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.

governorandrewcuomo / Flickr

Gov. Andrew Cuomo warned Sunday that several areas of the state could face new COVID-19 restrictions this week after the positivity rates in those areas remained relatively high over the weekend and continued to increase in some cases, according to state data.

Part of Manhattan, Staten Island, Rochester, Syracuse, and Long Island could face new, or stronger, restrictions if the positivity rates in those areas don’t decline in the coming days.

New York State Senate

Democrats have all but clinched a supermajority in the State Senate after declaring victory in another seat Friday, bringing the total number of seats controlled by the party in the chamber to at least 41 at the beginning of next year’s legislative session.

Democrats need 42 seats in the chamber to hold a supermajority, which would give them the rare power of overturning a veto from Gov. Andrew Cuomo, who’s also a Democrat.

WRVO News (file photo)

Gov. Andrew Cuomo, members of the state Legislature, and judges in New York will not receive a pay raise next year due to the state’s $14 billion budget shortfall heading into 2021, according to a report issued Monday by a state panel tasked with evaluating those salaries.

The decision wasn’t a surprise; the same panel declined to provide raises to the state’s judges last year when the budget deficit was less than half what it is now.

Credit USACE Europe District / via Flickr

President Donald Trump said Friday that the federal government will delay delivery of a COVID-19 vaccine to New York state because of critical comments made by Gov. Andrew Cuomo about the federal plan for distributing that inoculation.

Trump said the federal government will wait to send the vaccine to New York until Cuomo says the state “is ready for it,” and criticized Cuomo’s attacks on the federal distribution plan.

Karen DeWitt / WRVO News (file photo)

State lawmakers have no plans to return to Albany — either in-person or virtually — before the start of next year’s legislative session, Senate Majority Leader Andrea Stewart-Cousins said in an interview Thursday.

Stewart-Cousins, D-Westchester, said on WCNY’s The Capitol Pressroom that Democrats don’t intend to reconvene until January, when the incoming class of state lawmakers is sworn in.

governorandrewcuomo / Flickr

New York reported the largest one-day jump in hospitalizations due to COVID-19 since April on Tuesday, with the state’s positivity rate breaking 3% amidst a significant uptick of the virus not seen since the spring.

The number of people diagnosed with COVID-19 also reached a new high in the latest wave of the virus, with nearly 4,000 cases reported Tuesday — the most since early May.

Ellen Abbott / WRVO News (file photo)

Onondaga County officials reported 149 new cases of the coronavirus Friday, smashing the previous record for the highest number of cases in a single day since the pandemic began. 

County Executive Ryan McMahon said during a briefing Friday there are now 49 people hospitalized, with six in critical condition.  There are now 709 active cases in the county. 

Jonathan Reyes / Flickr

Proponents of legalizing marijuana for adult use in New York were handed good news Thursday by Gov. Andrew Cuomo, who said the state’s massive budget deficit heading into next year will likely be a catalyst for the drug’s legalization in the coming months.

"I think this year it is ripe because the state is going to be desperate for funding. Even with Biden, even with the stimulus, we're still going to need funding,” Cuomo said. "I think we're going to get there this year."

governorandrewcuomo / Flickr

Gov. Andrew Cuomo claimed Monday that the Trump administration was seeking to use information related to recipients of the COVID-19 vaccine to target undocumented individuals for deportation, but a federal agency says the data wouldn’t be used for that purpose.

The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, in a document sent to the nation’s governors, said that data would be used solely for tracking vaccine administration.

NYS Attorney General's office / Flickr

Gov. Andrew Cuomo charged Sunday that the Trump administration’s plan to distribute and allocate a vaccine for COVID-19 will not adequately serve communities of color, which were already hit harder by the virus at its peak in New York.

[Listen to the entirety of the teleconference from November 1, 2020]

Cuomo, who was joined by Attorney General Letitia James and leaders from the NAACP and the National Urban League, said the current plan would leave those communities behind.

governorandrewcuomo / Flickr

Hospitalizations in New York due to COVID-19 have more than doubled over the last month, with the state reporting more than 1,000 hospitalizations due to the virus Friday for the first time in four months.

Hospitalizations were up to 1,023 on Thursday, according to data released by Gov. Andrew Cuomo Friday. Exactly one month ago Friday, hospitalizations were at 490 in New York.

New details emerged Sunday on how health officials in New York could administer a future vaccine for COVID-19, with essential workers and high-risk individuals slated to receive the injection first, Gov. Andrew Cuomo said.

