Governor Cuomo


New York's Budget: Behind the Scenes and the Numbers

Wednesday, April 01, 2015

The scramble to meet the budget deadline left lawmakers frustrated and fiscal experts digging for details.


The Brian Lehrer Show

Albany Politics: Email Transparency and Budget Talks

Monday, March 16, 2015

Capital New York's Albany bureau chief, Jimmy Vielkind, discusses Gov. Andrew Cuomo's search for an appropriate email-retention policy, budget talks and other news from upstate.

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The Brian Lehrer Show

When Parents Get Drawn Into School Politics

Thursday, March 12, 2015

Protests continue today as parents from all sides of the education debate react to Gov. Cuomo's budget proposals, which would change how teachers are evaluated and students are taught.

Comments [24]


De Blasio Sends State a Message on Schools

Wednesday, March 11, 2015

While he talks about about how the city is fixing struggling schools, he's sending a message to lawmakers across the state.


The Brian Lehrer Show

Speaker Silver Accused of Taking Over $6M in Bribes and Kickbacks

Thursday, January 22, 2015

New York State Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver was arrested this morning on charges that he received millions in undisclosed income from two law firms. Here's what we know so far. 

Comments [44]

The Brian Lehrer Show

Catching a Train to Your Plane

Thursday, January 22, 2015

Governor Cuomo is proposing to build an AirTrain to LaGuardia Airport, like the links to JFK and Newark. We look at how train-to-airport transit works around the country.

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The Brian Lehrer Show

Poll: NYers Think Pat Lynch Went Too Far

Friday, January 16, 2015

A poll out today shows PBA President Pat Lynch has an 18 percent approval rating among New Yorkers, and most think he went too far in his statements about the mayor. 

Comments [18]

The Brian Lehrer Show

Moreland Commission and More

Monday, July 28, 2014

Karen DeWitt, capital bureau chief for New York State Public Radio, talks about the continuing fallout from the governor's interactions with the Moreland Commission and how it might play out with state elections this fall.

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A Call for Broader Attack on Heroin in NY

Sunday, June 15, 2014


Drug addiction specialists say Governor Cuomo's plan to combat a rise in heroin use doesn't go far enough.



Report Documents Growing Housing Crisis in NYC

Wednesday, April 23, 2014


New York City's Comptroller Scott Stringer has released a report highlighting the numerous challenges Mayor Bill de Blasio faces as his administration develops an affordable housing strategy expected to be released by May 1.

“Despite multi-billion dollar initiatives to expand the affordable housing stock in New York City, apartments have ...


The Brian Lehrer Show

Governor Cuomo on Medicaid, Snow, and "Two States" Pre-K Funding

Friday, February 14, 2014

The Obama administration has granted an $8 billion waiver to New York State allowing it adjust spending and possibly preserve some hospitals in New York City and beyond. Governor Andrew Cuomo discusses the spending plans, as well as the heavy snow, his plans for universal pre-K funding, and more.

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Good Gov Groups Want Cuomo to Budget for Campaign Finance Reform

Monday, January 20, 2014

Thirty reform groups have written to Governor Andrew Cuomo, requesting that the new state budget plan he unveils on Tuesday include funds for campaign finance reform. 



An Eye Toward Albany, de Blasio Chooses a Fighter — and a Friend

Monday, January 06, 2014


With an eye toward Albany and the battle to pay for universal pre-k, de Blasio tapped a legislative fighter and a Cuomo ally in his latest round of appointments. 

Comments [2]


Con Ed Agrees to Freeze Rates—But Will Still Work on Infrastructure

Tuesday, December 31, 2013

After asking for a big rate hike to protect its infrastructure from storms, Con Edison has bowed to pressure from Gov. Andrew Cuomo and agreed to a rate freeze.



Anti-Corruption Commission Issues Subpoenas, Expands Probe to 'Housekeeping Accounts'

Tuesday, October 15, 2013

An anti-corruption commission Governor Cuomo appointed says "everything is on the table" when it comes to investigating public officials.


Transportation Nation

Quinn's Transit Vision: Long on Buses, Ferries, Short on Bike Share

Thursday, April 11, 2013

New York City Council speaker Christine Quinn gave voters their first detailed glimpse into what her transportation agenda would be if she's elected Mayor. It's like Bloomberg's -- but without the big, bold visions.

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War of Words Over Cuomo Budget Analysis

Wednesday, February 13, 2013

An argument erupted between the Cuomo administration and the State Comptroller over the Governor’s budget plan, in a dispute that underscores existing tensions between the two.


The Brian Lehrer Show

NY State of the State

Thursday, January 10, 2013

Yesterday's State of the State address saw New York Governor Andrew Cuomo champion progressive causes like gun control, campaign finance, and women's rights. WNYC reporter Anna Sale discusses the policy and politics of the speech.

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Cuomo Says Strengthen Federal Gun Laws, Close State Loopholes

Monday, December 17, 2012

Governor Cuomo says federal gun laws need to be strengthened, and he says New York State’s assault weapons ban has loopholes that need to be closed.

