While You Were Out: June 17, 2019

We survived another Monday, CivMix crew, and what a Monday it was.

The pace has picked up considerably down at the state Capitol, where legislative leaders, the governor and their respective staffs worked through the weekend to lock down deals on outstanding issues.

The big question at the moment: What is the fate of the so-called Green Light bill, the one that would allow undocumented immigrants to get driver’s licenses in New York?

The Assembly already passed the bill, and the Senate majority leader, Andrea Stewart-Cousins, said today her chamber will follow suit – even though a number of suburban lawmakers are likely to vote “no.” The floor debate in the Senate is taking place right now.

Just as all this was coming together, Gov. Andrew Cuomo threw a wrench into things by raising the possibility of a veto, saying he worried the measure would create a database of undocumented individuals that would serve as a tool for federal ICE officials determined to deport people who aren’t in the state legally.

It does not appear the Senate has enough “yes” votes to override – which takes a 2/3 vote of the house – should Cuomo wield his veto pen.

In the meantime, progress in other areas is being made.

Deals have been reached on changes in state law to redefine what constitutes workplace sexual harassment, and there’s also a tentative deal to have New York reduce greenhouse gas emissions to a certain level by 2050, though details on those issues are still emerging.

The two houses have also agreed on a bill to permit electric scooters and electric bicycles throughout the state. Local ordinances can guide the extent the devices can be used and whether, for instance, they can operate on sidewalks, and communities can choose to opt out if they choose.

In local (and other) news…

Police are trying to determine if a suspicious letter found at the state Lottery building in Schenectady is connected to a similar package found there in April.

Cohoes Councilman Steve Napier, who’s one of three candidates challenging Mayor Shawn Morse, in a Democratic primary, has a new TV ad that touts his “temperament” and experience for the position – a not-so-subtle dig at the incumbent’s aggressive history.

The two dogs that mauled a 3-year-old girl in Schenectady late last month must be euthanized, a judge ruled. Salvatore DiNovo, the toddler’s uncle and owner of the pit bulls, Styles and Damon, has 30 days to appeal. DiNovo’s attorney, Brendan Keller, say he plans to do so but declined further comment.

Historian and author Tim Holmes said he plans to run for mayor of Saratoga Springs in order to contribute to the city and give voters a choice. Though not officially endorsed, he gathered enough signatures to run on the Republican line, challenging Democratic candidate Meg Kelly in the November general election.

Already the first woman to hold a command rank in the East Greenbush Police Department’s history, Elaine Rudzinski is about to become the top cop, when she succeeds longtime Chief Christopher Lavin at the end of the month.

Bethlehem police identified the man who died in last week’s fire on Meadowbrook Drive in Slingerlands as 64-year-old David Boggs, who succumbed to smoke inhalation.

Ralph and Lauren Evans’ two-time Grade 1 winning New York-bred millionaire Diversify has been retired due to a suspensory injury.

Albany gas prices have fallen 2.0 cents per gallon in the past week, averaging $2.72 per gallon, according to GasBuddy’s daily survey of 546 stations.

The 2019 Saratoga Showcase of Homes has announced the lineup of 11 homes on its tour this fall.

Schenectady Police determined a suspicious package found in the mailroom of the state lottery headquarters this morning was not harmful, and no injuries were reported, officials said.

Dogs have evolved to make the most of that sad-eyed look they give that makes us melt and do their bidding.

Did you know it’s National Mascot Day? Yeah, me neither. But there’s still time to celebrate, however one does that.

RIP Gloria Vanderbilt, who died this morning, according to her son, CNN’s Anderson Cooper. The fashion designer, artist and socialite was 95.

Do not panic. I repeat, DO NOT PANIC!




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