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March 25, 2009 - 9:27am
posted by Howard B. Owens in governor Paterson, taxes, new york.

This morning's Buffalo News story contains an exceptionally scary phrase:

Gov. David A. Paterson on Tuesday to threaten ... the prospect of billions of dollars in tax hikes on residents to help balance the moribund budget.

Paterson is also planning to cut more than 8,000 jobs from the 141,000 in the executive branch.

So is New York going to test just how high taxes can go before it completely kills the economy?

March 13, 2009 - 11:58am
posted by Howard B. Owens in politics, Democrats, governor Paterson, Lorie Longhany.

Lorie Longhany of LeRoy submitted this photo along with the following information:

Left to right: Genesee County chair Lorie Longhany; Wyoming County chair Hank Bush; Livingston County chair Phil Jones; Governor David Paterson; Orleans County chair Jeanne Crane.

Wednesday night after his town hall meeting in Rochester, Governor Paterson had dinner with the four GLOW Democratic chairs, as well as the chairperson from Yates County. The Governor spent two hours discussing local issues over dinner, along with posing for some pictures.

January 26, 2009 - 9:08am

The Buffalo News reports this morning that Gov. David Paterson will meet and negotiate with the leaders of the Seneca Nation before any shipments of cigarettes to Seneca retailers are halted. Aaron Besecker reports:

During a rally Sunday just south of the Route 438 Thruway overpass, [Seneca President Barry E. Snyder Sr.] read a letter from Gov. David A. Paterson in which the governor indicated his desire to begin talks with the Indian nation about the dispute over tax collection on cigarettes sold by Native American merchants to non-Indians.

It sounds as if the governor is considering backing off from enforcing the law that he himself signed in December that requires wholesalers to show to the state tax department that they are not selling tax-free cigarettes to retailers. If they fail to comply, they could be charged with perjury. In the meantime, a justice of the state Supreme Court "issued a temporary restraining order ... that blocks the state from enforcing its policy."

Paterson spokesman Morgan Hook said he would not comment on a private conversation between the governor and Snyder, but he did say a negotiated compromise on the cigarette tax issue “is an avenue [Paterson] would like to take.”

“The governor sees it as a window of opportunity,” Hook said.

What exactly would Gov. Paterson negotiate? This seems to be a pretty cut and dry issue. Either the state enforces the law or the law is repealed. Can you see any compromise on this?

January 23, 2009 - 11:20am
posted by Philip Anselmo in congress, politics, governor Paterson, senate, kirsten gillibrand.

Rep. Kirsten Gillibrand will leave Congress to take the Senate seat vacated by Hillary Clinton, who took the position of Secretary of State in the new administration. News of Gillibrands appointment spread quickly this morning, and most of you have already at least read a little bit about this two-term Democratic Congresswoman. So, what do you think?

January 23, 2009 - 8:04am
posted by Philip Anselmo in politics, governor Paterson, Albany, state.

Gov. David Paterson has tapped Rep. Kirsten Gillibrand, from Hudson, to fill the junior Senator seat vacated by Hillary Clinton, who has taken the post of Secretary of State in the new administration of President Barack Obama. Buffalo News reporter Tom Precious has all the details this morning. Precious calls Gillibrand "a moderate beginning her second term in the House." Gillibrand's office did not return calls for comment from the Buffalo office. Likely, she's a little busy today.

From Gillibrand's Web site:

In her first term in office, Congresswoman Gillibrand established herself as an independent leader in Congress. She was the lead sponsor of legislation that would implement the bipartisan 9/11 Commission Recommendations, which will help protect our borders and keep America safe. She has been an advocate for decreased federal spending, and introduced legislation that would require the federal government – just as all New York families do - to balance their budget every year. Finally, she has made tax cuts for Upstate and North Country families, one of her highest priorities. She has authored legislation that would double the tax credit for child care expenses and make up to $10,000 in college tuition tax deductible.

Precious reports that Gillibrand was getting the push from both Democrats and Republicans among her constituency, as well as from Sen. Chuck Schumer.

Gillibrand is a member of the conservative Blue Dog coalition in the House. She is known as “Little Hillary” — a nickname conferred by critics who claim she fancies herself the heir to Clinton’s job.

In recent days, gun-control advocates have come out against her because of her opposition to tougher gun laws.

