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As of midnight, New York’s emergency declaration for the Covid-19 pandemic is over. Gov. Kathy Hochul said she would not extend the executive order granting her emergency powers, opting to let it lapse instead of renewing it as she has been doing each month.
The emergency powers have become a prime target for Republican foes of the governor, who is running for a full term against Republican Rep. Lee Zeldin. Now, she says she doesn’t need them anymore. “We’re watching the numbers. Right now we’re feeling comfortable that we can suspend them,” she said. The move comes days after Hochul lifted a mask mandate for public transportation.
Hochul declared the state of emergency last November as the Omicron variant loomed, allowing her to suspend normal contracting rules to buy up supplies like tests, launch vaccination sites and so on. Controversy over the emergency order has particularly ramped up since the Times Union reported that a Hochul donor got hundreds of millions of dollars from the state for at-home tests. (The far-reaching emergency powers that former Gov. Andrew Cuomo exercised during the early days of the pandemic to impose everything from mask mandates to a requirement to buy a hot dog with a beer came from a separate emergency order, which was allowed to expire in summer 2021.)
Yet another emergency order, one enacted in response to health care staff shortages, allowing out-of-state doctors and nurses to practice here and paramedics to administer Covid-19 vaccines, does not expire until later this month, but Hochul says she doesn’t intend to renew it either.
WHERE’S KATHY? In New York City with no public events scheduled.
WHERE’S ERIC? Traveling to Washington, D.C., and meeting with members of Congress, speaking at the Congressional Hispanic Caucus Institute’s 2022 Leadership Conference and the National Press Club, returning to New York and speaking at the Carlyle Group’s conference dinner.
Adams admin planning more budget cuts amid economic headwinds, by POLITICO’s Sally Goldenberg and Joe Anuta: City agencies will be forced to slash their budgets as Mayor Eric Adams grapples with increased demands on his administration in the face of a weakening economy. In a letter sent to every city agency on Monday, Budget Director Jacques Jiha instructed commissioners to cut their spending plans by 3 percent this fiscal year, which ends June 30, and 4.75 percent each of the following three years, according to a copy of the missive first reported by POLITICO. Agency heads are prohibited from almost any hiring until they comply, the mayor’s office said.
— The Adams administrationis attempting to recruit private lawyers to represent the city pro bono to address an attorney shortage.
“Adams blasts Hochul, Albany over ‘ill-advised’ new NYC class-size limits,” by New York Post’s Bernadette Hogan and Bruce Golding: “Mayor Eric Adams criticized fellow Democrat Gov. Kathy Hochul on Monday for signing a controversial new class-size law — calling it an ‘unfunded mandate’ that’s unfair to Big Apple students. ‘I understand and respect the class-size issue. But I believe the way this was done was ill-advised,’ he said. ‘And the governor made the decision to sign it.’ During an unrelated news conference in Manhattan, Adams said that taxpayer dollars should be used ‘to focus on equity.’ ‘Not equality — equity,’ Adams said. ‘There are certain school districts that need more and what we are doing now, we’re taking away the [schools] chancellor’s ability to focus on where the problem is.’”
Adams, Hochul punt on yeshivas as Regents approve new rules, by POLITICO’s Madina Touré and Katelyn Cordero: Gov. Kathy Hochul and Mayor Eric Adams appeared to punt Monday on the findings of a New York Times investigation that found that a substantial number of private schools serving the Hasidic Jewish community were not providing basic, secular education. The report found Hasidic Jewish schools in the state have denied some 50,000 students a basic education and have gotten more than $1 billion in government funds over the last four years. Hochul said individuals understand “this is out of the purview of governor,” while Adams downplayed the findings — even as the Board of Regents on Monday approved a new set of standards for private schools, including yeshivas.
— Other officials voiced grave concerns about the quality of education at yeshivas.
Jail lapses blamed in 10 inmate deaths last year, by POLITICO’s Erin Durkin: Failures by Department of Correction staff contributed to 10 of the 16 deaths at Rikers Island and other city jails last year, a new report by the city’s official jails watchdog found. Correction officers failed to make their rounds and supervise detainees, did not give emergency medical help, didn’t bring inmates to medical appointments and made false entries in logbooks, according to the report by the Board of Correction released Monday. The investigation examines 10 deaths by suicide or drug overdose that happened in 2021.
