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Hochul rips Trump on abortion rights

2 months ago 57



With help from Shawn Ness

New from New York

Happening now:

  • Gov. Kathy Hochul knocks Trump on abortion rights.
  • Lawmakers leave, again, without a budget deal.
  • Randall’s Island has been safe for migrants, Adams said.
  • Protesters arrested outside of Hochul’s office. 

DAYS THE BUDGET IS LATE: 9

Gov. Kathy Hochul said that Donald Trump's statement on leaving abortion up to the states will be a win for President Joe Biden.


HOCHUL TALKS ABORTION RIGHTS: Gov. Kathy Hochul continued her efforts this morning to help to keep President Joe Biden in the White House, targeting Donald Trump’s recent comments about abortion rights.

“How do you know when Donald Trump is lying? When his lips are moving,” Hochul quipped this morning on MSNBC’s Morning Joe.

The governor gave her first reaction to former President Donald Trump’s announcement Monday that he supports leaving the issue of abortion up to the states.

Hochul vowed on the morning show that Trump’s announcement will be “a jolt for the election” and a win for Biden.

“We could say ‘What day was the election really lost [for Trump]?'” Hochul said. “It may just have been the day that the solar eclipse occurred.”

Hochul has increasingly taken on the role of a Biden surrogate in recent months as she continues to trumpet a pro-Biden message on CNN and MSNBC. Her ascendant support of the president’s reelection bid also comes as Mayor Eric Adams — the self-proclaimed “Biden of Brooklyn" — has faded from the president’s embrace.

“We won't know for sure exactly by what margins, but this is a big boost for Joe Biden,” the state’s first woman governor said of Trump's abortion stance. “Trump fell into this. He should have kept his mouth shut because now he's antagonizing everybody.”

Trump’s Monday announcement suggests he won’t pursue a national abortion ban if elected, but the former president didn’t rule out signing one, either. He also did not say where he stands on other efforts to limit access to the abortion pill, mifepristone.

Hochul’s comments slamming Trump — she added that he’s “indicted himself in the eyes of women all over America” — comes as New York’s own version of the Equal Rights Amendment, which aims to enshrine reproductive rights in the state, is on the ballot in November.

“Every state, the record is there,” Hochul said. “When people have a chance to voice their position on abortion, they stand with the women — unlike Donald Trump.” Jason Beeferman

Eight protesters for tenant protections were arrested outside of Gov. Kathy Hochul's office in the Capitol this afternoon.

SO LONG, BUT NOT FOR LONG: They’re leaving town, but they’re coming back.

Lawmakers won’t be meeting Wednesday for Eid al-Fitr, a fast-breaking holiday celebrated at the end of Ramadan, amid a late state budget for the fiscal year that started April 1.

“We expect an extender to be passed on Thursday,” Senate Majority Leader Andrea Stewart-Cousins told reporters, adding that the extender will run until Tuesday of next week.

The Assembly, on the other hand, will meet on Friday week to pass the extender as the sides remain undecided over the $233 billion spending plan that includes measures to address the state’s housing shortage and address retail theft.

After passing the extender on Thursday, Stewart-Cousins doesn’t expect senators to return until the start of next week: “We are at the beginning of the end, but the end is hard.” she said.

The leader has used that phrase before. On April 19 2023, Stewart-Cousins said lawmakers were at "the beginning of the end” of the budget process.

It took 13 days from that point to final passage. This year, the sides are poised to recess starting April 18 for two weeks because of Passover — so a goal is to get a deal before then, but the days are ticking away toward meeting that goal. — Jason Beeferman

HOUSING LACK OF DEALS: As the budget is now nine days late, progressive groups are still protesting to get their wants included in the budget, including a deal to ensure affordable housing.

Eight protesters were arrested outside of the governor’s office in the Capitol during a rally this afternoon.

“Economic and social mobility depends on a government, depends on leadership like [Assembly Speaker Carl] Heastie and [Senate Majority Leader] Andrea Stewart-Cousins to hold a powerful executive like Gov. Hochul, who's moving out of step with the vast majority of New Yorkers, to hold her accountable,” said Jawanza James Williams, a director at VOCAL New York.

“We need those two conferences, the Assembly and the Senate, to actually represent the people that put them there.”

What does that mean? For them, it’s getting the good cause eviction measure to protect tenant rights and the Housing Access Voucher program included in the state’s budget in a bid to help fight homelessness.

They also want to tax the rich and large corporations.

Cea Weaver, the coalition director at Housing Justice for All, said that it seems that Hochul seems to be more willing to meet with real estate executives and campaign donors than renters.

