Gov. Andrew Cuomo

Cuomo to MTA: Cut LIRR fares during ‘summer of hell’

By GREGORY ZELLER // Andrew Cuomo wants the Metropolitan Transportation Authority to give Long Island commuters a break. The governor on Monday called on the MTA to reduce fares for Long Island Rail Road passengers who can’t travel to Midtown Manhattan’s Pennsylvania Station because of Amtrak’s scheduled track-repair work this summer. Amtrak’s emergency repair work is slated to begin in July and run through September. While it’s ongoing, some LIRR trains will terminate at either…


At last, Uber drives (legally) onto Long Island

By GREGORY ZELLER // Uber can finally come to Long Island. Gov. Andrew Cuomo has signed new legislation formalizing regulations that will allow for the implementation of “ridesharing” services across New York State. Currently, tech-based ridesharing platforms like Uber and Lyft, both based in San Francisco and both providing services to hundreds of towns and cities across the country, are restricted by New York law to operating within New York City only. But that’s set…


Facing ‘reckless’ Trump, the Empire State strikes back

By GREGORY ZELLER // Despite President Donald Trump’s best efforts, the entirety of the trillion-dollar clean-energy industry won’t be leaving America for more forward-thinking lands – not if Gov. Andrew Cuomo and friends have their way. Still lamenting “the White House’s reckless decision to withdraw from the Paris accord” – an international global-warming agreement targeting worldwide greenhouse gas reductions, negotiated by 195 countries through the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change – Cuomo on…


After ’embarrassing’ decision, a most hostile climate

By GREGORY ZELLER // President Donald Trump’s controversial decision to abandon the Paris climate accord has met with swift and punishing reactions from around the globe – with some of the sharpest vitriol spewing from Long Island and New York State. Environmentalist Adrienne Esposito, executive director of the Farmingdale-based Citizens Campaign for the Environment, said the president “made America into an international laughing stock as a fossil fool.” Attorney Heather Leibowitz, director of New York…


Bell rings for Round 2 of $100M downtown initiative

New York State’s Downtown Revitalization Initiative is back for a $100 million second round. Governor Andrew Cuomo has announced the launch of Round 2 of the program, which will once again offer monetary and other support to the creation of Strategic Investment Plans for rebuilding efforts in 10 designated downtown communities across the state. The initiative, part of a “comprehensive approach” to neighborhood and economic transformations across New York, looks to “build upon the successful…


With Albany’s help, all’s well in Ocean Beach

The Village of Ocean Beach will get a backup freshwater supply, thanks to a $3.7 million boost from Albany. The package – which includes a $1.9 million zero-interest loan and a $1.2 million low-interest loan – will help fund a new water-supply well to serve as a “redundant water source” for the village, according to Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s office. Ocean Beach’s stipend was part of $62 million in grants and low-cost financing approved Thursday by…


Predicting pushback, gov advances consolidation plan

By GREGORY ZELLER // With the federal government set to deliver a crippling tax blow to Long Islanders, Gov. Andrew Cuomo backed word with deed Thursday, setting in motion his master plan to lower this region’s astronomical property-tax rates. Harkening to promises he made earlier this year during his annual State of the State tour, the governor signed the Middle Class Recovery Act, authorizing Suffolk County Executive Steve Bellone and other statewide county execs to…


Cuomo inks $2.5 billion Clean Water Infrastructure act

By GREGORY ZELLER // Albany dove into water pollution once again Wednesday, with Gov. Andrew Cuomo visiting Farmingdale State College to lay out a $2.5 billion plan to remediate and protect New York’s drinking water supply. To raucous applause, Cuomo officially signed the state’s Clean Water Infrastructure Act, enacting what he called a “comprehensive, multifaceted action plan.” In what has become a semi-regular occurrence, the governor elaborated on aggressive plans to clean up, and keep…


With $800 million at stake, let the games begin

It’s on: Governor Andrew Cuomo on Tuesday officially opened the seventh round of the annual Regional Economic Development Council competition, a statewide funding contest in which each of the state’s 10 economic-development zones wins, but some win more. This year, the 10 REDCs will be combing through individual project pitches and preparing master proposals for their slice of the chunkiest state pie yet: more than $800 million in economic-development resources, including grants, tax breaks and…


Contractors sue state over secret minority biz goals

The Associated General Contractors of New York State has filed suit against five state agencies, seeking the release of documents that show how the offices set goals for participation by minority- and women-owned businesses in assorted state contracts. The action follows 75 separate attempts by the trade group to obtain the data through the Freedom of Information Law, which it said were all ignored or denied. The agencies include the New York State Department of…


Meanwhile, Albany tells science: We’ve got your back

By GREGORY ZELLER // Even as the Trump Administration levels its big guns at national funding for scientific research, New York State is doubling down on its commitment to life sciences. Leaders of business and medical-research organizations across the state are hailing Albany’s 10-year, $620 million plan to turn New York into one big life-sciences cluster. The economic-development strategy was championed by Gov. Andrew Cuomo and adopted by the state Legislature this week as part…


State pumps $2M into LI emergency communications

Roughly $2 million for programs in Nassau and Suffolk counties was included in a new round of emergency-communications grants announced this week by Gov. Andrew Cuomo. Nassau is receiving $856,563 and Suffolk more than $1.1 million through the State Interoperable Communications Grant, which is administered by the New York Division of Homeland Security and Emergency Services. All told, statewide funding in this round totals $45 million. The grants will help counties enhance their emergency-response systems…


Pilgrim innovations trim energy costs, emissions

A relatively small footnote in New York State’s energy-efficiency annals will deliver lasting benefits to taxpayers and the air they breathe. A $1 million “energy-saving project” has been completed at the New York State Office of Mental Health’s Pilgrim Psychiatric Center, a 290-bed inpatient and outpatient facility located in Brentwood. The innovations – including enhanced boiler controls, high-efficiency outdoor lighting and improvements to the complex’s air-handling system – are projected to save $114,000 in annual…


Fundraising innovation: Less risk in games of chance

By SEAN WILKINSON, CPA // Governor Andrew Cuomo proposes to remove the red tape restricting nonprofit organizations’ fundraising efforts through raffles and other games of chance. The FY2018 Executive Budget will update outdated bureaucratic laws that will increase the potential of charitable organizations searching for support. Organizations that depend on these revenue-generating streams will benefit tremendously in the years to come. For example, the American Legion, a veteran’s organization, currently raises money by selling pull-tabs,…


Testing, testing everywhere, to keep it safe to drink

By GREGORY ZELLER // Albany is diving deeper into Long Island’s groundwater plumes. Gov. Andrew Cuomo on Friday directed the state Department of Environmental Conservation to expedite containment of groundwater plumes in Nassau County, starting with an “immediate engineering investigation,” according to the governor’s office. The plumes were created through years of industrial solvents leaking into the groundwater at a Bethpage site once jointly occupied by the U.S. Navy and defense contractor Northrop Grumman. The…