Mail this story to a friend.          
NYSNYS NEWS WEEK IN REVIEW for October 19-25, 2019: Cuomo threatens National Grid. Early voting begins. A new law restricts political speech.

NYSNYS NEWS WEEK IN REVIEW for October 19-25, 2019: Cuomo threatens National Grid. Early voting begins. A new law restricts political speech.

By Kyle Hughes

ALBANY, N.Y. (October 25, 2019) -- Gov. Andrew Cuomo threatens to shut down National Grid as natural gas supply crisis develops. Local governments begin early voting. A new law targets political activities by tax-exempt groups. Plus, a look ahead to next week.







Gov. Andrew Cuomo threatened to put National Grid out of business in New York state over its response to the growing problem of an insufficient supply of natural gas downstate. Critics say the crisis has been created in large part by the state's denial of permits for new gas pipelines into New York from Pennsylvania, where the gas fracking industry is booming.

"I want the specific explanation of potential grounds for revocation of National Grid's license and its liability for the damage that has already been incurred and future damages which will be incurred over the following 12 to 18 months as development is delayed for additional projects is needed," Cuomo said in a letter to the Public Service Commission. "I would also like the specifics necessary to appoint a monitor to oversee National Grids operation on an intense and constant basis to guarantee consumer protection. The overall Long Island economy will be effected as well as tax revenues and additional project costs caused by National Grid's actions."

Cuomo earlier ordered a PSC investigation of the utility once known as Niagara Mohawk after the utility put a moratorium on new gas hookups in its NYC and Long Island service district. The utility says its current supply cannot keep up with growing demand for gas, which is a cheaper energy source than oil because of the fracking industry. Con Edison also halted new connections.

The National Grid moratorium came after Cuomo's Department of Environmental Conservation denied a permit to build a new gas pipeline to serve the downstate region. Encon has also blocked other pipelines approved by FERC, the federal energy regulator agency. Environmentalists have applauded the move, declaring that no new fossil fuel infrastructure should be built because of the threat posed by climate change.

The PSC has ordered National Grid to drop the moratorium, and the company said it will do so on a temporary basis. To keep an adequate supply of gas, National Grid said some large users would be asked to switch to heating oil.

"As peak demand continues to grow, the Company’s ability to safely serve existing customers is threatened by the growing supply imbalance, as the Company is increasingly forced to rely on temporary, unsustainable solutions to meet customers’ demands on the coldest days of the winter," John Bruckner, president of National Grid New York, announced this week. "The recent announcement by a transmission pipeline company regarding constraints on its existing interstate pipeline network that feeds into the Company’s distribution system further exacerbates the downstate supply challenge. Because of this potentially significant supply curtailment to the downstate region, the Company’s contingency planning and operations will be entirely focused on ensuring adequate supplies to serve current customers.  To address the curtailment of these gas supplies, the Company filed details on several short-term solutions like portable compressed natural gas stations and competing with other utilities to add a higher than usual percentage of gas supply from commodity markets."

"Again, these are not permanent solutions to meet peak day demand requirements to ensure system reliability for National Grid’s existing 1.8 million customers," he warned.

[Back to Top]


New York rolled out its new early voting system ahead of the November elections. The idea is to reduce crowded conditions in polling places on election day and otherwise increase turnout, which is abysmally low.

The first early voting will be permitted on Saturday, October 26 and will continue for 9 days until November 3. Election Day is Tuesday November 5. There will be 248 sites around the state where ballots can be cast during those 9 days. The cost of the program is estimated to exceed $10 million.

Problems are expected during the debut, which is the first test of the system ahead of the 2020 presidential election, which traditionally produces a much larger turnout. Besides having to retrain staffs, boards of elections are switching to electronic devices rather than poll books to make sure no one votes more than once.

There are also concerns about leaving schools open for voter to use during the time. Schools in New York and across the nation have hardened their security in the wake of the school shooting epidemic, and the new law will reverse that protocol for the nine days.

There were no clear projections of how many people are expected to cast early ballots. Dozens of states have early voting laws, but the increased turnouts have been negligible in many places.

[Back to Top]


Gov. Andrew Cuomo signed a new law making it illegal for nonprofits to get involved in election campaigns. Cuomo said the new law would reduce outside interference in campaigns, but critics say it is nothing more than a symbolic crackdown on free speech.

The law's impact in New York is expected to be minimal, since it codifies a federal law that remains on the books despite not ever being enforced due to free speech concerns.

