- Monday Morning Memo
- The Birthplace of Labor Day
The Birthplace of Labor Day
Migrants, budgets, renewable energy, and more
The first Labor Day parade in New York City in 1882. (Frank Leslie/Illustrated Newspaper/Library of Congress)
Good morning from New York City, the birthplace of Labor Day in 1882. President Grover Cleveland made Labor Day a federal holiday in 1894.
We are happy to announce the opening of our new Albany office, Suite 2001 at 99 Washington Avenue. Our team remains in the center of the action and even closer to the New York State Capitol, all the better to deliver for our clients. We look forward to welcoming you!
New York’s flood of migrants continues to roil the political climate across the State, straining relationships and poll numbers. The flood of asylum seekers/immigrants/newcomers, roughly 100,000 in the last year, is straining the heretofore strong and symbiotic relationship between Governor Kathy Hochul and New York City Mayor Eric Adams. The decision from Mayor Adams to send migrants to other parts of the State prompted legal questions of whether New York State, like New York City, has a statutory obligation to house the homeless— including migrants. In an interview last week, Mayor Adams said, “Governor Hochul has been a partner on subway safety, on crime, on a host of things. But on this issue, I think the Governor is wrong.”
Governor Hochul pushed back on the notion that she was not doing enough to assist Mayor Adams, pointing to the $1.5 billion provided to NYC alone as well as the assistance of the New York National Guard. Her lawyers were even more critical of Adams in a recent court filing. Hochul also took issue with Adams’ decision to move migrants out of New York City, saying “Putting someone in a hotel on a dark, lonely road in Upstate New York and telling them they’re supposed to survive is not compassion.”
“Governor Hochul has been a partner on subway safety, on crime, on a host of things. But on this issue, I think the Governor is wrong.”
The logistical and political challenges resulting from the influx of migrants have affected other intergovernmental relationships as well. NYS Attorney General Letitia James declined to represent the Hochul administration because of policy disagreements on the right-to-shelter issue. Now, the White House is getting involved. Department of Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas sent a letter to state and city officials outlining “structural and operational issues” with the City’s handling of migrants. The concerns from the White House are well placed according to a new poll from Siena College that found 82% of New Yorkers believe the influx of migrants is a “serious problem.”
With all the finger-pointing and political infighting, let’s also remember that these are people who came to this country—often overcoming grave risk to do so-- in search of a better life for themselves and their families and that New York State has a proud history of offering opportunities to everyone who has the will to seize it.
New York State has a proud history of offering opportunities to everyone who has the will to seize it.
In Washington, Hochul met with Mayorkas and White House Chief of Staff Jeff Zients. That seems like the right people to meet with but also raised questions about why President Joe Biden was not in the meeting. White House Press Secretary Karine Jean-Pierre said, “There’s a lot going on. Some of his very high-level senior staff participated in the meeting with the governor … a very important meeting to have. He has a very good relationship with the governor … (but) the president has a lot on his plate.” Hmm. Expect a lot more on this over the next few months, especially on how to pay for it. While the statewide totals vary, Mayor Adams has said New York City alone has already spent $12 billion since 2022 responding to the influx of migrants.
Speaking of paying for it, Blake Washington has officially begun his tenure as the new Budget Director. A statement released by his office reads, “Since taking office earlier this month, Director Washington has hit the ground running, meeting with constituents and stakeholders from across the state to begin working on a budget that serves the needs of all New Yorkers. We look forward to unveiling the Fiscal Year 2025 budget this winter, as required by law.” Washington, a longtime Assembly Ways and Means aide, will have his work cut out for him. Revenue forecasts released earlier in the year by State Comptroller Tom DiNapoli project a $9.1 billion deficit for the next fiscal year, meaning the upcoming budget is likely to remain capped at current levels, if not reduced. Expect a lot more on this over the next few months as budget season heats up.
Speaking of NYS Attorney General Letitia James, she continues on the offense in her civil suit against the Trump Organization over claims that the company, and Donald Trump personally, repeatedly made false and misleading financial statements to obtain favorable loans and tax breaks. The Attorney General is now seeking a summary judgment against the Trump Organization, citing a “mountain of undisputed evidence” that proves the alleged wrongdoing. In her filing, James argued, "Based on the undisputed evidence, no trial is required for the Court to determine that Defendants presented grossly and materially inflated asset values in the SFCs [financial statements] and then used those SFCs repeatedly in business transactions to defraud banks and insurers.” Expect more on this as we head towards an October 2nd trial date. This is likely to be the first of the numerous Trump legal proceedings to go to trial.
Back to paying for it, the New York State Energy Research and Development Agency (NYSERDA) is warning that a proposal from a leading industry trade group, Alliance for Clean Energy (ACE), could lead to increased costs to develop new, renewable energy sources. ACE is asking NYSERDA, the entity that governs contract rates for electricity sales, for an increase in the baseline price paid to wholesale renewable energy providers. In response to the proposal, NYSERDA offered “The impact of implementing ACE (Alliance for Clean Energy) NY’s requested relief … would be an increase in weighted average strike (base) prices of 64 percent.” The 64% increase in the baseline wholesale cost of renewable energy would ultimately be passed onto the consumer at a rough rate of 1.48% a month over the 20-25 year lifespan of solar and wind energy projects. Ouch.
Results of the Last Poll
As we enter the last few weeks of August, what do you consider to be the beginning of fall?
This Day in History
September 4, 1888
George Eastman patents the first roll-film camera and registers the brand name "Kodak."
UB Attracts Record High Donations for 2022-23, Surpassing $120M
The record donations brought in by our client, the University at Buffalo, set a new milestone in its Boldly Buffalo campaign to raise $1 billion for student support, faculty research and innovative programs that benefit Western New York and the world, according to UB President Satish K. Tripathi.
The unprecedented support bolsters Tripathi's goal of positioning UB as a Top 25 public research university and will help create several new endowments, think tanks and initiatives, Tripathi said. [Read more.]
'It's Absolutely Beautiful.' Hornell's New Business-Class Hotel Begins Welcoming Guests
A long-sought piece to the City of Hornell’s economic engine has finally become a reality.
The four-story, 80-room Hampton Inn by Hilton Hornell began welcoming guests earlier this month.
OD&A in the Community
We were proud to join OD&A client, the Buffalo Zoo and Assembly Member Bill Conrad as he announced $53,000 in state funding for education and animal care at the zoo. Congratulations!