Adams, AOC at odds over New York City budget- POLITICO

A week of political fighting over the New York City budget ended with Mayor Eric Adams joining in criticism of Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortezfor publicly opposing the $101 billion spending deal.

“I think there’s [a] professional courtesy that, if there’s an issue, don’t tweet — speak,” Adams said after an unrelated press conference today. “Get on the phone, call your colleague, and say, ‘I’m concerned.”

The mayor, who has been at odds With the left wing of the Democratic Party since his race last year, was referring to Ocasio-Cortez’s social media posts lambasting the budget.

“Sad how many leaders are so committed to the bit of denigrating advocates that they refuse to even consider the possibility that perhaps abandoning youth employment, school funding, housing & community violence interruption to boost already-huge police budgets makes us less safe,” she wrote Wednesday on Twitter.

She was zeroing in on the speaker’s decision to remove the names of the six dissenting members from some of the projects they hoped to fund, as well as the move to cut the Boys & Girls Club — denying a request from Council Member Tiffany Cabán, one of the body’s most left-leaning members. (Adams called it an “oversight” and said it would be rectified.)

Meanwhile, dozens of state lawmakers and organizations that opposed the budget demanded a better outcome in future years.

“We write to you to express deep concerns, anger and disappointment with the FY23 budget process. At this moment that our communities are enraged and rightfully frustrated, we call for and expect that this process be more collaborative and just in future years,” reads a letter to the mayor and speakersigned by local arms of the Working Families Party and Democratic Socialists of America.

IT’S FRIDAY: New York Playbook PM will not publish on Monday, June 20 for Juneteenth. We’ll be back in your inboxes on Tuesday. Please continue to follow POLITICO New York. Enjoy the weekend and thanks for reading!

HAND SANITIZER GONE BAD: POLITICO had the scoop last month that New York has 700,000 gallons of unused NYS Clean hand sanitizer that it can’t get rid of. Now, the state Office of General Services confirmed that the Federal Drug Administration required all the sanitizer to be distributed by March 2022 because most of it expired.

Despite the state’s best efforts, the 4,000 pallets that stretch the length of three football fields remain stored outside at a state facility near Utica: “Most local governments, nursing homes, hospitals and schools informed the state that there was no longer a need for this product,” the agency said in a statement.

So the state said it is still working on “determining the proper method for disposal and the timeline for doing so.”

Republican state Sen. Joe Griffo, who represents the Utica area, wrote a letter to Gov. Kathy Hochul this week urging her to look at potential alternative uses for the sanitizer, such as using it to produce energy.

“I recognize the ever-present need to be prepared if an emergency were to occur,” Griffo wrote. “However, we must ensure that this product does not go to waste and that taxpayer interests are protected.” — Joseph Spector

MEN ON PAID FAMILY LEAVE: A record number of workers used New York’s paid family leave program last year, Gov. Kathy Hochul announced. And over the four years of the program, the number of men taking paid paternity leave has increased every year.

“This Father’s Day, I am especially heartened to see that men have so enthusiastically taken advantage of this benefit to care for and bond with their children and that more of them are using paid family leave every year,” she said in a statement.

Since the program started in 2018, the number of claims increased to 105,900 in 2021 who took leave to care for a child, a 27 percent increase from 2018. Men last year accounted for 38 percent of all the cases, up from 31 percent in 2018 , Hochul said.

The increase is also due to enhanced benefits: New York now offers up to 12 weeks of paid family leave that is up to 67 percent of a worker’s salary capped at $972 a week. When it started, the benefits were for only eight weeks at 50 percent of salary capped at $653 a week. — Joseph Spector

LGBTQ FUNDING: Adams announced nearly $6.7 million in funding for LGBTQ programs, with a focus on educating families and supporting queer youth.

The announcement includes about $300,000 to address LGBTQ discrimination in churches, a prominent issue that surfaced as Adams brought three pastors with anti-LGBTQ beliefs into his administration. It also may signal efforts by the administration to patch up the strained relationship with the LGBTQ community, which has boycotted Adams’ presence at the Queens Pride Parade and protested the contentious hirings.

Elisa Crespo, the executive director of the NEW Pride Agenda, told POLITICO that she felt the funding was an acknowledgment of concerns expressed by LGBTQ advocates who have demanded more funding. “They say the best ally is the one with a closed mouth and a big open checkbook,” she said at the press conference. —Amanda Eisenberg

POLICING: New York City’s transit officers will shift from dual policing to single policing, a decision that will double the department’s reach, Adams said.

“Based on my observations of moving throughout the city, I have come to a clear conclusion: we are not deploying police correctly,” Adams said at an unrelated press conference in the Bronx.

