Lovett: Scalia's death KO's suit to nix Cuomo's anti-gun law

Lovett: Scalia's death KO's suit to nix Cuomo's anti-gun law

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Gov. Cuomo's SAFE Act expands the state's ban on assault weapons.SHAWN DOWD/AP

Gov. Cuomo’s SAFE Act expands the state’s ban on assault weapons.

ALBANY — The state’s leading gun rights organization has halted its lawsuit looking to strike down Gov. Cuomo’s 2013 gun control law because of the recent death of U.S. Supreme Court Justice Anthony Scalia.

The state Rifle and Pistol Association decided against filing a petition asking the Supreme Court to hear the case fearing the conservative Scalia’s death will make winning the case virtually impossible.

“It’s just the wrong time,” said Tom King, Rifle and Pistol Association president and a National Rifle Association board member.

King said his lawyers advised that going forward could damage the case because the High Court at the very least would likely deliver a split 4-4 decision that would leave the law in place.

“The 2nd Amendment is our client and that’s what we have to protect,” King said.

Tom King is president of the state Rifle & Pistol Association and an NRA board member.

Tom King is president of the state Rifle & Pistol Association and an NRA board member.

Enlarge Antonin Scalia, former Supreme Court justice, died in February. Pablo Martinez Monsivais/ASSOCIATED PRESS

Antonin Scalia, former Supreme Court justice, died in February.

Enlarge

Tom King (l.), president of the state Rifle & Pistol Association, doesn’t see a lawsuit succeeding while there’s a vacancy on the Supreme Court because of Justice Anthony Scalia’s (r.) recent death.

While saying the lawsuit is done, King said his organization within the next year could seek to join a similar case in Maryland.

CUOMO’S PLAN TO RAISE MINIMUM WAGE COULD COST NY’S HOME HEALTH CARE AGENCIES AN EXTRA $ 2.2B

Passed weeks after the late 2012 Sandy Hook Elementary School massacre, Cuomo’s SAFE Act expands the state’s ban on assault weapons among a host of measures and drew fierce opposition from gun owners, particularly upstate.

A federal appeals court last October found the bulk of the law constitutional — though it did strike down a provision that required gun owners load no more than seven bullets.

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Chris McGrath, the Republican candidate for a crucial April 19 state Senate special election on Long Island, supports raising the $ 9-an-hour minimum wage, a top aide said.

McGrath’s camp stopped short of backing Cuomo’s call for a $ 15 hourly rate, but notably didn’t rule out ultimately supporting it. Senate Republicans thus far have been cool to the plan.

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“An increase cannot be an arbitrary amount,” said McGrath consultant O’Brien Murray. “In addition to increasing salaries, it should protect employees from job losses, minimize the impact on small businesses, and avoid price increases on consumers — particularly seniors living on fixed incomes.”

Chris McGrath, a Long Island Republican vying to fill Dean Skelos' Senate seat, supports raising the minimum wage.Chris McGarth for Senate via Youtube

Chris McGrath, a Long Island Republican vying to fill Dean Skelos’ Senate seat, supports raising the minimum wage.

O’Brien said the specific details should be worked out with input from employees, unions, and small business owners.

Cuomo’s plan polls well in the district, Republican and Democratic insiders say.

McGrath is facing Democrat Assemblyman Todd Kaminsky — who supports a $ 15 wage — in a race to fill the seat left vacant because of the conviction of ex-Senate Majority Leader Dean Skelos.

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A key Assembly Democrat is strongly opposing Cuomo’s plan to require the little-known state Public Authorities Control Board to sign off on all city affordable housing and other projects statewide that are funded with tax-exempt bonds.

The board, known as the PACB, consists of one appointee each by the governor, Assembly speaker and Senate majority leader and once killed then-Mayor Michael Bloomberg’s dream of a West Side stadium.

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Assemblyman James Brennan, a Brooklyn Democrat who is Speaker Carl Heastie’s representative on the PACB, said “there is no rationale” for such a drastic change that he says could delay crucial projects.

Brennan said the city Housing Development Corp. has been effective in dealing with affordable housing projects in the Big Apple.

He’s not alone. Mayor de Blasio, who has been warring with Cuomo, also opposes the measure, while John Banks, head of the powerful Real Estate Board of New York, was in Albany last week lobbying against it.

Cuomo spokeswoman Dani Lever said that “talks with the Legislature regarding this proposal are ongoing. Everything is still on the table and the state is discussing several options including certain exceptions or thresholds for size of projects, issuing agencies, or specific regions.

Carl Paladino failed to get the state Republican Party to endorse Donald Trump.Eric Jenks

Carl Paladino failed to get the state Republican Party to endorse Donald Trump.

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Bombastic Buffalo businessman Carl Paladino struck out Friday in his bid to get the state Republican party to formally endorse Donald Trump at its convention in Buffalo.

Paladino and his people did a bad job at organizing an effort on behalf of Trump, several GOPers said.

“They couldn’t count heads. They couldn’t get enough county chairs to agree,” said one GOP insider. “Paladino is not what he thinks he is.”

Even a number of county chairmen who are backing Trump wanted the state party to hold off to give the rank-and-file Republicans the chance to vote in the primary in April 19 without “the establishment telling them what to do,” the source said.

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