Cuomo said the new law (S.4347/A.623) "(restricts) non-profit corporations from participating or intervening in any political campaign on behalf of or against a candidate running for public office. The measure codifies the federal restriction on non-profit corporations participating or intervening in political campaigns, also known as the Johnson Amendment. Since the Trump administration took office it has repeatedly attempted to weaken the protections provided by the Johnson Amendment, and has continuously misled the public by incorrectly suggesting the Johnson Amendment had been repealed."

"For too long we have listened to the Trump administration threaten to remove common sense protections prohibiting tax exempt organizations from engaging in inappropriate political activities," Cuomo said. "New Yorkers have a right to free and fair elections, and this law will further protect our democracy from unjustified interferences once and for all."

In a Daily New op-ed, a leader of the Alliance Defending Freedom, a Christian religious freedom nonprofit, said the New York law gives politicians the power to favor speech they like and suppress speech they don't like.

"In the minds of New York lawmakers, a group can only speak freely if it pays the government extra for the privilege of doing so," ADF Counsel Ryan Tucker wrote. "That type of financial coercion may pay for a payroll increase in Albany, but it will sideline the roles of both secular and religious charities. Why should a politician be able to speak out on matters of public interest today, but a nonprofit director or clergy be stopped — by the government or through self-censorship — from calling out a politician on those same statements? He or she shouldn’t."

[Back to Top]


NY AT BOTTOM OF TAX RANKINGS: The Tax Foundation put out its annual ranking of states and New York fared poorly. The group ranked New York 49th for business climate, 48th for individual taxes, 43rd for sales taxes, 13th for corporate taxes, 46th for property taxes, and 38th for unemployment insurance taxes.


CUOMO TARGETS WFP: Politico reported that Gov. Andrew Cuomo has told associates he wants to destroy the Working Families Party, which endorsed his 2018 primary challenger Cynthia Nixon. A panel appointed by state leaders may end the practice of fusion voting in New York, the name given to ballot cross endorsements.

[Back to Top]


DE BLASIO HALLOWEEN: Mayor Bill de Blasio and First Lady Chirlane McCray today announced the opening of the annual Gracie Mansion Halloween ticket giveaway. Guests will experience the historic Gracie Mansion home and grounds in a “haunted” Halloween-themed atmosphere. Tricks and treats will be available.
New Yorkers can get tickets at or call 311. Tickets are limited. The event is recommended for families with children ages 6-10. 
Gracie Mansion’s Halloween décor and festivities are sponsored by the May Ellen & Gerald Ritter Foundation, Discovery, Inc., Blick Art Materials, TDF Costume Collection,  The LEGO Group, Scholastic Education, Gristedes/D’Agostino Supermarkets, #Snazaroo, Whole Foods Market, Mars Incorporated, Utz/Clem Snacks, Inc., MUD, Make-up Designory, GrowNYC, Cabot Creamery Cooperative, John D Madura Farm, S & SO Produce, Hoeffner Farms, VanHouten Farms, and Togo Orchards II.
Friday, October 25, 2019
5:00 PM to 7:00 PM
Saturday, October 26, 2019
2:00 PM to 3:00 PM
Sunday, October 27, 2019
12:00 PM to 3:00 PM
Gracie Mansion
88th Street and East End Avenue
New York, NY 10128


CUOMO EARLY VOTING: Governor Andrew M. Cuomo reminded New Yorkers that early voting will begin on Saturday, October 26 for the November 5, 2019 general election. The eight days of early voting will make voting more convenient for voters whose professional or family obligations make it difficult to physically get to the polls, as well as reduce waiting times and ease logistical burdens for poll workers. A central component of Governor Cuomo's 2019 Justice Agenda, this measure was signed into law by the Governor on January 24, 2019. This will be the first election in New York State with a period of early voting. New York voters can find their polling place [CLICK HERE  

NEWBURGH -- EARLY VOTING : There is excitement in Newburgh about the opportunity to vote early! Six pastors are bringing parishioners and anyone who wants to join them from churches in the City of Newburgh to the Early Voting site at the Newburgh Activity Center.  For the first time in New York State history, voters have the option of voting on a Saturday or Sunday
The Christian Ministerial Fellowship 
Pastor Willie Mays, New Life Pentecostal Church, Inc.
Bishop Jeffrey C. Woody, The Cathedral at the House
Pastor Nelson McAllister, Calvary Full Gospel Family Church
Bishop Terry Dorsey, New Life Deliverance Church, Inc.       
Reverend Ron Truncali, Hudson Valley Christian Church                                                                Pastor Robert Ferrer, Faith Family Church                                                                                        Sunday, Oct. 26th at 1:30pm
The convoy will start at The Cathedral at the House, 131 Broadway in the City of Newburgh with Hudson Valley Christian Church and move up Broadway stopping at New Life Pentecostal Church, at 173 Broadway.  They will stop at the corner of Prospect Street to pick up Calvary Full Gospel Church and the Faith Family Church before arriving at the City of Newburgh Activity Center, the poll site for the City of Newburgh, Town of Newburgh and New Windsor residents.  
Caravan to the polls, the first-ever chance to vote on a Sunday in NY.


