Wednesday, December 22, 2010

High Noon for 911 Bill: Senate Passes 9/11 Health Bill as Republicans Back Down

Senate Passes 9/11 Health Bill as Republicans Back Down

The scaled-down $4.3 billion agreement to aid ill 9/11 responders is set to be approved by the Senate as soon as Wednesday afternoon. The initial Zadroga bill called for a 10-year, $7.4 billion treatment and compensation package. To win GOP support, the proposal was trimmed down to 5 years at $4.3 billion. The last-minute deal also opens the 9/11 Victims' Compensation Fund, but caps lawyers fees at 10%. And it bars ailing responders from double-dipping on payouts from the recent 9/11 health settlement.  The two sides agreed on doctors who treat workers being reimbursed at 140 percent of Medicaid (the Republicans had hoped to lower this to 125 percent, but the Democrats refused)
An Unpaid Debt Senate Republicans must allow a vote on the 9/11 health and compensation bill. America owes help to the thousands who contracted illnesses at ground zero. (NYT Ed) * Jon Stewart has done more for 9/11 health bill than Obama, says Rep. (DN) * Senate Invokes Cloture On Russian Arms Treaty Paving Way For Zadroga Vote (NY1) * 9/11-bill roadblock boor (NYP) * Carolyn Maloney says that Jon Stewart has been a better advocate for the bill than Barack Obama.

New York Losing Clot in DC

New York Will Lose Two House Seats, and New Jersey One (NYT) * New York State Loses 2 Seats in House(WSJ) * New York To Lose Two Congressional Seats (NY1) * Deep-'seated' trouble NY losing 2 in House as taxed residents flee (NYP) * The 2010 Census re-confirm a longtime trend: The US population is fleeing to the South and West, where taxes are lower and the business climate more friendly.  Driving NY down (NYP Ed) * Rep. Charlie Rangel blamed New York’s seat loss on its weather.* The last time New York had 27 House seats was in the early 1820s, when the chamber had 181 seats. * Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver, an Orthodox Jew, confirmed he won’t be attending Cuomo’s Saturday afternoon inauguration ceremony. * New York will have 27 House seats, down from 45 in the 1940's.* The city should get out of the redistricting mess unscathed.* Deal for 9/11 Bill Reached in Senate



‘Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell’ Is Repealed (NYT)



Times Sues City Police, Saying Information Has Been Illegally Withheld The newspaper contends there is a pattern by which the Police Department avoids providing material that state law requires it to release. (NYT) * It's a rail travesty Subway crime up 5 percent (NYP)



Bloomberg Blinks on City Time

Bloomberg nixes contract for CityTime developer

Bloomberg administration is foregoing a $40 million contract it awarded to Science Applications International Corp., the lead software developer in the scandal-rocked CityTime payroll project.(Crains NY)

The contract to upgrade the Department of Sanitation's computer systems was awarded in March to SAIC but was never formally approved or registered with the city comptroller.

Low Bidding * Lobbyist * Special Interests

The NYT should put their investigative power behind an effort to find out the real story behind the City Time contract

9 Days Before Cuomo Takes On the Albany Swamp

The Tax-Cap Illusion The incoming governor of New York should be worrying, first and foremost, about the underlying reasons that property taxes keep rising. (NYT Ed) *Times: Tax Cap ‘Wrong Track’ For Cuomo * Embattled Espada files retirement papers, ready to collect state pension (DN) * Top Sampson Aide Has Mysterious Consulting Firm, Church And Blacktop Company Registered (City Hall) * Gov running out of campaign funds to pay legal bills and ethics fine (NYT)  * State IG Joseph Fisch is retiring.* The TU says Paterson’s Yankees tickets scandal “stands out as a brazen example of how not to govern.” * The governor’s attorney accused the Public Integrity Commission of being on a “political witch hunt.” * Cuomo is leaving a lot of unfinished business behind for Schneiderman. 


Debt-Ridden Senate Dems Party Like It's 1985


After TrooperGate  Cuomo picks investigator Joseph D'Amico to head NY state police ALBANY, N.Y. — New York Gov.-elect Andrew Cuomo has picked the chief investigator from his attorney general’s office to be the next superintendent of..



MTA's big-ticket projects like 2nd Ave. subway, LIRR extension nearly $2 billion over budget (DN) * MTA should be ashamed of replacing subway literature with self-congratulatory ads (DN Ed)





Does the City Want to Use Schools As Waste Storage Areas?

City Sparring With the E.P.A. Over a Plan to Check Schools for PCBs (NYT) * Former Inspector Who Faked Asbestos Safety Tests Is Sentenced (NYT) * A federal judge sentenced an ailing former safety inspector to more than five years in prison for faking hundreds of asbestos and lead test reports, saying that his crimes were monumental and had put New York City's residents at risk. * The Environmental Protection Agency plans to begin inspecting school buildings in New York City next month for contamination with the toxic chemicals known as PCBs in response to a pilot study that found that the substance was leaking from old light fixtures in some schools. The Bloomberg administration says that the measure would impose a $1 billion unfunded mandate on city taxpayers.




Bike Lane Confusion

Are New York's Bike Lanes Working? Mayor Koch's bike lanes died. Will Mayor Bloomberg's survive? (NYT Ed)




Terrorism  Senate report says Lockerbie bomber freed for BP fuel deal (DN) * Terrorist threat on country still real, warns AG Eric Holder (DN) * The newest plot terrorists are hatching against Americans is a possible plan to poison food at hotels and restaurants, an intelligence source told CBS News. * Shocking. Top Obama Intelligence Official Clueless on London Bomb Plot

Law and Order  Bloomberg Makes a Proposal on Youth Prisons (NYT) clear pixel * Bloomberg's juvie plan gets kudos from pros (DN)* Firefighter Charged With Speeding and Texting Before Hit-and-Run (NYT) * Laundromat Worker Killed(WSJ) * New Focus in Sex-Assault Cases(WSJ) * Rapper admits murder as part of 12-step 'amends' process (DN) * Slain cop's dad fears killer will walk (DN) * Sabbath summons in Brooklyn costs cop (DN) * Shoot-out-of-luck rapper (NYP) * Dad's dying call Kin hear torment over phone after shooting (NYP) * Rev. rant by 'thief' (NYP) * Dead woman's body found stuffed in a suitcase on Harlem street (NYP)