Gillibrand, who also opposed the $700 million bailout of the financial industry, comes from a politically connected Albany family. Her father, Douglas Rutnick, was a lobbyist.

January 21, 2009 - 5:54pm
posted by Philip Anselmo in budget, governor Paterson, Albany, schools, state, school aid.

If Gov. David Paterson's proposed state budget were to be passed as is tomorrow, Genesee County school aid would be looking at a loss of about $3.3 million compared with this past year's aid.

As for specific school districts within the county, here's the breakdown (based on proposed aid levels for the 2009-10 school year as compared with the current 2008-09 year):

• Alexander: A loss of $541,112, or 5.78 percent.

• Batavia: A loss of $637,011, or 3.14 percent.

• Byron-Bergen: A loss of $338,474, or 3.37 percent.

• Elba: A loss of $160,084, or 3.06 percent.

• Le Roy: A loss of $586,993, or 5.64 percent.

• Oakfield-Alabama: A loss of $372,623, or 3.57 percent.

• Pavilion: A loss of $163,353, or 1.88 percent.

• Pembroke: A loss of $537,260, or 5.01 percent.

Meanwhile, Sen. Chuck Schumer has teamed up with Paterson to seek federal block grants to help offset the cuts to school aid. Nothing specific is yet worked out on that. From Schumer's Web site:

There are various approaches that Congress can use to deliver these critical funds to students and schools. U.S. Senate and House Leadership are consulting with the President's team to determine the best, most effective way to provide schools with the targeted resources necessary to maintain jobs and academic programs. Congress is considering using existing federal education funding formulas, such as the one used for Title I, No Child Left Behind funding, to determine the amount each state will receive in block grants. Schumer said it is essential that the block grants are distributed in a way that gives states and districts the flexibility and tools they need to keep serving our children.

What do you think? Is shifting the burden from the state to the Fed to cover these deficits the best move? No matter where the "billions" Schumer quotes so frequently with such bravado come from, don't they, in the end, come from our pockets. But what other choice do we have? Should the schools suck it up and try to face the cuts? How can they?

January 10, 2009 - 12:42pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in governor Paterson, taxes, health, soft drinks.

Daily News writer Paul Mrozek has a lengthy piece out today on Gov. Paterson's plans to tell parents how to raise their children -- specifically how to control their diets.

He includes all the facts from the governor's perspective, but passes over one lone skeptical voice deep in the article.  There is little focus on the propriety of New York engaging in social engineering, nor the degree to which this plan is going to create new bureaucracies and hence new expenses, whether there is any evidence such a plan will work, nor how the plan will impact businesses and create new costs that will be passed along to all consumers.

The most far-reaching of the proposals is an 18 percent sales tax on sugar-sweetened beverages such as soda. Juices from fruit such as oranges and grapes are excluded from the proposed tax.

In the past 40 years New York residents have increased their consumption of pop from an average of five 12-ounce cans or bottles per week to 11 per week. Research has shown that consumption of non-diet soft drinks is one of the primary factors that increases the risk of obesity in children and adults.


"No question about the link. We have a core fact in front of us," Daines said.

Not so fast. There is a question. A big fat question.

To blame all low-income obesity on soda pop alone is myopic. Low-income diets tend to be heavy in empty carbohydrates of all kinds, not just sugar. Children living in food insecure homes consume less healthy food. One reason there is such an abundance of empty-carb foods can be traced to farm subsidies for corn, but even that connection is a rather simplistic view of the obesity problem among poorer children.

There is also the question of proper exercise.  In too many homes, children are allowed to watch TV or play video games rather than being required to run around outside.

These are largely parental issues, not government issues.

If the government wanted to do something to help, they would restructure aid programs to make it easier to buy healthier food.  Given a choice, most parents would pick more meats, fruits and vegetables. But right now these options are beyond their budgets. 

Driving up the costs of the high-carb foods isn't going to help them afford the good foods.

The article says, "You raise prices. You provide alternatives."  But what are those alternatives. How are they paid for and provided?  If the alternatives are paid for by the tax, how does the state ensure sufficient revenue for those alternatives once consumption of the taxed items goes down?

Will taxed drinks receive some sort of stamp like alcohol and cigarettes?  If so, aren't we just creating yet another environment for potential illegal black market activities?