RANKED VOTING EVENT: Congressman Jerrold Nadler will rally with other elected officials and advocates in support of Ranked Choice Voting which will be Question 1 on the ballot. New Yorkers can take advantage of Early Voting which runs October 26th - November 3rd, or vote on Election Day November 5th.
Ranked Choice Voting would apply to primary and special elections starting in 2021 for all local offices including; City Councilmembers, Borough Presidents, the Public Advocate, Comptroller and the Mayor.
Ranked Choice Voting gives voters the option to rank their top five candidates in local New York City primary and special elections. If voters still want to vote for just one candidate, they can. A candidate who collects a majority of the vote, fifty percent plus one, wins. If there's no majority winner, then the last place candidate will be eliminated and the second choice votes for that candidate are redistributed. The process is repeated until there is a majority winner.
Congressman Jerrold Nadler
Susan Lerner, Executive Director CommonCause/NY
Comptroller Scott Stringer
Manhattan Borough President Gale Brewer
State Senator Brad Hoylman
State Senator Robert Jackson
Assemblymember Linda Rosenthal
City Councilmember Ydanis Rodriguez

Sunday October 27, 2019 at 01:00PM Eastern Time (US & Canada)
Verdi Square
73rd and Broadway
New York


GAMBLING MEETING: Meeting of the New York State Gaming Commission
Monday, October 28, 2019 at 1 p.m.  
Empire State Development Corporation
37th Floor Board Room
633 Third Avenue
New York, NY 10017


SENATE HEARINGS -- HIGHER EDUCATION: The Senate Majority today announced that the Senate Standing Committee on Higher Education will hold a series of public hearings across the state to discuss the cost of public higher education, financial aid programs, state support, TAP/GAP, student borrowing and other challenges to affordability and accessibility.

Hudson Valley  – October 28, SUNY New Paltz, Student Union Multipurpose Room, 1 Hawk Drive, New Paltz, New York, 1:00 pm.

Western New York – October 30, SUNY Buffalo, The Center for Tomorrow, 101 Service Center Road, Buffalo, New York, 1:00 pm.

Central New York – October 31, SUNY Oswego Syracuse Campus, The Atrium, Suite 115, 9 Clinton Square, Syracuse, New York, 1:00 pm.

Long Island – November 1, Nassau Community College, College Center Building, 2nd Floor, 1 Education Drive, Garden City, New York, 12:30 pm. 


CUOMO BUFFALO BUSINESS CONTEST: Governor Andrew M. Cuomo today announced the 16 finalists of this year's 43North competition that will be coming to Buffalo later this month to pitch for one of eight investments totaling $5 million, including a top prize of $1 million. These startups hail from across the United States, as well as Canada and Poland, and cover a wide range of industries, from software platforms to medical devices, consumer products, and artificial intelligence. 43North Finals is free to attend, but registration is required and seats will be available on a first-come, first-served basis. Free tickets for 43North Finals on October 30 at 6pm at Shea's Performing Arts Center can be reserved at To take part in the Startup Madness Bracket Challenge visit and fill out a bracket by October 28 to be entered to win a full suite at a Buffalo Sabres game and other VIP perks courtesy of Pegula Sports & Entertainment.

HOUSING WORKS UNION PROTEST: Workers across Housing Works’ 35 New York City locations will walk off the job to demand the non-profit hear their workplace concerns and demand that the company remain neutral during their unionization process. 
For months, workers at Housing Works have raised serious concerns about their workplace environment to management. With conditions only worsening, workers believe that union representation is the best way for them to address their concerns. Workers have described unmanageable caseloads, lack of training, discrimination and harassment, and health and safety issues. Workers have raised concerns about pay and benefits, including that their health insurance doesn’t provide adequate coverage for workers transitioning genders. These workplace issues are central not just to employee welfare, but to patient care as well.  
Over 100 workers will gather at Brooklyn Borough Hall Plaza to share concerns about how the social justice organization has lost its way. Workers will then walk over to the headquarters to demand management sign a neutrality agreement that ensures a fair unionization process free from pressure or coercion of any kind. Workers will then return to work to make sure their clients’ care is not disrupted.

