Driving in Manhattan? Pay up.
Plastic bags? Banned.
Cash bail? Mostly banned.
Million-dollar homes? Taxed more.
Life for New Yorkers is likely to change in ways big and small thanks to the state’s $175 billion budget, which the Legislature and Governor Cuomo agreed to early Sunday.
In addition to fiscal policies, a raft of nonmonetary policies were inserted into the budget, usually as bargaining chips to win the support of reluctant lawmakers. Albany’s veterans refer to the hefty deal as “the big ugly.”
One topic left out of the budget? Marijuana. Mr. Cuomo had vowed to legalize the drug, but stakeholders were unable to reach an agreement before today’s budget deadline. A similar deal collapsed in New Jersey.
Here’s what else you need to know about New York’s budget:
Plastic bags from stores will be banned.
Starting next March, the state will ban most stores from giving customers single-use plastic bags.
Supporters say the law will help the environment. Counties can also add a 5-cent fee on paper bags to further encourage people to carry reusable bags.
Exemptions will exist for takeout food, deli meat and newspapers. Garment bags and trash bags sold in bulk will also be exempt.
Congestion pricing will take effect below 60th Street in Manhattan.
New York is poised to be the first American city to charge this type of toll. The fee is likely to be more than $10 for cars and about $25 for trucks, starting in 2021. The tolls are expected to raise billions of dollars for the subways and other regional transportation needs.
Cars with E-ZPass technology will be charged automatically for entering the zone. Drivers without E-ZPass will be sent a bill.
Cash bail will be eliminated for most misdemeanors and nonviolent crimes.
Critics have said that requiring people charged with crimes to pay cash to avoid incarceration while awaiting trial is tantamount to locking up innocent people because they are poor.
The state also plans to give defendants speedier access to evidence that prosecutors may use against them in court.
Buyers of some New York City homes will be hit with higher taxes.
Legislators initially wanted to tax owners of pieds-à-terre, luxury homes that are not primary residences. This fee would have been collected every year.
But after a push by the real estate industry, lawmakers replaced the idea with an increase to two one-time levies in New York City, the “mansion tax” for million-dollar homes and the transfer tax when it applies to multimillion-dollar homes.
The taxes would be charged when a home is sold. Combined, the tax rate would top out at 4.15 percent on the sale of properties worth $25 million or more.
Trump blasts New York Times reporting, says paper will be gone ‘in 6 years’
President Trump unleashed a barrage of criticism against the New York Times in a series of tweets Saturday, describing the newspaper as “phony” over its coverage of his immigration policies and predicting it would cease to exist within six years.
In his first Twitter post, the president blasted the paper for its story about his administration’s threats to release migrants into “sanctuary cities” as retaliation against Democrats.
“The New York Times Sanctuary Cities/Immigration story today was knowingly wrong on almost every fact,” the president wrote. “They never call to check for truth. Their sources often don’t even exist, a fraud. They will lie & cheat anyway possible to make me look bad. In 6 years they will be gone………”
Maggie Haberman, the White House reporter for the Times, refuted Trump’s accusation that the paper never reached out for comment.
“POTUS really ought to check in with his press team more often, or they with him. NYT emailed three times for comment and press office acknowledged receipt of emails,” she tweeted.
Trump has repeatedly suggested releasing migrants into “sanctuary cities.” A statement from the Department of Homeland Security to Fox News said the idea to release immigrant detainees onto the streets of sanctuary cities “was floated and rejected, which ended any further discussion.”
Trump’s follow-up post said the Times “begged” its subscribers for forgiveness over its “pathetic” 2016 election coverage of him. The tweet referred to a November 2016 letter from Times publisher Arthur O. Sulzberger that promised readers it would “reflect” on its coverage and rededicate itself to reporting on America and the world honestly.”
“….When I won the Election in 2016, the @nytimes had to beg their fleeing subscribers for forgiveness in that they covered the Election (and me) so badly. They didn’t have a clue, it was pathetic. They even apologized to me. But now they are even worse, really corrupt reporting!,” Trump wrote.
The Times denied apologizing to Trump.
Trump then denied a Times report that claimed he directed acting Homeland Security Secretary Kevin McAleenan to close the U.S.-Mexico border and offered to pardon him if things went awry.
“I never offered Pardons to Homeland Security Officials, never ordered anyone to close our Southern Border (although I have the absolute right to do so, and may if Mexico does not apprehend the illegals coming to our Border), and am not “frustrated.” It is all Fake & Corrupt News!”