And one issue about the proposed tax I've not seen discussed anywhere is the impact on business: Who will levy the tax? Will retail outlets be burdened with the the expense of tracking and tallying the tax, which could include the expense of reprogramming cash registers?  And if the tax is imposed at the wholesale level, won't it just get passed along to all consumers of soft drinks and other beverages from those particular wholesalers?

What about vending machines? Will vendors be required to have two prices on drinks in their machines -- one for taxed items, and one for non-taxed? Or will us diet drinkers just pay more? Who pays for the expense of reprogramming machines or replacing machines that aren't capable of handling tiered prices on soft drinks?

Per usual, any time the government starts interfering in private lives and private enterprise, there are as many if not more problems created than solved.

Here's an appropriate and timely video from Reason Magazine.

January 8, 2009 - 8:25am
posted by Philip Anselmo in politics, Democrats, governor Paterson, Albany, state.

As most of you are already aware, Gov. David Paterson pronounced his State of the State address from Albany yesterday. One message that came through loud and clear throughout the address and especially at its conclusion was that of sacrifice.

Rochester's Democrat & Chronicle picked up this quote: "We will sacrifice what we want today in order to achieve what we need tomorrow," he told a joint session of the state Legislature. "We will make sacrifices, but they must be shared sacrifices."

Yesterday evening, Democrats from Genesee, Livingston, Orleans and Wyoming counties issued a joint statement, summing up their thoughts and reflections following the address.

As we enter an era of uncertainty, Governor Paterson calls on all of us to work for the survival of our State with hope, courage and bi-partisan action. Speaking of "one state one future," the Governor recognized the need to revitalize every part of New York, including our region, by focusing on the need to strengthen our health care system, combat childhood obesity, make college affordable for all, improve local government efficiency, rebuild infrastructure, develop 21st century energy efficiency, create bio-tech jobs, increase tourism, and form a consortium on hybrid electric battery manufacturing. This speech was a call to the legislature and, ultimately, the people across the State, to recognize that these are very tough times, our problems need to be solved together, and every New Yorker needs to tighten his or her belt, confident in the hope of a better tomorrow.

We hope to hear more of your reactions to the State of the State throughout the day today.

January 6, 2009 - 8:41am
posted by Philip Anselmo in batavia, Buffalo, Rochester, governor Paterson, Albany, state, upstate, Geneseo.

Folks in the region will have several opportunities to meet and speak with our governor in February. An article in the Rochester Democrat & Chronicle reports this morning that Gov. David Paterson will hold a series of at least four town-hall style meetings upstate to "allow residents to ask questions and interact with the governor on the ideas he lays out in the State of the State address." Gov. Paterson will give his State of the State this Wednesday at 1:00pm.

Of those meetings that have so far been scheduled, three will be held within a short distance of Batavia: one in Buffalo on February 18, one in Rochester on February 11 and another in Geneseo on February 12. Others will likely be held in Watertown and Binghamton.

From the article:

Paterson has moved away from Spitzer's plan to split up some state duties, particularly economic development, into upstate and downstate branches. Paterson has argued that New York is one state with a united purpose.

Andrew Rudnick, president of the Buffalo Niagara Partnership, said an upstate address isn't necessary so long as the governor gives the region the attention it needs.

If the symbolism of an upstate speech, "isn't followed up by definitive policy and asset allocation, what much difference does it make?" he said.

Most people would likely agree that the most pressing issue now facing the state is the budget crisis. A few weeks ago, Paterson released his budget proposal that caused quite a stir. We've put together a poll with a few topics that might come up when the governor visits upstate. Pick whichever you most want to hear about. I figure that the budget proposal will likely be a major part of the State of the State this Wednesday, so try to think what's most important to upstate other than that.

August 19, 2008 - 6:56am
posted by Howard B. Owens in governor Paterson, taxes, property tax, teachers union.

The Buffalo News this morning reports that New York teachers are increasing pressure on the state Legislature to oppose. Gov. Paterson's property tax cap.

The campaign to stop the cap is intense. NYSUT last week withheld endorsements from 38 state senators who voted for the Paterson tax cap. The Working Families Party mailed out 200,000 fliers in a bid to ensure the Democratic-run Assembly does not take up the cap this week. The party, along with the Alliance for Quality Education, has begun a one-week, $1.5 million TV ad campaign blasting the cap. It has also run radio ads.

