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Blair Horner

  • Cuomo's tactic is innovative – destroying the legal authority of the ethics agency that is looking into whether the former governor had received the book deal money illegally.
  • The world focused its attention on cancer last week. World Cancer Day was a way to educate the public about the threats posed by cancer and create pressure on policymakers to adopt science-based approaches to reducing the incidence of the diseases and to cut deaths from cancer.
  • State lawmakers have been moving along through the legislative budget hearings process and are expected to wrap them up next week. This week, one of the big hearings focuses on Governor Hochul’s proposed budget plans for the environment.
  • Buried deep in Governor Hochul’s budget plans are measures that can have a big impact on democracy in New York. While virtually anything in a budget can impact democracy, the governor’s budget plans offer measures to reduce the influence of special interests and impact public oversight.
  • “First do no harm.” The Hippocratic Oath is a solemn ethics pledge historically taken by physicians. It requires a new physician to swear to uphold specific ethical standards, most notably by ensuring patient safety. It is an oath that is the bedrock of appropriate medical care.
  • Mario Cuomo once famously remarked, "You campaign in poetry. You govern in prose." This metaphor, highlighting the shift from rhetoric to reality, applies to various contexts. A good example is the governor’s State of the State address. The governor’s State of the State is a requirement of the job. The state Constitution demands that “The governor shall communicate by message to the legislature at every session the condition of the state and recommend such matters to it as he or she shall judge expedient.”
  • The drumbeat of bad news for New York’s public and independent colleges continues. Last month it was the news that the Albany-based 103 year old College of Saint Rose would be closing its doors. This month, the bad news is from public colleges within the State University system. The well-regarded SUNY Geneseo announced that it was facing a $10 million “financial crisis.”
  • As we bid farewell to 2023, a year marked by global upheavals such as conflicts in Europe and the Middle East, and internal threats to democracy, the task of pinpointing the most pressing issue becomes a formidable challenge. Yet, when evaluating the threat that affects the largest swathes of humanity, the accelerating climate crisis emerges as the paramount concern.
  • New York’s 2023 legislative session is nearly complete – six months after lawmakers left Albany. The state Legislature normally meets during the first six months of the year. During that time, they approve a budget and typically pass hundreds of bills covering a wide range of topics.
  • December is usually a quiet time in Albany. The Capitol is buzzing, but most of the activity flies below the public’s radar. Usually, the only visible stirring is around decisions by the governor to veto popular legislation that she doesn’t like. December is a good time to do that since most New Yorkers are focused on the holidays, not the antics at the state Capitol.