Capitol Watch: Special Election?

Cuomo appears to be in no hurry to set date

Allan Harris
December 08, 2019 - 6:22 am

(WBEN/AP)  New York’s governor is once again taking his time to set a special election to fill a Congressional seat left vacant by a western New York Republican who pleaded guilty to insider trading. Democratic Gov. Andrew Cuomo has now waited over two months to fill that seat. Former Republican Rep. Chris Collins announced his resignation Sept. 30. According to state law, Cuomo would have until mid-February to announce an April 28 special election, the same day as the Democratic presidential primary. But that would also leave the 700,000 residents of New York’s 27th Congressional District without representation for over 200 days.

New York officials have declared that the flu is “prevalent” in the state. This declaration initiates a state regulation that will require healthcare professionals who are not vaccinated for influenza to wear masks in areas where patients are present. The state Department of Health reports that as of Nov. 30 there have been 3,158 laboratory-confirmed cases, 691 hospitalizations and one child death. Heath officials say anyone older than 6 months old should be vaccinated, particularly the elderly and children younger than 2 years old. The Times Union reports that vaccines change each year based on predictions on what strains of the virus will be prevalent.

New York City lawmakers are poised to adopt legislation requiring “bird-friendly” glass on all new construction in an effort to cut down on the tens of thousands of birds who die flying into the city's buildings every year. New York will be the largest city in the nation to require glass that is visible to birds if the measure passes. Several California cities including San Francisco and Oakland have adopted similar rules. New York City Audubon estimates that 90,000 to 230,000 birds from hawks to hummingbirds are killed every year from flying into New York City buildings.

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