LAWMAKERS BEHAVING QUESTIONABLY: REP. MAXINE WATERS REPORTEDLY SKIPS TAXI LINE AT REAGAN AIRPORT
Members of Congress have a long history of behaving like they want just because they can.
On Monday afternoon around 3 p.m., Rep. Maxine Waters (D-Calif.) walked out of Reagan airport and made a beeline for a taxicab. It all seems kind of normal except for one thing — the 80-year-old lawmaker who chairs the House Financial Services Committee appeared to display a complete disregard for the most basic public etiquette and cut a line that was about 100 people deep, a Mirror spy told me.
The car she got into was not in the pre-arranged pick-up lane. Still, it is jarring that a committee chairwoman would get into a random taxi and not arrange a ride.
The Mirror sought comment from Waters’ press office on her bypassing the taxi line. A response did not arrive by press time. A taxi dispatcher at Reagan Airport responsible for arranging rides for passengers, said seniors are not readily allowed to skip the line. Unless they need extra help or are using a wheelchair, they, too, must wait for a taxi to become available.
The optics are so Washington. This is a city where sirens blare as government bigwigs are routinely whisked caravan style from one part of town to another. Here’s a lawmaker who appears to think her life is more important than the haggard travelers blindly punching away on their smartphones while they wait in the damn taxi line.
“Who the hell does she think she is?” my spy asked.
One guy in line said, “Go get him girl!”
The bystander presumed that the male onlooker was referring to President Trump, who Waters badmouths any chance she gets. Trump, in turn, has given her a nickname: “Crazy Maxine Waters.”
In July of 2018, Trump tweeted the following:
That same month, Waters returned the favor. While appearing on MSNBC’s “AM Joy,” the congresswoman called Trump “Putin’s apprentice.”
Back at the airport, the societal peons didn’t appear too upset by Waters’ power move.
“Maybe they think congressional people can do that,” my spy surmised.
Also: Why didn’t she just get a staffer to pick her up?
Waters is hardly the only lawmaker to use her status to bypass social norms. Her colleague, Rep. Sheila Jackson Lee (D-Texas) has a far more astounding history of behaving badly on planes and to her staff.
In 2017, a regular person was bumped out of her first-class seat to accommodate Jackson Lee.
In 1998, when she wasn’t chauffeured to an event, she allegedly said, “You don’t understand. I am a queen, and I demand to be treated like a queen.” (RELATED: Sheila Jackson Lee Is A Notable Boss From Hell)
She has also reportedly lashed out at her own aides, calling them “stupid motherfuckers” and demanded that they open her car doors and remove her shawl.
Like it or not, public officials have demands and they get special treatment. Longtime flack Philippe Reines was famously dubbed the “purse holder” after the New York Times reported that he lugged around then-Secretary of State Hillary Clinton‘s handbag.
If Washington is famous for ugly people, there is no shortage of ugliness that comes with the premise.
Trump Bashes Mueller, Democrats and New York Times in Latest Round of Tweets
Trump took to Twitter to bash Robert Mueller and his 400-page report.
labeling the investigation a “witch hunt” that found “no collusion,” Trump told followers that “the Democrats, no matter what we give them, will NEVER be satisfied.”
His tweets come as reports that members of the special counsel team have been frustrated by attorney general William Barr’s 4-page summary of their findings. In response, the House Judiciary Intelligence and Oversight committees have all redoubled their efforts to probe different aspects of Trump’s financial dealings before and during his campaign, including a formal request from the House Ways and Means Committee Chairman Richard Neal for his tax returns dating back to 2013.
Trump’s tweets do not mention his taxes.
“Why should I be defending a fraudulent Russian Witch Hunt,” Trump tweeted Saturday. “It’s about time the perpetrators of this fraud on me and the American People start defending their dishonest and treasonous acts. How and why did this terrible event begin? Never Forget!”
Claiming the Mueller investigation was helmed by “13 angry hating dems” who found no evidence of collusion after spending $30 million on a 672-day investigation.
While Barr’s self-imposed deadline to release a redacted Mueller report is coming within the coming days, Trump claimed he had yet to see the document, while asserting his right to do so at his discretion.
“I have not read the Mueller Report yet, even though I have every right to do so,” Trump tweeted. “Only know the conclusions, and on the big one, No Collusion.”
His latest tweet storm came a day after he slammed a New York Times report that said the Mueller probe was more damaging than Barr made it out to be. Falling back on his “fake news” kabuki, Trump said the Times has “no legitimate sources, which would be totally illegal, concerning the Mueller Report.”
“In fact, they probably had no sources at all!”
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