High taxes -- and they are outrageously high in New York -- impede economic growth, cost people jobs, discourage businesses to relocate to New York, drive businesses out of New York, and ultimately decrease the amount of money local governments can generate in revenue.

Gov. Patterson's proposal is modest compared to the substantial cuts that should be made.

It's disappointing that the teachers union, at such a critical time, is putting self interest ahead of community interest.

July 30, 2008 - 8:20am
posted by Philip Anselmo in governor Paterson, Albany, finance, state, fiscal crisis.

I've liked Gov. David Paterson since the first time I saw him. He's erudite, knows his facts, and he's got a sense of humor and a capacity for reason that about every other politician in the state, and many across the country, lacks to a fault. I'm not well versed enough in the political scene to get much more into my appreciation than that. That is, I can't say with any real authority if he's doing well or poorly at his job, though I would cautiously lean towards the former.

Proof:

Now that the news is out that the state accrued another $1.4 billion in debt over the past 90 days, he's calling our legislators back to work. How could the state be $1.4 billion in debt? City Council President Charlie Mallow alluded to it some the other day, in a comment appended to our initial story about the impending fiscal crisis, when he said that there are simply far too many special interest groups hankering after a piece of the pie. What looms is a question that ought to have been asked a long time ago in this state: What are we spending our tax money on... really?

Assemblyman Steve Hawley, R-Batavia, told WBTA's Dan Fischer that the state need to perform more regular audits. Sounds good to me. Let's find out the gritty details of what money is going where.

Here are some details from Paterson's address last night, courtesy of the Buffalo News:

The state’s projected deficit for next year has swollen by another $1.4 billion in the last 90 days, Gov. David A. Paterson warned Tuesday during a statewide television address in which he summoned the State Legislature back next month for a rare, midsummer special session.

He issued the call for greater fiscal discipline just three months after he approved the current state budget, which provides for raising spending at twice the rate of inflation projected by state officials.

“New York’s families are already making the tough choices — New Yorkers are prioritizing spending every day,” Paterson said Tuesday in the five-minute address. “Now, your government is going to follow your lead. We are going to end legislative vacations and bring them back to Albany to reprioritize the way we manage New York State’s finances.”

So, he can talk a good game. But what now? What happens now?

Paterson did not offer specific ideas for controlling spending. Whether he will make such proposals before the Legislature returns Aug. 19 remained uncertain.

How aggressively the Legislature will cut spending also remained unclear. The special session will meet less than three months before all members are up for reelection.

If Paterson hoped legislative leaders would rush to his side to make serious cuts in the current budget, Tuesday evening must have been a disappointment.

Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver, a Manhattan Democrat like the governor, went so far as to draw up a list of programs — the biggest items in the state budget — that should not be cut. It included education and health care, which, together, account for 63 percent of the budget.

First, I would be interested in knowing what accounts for the other 37 percent of the budget. Second, I would like to see how the education and health care funds are allocated.

The governor made no mention of education or health care. Nor did he discuss the state’s ballooning debt levels and other rapidly rising costs, such as pension and health care benefits for state workers.

The state’s worsening fiscal problems are twofold: spending that has risen 45 percent over five years to $122 billion in this year’s budget and a softening economy that is evaporating tax revenue to pay for these costly programs.

Despite the gloom, Paterson did not say whether he would consider layoffs or a hiring freeze. Under the current budget, the state work force is projected to add 1,400 positions to 201,000 workers.

But he did say that, in coming weeks, he will look at the size of the work force, which immediately raised red flags among some state worker unions.

Danny Donohue, president of the Civil Service Employees Association, the state government’s biggest union, called any talk of trimming the work force “a sham.”

“We will not stand by for knee-jerk political solutions that diminish our quality of life and create more misery,” said Donohue, whose union has major leverage with legislators, especially in an election year.

For the full story, see the article by Tom Precious.

July 28, 2008 - 9:50am

WBTA's Dan Fischer reports this morning that Gov. David Paterson will "deliver an unprecedented special address" to announce that the state is in the worst fiscal crisis in three decades. The announcement is expected sometime this week, and the New York Post claims that Paterson will cite "plunging state revenues" as the reason for the crisis and the forthcoming cuts in state services and personnel.

He may also call a special session of the Legislature to propose reducing some of the record-high levels of spending that were approved as part of the state's new budget in April.

"The situation is worse than anyone realizes," said a source close to Paterson.