— City Council Speaker Adrienne Adams came out in support of a bill to restrict solitary confinement
“Lawsuit announced over arsenic scare at Jacob Riis Houses,” by CBS New York: “A lawyer for tenants at the Jacob Riis Houses announced a lawsuit on Monday over this month’s drinking water scare. The city shocked residents of the East Village complex by reporting elevated levels of arsenic. But on Friday, officials did an about-face, claiming the testing firm had botched the results and that the water had always been safe to drink. Several local lawmakers are calling for an investigation. The lawsuit seeks damages for both illness or fear of illness from the scare, and also demands on-site health testing.”
“NY’s new ethics panel gets to work with questions about transition,” by Times Union’s Chris Bragg: “At its first meeting on Monday, the state’s new ethics commission voted to appoint Frederick A. Davie as its interim chair. Davie, who was appointed to the Commission on Ethics and Lobbying in Government by Gov. Kathy Hochul, was unanimously elected to the interim position by seven commissioners already seated on the panel Under the rules governing New York’s prior ethics body, the Joint Commission on Public Ethics, the governor had the power to appoint the chair — one aspect of the 2011 law creating JCOPE that was viewed by critics as giving the executive branch too much influence. Now, the commissioners on the new panel have the power to appoint the chair to a two-year term. On Monday, they chose to continue having an appointee of the governor leading the body, at least on a temporary basis.”
“Zeldin counts conservative Dems among backers of governor bid,” by New York Daily News’ Denis Slattery: “A coalition of conservative Democrats are in Lee Zeldin’s corner. The Republican gubernatorial candidate rolled out endorsements Monday from a small group of current and former lawmakers who say they’re no fans of Gov. Hochul, a fellow Democrat. ‘The way Gov. Hochul is running the city and the state is a disaster,’ Rev. Ruben Diaz Sr., a former member of the state Senate and City Council with a history of homophobic comments, said during a press conference with Zeldin outside of City Hall. Diaz and the other less-than-liberal supporters of the Long Island congressman, including Council Member Robert Holden and former Assembly Member Dov Hikind, slammed Hochul over crime and bail reform. Several said disagreements with Hochul’s approach to public safety pushed them to support Zeldin.”
“Republicans Deploy Surprising Weapon in N.Y. Governor’s Race: Eric Adams,” by The New York Times’ Jesse McKinley and Dana Rubinstein: “In his uphill battle to become New York’s next governor, Representative Lee M. Zeldin, the Trump-supporting conservative Republican from Long Island, has turned to an unlikely weapon: Eric Adams, the mayor of New York City. In recent weeks, and despite Mr. Adams’s protestations, Mr. Zeldin has repeatedly aligned himself with Mr. Adams, a first-term Democrat, over the issue of the state’s 2019 bail reform law, which both men have argued is deeply flawed and needs to be overhauled. It is a message that some other Republicans have also begun sounding, echoing the law-and-order credo that helped Mr. Adams get elected last year and the litany that Republicans have been reciting in races across the country.”
Digital ad digest: Cuomo tries to elbow his way back into the spotlight, by POLITICO’s Zach Montellaro: Former New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo resigned in disgrace, amid a cloud of allegations of sexual misconduct. Now, he’s spending his old campaign cash to try to rewrite history. The one-time governor’s political operation has run $60,000 of ads on Facebook over the last month — and $28,000 over the last week, more than any Republican candidate in the country over the last seven days, according to a review of Facebook’s ad archive data. The ad campaign seeks to recast why he left office. “Cuomo’s resignation is #MeToo excess, not success,” one such ad reads. Many of the ads point to a Aug. 28 column in the New York Daily News about “reassessing Cuomo’s fall, one year later.”
#UpstateAmerica: It was good while it lasted. Wegman’s was forced to shut down its self-scanning app after an increase in shoplifting.
“Senate to Investigate Charge That Trump Meddled in Prosecutor’s Office,” by The New York Times’ Benjamin Weiser: “The Senate Judiciary Committee will investigate allegations that the Justice Department under President Donald J. Trump sought to use the U.S. attorney’s office in Manhattan to support Mr. Trump politically and pursue his critics, the committee’s chairman said on Monday. The allegations are in a new book by Geoffrey S. Berman, who was U.S. attorney for the Southern District of New York from 2018 through June 2020, when he was fired by Mr. Trump.”
“How Rep. Adriano Espaillat built the Squadriano,” by City & State’s Jeff Coltin: “There was supposed to be a party. The word ahead of time was that Rep. Adriano Espaillat and Angel Vasquez, his newest political protege, would be celebrating on election night at Quisqueya Plaza in his Upper Manhattan congressional district. All of his political allies would be there, including the younger, Dominican American elected officials who he helped guide into office, helping secure his reputation as the preeminent political power broker north of Central Park and the leading Dominican elected official in the United States. Instead, election night was spent in a sweaty ground floor office, under harsh fluorescent lighting, where Espaillat leaned over the shoulder of an aide refreshing the election night returns page. Vasquez would lose handily and so would another Dominican American candidate who Espaillat supported for the state Senate, Miguelina Camilo.”