Comments [3]

Transportation Nation

NY Governor, MTA Chief Say Subways in "Jeopardy" Over Flooding Threat

Monday, October 29, 2012

The Broad Street subway station in lower Manhattan, sealed up (photo by Jim O'Grady)

UPDATED WITH A WHOLE BUNCH OF NEW INFO FROM THE MTA: New York Governor Andrew Cuomo and his MTA chief, Joe Lhota, say the danger of flooding of the East River subway tunnels is quite real.

"Our subway system and salt water do not mix," Lhota said in a briefing with the Governor this morning.  "Salt water can corrode switches quite easily." Lhota added that would put the general ability for the system to function "in jeopardy."

Salt water corrosion of switches - some of them 100 years old -- could have long-term, unknowable effects on the subway system.

According to a press release sent late Monday, "MTA New York City Transit has taken strong measures to protect the subway tunnels that cross under the Hudson and Harlem rivers. However, the unprecedented levels of storm surge predicted to accompany Hurricane Sandy present a significant threat to those tunnels and to the speedy restoration of service after the storm." (FULL RELEASE BELOW)

An hour after the Governor's briefing, Mayor Michael Bloomberg downplayed the threat of subway flooding.  "If a little water gets in, you pump it out," the Mayor said, arguing that the biggest threat would be inundated trains.

His office offered no immediate explanation for the differing views of the threat of salt water to the subway system.

Five subway tunnels that run under the East River could be in danger, according to an analysis by Columbia University: the A-C, the 2-3, the 4-5, the R, and the F.  MTA spokesman Charles Seaton says the MTA has stationed personnel at the mouth of each of the tunnels to monitor flooding.  That information is transmitted to a dispatcher.   The personnel will remain there "as long as it is safe," Seaton said.

During Tropical Storm Irene, as WNYC reported a year ago, the city came within a foot of seeing the subway tunnels flood.  Officials just predicted Sandy will peak at 11.7 feet above flood stage, versus 9.5 feet for Irene.

From my earlier report:

Columbia Univeristy Professor Klaus Jacob has worked with the MTA to model what would happen if you couple sea level rises – the FTA says to expect four feet by the end of this century – with intense storms like Irene. In forty minutes, Jacob says, all the East River Tunnels would be underwater. Jacob says he took those results to the MTA, and asked, if that happened, how long would it take to restore the flooded subway to a degree of functionality?

“And there was a big silence in the room because the system is so old. Many of the items that would be damaged by the intrusion of the saltwater into the system could not recover quickly. You have to take them apart. You have to clean them from salt, dry them, reassemble them, test them and cross your fingers that they work.”

In a best-case scenario, Jacob calculated that it would take 29 days to get the subway working again. But in the meantime, a halted subway would almost halt the city’s economy, which, he says produces $4 billion a day in economic activity.

Here's the full statement from the MTA, released about 4 pm Tuesday:

MTA New York City Transit has taken strong measures to protect the subway tunnels that cross under the Hudson and Harlem rivers. However, the unprecedented levels of storm surge predicted to accompany Hurricane Sandy present a significant threat to those tunnels and to the speedy restoration of service after the storm.

Station entrances and sidewalk vent gratings in low-lying areas such as lower Manhattan have been covered with plywood and reinforced with several feet of sandbags. However, those measures are designed to slow the entrance of water into the system, not to prevent flooding. In addition, the pumps installed throughout the subway system to remove water run on electricity, and will not function if electric power to the system is interrupted.

NYCT personnel and New York City police officers are monitoring conditions in all stations, and patrol trains travel the entire subway system looking for signs of water infiltration. NYCT personnel are also removing stop motors, which interact with automatic brake equipment at track level, so they would not be damaged during any flooding.

If the threat of tunnel flooding appears likely, NYCT is prepared to remove power from the signal system. Because water conducts electricity, and salt water conducts electricity particularly well, signal equipment that is submerged in seawater would be especially vulnerable to damage if power remained on.

When salt water is removed from the system, salt deposits will remain on contact surfaces that will accelerate corrosion, causing potential failures. All those surfaces must be thoroughly cleaned, but they cannot always be cleaned in the field, and some cannot be cleaned at all and must be replaced.

It is difficult to predict the amount of time required to pump water from a flooded tunnel and bring its equipment, as well as adjoining stations, back into service. It depends on the height of the storm surge, how rapidly it penetrates the protective barriers, the length and diameter of tunnel tubes and the extent of flooding into adjacent underground sections and stations.

NYCT has three pump trains available to remove water from under-river tunnels. But the wide range of variables means that merely pumping out water from flooded tunnels – before restoring signals and other equipment – is estimated to take anywhere from 14 hours to more than four days. And as a general rule, the longer a tunnel is flooded, the longer it will take to return to service.

The last time subway tunnels under rivers flooded was December 11, 1992, when all subway lines were suspended for a time and three tunnels filled with water. Some were restored the same day, but the Canarsie Tube carrying the L line under the East River was out of service for several days.






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