Morning News Brief
Written by Michael Baldwin on April 8, 2021
Resolutions to keep a security guard at the DMV and forge a secure arrangement with Friends of the Batavia Peace Garden are on their way to the full Genesee County Legislature. The board’s Ways & Means Committee has voted in favor of amending a contract to continue funding a security guard position. Cost of the added expense of $28,800 is expected to be covered by funding connected to the COVID-19 pandemic. The committee also voted in favor of a memorandum of understanding between the county and the Friends of the Batavia Peace Garden — the volunteer group that services and supports the approximately 11,000 square feet of county property on West Main Street, adjacent to the Holland Land Office Museum.
Genesee County reports ten additional COVID cases. Nine of the current positive individuals are hospitalized. Two of the new positive individuals are inmates at the Genesee County Jail. Orleans County also reports ten new cases. Four of the current positive individuals are hospitalized. Meanwhile in Wyoming County, officials report 17 new cases of COVID.
New York will continue to apply state income tax to 2020 unemployment benefits in full despite the federal government exempting the first $10,200. Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s administration confirmed the decision Wednesday during a news conference on the new $212 billion state budget. The decision came almost a month after the federal government, in the most recent stimulus package, opted against taxing the first $10,200 of unemployment benefits received by individuals with an adjusted gross income of less than $150,000 in 2020. Cuomo’s budget director said those benefits have been subject to state tax for decades and that has not changed.
The Genesee County Planning Board meets tonight and will consider a plan for a Chipotle Grill at Towne Center on Veterans Memorial Drive. The owners are seeking a special use permit to add a drive-thru to the building. So far, few concerns have been expressed.
Andrew Giuliani, the son of former New York City Mayor Rudy Giuliani, announced plans to run for governor of New York in 2022. Giuliani told the Washington Examiner he plans to run and says he believes he can win the race. Giuliani previously worked as part of Donald Trump’s presidential administration. Current Governor Andrew Cuomo has faced backlash for his administration’s handling of COVID-19 in nursing homes, as well as at least ten women accusing the him of sexual misconduct.
Congressman Chris Jacobs is in Texas for a three-day trip to the Southern border to tour immigration facilities and receive briefings from Border Patrol and local law enforcement. Jacobs is traveling with seven other members of the House of Representatives. Jacobs says “We are seeing a growing humanitarian crisis and a surge in criminal activity at our Southern border that is a direct result of President Biden’s reckless policies.”
New York State School Boards Association Executive Director Robert Schneider says he is pleased with the newly proposed state budget. He said a $1.4 billion increase in foundation aid will strengthen support for individual districts by at least 2% this year and put all districts on track for full funding of foundation aid within three years. This is a goal that has been elusive for far too long in New York and that NYSSBA has called for consistently. The Association also says it appreciates the Legislature’s rejection of proposals that would have consolidated or eliminated several important expense-based aids, including reimbursement for programs and services provided to students through BOCES.
The New York State Department of Environmental Conservation has announced a new opportunity for young hunters. The new state budget includes legislation that now allows youths ages 12 and 13 to hunt deer with a firearm or crossbow under the supervision of an experienced adult hunter in upstate counties that opt-in to participate. Until now, New York was the only state that didn’t allow 12- and 13-year-olds to hunt big game with a firearm. The legislation requires each county to “opt-in” to the program by adopting a local law allowing for 12- and 13-year-olds to hunt deer in accordance with the Environmental Conservation law.
NY Congressman Tom Reed will no longer serve as the co-chair of the Problem Solvers Caucus. According to a tweet on Wednesday afternoon, Congressman Brian Fitzpatrick of Bucks County, Pennsylvania has been elected to replace the Southern Tier Republican as co-chair of the bipartisan caucus. Reed announced in March that he will not seek re-election in 2022 after a former lobbyist accused him of sexual misconduct.