his seat beyond this year.

  • A date has not been set for the special election to fill Williams’s now vacant City Council seat in Flatbush, but several candidates have started campaigning.

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