WHO: Over 100 Housing Works workers, including attorneys, case managers, social workers, maintenance workers, and retail workers; Stuart Appelbaum, President of the Retail, Wholesale and Department Store Union (RWDSU); Housing Works clients; and community members and leaders. (List still in formation, will be updated.) 
WHEN: Tuesday, October 29 at 11:00AM 
WHERE: Brooklyn Borough Hall Steps, meeting point will be on the corner of Court Street and Remsen Street in Downtown Brooklyn, New York. Nearest Subways (2/3/4/5 to Borough Hall, R to Court Street, or A/C/F to Jay Street/Metro Tech.) 

PUBLIC CAMPAIGN FUNDING MEETING: NYS Public Finance Reform Commission -- Buffalo Public Hearing Meeting
October 29, 2019
11:00 AM
Burchfield Penney Arts Center
1300 Elmwood Avenue
Buffalo, NY 14222



Suffolk County executive candidate John M. Kennedy, Marconi Manor, 333 Moffitt Blvd., Islip Monday 5:30 pm $75-$2,500

New Yorkers Against Gun Violence, Edison Ballroom, 240 W. 47th St., NYC, Monday 6:30 pm $180-$50,000


JCOPE MEETING: New York State Joint Commission on Public Ethics
Tuesday – October 29, 2019 10:30 a.m.


ASSEMBLY GOP MEETING -- WATER QUALITY: Assemblyman Dan Stec (R,C,I-Queensbury), Assemblywoman Mary Beth Walsh (R,C,I-Ballston) and Assemblyman Mike LiPetri (R-Massapequa), alongside other members of the Assembly Minority Conference, will host an informational forum to discuss the condition of the state’s water sources, address emerging contaminants, and prioritize and fix aging infrastructure on Tuesday, October 29, from 6 - 8 p.m. at the Lake George Town Hall in Lake George.




Wednesday, October 30, 2019
The Upstate Public Comment Day for New York’s 1115 waiver programs will be held on October 30, at the Oncenter Carrier Theater, 421 Montgomery Street, Syracuse, NY 13202.
Attendees are required to check in with the security desk whereupon they will be provided direction to the appropriate room. MRT Public Comment will commence from 11a.m. – 2 p.m
This meeting will be webcast live at: and will be open to the public. Registration will begin at 10:30 a.m., no pre-registration is required.
Individuals who wish to provide comments in person are asked to register on-site no later than 12:00 p.m. and will speak in the order of their registration. We kindly request that all comments be limited to five minutes per presenter to ensure that all public comments may be heard.
Following the meeting, the Department will post a transcript of the public comment day, as well as any submitted written public comments on the following website:
The tentative agenda for the day is as follows:
Questions regarding this notice should be sent to



Oct. 28
Senate Standing Committee on Codes
Chair: Senator Jamaal T. Bailey
Public Hearing: Implementation of Discovery Reform (S1509—Part LLL)
Place: Van Buren Hearing Room A, Legislative Office Building, 2nd Floor, Albany, New York
Time: 10:00 A.M. – 5:00 P.M.
Contact: Jason Laidley (718) 517-8854
Media Contact: Ashley Meza (718) 517-8854

Oct. 28
Senate Standing Committee on Mental Health and Developmental Disabilities
Chair: Senator David Carlucci
Public Hearing: A Discussion about Eating Disorders, Treatment and Recovery
Place: Clarkstown Town Hall, Second Floor, 10 Maple Avenue, New City, New York
Time: 10:00 A.M. – 3:00 P.M.
Contact: John Koury (518) 455-7992
Media Contact: Mary Mueller (914) 980-1267

Oct. 29
Joint -- Senate Standing Committee on Investigations and Government Operations
Chair: Senator James Skoufis
Assembly Standing Committee on Governmental Operations
Chair: Assembly Member Michele R. Titus
Legislative Commission on Government Administration
Chair: Assembly Member David Buchwald
Public Hearing: New York State's Response to Federal Government Shutdowns
Place: Senate Hearing Room, 250 Broadway, 19th Floor, New York, New York
Time: 11:30 A.M.
Contact: Elijah Reichlin-Melnick (845) 786-6710; Brian Williams (518) 455-4355
Media Contact: Kerry Donovan (914) 244-4450; Assembly Press Office (518) 455-3888

