• Ethics reform: Good government groups are likely to be displeased at the apparent deal in which Mr. Cuomo agreed to disband the state Commission to Investigate Public Corruption, known as the Moreland Commission, in exchange for a handful of ethics and campaign finance reform measures. The latter include a “trial” version of public financing for this year’s state comptroller election. But Bronx state Sen. Gustavo Rivera said the plan was so weak, it was doomed to fail.
“[If] we’re saying we want a pilot program and it is set up to fail, it really does not speak well for campaign finance reform,” he said.
Mr. Klein denied any role in Mr. Cuomo’s promise to disband the Moreland Commission, which is widely unpopular among state legislators, and the senator even remarked that the commission should not be disbanded without “a full-blown campaign finance piece.” However, as with the Dream Act, which recently failed in spite of vows of support from Mr. Klein, advocates are likely to blame the senate co-majority leader for weak ethics reform in the budget.
Overall, Mr. Klein appears to emerge from the budget talks able to strongly reiterate a favorite line of his regarding the IDC — that it gets things done while mainstream Democrats such as Mr. Koppell only create dysfunction in Albany. It will be interesting to see how the former councilman interprets the budget as he readies to make his much-awaited decision on a Senate run in the coming days.
Gillibrand endorses Rangel
Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand has joined a growing number of powerful New York Democrats supporting Rep. Charles Rangel’s bid for a 23rd term.
Mr. Rangel’s campaign touted Ms. Gillibrand as the first statewide official to make an endorsement in the race, in which state Sen. Adriano Espaillat has forced Mr. Rangel into the fight of his life.
Ms. Gillibrand gave a glowing statement praising Mr. Rangel from the time he fought in the Korean War through the post-Sept. 11, 2001 era, when she said he helped her pass a health bill for first responders.
“I am proud to endorse Congressman Rangel’s reelection campaign so he can continue leading the fight for affordable health care and housing, immigration reform and good paying jobs,” Ms. Gillibrand said.
Upper Manhattan Assemblymen Keith Wright and Danny O’Donnell’s as well as former Assemblyman Adam Clayton Powell IV also made their endorsements official, while Harlem Councilwoman Inez Dickens and former Councilman Robert Jackson joined team Rangel, too.
Bronxites get health care help
The Riverdale Neighborhood House (RNH) was among a number of sites throughout the Bronx where health care navigators trained by the nonprofit Bronx Works helped people sign up for insurance on New York’s online marketplace.
In keeping with the nationwide trend, navigator Kwadwo Bediako reported a noticeable increase in the number of people seeking appointments with him at RNH as a March 31 deadline approached.
More than 1 million New Yorker had completed applications on the NY State of Health website as of March 28, although a Bronx Works administrator did not have numbers on how many people the organization had assisted. Look for an article in The Press reviewing health care sign-ups in the neighborhood next week.
A previous version of this story contained a typo saying the state budget included $300 billion for universal pre-k in New York City. The sum is actually $300 million.