"The governor has said he's tired of the state going from deficit to deficit, spending like it has a credit card that never has to be paid, and that he's prepared to take action," the source said.

In the meantime, the New York Times reported earlier this year that state legislators were hankering after a 20 percent pay raise.

New York legislators are looking for a raise of as much as 22 percent, saying the $79,500 base salaries they earn are not enough.

But an examination of state records shows that most make considerably more than their base salary. With extra pay for chairmanships and other posts, they earn just over $90,000, on average, for what is widely considered a part-time job; the Legislature is in regular session for 63 days a year.

And more than a third earn more from outside employment, often as lawyers in their hometowns, but they are not required to disclose how much or from what clients.

Not long after, the New York Sun reported that state judges, now, were asking for a raise.

A state judge has ordered Governor Paterson and the Legislature to start paying him and his 1,180 fellow state jurists more money.

If each judge on the state bench received the $600,000 sought by the four plaintiffs, the state's taxpayers would be on the hook for more than $700 million. The order by Judge Edward Lehner of state Supreme Court in Manhattan appears to instruct the Senate and Assembly to pass a law upping judges' pay within 90 days, which could prove an impossibly fast time frame for slow-moving Albany.

What prompted the request?

Judges on the state's main trial court make $136,700 a year, plus benefits.

Even though salaries for New York state judges are close to the national average, the judges say that the cost of living in New York is higher, and they argue that federal judges and corporate lawyers are paid more.

New York's chief judge, Judith Kaye, filed a suit on behalf of the entire judiciary in April seeking a pay raise order of the type Judge Lehner issued yesterday. But yesterday's decision came in an earlier lawsuit filed jointly by four judges seeking more than $600,000 each. That money, the say, represents the cost-of-living increases that they haven't received over the years, plus interest.

As for your run-of-the-mill hourly worker, the median income in 2007 was about $25,000, and an employee who made no more than the minimum wage — $7.15 per hour — earned less than $15,000 and likely brought home barely more than $10,000.

The median wage paid to the 4.1 million hourly workers in the state was $12.03 last year, meaning that more than two million New Yorkers earned less than that, the report from the Bureau of Labor Statistics showed. That was about equal to the median national hourly wage of $11.95 — about $25,000 a year for a 40-hour work week.

See the article by Patrick McGeehan in the New York Times for the full story.

May 13, 2008 - 5:19pm
posted by Philip Anselmo in farms, governor Paterson, agriculture.

It wasn't yet even one o'clock Monday, and the Grange was already filled up with folks of all walks, though most the kind that walked corn rows or trough lines. Two months shy of the Genesee County Fair and the grounds had already come alive with farmers, a couple hundred of them by the look of it — young, old, bearded, garrulous.

Our state governor ended up arriving more than an hour late, which only gave more folks time to get there. Some of them came in suit and tie, a few in tee-shirt and jeans. Some came bearing champagne-stocked gift baskets. That was nice and all, but I feel that more of our elected officials should be bringing us sparkling wine and truffles. Just because.

Once the flash bulbs started popping and a slow-moving crush of bodies inched toward the podium, you knew the governor had arrived. I expected him to be larger. I don't know why. Maybe because I expect all powerful men (and women) to be of superhuman size, as if girth and stature somehow invest their motives with more purpose. But no matter. He didn't need to be extra-large. Governor David Paterson had presence.

After Senator Schumer bobbled a few names of important guests in the audience, even though they were written down on a piece of paper in front of him that he read up close through spectacles — no offense, senator — Paterson only seemed the more remarkable when he took the microphone and dropped names, numbers, dates and stories as if he were inventing them right there they came off his tongue with such immediacy and conviction. At one point, the governor even corrected one of the questioners who cited article 240 of the state code, when in fact it was article 241 — don't quote me on the numbers, but you get the idea.

And all of this preamble just to say that I wasn't the only person there who was impressed with Paterson — all policy decisions aside. This afternoon, I got a few area farmers on the phone to get their take on the governor's visit. Here's what they had to say (in their own words).

Dale Stein is a dairy farmer out in LeRoy. He's also the current president of the Genesee County Farm Bureau. I asked him what he thought of the visit.

"The visit turned out very well, even more than I expected. The governor is extremely knowledgeable. And we have an opportunity now to build a relationship with the governor about agriculture. I'm very optimistic."

