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News, views and commentary on Long Island, state and national politics

Defying Cuomo, Assembly bill would delay Common Core teacher evaluations

Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo, seen here in a

(Credit: Newsday / J. Conrad Williams Jr.)

ALBANY -- Defying Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo, state Assembly Democrats are drafting a bill that would delay teacher evaluations conducted under the new Common Core curriculum for two years.

The Democrats are expected to discuss the proposal in a closed-door conference Monday and perhaps vote on it later in the week, said a source who wished to remain anonymous.

Importantly, the introduction...

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Nassau GOP backs Lally in Republican primary for Israel’s seat

The Executive Committee of the Nassau Republican Party voted unanimously Thursday night to back Mineola attorney Grant Lally in a potential GOP primary against Stephen Labate, a financial planner from Deer Park.

The winner will challenge Democratic Rep. Steve Israel in the November general election. The 3rd Congressional District straddles Nassau and Suffolk counties and includes parts of...

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Cuomo challenger must trek across forbidding terrain -- such as Nassau

Nobody knows the outcome of a campaign at its outset, but in this case, you can strongly suspect it.

Republican Rob Astorino seems to realize that choosing to challenge Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo would place him in the face of a gale-force wind. The second-term Westchester executive, who first won that job in 2009 against long odds, has suggested in public statements he can go on to win the bigger...

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NYC: New HRA chief has played a relevant role

Mayor Bill de Blasio’s appointment of Steve Banks, a longtime Legal Aid Society figure, to run New York City’s vast social-service system marks an interesting selection on a couple of levels.

For one, Banks in his role representing nonprofits such as the Coalition for the Homeless was a thorn in the side of his predecessors in both the Giuliani and Bloomberg administrations.

For another,...

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Mondello backs Blakeman, but won't knock Rice

Joseph Mondello, the Nassau Republican leader.

(Credit: Newsday / Karen Wiles Stabile)

Nassau Republican Chairman Joseph Mondello said Thursday that he’s squarely behind Bruce Blakeman’s 4th Congressional District bid.

But that doesn’t mean he has anything bad to say about Blakeman’s most likely Democratic opponent, Nassau District Attorney Kathleen Rice.

“I’ve always been a fan of Bruce Blakeman,” Mondello said of the former county legislative presiding officer, who announced...

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Independence Party to screen House candidates at Oheka Castle

The Nassau and Suffolk Independence Party will screen candidates for Long Island House seats this weekend at Oheka Castle, the minor party’s top official said Thursday.

Frank MacKay, state and Suffolk Independence party chairman, said the screening will be  Saturday at the Woodbury estate of developer and political player Gary Melius, who was shot in the head by a masked gunman Monday...

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Two firms bid on Nassau sex offender monitoring contract

Two Long Island nonprofit groups have bid on a proposed contract to intensify Nassau County’s monitoring of registered sex offenders.

Parents for Megan’s Law, a Stony Brook firm which conducts a similar monitoring program for Suffolk County, and Safe Center Long Island of Bethpage each placed bids on a request for proposals issued by the county before Wednesday’s deadline.

The Safe Center...

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Split committee vote snarls Suffolk IDA residency bill

A bill that would require Suffolk County’s Industrial Development Agency to hire only county residents failed to advance Wednesday after a 3-3 legislative committee vote.

The measure, sponsored by Minority Leader John M. Kennedy Jr. (R-Nesconset), came after IDA officials disclosed they planned to hire Tim Ruggeri, a former spokesman for County Executive Steve Bellone, as a $77,000-a-year...

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Rep. Bishop tries to force House vote on minimum wage hike

Rep. Tim Bishop today stepped forward to file a discharge petition to force the Republican-controlled House to vote on a bill to gradually raise the minimum wage to $10.10 an hour over the next three years from its current $7.25 an hour.

Bishop (D-Southampton) said he turned to the parliamentary procedure that forces a bill stuck in committee to be taken up on the House floor for a vote because...

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Cuomo "robo" call solicits LI residents for "telephone town hall" Thursday

  Underscoring the importance of Long Island in this year’s elections, Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo is making “robo” calls to Island residents to encourage them to participate in a “telephone town hall” Thursday in which he will tout his property-tax plans.

  Paid for by campaign funds, the calls began going out Wednesday. In the message, Cuomo promises to take participants questions. But...

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