Rise and Shine; June 20, 2019

Welcome to another soggy, muggy Thursday, CivMixers.

There are thunderstorms in the forecast throughout the day and into the might, according to The Weather Channel, with the chance of rain hovering around 80 percent. These storms could contain high, gusty winds, so be careful out there.

The temperature will be somewhere in the mid-to-high 70s for everywhere but Saratoga Springs, where things will be ever so slightly cooler.

In the news today…

Yesterday was supposed to be the last day of the 2019 state legislative session, but lawmakers have gone into overtime, with the Assembly voting into the early morning hours, and the Senate calling it quits around midnight with plans to return later this morning to finish up voting on outstanding issues.

Lots of final deals were codified, and others have yet to be passed, but are expected to be finalized sometime before the end of the day and sent to the desk of Gov. Andrew Cuomo, who we haven’t actually seen in recent days, though his office has sent out plenty of press releases.

One deal that eluded the powers-that-be at the state Capitol: A measure to legalize marijuana for adult recreational use. That’s going to have to wait another year – at least.

Lawmakers instead started to move on a Plan B, which called for passing small parts of the legalization measure, including one that further decriminalizes possession of small amounts of pot.

One thing that did get done, which has been hanging around the Capitol for years: A farmworkers bill of rights, which mandates the payment of overtime and allows unionization by farm employees. Farmers themselves are not happy with this outcome, and are predicting big, negative economic impacts.

Another bill that passed: A measure to legalize e-bikes and e-scooters in New York, allowing local communities to make their own decisions about whether to allow these vehicles, and how to regulate them. The focus of this debate has been downstate, where there’s a lot of traffic and delivery folks who supporters of this bill say will benefit from it. But upstate will be impacted, too.

Several pieces of legislation designed to make limousines safer in New York have now passed both the Senate and Assembly, coming amid the ongoing criminal case surrounding October’s deadly limo crash in Schoharie.

The state Legislature unanimously passed home rule legislation that would allow the city of Amsterdam to borrow money to pay off its estimated $8.4 million accumulated budget deficit.

In other local and national news…

Should America atone for slavery through reparations? The issue was the focus of an emotional hearing on Capitol Hill om Juneteenth — the oldest known celebration commemorating the ending of slavery in the United States.

NXIVM leader Keith Raniere’s crime spree has ended and his victims — some who have waited decades — will finally see justice. He was found guilty of all the charges against him by a jury in Brooklyn, which deliberated for less than five hours.

In Hoosick Falls, the Village Board of Trustees unanimously passed a third PFOA-related settlement agreement with Saint Gobain and Honeywell.

An Albany resident was arrested after hidden surveillance cameras were found in a massage parlor in the town of Clifton Park, State Police said.

Every student studying on a college campus in Albany County has played an unsung role in making the county the ninth youngest in the state, according to new U.S. Census Bureau data and experts.

A man who is allegedly the reason a Saratoga Springs school was put on lockdown yesterday morning was arrested after police found him pointing a loaded gun at people.

Trainer Mark Casse said that Belmont winner Sir Winston is out of consideration for the $1.25 million Travers, the centerpiece of the 40-day Saratoga meet that starts in three weeks.

Republican Rensselaer County Executive Steve McLaughlin, a former assemblyman, announced that his office is filing suit in federal court to prevent the Green Light law allowing undocumented immigrants to get driver’s licenses from being implemented.

In the meantime, some county clerks say they will defy the new law.

A wealthy Manhattan couple has emerged as significant financiers of the anti-vaccine movement, contributing more than $3 million in recent years to groups that stoke fears about immunizations online and at live events – including two forums this year at the epicenter of measles outbreaks in New York’s ultra-Orthodox Jewish community.

Prepare to feel even more squeezed in and uncomfortable on flights as one seat manufacturer believes its product can help carriers push capacity to the absolute limit, which may help push down fares.

A huge crowd showed up to Johnstown High School yesterday for the 1,000 Citizens to Save Our Sports fundraiser. Following the first failed school budget vote and the cut of athletics, the Purple and Gold Booster Club decided to host the event to raise money to keep school sports going.

A $1.5 million package of renovations was unveiled at the Glen Sanders Mansion, one of the oldest and most adapted structures in the region if not the state. The landmark event venue and boutique hotel now has a new two-story lobby, upgraded guest rooms and improved ballroom, along with greater indoor-outdoor connection to the Mohawk River just down the slope from the facility.

Former Red Sox slugger David Ortiz was shot in the back by a gunman who mistook him for the real target, another man who was seated at the same table at an outdoor cafe, Dominican officials said.

If you’re a llama fan, this one’s for you.

Photo credit: Fred Coffey.

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