Dan Clark

Host, New York NOW

Dan Clark is the host and producer of New York NOW, a weekly television show focusing on state government produced by WMHT in Albany. Clark has been reporting on New York state government and politics for the last six years, during which time he's worked out of the state Capitol in Albany. Clark reported for the national political fact-checking publication PolitiFact, the Buffalo News, the statewide political television show Capital Tonight, and most recently the New York Law Journal. At the New York Law Journal, Clark has focused on state legal challenges to President Donald Trump, as well as litigation concerning laws enacted by the New York State Legislature. Clark covered the Legislature in each role he's held and is a familiar face to state lawmakers and staff. Clark is a native of Afton, NY in Chenango County. He's lived in Albany with his husband for nine years.

New York Now

Another Republican entered next year’s race for governor Tuesday, with former Westchester County Executive Rob Astorino throwing his hat in the ring for the party’s nomination.

Astorino, who also ran for governor in 2014, said he wants to focus his campaign on revitalizing New York’s economy, curbing corruption in Albany, and boosting education.

“The problem has been not just Andrew Cuomo … but this whole system up here has to be fixed,” Astorino said. “It’s broken and unfortunately the people of New York have responded by leaving.”

New York Now

A union representing correction officers in New York filed a federal lawsuit Monday to overturn the Humane Alternatives to Solitary Confinement Act, or HALT, a new law passed in March to limit the use of solitary confinement in state prisons.

The New York State Correctional Officers and Police Benevolent Association, or NYSCOPBA, claimed in the suit that the new law violates the federal civil rights of its members.

governorandrewcuomo / Flickr

New York state will begin a “major reopening” later this month, Gov. Andrew Cuomo said Monday, with most capacity limits at businesses, venues, and other areas scheduled to be lifted on May 19.

Capacity limits will no longer be set for retail stores, restaurants, bars, gyms, fitness centers, recreational venues, hair salons, offices, and other areas, Cuomo said.

But New York will keep a requirement for individuals to maintain six feet of distance at all times unless every individual at an event or venue can prove they’re vaccinated or show a negative COVID-19 test result.

More than half of New York state’s county Republican chairs have now endorsed Rep. Lee Zeldin to become the party’s nominee for governor next year, with Erie and Niagara counties putting him over the top Friday.

Zeldin, on Thursday, had secured endorsements from more than half of the state’s Conservative Party chairs, raising the chances that he’ll be on the ballot in next year’s race for governor.

New York State Senate

Democrats in New York will move to curb a handful of Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s pandemic-related directives Wednesday, including one that has required patrons at restaurants to purchase food if they’re planning to drink alcohol.

It’s the first time that Democrats in the Legislature have acted to reverse one of Cuomo’s orders after they approved legislation last month that limited the governor’s emergency powers.

Senate Majority Leader Andrea Stewart-Cousins, D-Westchester, said the state’s declining COVID-19 statistics mean the long-standing directives can be scrapped.

Big Stock / Jonathan Weiss

New York could take legal action against the federal government to prevent the state from losing a seat in Congress after last year’s census count, Gov. Andrew Cuomo said Tuesday.

Cuomo said the margin by which New York is expected to lose that seat — 89 residents — is too slim, and could be the result of a mistake by the federal government.

“It’s obviously not desirable, and the last thing we want to do is lose representation in Washington,” Cuomo said. “So, it’s not good news for the state.”

New York Now

Next year’s race for governor in New York has officially begun.

Republican leaders in New York gathered in Albany Monday to hear from potential gubernatorial nominees, who would go on to compete next year against either Gov. Andrew Cuomo, or whichever Democrat lands on the ticket in his place.

Steps from the state capitol, eight interested Republicans took on the task of convincing their colleagues they could be the first Republican elected statewide since 2002.

stgermh / Flickr

State lawmakers in New York could take the first step this year toward scrapping the state’s current ethics agencies and replacing them with a new, more powerful panel less likely to be influenced by elected officials.