Individuals living in areas with a high prevalence of the virus would receive the vaccine first, according to a draft plan shown by Cuomo during a press conference in New York City.

governorandrewcuomo / Flickr

Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s new book was released Tuesday, and simultaneously serves as a definitive chronicle of decisions made by officials in New York to address the COVID-19 pandemic and a sharp rebuke to the federal government’s perceived failure to act.

Cuomo’s noted, more than once, that the book is not a signal that the pandemic is over, but a retelling of the height of the crisis in New York, where the virus has killed more than 33,000.

governorandrewcuomo / Flickr

Gov. Andrew Cuomo is not planning to make any “irreversible” cuts to the state budget over the next month after hopes of a relief package from the federal government were dashed this week when simulus talks stalled between President Donald Trump and Congress.

Trump, in a series of tweets Tuesday, said he wanted to pause negotiations on a federal stimulus package, including aid for state and local governments, until after Election Day.

governorandrewcuomo / Flickr

New York state will implement a new series of restrictions in areas of the state that have experienced spikes in the COVID-19 infection rate in recent weeks, including new limits on houses of worship, nonessential businesses and schools.

The plan, announced in Albany by Gov. Andrew Cuomo, will divide those hotspots into three categories, each of which vary in the severity of those restrictions.

governorandrewcuomo / Flickr

Local governments in New York could be fined up to $10,000 per day by the state Department of Health if they don’t enforce the agency’s guidelines concerning COVID-19 precautions and protection, like cracking down on mass gatherings and people not wearing masks.

Gov. Andrew Cuomo said Friday that the Department of Health would be sending a letter to municipalities warning them of the fine if they don’t ramp up enforcement.

"If the local governments don't step up the compliance, they will actually be in violation of the law and they can be fined," Cuomo said.

Apple App Store

New York state has launched a new app that will tell its users when they’ve been in close contact with individuals who’ve tested positive for COVID-19 by using bluetooth technology with other users who download the service, Gov. Andrew Cuomo said Thursday.

The application does not collect any personal information, or identifying information, from its users, and instead only tracks other users who you’ve come in contact with.

governorandrewcuomo / Flickr

New York has a problem. And it’s a big problem — a $30 billion problem.

That’s how much money the state Division of Budget says will be lost in tax revenue over the next two years because of the coronavirus.

You’ve probably already heard about the state’s budget deficit. For months, it’s been a frequent topic of discussion between Gov. Andrew Cuomo, his top aides, and the press. Weeks have rarely gone by without a mention of the shortfall.

velkr0 / Flickr

New York state will begin enforcing its ban on single-use carry-out plastic bags next month after a brief hiatus of the law due to a legal challenge brought earlier this year, when those bags were temporarily allowed to be used by stores without any repercussions.

State Department of Environmental Conservation Commissioner Basil Seggos said Friday that, because it won that legal challenge in August, the agency will begin enforcing the law on October 19.

Colleen / via Flickr

The state’s largest teachers union filed a lawsuit on Wednesday against Gov. Andrew Cuomo and the state Division of Budget over more than $5 billion in state spending that’s expected to be withheld from school districts as the state grapples with an unprecedented budget crisis.

Mike Wren / New York State Department of Health

New York state is considering the possibility of making the flu vaccine mandatory for students attending school this year for in-person learning, state Health Commissioner Howard Zucker said Thursday, as public health officials urge the public to get vaccinated for the disease.

As the state enters this year’s flu season, public health officials have encouraged vaccinations to cut down on the number of flu tests that will have to be conducted.

governorandrewcuomo / Flickr

The war of words between Gov. Andrew Cuomo and President Donald Trump escalated again Monday, with both accusing the other of attempting to destroy the economic viability of New York City, and the state, in the context of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Trump, in a tweet, urged Cuomo to reopen the rest of New York City, which still remains closed to indoor dining, while Cuomo called on Trump to support federal aid for the five boroughs.

Pat Bradley / WAMC

New York State has closed its first public college to in-person learning after 105 individuals on campus tested positive for the coronavirus, SUNY Chancellor Jim Malatras said Sunday, and a handful of students have been suspended for contributing to that spread.

Pat Bradley / WAMC

Jim Malatras, the president of SUNY Empire State College who’s doubled as a key state official involved in New York’s response to the COVID-19 pandemic, has been chosen as the next chancellor of the State University of New York.

The SUNY Board of Trustees voted nearly unanimously to install Malatras into the position, which has been vacant for the last few months since Kristina Johnson resigned.

governorandrewcuomo / Flickr

Bowling alleys will be allowed to reopen statewide on Monday, with special precautions, while gyms and fitness centers will finally be issued protocols and guidance for how to bring guests back to their facilities, and when that could happen, Gov. Andrew Cuomo said Friday.