— Tornado and flash flood warnings in Brooklyn, Queens and Staten Island announced this morning.
— Three children were found dead on the Coney Island beach and police believe their mother may have drowned them.
— Columbia University dropped to 18 in the U.S. News college rankings after acknowledging it had previously submitted some incorrect data.
— Models are calling for better working conditions during Fashion Week.
— A bill proposed in the City Councilwould offer half-price NYC Ferry tickets to New Yorkers under 18 and high school students.
— The Public Utility Law Project of New Yorkappointed their deputy director and counsel as executive director.
— New York lawmakers and animal advocates are making a final push to have Hochul sign a measure banning the sale of dogs, cats and rabbits from retail stores.
— Republicans have called Democrats’ absentee application mailer “outright dishonest.”
— Credit card companieswill now track the purchase of guns through soon-to-be-created merchant category codes, a development that New York politicians demanded.
— Researchers are surveying a near-extinct snail species that can only be found in a small area by the Chittenango Creek.
HAPPY BIRTHDAY: Bloomberg’s Laura Davison … NBC’s Ginger Gibson and Casey Dolan … Sanette Tanaka Sloan … Edelman’s Thomas Dudley … CNN’s Alli Gordon … Vivian Schiller of the Aspen Institute
MAKING MOVES — Alex Burns is returning to POLITICO as associate editor for global politics and a columnist, Executive Editor Dafna Linzer and Editor-in-Chief Matt Kaminski announced this morning. “This expansive new role will be charged with helping chart the course for POLITICO’s coverage of politics, policy and power as we become a more truly global newsroom,” Dafna and Matt write. “Alex will work with editors and reporters to develop themes, stories and projects that appeal broadly to our readers, and their political obsessions, in the United States and abroad …
Alex will rejoin POLITICO after the midterms, following an eight-year run at the NYT and a venture into book publishing earlier this year with “This Will Not Pass: Trump, Biden and The Battle for America’s Future.” Read the full memo
… Sam Raskin is joining Slingshot Strategies as senior vice president for communications. He was previously a reporter at the New York Post and is a POLITICO alum. Jeff Coote is also joining Slingshot as a communications strategist. He was previously a digital strategist at Van Ness Creative Strategies. … Anthony Fabre and Annie White are joining Karp Strategies. Fabre was previously director of community and intergovernmental affairs at the Landmarks Preservation Commission. White was previously at the Department of City Planning…
… Ryan Monell will be the vice president of government affairs at the Real Estate Boards of New York. He has been director of city legislative affairs at the group. … Michele Bayer is now deputy inspector general for downstate in the state Inspector General’s office. She was previously deputy chief of the trial division for the Manhattan DA. …
… Nicole Perry has joined NYC Kids RISE as chief platform officer, after serving as deputy commissioner of executive affairs and chief of staff at the Department of Small Business Services. Sarah Sable has joined the group as chief financial empowerment officer. She was previously chief program officer at Neighborhood Trust Financial Partners.
Unions, real estate executives want to tackle hospital pricing, by POLITICO’s Sally Goldenberg: Prominent union leaders and real estate executives are teaming up on a multimillion-dollar campaign to take on private hospital pricing. The effort is launching this week with a 30-second digital ad lamenting “the skyrocketing cost of health care” — a spot funded by 32BJ, a 150,000-member union representing building service workers. “Our businesses can’t bring back the jobs we lost unless we bring down hospital prices,” a narrator declares as the camera shifts from a morose-looking couple poring over papers at their kitchen table to a hospital patient hooked up to oxygen.
“Brooklyn luxury market can’t kick September slump,” by The Real Deal’s Harrison Connery: “Brooklyn’s luxury market is stuck in its post-Labor Day slowdown. Signed contracts in the borough last week saw their slowest of the year for the second week in a row, according to Compass’ weekly report of homes listed for $2 million or more. Seven homes entered contract between Sept. 5 and 11 — a record low — and their combined volume was $21.5 million, also a record low. Of the six townhouses and one condo, the average price per square foot was $1,096, nine dollars more than the record low set in early August. Homes sat on the market for an average of 189 days and did not receive a discount for the first time in two months.”