While You Were Out: Dec. 5, 2019

A foreshortened and early afternoon round-up, CivMixers. I’ve got some transportation issues to handle. So sorry. Back with you at the regular time tomorrow…

Speaker Nancy Pelosi announced that the House would begin drafting impeachment articles against President Trump, pushing ahead with a rapid timetable that could set the stage for a vote before Christmas to charge him with high crimes and misdemeanors.

Democratic presidential hopeful Joe Biden got into a tense exchange at an Iowa town hall and challenged the man to a push-up contest after he asked the former vice president about his son Hunter’s job at a Ukrainian gas company.

Spending on political ads is projected to approach $6 billion next year, reflecting explosive growth that’s likely to saturate television screens and digital experiences in key markets.

Under the Green Light Law, which takes effect next week, DMV employees are prohibited from reporting people who are attempting to get a driver’s license to federal immigration authorities. But regular citizens can do so, and Erie County Clerk Mickey Kearns wants to make sure they know how.

Meanwhile, there’s a DMV training on Green Light taking place today, but Oswego County Clerk Michael Backus says he doesn’t believe his staff will be fully ready to implement the law.

“The DMV is not creating a new license,” DMV spokeswoman Lisa Koumjian said. “Under the law the Legislature passed, applicants without legal status in the country will be eligible to apply for a standard, non-commercial driver license, which is already available today to citizens and those with legal presence in the U.S.”

The Trump administration has decided to get involved in the Green Light lawsuit brought by Rensselaer County Clerk Frank Merola. In a filing, attorneys from the USDOJ say parts of the law “are legally suspect.”

Republican state Sen. Betty Little, a nearly 25-year veteran of the state Legislature, will not seek re-election in 2020, she announced at a Glens Falls event.

Little, 79, is the second Republican member of the state Senate to rule out a 2020 run within the week, just days after state Sen. George Amedore, R-Rotterdam, also announced he would bow out of the race.

An Amtrak worker was electrocuted and killed while performing work at a substation in The Bronx today, police and law enforcement sources said.

The City of Albany has towed 240 cars since declaring a snow emergency on Tuesday to let snow plows dig out the city from one of the biggest snow storms on record.

The Appellate Division of state Supreme Court unanimously upheld the 32-year-old Matthew Slocum’s 2017 conviction on all charges for the July 13, 2011 predawn slayings of his mother, stepfather and stepbrother.

Former Republican Rep. Claudia Tenney announced the endorsement of a top member of the House GOP’s leadership team – House Minority Whip Steve Scalise – in her comeback bid for Congress.

A proposed state Commission on Prosecutorial Conduct could seek to discipline prosecutors if they persistently fail to bring cases against police, suspected sex assailants and low-level marijuana defendants, an attorney representing Assembly Speaker Carl Heastie told a judge.

In response to a Black Friday shooting at Destiny USA, Onondaga County District Attorney William Fitzpatrick said the mall’s private security guards should be trained to stop, question and frisk people who guards believe are up to no good.

The first Downtown Albany Hot Chocolate Stroll will be held from noon to 2 p.m. Saturday at 10 participating locations in downtown Albany.

RIP, Jay Kriegel. I will miss you, friend.

Photo credit: George Fazio.

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