The policy to double up officers for patrol came in 2014 after two officers were fatally shot in a squad car in Bed-Stuy, Brooklyn, Adams said. “Out of an overabundance of caution, we doubled up police officers in the transit police because we were concerned about a copycat. We never changed that years later,” Adams said, saying some stations like 34th Street Station still require dual patrol due to size.

Following the announcement Police Benevolent Association President Pat Lynch said released a statement questioning the wisdom of the policy.

“We can’t fix the NYPD staffing crisis by spreading our overstretched resources even thinner,” Lynch said. “Solo transit patrols were abandoned because they make it harder for cops to protect straphangers and ourselves. They’re even less effective now that criminals know there are no consequences for fighting cops and resisting arrest. New York City police officers are overburdened, underpaid and leaving in droves — this proposal will only accelerate the exodus.” —Amanda, Sally

HEALTH CARE: New Yorkers have until the end of the month to get their Covid-19 shots at the state’s mass vaccination sites. The Department of Health announced that the state will permanently close the seven remaining facilities by June 30 in wake of waning utilization and declining Covid rates.

“As vaccines have become widely available, demand at state-run sites has declined precipitously,” DOH spokesperson Cort Ruddy said in a statement. “With the broad network of providers and vaccine access, the cost of operating state-run sites is no longer warranted.”

The mass vaccination site at Good Samaritan Hospital in Suffern will shut its doors Friday. Those located at Crossgates Mall in Albany and SUNY Old Westbury in Glen Head, meanwhile, are set to close on June 24.

The rest — including sites at the State Fair Art and Home Center, Aqueduct Racetrack, University at Buffalo South Campus and Westchester Medical Center — will close June 30. The state has already shuttered mass vaccination sites at the Queensbury Aviation Mall, Rochester Educational Opportunity Center , Medgar Evers College in Brooklyn and Robb Activities Center in Johnson City. — Shannon Young

New York City will start administering the Covid vaccine to infants ages 6 months and older as early as June 22, pending final guidance from the CDC after the FDA grants emergency authorization, the Adams administration announced. —Amanda

VELAZQUEZ FOR RIVERA: Rep. Nydia Velazquez endorsed City Council Member Carlina Rivera in the crowded race for the 10th district congressional seat spanning lower Manhattan and Brooklyn.

Brooklyn Borough President Antonio Reynoso and Council Member Lincoln Restler — who worked for years for one of Rivera’s rivals, former Mayor Bill de Blasio — also backed Rivera at an event at Brooklyn Borough Hall.

“You need to have that lived experience of being born and raised in this community,” Velazquez said. “She will be there for all of us.”

Current Westchester Rep. Mondaire Jones, Assemblymembers Yuh-Line Niou and Jo Anne Simon and others are also vying for the seat. — Erin Durkin

GIULIANIS STUMP IN BUFFALO: As Andrew Giuliani campaigns in the final days of the Republican gubernatorial primary, his famous father is hitting the road with him. Rudy Giuliani was in Binghamton yesterday, and today the pair was in Buffalo.

In addition to Rudy being grilled over his role in the Jan. 6 insurrection (“A judge cleared me of that”) and jawing with reporters (“We want to make sure you’re also giving the Democrats the tough questions,” Andrew said), the father-son duo vowed that Andrew would make the best governor, they said, and would deliver $5 billion to increase funding for police.

“The reason Andrew won the debate in everyone’ estimation the other night: They were engaging in a high school debate and he was engaging in a gubernatorial debate,” Rudy told reporters in Buffalo.

The Giuliani name appears to have appeal with GOP voters ahead of the June 28 primary. A Siena College poll this week showed Andrew was viewed most favorably by party voters than the other three candidates in the race, despite spending less on ads. — Joseph Spector

Health insurance are seeking rate hikes for next year as high as 30 percent, but the state Department of Financial Services will be the final arbiter later this summer.

Republican gubernatorial candidate Tom Suozzihad a fly land on his head during last night’s debate. To which, Suozzi responded on Twitter“,”link”:{“target”:”NEW”,”attributes”:[],”url”:”https://twitter.com/Tom_Suozzi/status/1537612997971034117″,”_id”:”00000181-7350-d281-a989-f3f096840004″,”_type”:”33ac701a-72c1-316a-a3a5-13918cf384df”},”_id”:”00000181-7350-d281-a989-f3f096840005″,”_type”:”02ec1f82-5e56-3b8c-af6e-6fc7c8772266″}”>responses on Twitter: “I caught the fly and crushed it, just like I’ll crush the crime crisis!”

The state Legislature introduced a whole lot of marijuana bills in Albany this year. Few passed.

The EU is spending big on a Manhattan townhouse, and it’ll have peacock feather wallpaper and a “leather-clad commercial elevator.”

Early voting starts tomorrow. Here’s an excellent primer.

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