“I think we have been quite clear for months that we are not married to every crossed T or dotted I in our bill,” said Weaver, who was among those arrested. — Shawn Ness

Mayor Eric Adams said he was amazed at how few incidents have happened on Randall's Island where 3,000 migrants are being housed.

SKIRMISH SURPRISE: Mayor Eric Adams said he “would have never predicted” how infrequently skirmishes occur on Randall’s Island, where the city is sheltering about 3,000 migrants under conditions he called “inhumane.”

“Three thousand people are placed into an environment — many of them are young — and told ‘You can’t do anything all day but sit there for the whole day,’” the mayor said today during an off-topic news conference. “I’m amazed at how well they’re doing.”

Randall’s Island has drawn headlines in recent months for violence among the migrants sheltered there, and Adams in January promised a “complete analysis” of the site’s safety precautions.

Today, he told reporters: “Evidently, we’re doing the right thing” by implementing security measures like metal detectors and curfews.

“We’re not seeing skirmishes hop up all the time,” Adams said. “We’re seeing just the opposite. We’re seeing people saying, ‘We want to wait so we can finally get our crack at the American dream.’” — Irie Sentner

SILENT TREATMENT: Adams declined to answer multiple questions today related to revelations that federal authorities are looking into free flight upgrades he accepted from Turkish Airlines and the city’s retention of a celebrity defense lawyer to represent the mayor in a sexual harassment case.

On Friday, a report in The New York Times indicated investigators from the FBI and the U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of New York are looking at whether a Turkish Airlines executive vaulted Adams to the highest passenger status offered by the carrier, which is partially owned by the Turkish government’s sovereign wealth fund.

Additionally, City Hall has retained the services of Alex Spiro, who has in the past represented Elon Musk, Jay-Z and Alec Baldwin, in a sexual harassment case.

Adams, who has not been accused of wrongdoing by prosecutors and is facing the sexual harassment case in civil court, declined to go into details about either subject, saying that his legal team is handling the cases while he tends to the everyday business of governing.

“I've said this over and over again — I follow the laws,” Adams said at a press briefing when asked about details of the federal probe being publicized.

“I have great attorneys. My job is to run the city. They are to run the review. I am pleased with my attorneys, what they’re doing. And the process is going to take its course.” — Joe Anuta

 the NY HEAT Act.

CAUCUS PUSHES ON ENERGY ISSUES: Ensuring affordability while taking bold steps to address the climate crisis which disproportionately impacts many communities they represent is a priority for the NYS Black, Puerto Rican, Hispanic and Asian Legislative Caucus.

Assemblymember Michaelle Solages, a Democrat from Nassau County and chair of the influential caucus, laid out some of the ways lawmakers could support those goals in an interview last month with Playbook.

The central question facing policymakers is how to fund the state’s climate efforts while preventing unpalatable costs for consumers.

“There are a lot of groups I see that are saying these laws are hurting New Yorkers. They're costing too much. And it's unfortunate because the cost of the climate crisis is already high in so many communities, including communities of color,” Solages said.

“We have high rates of asthma. When flooding happens, we can't afford to rebuild, and so we get displaced. And so at the end of the day, the cost is so high. We need to ensure that we're being smart about the transition, but also not afraid of being bold.”

Solages said the caucus supports the Climate Change Superfund measure, which seeks to charge fossil fuel companies for historical emissions from the fuels they sold, and a low-carbon fuel standard for the transportation sector.

Some environmental justice groups oppose the clean fuel standard, questioning whether it would ensure emissions reduction quickly for the communities they advocate for.

Solages sees it as a beneficial policy for heavy-duty vehicles that will be on the roads for years to come with less impact on individual consumers.

“It won't cost the ratepayers at the end of the day,” Solages said. The low-carbon fuel standard in California has added to gas prices, although proponents argue there’s not a significant correlation between low-carbon fuel credit costs and gasoline costs.

The NY HEAT, the legislative measure to cap energy bills as a percent of income, would end subsidies for new gas hookups and expand the Public Service Commission’s authority to decommission parts of the gas system, is also a caucus priority.

Solages said they’re urging some type of compromise or resolution to get it passed. The issue hasn’t yet been resolved in budget negotiations.

“This is the time that we need to just urge our leadership to be brave about the climate crisis and look at ways that we can ensure that we are transitioning to electric, but also not creating a disadvantaged situation for the ratepayers,” Solages said.

The caucus is also supportive of the $200 million for low-income ratepayers to help with utility bills. They also back more funding for electric school buses to help districts with the up-front expenses. — Marie J. French

— An appellate court rejected Trump’s efforts to delay his hush-money trial. (POLITICO)

— The Inspector General’s Office is investigating the Adirondack Park Agency. What they are looking for is not yet clear. (Times Union)

— A school in Brooklyn is experimenting with a 12-hour school day. (The New York Times)

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