While You Were Out: Dec. 9, 2019

Holy HEAT WAVE, CivMixers. What a switch from this weekend to today. It was downright balmy. I was sweating up a storm.

Someone else might be sweating down in D.C. these days, too….let’s get to those headlines:

In what amounted to the opening argument in the effort to impeach President Trump, the lawyer for Judiciary Democrats told the committee that the president’s actions were “so brazen” that there was no question that he had abused his power to advance his own political interests over those of the nation.

In a novel lawsuit filed by more than 200 legislators against Trump alleging violations of the Constitution’s emoluments clause, appeals judges today questioned the lawmakers’ standing to sue, while grappling with tough questions about how else Congress could conduct oversight of the president.

New York billionaire Michael Bloomberg launched his campaign less than three weeks ago, but he is already making his first foreign trip as a presidential candidate. He’ll appear tomorrow at a United National global climate conference in Madrid.

As the Trump administration implements more stringent mandates to obtain food stamps, New York plans to scrap fingerprinting requirements for all public assistance applicants.

Gov. Andrew Cuomo today signed a bill to limit the amount of 1,4-dioxane entering the state’s waterways.

The Board of Regents backed a $2.1 billion increase in foundation for schools in New York, a move that is expected, but nevertheless unlikely given a yawning budget gap facing down state lawmakers and the governor.

Cuomo announced that opioid overdose deaths among New Yorkers outside of New York City have declined for the first time in 10 years.

Empire State Development offered congratulations today to the 22 New York-based productions that earned a total of 46 Golden Globe nominations — a list that stretches from Martin Scorsese’s “The Irishman” to the Broadway love story “Fosse/Verdon.”

The New York AFL-CIO launched a digital ad campaign in support of changes to how gig economy workers are classified – a harbinger of a larger debate coming over the labor benefits of workers in the on-demand field, like Uber and Lyft drivers, and others who provide services through apps.

Raising new revenue through taxes is not the “first fallback” when it comes to addressing the $6.1 billion budget deficit Senate Majority Leader Andrea Stewart-Cousins told reporters during a retreat of her Democratic conference.

A bill signed by Cuomo today will give New York one of the country’s most comprehensive laws regulating the manufacture and sale of hemp extracts, including the popular supplement CBD.

LG Kathy Hochul, the former congresswoman and Erie County clerk now in her second term as Cuomo’s second-in-charge, has been chosen as the 2020 chairwoman of the Democratic Lieutenant Governors Association, the group announced.

Progressives and political analysts say a rash of retirement announcements by veteran Republican state senators — three over the space of seven days — is a sign that Democrats are poised to gain even more seats in 2020.

The New York City Police Department says a toddler was killed and his mother injured after being struck by a vehicle this morning in Manhattan.

Mental health advocates and providers say a new state program designed to increase access to children’s mental health services is at risk and will only get worse if New York follows through with planned cuts to provider payments.

If you’re a Consolidated Edison customer, be prepared for pricier gas and electricity bills come the start of the new year. The company has proposed rate hikes starting January 1, with additional increases in 2021 and 2022.

A judge ordered Schoharie County District Attorney Susan Mallery to appear in court Wednesday after missing by nearly a month a deadline that required her to turn over grand jury transcripts and other evidence to the lawyers for a limousine company operator whose vehicle crashed in Schoharie last year, killing 20.

The Siena men’s basketball team was flying back from a game in California yesterday when an announcement came over the PA system, asking if there was anyone who could give medical assistance. Longtime Saints head athletic trainer Greg Dashnaw answered the call.

A man armed with a handgun forced his way into a home on Englemore Road in Clifton Park last night and ordered the residents to give him money before fleeing, State Police said.

Three men accused of abusing pit bulls, training them for blood sport and entering them in illegal dog fights were freed without bail in Manhattan Criminal Court on Friday with orders that they stay away from all dogs and show up at future court hearings.

The rate for child abuse in New York is nearly double the national rate, according to the 28th Child Mistreatment report and the NYS Kids’ Well-being Indicators Clearinghouse (NYSKWIC).

Former Syracuse mayor Tom Young endorsed Francis Conole for Congress, marking his first endorsement in a Democratic congressional primary race in almost three decades. (The winner of the primary will take on NY-24 Republican Rep. John Katko).

Hundreds of students across the Rochester City School District began demonstrations today protesting the layoff of 200 Rochester City School District employees, including over 150 teachers, effective Dec. 31.

RIP Paul A. Volcker, who helped shape American economic policy for more than six decades, most notably by leading the Federal Reserve’s brute-force campaign to subdue inflation in the late 1970s and early ’80s, died on yesterday at the age of 92.

RIP Pete Frates, a former college baseball player whose determined battle with Lou Gehrig’s disease helped inspire the ALS ice bucket challenge that has raised more than $200 million worldwide, who died today at the age of 34.

Walmart is apologizing for making available a Christmas sweater with an apparent drug reference.

On Saturday, December 14, the Albany Society for the Advancement of Philanthropy (ASAP) in association with Albany All-Stars Roller Derby is hosting the 14th Annual Santa Speedo Sprint.

Cheap Trick will perform at the Palace Theatre in Albany on Feb. 7 at 8 p.m.

Nick Reisman is a great guy. AND he loves his cat.

Photo credit: George Fazio.

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