Steve Rigoni used to be a dairy farmer himself, but switched to cash crops. He's got about 600 acres out in Pavilion that he divides up among corn, soy bean, wheat, hay and switchgrass that he burns to dry his corn for sale in the markets. Steve is big into renewable energies. He's got a windmill up on his site to help power the place. And the switchgrass is a great alternative to propane, he says.

He was also impressed by the governor's visit.

"I'm hopeful for this governor. He seems to be in tune. He's very intelligent, seems to be able to remember everything, and seems to have a good handle on what can be done. You can't create miracles. You've got to work within the federal government's framework. ... I thought it went well. That was the first time a governor came out and talked with us in our neighborhood. Now, there are things that need to be done."

Dean Norton operates a dairy farm out of Elba. He also represents the state Farm Bureau's Board of Directors and works as an accountant. You could say he's a busy man. Not so much that he can't take my call, though, and I appreciate that.

"I was glad that Senator Schumer was able to get the governor out to meet the farming community. I thought it was great that they could make it out. He brought out his commissioners and they listened to some of the concerns that growers had in the area. I think they listened. How quickly they act on something, I don't know."

There is still much to be done, says Norton. A visit and a nice forum with the farmers is one thing. Getting legislation through to help the farmers in the field, is quite another.

"You heard folks talk about the labor issue. That's first and foremost. If we don't get those workers here, the crops will rot in the field. And we need to get some type of immigration reform done, period. We keep getting assurances from our elected officials, but nothing done."

Related posts:

 

May 13, 2008 - 8:20am

More reaction to Gov. Paterson's visit to Batavia yesterday:

 

May 12, 2008 - 6:13pm

Gov. David Paterson and Sen. Chuck Schumer visited the Grange at the Genesee County Fairgrounds today for a forum on agriculture. More than 100 farmers from upstate counties came out to attend the Q&A session that kicked off with a brief recap of the federal Farm Bill by Schumer.

About 20 people lined up at the microphone for a chance to ask the governor questions on agricultural policy and the future of upstate farms. In fact, there were so many folks interested in getting their voice heard that the governor didn't have time to address them all — and an event that was expected to last about a half-hour ran well over an hour. Immigrant labor and supporting youth education in agriculture were among the many issues raised by the public.

Paterson was joined by state Labor Commissioner M. Patricia Smith who took up the issue of immigrant labor. From a released statement issued by the governor's office after the event:

Farmers have been increasingly frustrated at their inability to find qualified workers to harvest their crops, hampered in large part by federal regulations requiring them to exhaust all domestic possibilities before being granted waivers to hire non-domestic workers. Farmers insist the supply of farmhands is far outweighed by the demand, and without sufficient federal waivers from the Bush Administration, crops will literally die on the vine.

The governor also discussed a state program to fight the Plum Pox virus that threatens "stone fruit crops" such as peaches. The program will continue to study infected crops and reimburse farmers for their losses from destroyed crops.

UPDATE: The blog Poltics on the Hudson covers Gov. Paterson's visit:

Business leaders in upstate are criticizing the governor’s plans to go back to the old policy, in which a New York City chairperson oversees the state’s entire economic development program.

Right now, Dan Gundersen serves as the upstate chair, based out of Buffalo.

“No one has said that we are taking Mr. Gundersen away from upstate,” Paterson told reporters after a town-hall meeting in Batavia on farm issues with Sen. Charles Schumer.  ...

“And I certainly understand that the economy is reeling, the anxiety is overflowing in upstate New York.”

Paterson went on to say that “I wanted to have an ability of the agency to have a centralized organization” yet he doesn’t plan to diminish any services to upstate.

“If we don’t change something, we’re not going to have improvement around here,” Paterson said.

“And I would invite some of those who said they were irked, to please call me because I let them know since the time I was in office two months ago that if they ever had a problem, they should call me and not one of them have called me in the past few days.”

Also, here's News 10's coverage.  And Associated Press.

Meanwhile, the Albany Watch blog wonders why Paterson has missed four consecutive legislative work days.

His absence is giving rise to speculation that he doesn’t intend to push an aggressive agenda for the rest of the legislative session.

“It’s hard to drive the Albany agenda without being in Albany,’’ said Blair Horner of the New York Public Interest Research Group. “That’s why the Executive Mansion is in Albany.’‘

 

Update posted by Howard Owens

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