Sen. Liz Krueger, D-Manhattan, said in an interview on New York NOW, that there’s appetite in the state Legislature for an ethics overhaul in Albany, and that it could start this year.

Gov. Andrew Cuomo's office

Large internet service providers will be required to officer plans for high-speed connections at $15 per month to low-income customers starting in the middle of June after legislation on the mandate was signed into law Friday.

New York state will also partner with philanthropic organizations to provide free high-speed internet access to 50,000 students in low-income school districts for one year.

“For America, broadband holds great power,” Cuomo said. “It will either be the great equalizer for society, or it will be the great divider.”

governorandrewcuomo / Flickr

New York state will halt use of the Johnson & Johnson COVID-19 vaccine after the federal government, Tuesday morning, recommended a temporary pause of the product due to concerns about a rare side-effect that caused blood clots in a handful of recipients.

Appointments for the Johnson & Johnson vaccine at state-run sites will still be honored but those individuals will instead receive the Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine.

Some rights reserved by SalFalko / Flickr

Gov. Andrew Cuomo will appoint three new judges to New York’s highest court this year, and a group of state lawmakers is asking that at least one of them be representative of the LGBTQ+ community after the court’s only openly gay judge retired this year.

Four openly LGBTQ+ state lawmakers are urging a panel that vets potential nominees to the high court to give Cuomo options representative of the LGBTQ+ community.

New York Now

 

Opponents of legalizing marijuana in New York made a last-ditch attempt on Monday to stall the issue, saying concerns still remain over a handful of issues, including the ability to detect when someone is driving while impaired by the drug.

Democrats could vote as soon as Tuesday afternoon on legislation introduced over the weekend to legalize marijuana in New York for recreational, adult use.

WRVO News (file photo)

New York will allow universal access to the COVID-19 vaccine for anyone above the age of 15 starting next Tuesday, April 6, while those ages 30 will become immediately eligible starting tomorrow, March 30, the state said Monday.

The change is a huge opening in eligibility for the vaccine, which is currently only available to those ages 50 and above, and others in targeted industries or living with certain conditions.

Elsa Olofsson / Flickr

New York will legalize marijuana for adult, recreational use after Democrats struck a deal on the issue Saturday, with a vote expected next week from the state Legislature.

The agreement is the result of years of negotiations between Gov. Andrew Cuomo and the state Legislature in New York, which will become the 16th state to approve legalization.

Lead sponsors Assembly Majority Leader Crystal Peoples-Stokes, D-Buffalo, and State Sen. Liz Krueger, D-Manhattan, cheered the agreement in statements Saturday evening.

WRVO Public Media

New Yorkers above the age of 50 will be eligible to receive the COVID-19 vaccine starting Tuesday, regardless of underlying conditions and other factors, Gov. Andrew Cuomo said Monday.

New York state will also allow houses of worship to serve as vaccination distribution facilities, starting in April, in an effort to deliver the injection to underserved communities.

Dan Clark / New York Now

Republicans in New York said Monday that they’ll introduce a formal resolution to begin impeachment proceedings against Gov. Andrew Cuomo, though the measure would have to gain support from Democrats to move forward.

Cuomo, who’s currently under investigation for claims of sexual harassment and his administration’s handling of COVID-19 at nursing homes, said Sunday he won’t resign.

Governor Andrew Cuomo's office

Allegations of sexual harassment recently made against Gov. Andrew Cuomo will be investigated by a pair of attorneys from the private sector, including a former federal prosecutor who oversaw a public corruption case involving a former top aide to the governor.

The team of lawyers will be empowered to depose witnesses, subpoena the administration for testimony and documents, and retrieve other data relevant to the investigation.

New York state will begin administering the newly approved COVID-19 vaccine from pharmaceutical company Johnson & Johnson this week at three of the state’s mass vaccination sites, where they’ll be administered overnight.

Gov. Andrew Cuomo, in a statement, said Tuesday that each of those sites will begin a pilot program for inoculating people in the overnight hours, freeing up more time for appointments.

“This pilot plan will maximize the initial doses of the Johnson & Johnson vaccine and get as many shots in arms as possible,” Cuomo said.

