Legislative and Regulatory Counceling
Report From The Hill
Governor Andrew Cuomo got his party’s nomination for a third term as governor, and Marcus Molinaro, the republican nod at conventions held this week.
Mr. Cuomo’s candidacy was endorsed by Hillary Clinton whose remarks alerted the delegates to a state under siege from republicans in Washington, and Dutchess County Executive Molinaro was endorsed by former governor George Pataki, the last republican governor who beat Gov. Mario Cuomo in 1994.
A challenge from Cuomo’s political left by Cynthia Nixon did not register enough with delegates to earn a place on the ballot leaving her supporters the task of gaining a sufficient number signatures on petitions, a complex course that will be monitored by an army of election law experts for errors that render signatures invalid. Ms. Nixon’s candidacy makes little sense but the progressive/liberals and teachers’ union are still angry at Cuomo for his promise to be the “pupils’ lobbyist” thus threatening the public sector grip on education funding. It is highly unlikely she will garner 30% in the September 13th primary from voters who gave that to Zypher Teachout four years ago.
An informal, non-binding vote, to expel Senator Simcha Felder, from the democratic party is unlikely to have much impact even with a declared primary opponent since Mr. Felder represents a conservative area of Brooklyn where orthodox Jews object to many of the positions taken by party regulars not to mention those of progressives. Culture and religion are influential forces in politics and to forget that is a mistake, though those opposing him will face few consequences. Assuming republicans can hold onto seats they have and win an open seat here and there, Sen. Felder’s presence may be more consequential than the governor’s race. Senate republicans held off any number of bills to raise taxes.
As expected the IRS has signaled its intention to disallow as a deduction “taxes” paid to localities as charitable contributions. Taxes are coercive and contributions not, the former paid presumably in exchange for public services, the latter for no gain to the donor. The state budget “work around” to deal with the state income tax portion of the SALT ceiling substitutes a “payroll” tax remitted by employers keeping employee whole and a longer distance from the $10,000 limit. The proposal is a tad convoluted – what to do about initial income levels and how to handle out-of-state companies whose employees are not residents or who are and work out of state for a portion of the time?
There is some talk of ending session early, perhaps the week before the scheduled recess date of June 20. The budget is done and time sensitive laws be taken care of before it all ends. The houses may reconvene after the November election to divide political spoils should the dems take the senate, or to dip into the expected windfall in tax revenues. The puerile political class will accept all the toys that go with Trump’s economy but never acknowledge him.