Oct. 29
Assembly Standing Committee on Health
Chair: Assembly Member Richard N. Gottfried
Public Hearing: Youth Tackle Football
Place: Assembly Hearing Room, 250 Broadway, Room 1923, 19th Floor, New York, New York
Time: 10:00 A.M.
Contact: Cynthia Jacobson (518) 455-4311
Media Contact: Assembly Press Office (518) 455-3888


ALS SENATE MEMBER ITEM: On Wednesday, October 30th, Senate Majority Leader Andrea Stewart-Cousins and State Senator Shelley Mayer will gather with local ALS leader Pat Quinn and others to announce $200,000 in funding for the ALS Association Greater New York Chapter. The funding will be used to support care services for people living with ALS and their families throughout New York State. A Yonkers native, Mr. Quinn is known for being one of the co-founders of the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge which led to over $115 million in donations for ALS research and support services. Majority Leader Stewart-Cousins, Senator Mayer, Mr. Quinn, and others will discuss the significance additional funding will have on improving services for people living with ALS and their families. Opportunity for photos and one-on-ones to follow. 

Wednesday, October 30, 2019
11:00 AM 
Burke Rehabilitation Hospital
Marsal Caregiver Center
785 Mamaroneck Ave, White Plains, NY 10605


HARLEM STATE ART EXHIBIT: Governor Andrew M. Cuomo today announced a new exhibit, "Harlem Roots," will open later this month in the Adam Clayton Powell, Jr. State Office Building, marking the return of the New York State Harlem Art Collection to the public for the first time since the mid-1990s. The exhibit features select pieces from a collection by artists who have made significant contributions within their communities and the art world at-large. These artists helped elevate what was coined "community art" to what is now considered some of the finest American art created in the 20th century by predominantly Black and Latino artists working in New York City. The "Harlem Roots" exhibit will be unveiled at a preview reception open to the public on October 30 in the Powell Building's second-floor Art Gallery and Community Room. Beginning November 15, the free exhibit will be on view to the public from noon to 7 p.m. each Friday. The building is located at 163 West 125th Street.


DIVIDE NY MEETINGS: Many Counties will be have a Divide NYS meeting this Fall. If you cannot make a meeting or your county's not having one you can go to nearby county's meeting. We are holding fall meetings to support A05498 - S5416 a NYS constitutional amendment to divide the state into three autonomous regions.
While splitting the State of New York into separate states is preferable, but autonomous regions should be easier to achieve. Because by forming Regions not a new state or moving counties between states; Congress can be legally bypassed. All that is needed is an amendment to the NY state Constitution. Since Congress is unlikely, in the foreseeable future, to give the Northeast two more US Senate seats a new state would require.
We would partition NYS into three Autonomous Regions: the New Amsterdam Region (upstate), the New York Region (NYC), and the Montauk Region (Long Island & Rockland/Westchester) alongside a token state government to comply with the US Constitution.
October meetings will be held:

Sat, Oct 26, 2019 at 6:30PM Chemung, Livingston, Schuyler, Steuben & Yates Counties meeting at Captain Morgans 36 Bridge Street, Corning, NY 14830 Ask the Hostess where Divide NYS is located. Please plan to order off menu.
Mon, Oct 28, 2019 at 6pm Madison & Oneida Counties meeting at Denny's 1078 Glenwood Ave, Oneida, NY 13421in the Glenwood Shopping Plaza Route 5 and 46 Ask the Hostess where Divide NYS is located. Please plan to order off menu.
Tue, Oct 29, 2019 at 7pm Erie, Niagara Genesee & Wyoming counties meeting at VFW 898 Weber Post, 2909 South Park Ave (US Rte 62), Lackawanna, NY 14218
Tue, Oct 29, 2019 at 7pm Orleans county meeting is joining other counties; at VFW 898 Weber Post, 2909 South Park Ave (US Rte 62), Lackawanna, NY 14218



Saturday, Oct. 26
State Comptroller DiNapoli is on Long Island.

Sunday, Oct. 27
State Comptroller DiNapoli is on Long Island.

Monday, Oct. 28
State Comptroller DiNapoli is in Albany.

Tuesday, Oct. 29
State Comptroller DiNapoli is in NYC.

Wednesday, Oct. 30
State Comptroller DiNapoli is in Albany.

Thursday, Oct. 31
State Comptroller DiNapoli is in NYC.

Friday, Nov. 1
State Comptroller DiNapoli is in NYC.

Saturday, Nov. 2
State Comptroller DiNapoli is on Long Island.

Sunday, Nov. 3
State Comptroller DiNapoli is on Long Island.

Back to Top]