New York State Senate

New York state could require nursing homes to spend a certain amount of their revenue on direct patient care, mandate transparent reporting of COVID-19 deaths of residents at those facilities, and more under a package of bills passed by the State Senate Monday.

The legislation is the result of a pair of public hearings on the state’s handling of COVID-19 in nursing homes last summer, coupled with new revelations about the Cuomo administration.

Dan Clark / New York Now (file photo)

There’s a consensus among Democrats in the State Assembly that action must be taken against the Cuomo administration for withholding information on COVID-19 deaths at nursing homes, Assembly Speaker Carl Heastie told reporters Monday.

Heastie made the remarks after Democrats in the Assembly met for six hours Monday to discuss next steps, including a potential removal of Cuomo’s emergency pandemic powers.

Dan Clark

Gov. Andrew Cuomo is amending his proposal to legalize marijuana for adult, recreational use in New York to allow delivery of cannabis products, reduce criminal penalties for illegal sales, and outline how a portion of tax revenue from the industry would be spent.

governorandrewcuomo / Flickr

Support for ending Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s emergency law-making powers, granted to him by the Legislature to handle the COVID-19 pandemic, appears to be growing after news reports revealed that his top aides withheld key nursing home data from lawmakers last year.

Lawmakers are now arguing that the revelation should merit immediate action from the Legislature, albeit the preferred course varies depending on who you ask.

Governor Andrew Cuomo's office

About one in every 10 New Yorkers has now received the first dose of the COVID-19 vaccine, and the federal government is expected to boost the state’s supply of the injection over the next three weeks, Gov. Andrew Cuomo said Tuesday.

Cuomo, who was on a call with the Biden administration Tuesday morning, said the federal government is planning to boost the state’s vaccine supply by 5% over the next three weeks.

New York State Senate

State lawmakers in New York voted to repeal a part of state law Tuesday that’s become known as the ‘Walking While Trans Ban,’ a part of the penal code that’s been used to target transgender individuals under the guise of curbing prostitution.

Governor Andrew Cuomo's office

Restaurant workers, taxi drivers, and developmentally disabled people living in congregate settings will now be eligible for the COVID-19 vaccine in New York, Gov. Andrew Cuomo said Tuesday, as long as local governments allow them to be added to the list.

Gabe Altieri / WSKG News

Gov. Andrew Cuomo has vetoed legislation that would have required the state to review access to high-speed internet, or broadband, in New York, and study the affordability and reliability of those services, saying he’ll propose a similar measure in the coming weeks.

Cuomo had until the end of the month to act on the bill, which had near-unanimous support in the state Legislature, but let it die in the form of a pocket veto.

Governor Andrew Cuomo's office

Black hospital workers have been less likely than those of other races to take the COVID-19 vaccine when offered, Gov. Andrew Cuomo said Sunday, which he expects to be reflected in statewide demographic data that’s set to be released this week.

governorandrewcuomo / flickr

New York may be undercounting the number of COVID-19 deaths linked to nursing homes by as much as 50%, state Attorney General Letitia James said Friday, meaning the state’s current count of about 9,000 fatalities at those facilities may be far from the actual number.

The report also found that lack of compliance by nursing homes on infection control protocols, and a lack of staff per patient, may have contributed to higher fatality rates.

The hospitalization rate in New York due to COVID-19 has steadily dropped in recent weeks, according to state data, with two consecutive days of significant declines Wednesday and Thursday.

Hospitalizations in New York declined by more than 200 on Thursday, bringing the number of people hospitalized down to 8,846 — less than half of the pandemic’s peak in April.

New York NOW

Assembly Speaker Carl Heastie said Monday that negotiations are underway with the Senate and Gov. Andrew Cuomo on potential tax increases on the wealthy in New York, and that lawmakers could still return to Albany before the end of the year to act on such a measure.

Heastie, D-Bronx, said it would be ideal to approve tax hikes on the rich before the start of the year instead of waiting to address the issue as part of the state budget in March.

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