Continued reaction to Trump immigration order, Cuomo pushes to put abortion rights into state constitution, Ecovative caught in EPA grant freeze

Continued reaction to Trump immigration order
+ After saying he needed to learn more about the order over the weekend, local Republican Congressman called the Trump administration's immigration order "neither well-drafted nor well-implemented" on Monday. [TU]
+ Local Democratic Congressman Paul Tonko backed Democrat-drafted legislation in the House that would defund and rescind the executive order: "My colleagues and I steadfastly refuse to step aside to let this President throw peaceful, worthy and freedom loving people to the wolves and hand ISIS another recruiting tool in the process." [Tonko office]
+ Western New York Republican Congressman Chris Collins, a longtime Trump supporter, at a Conservative Party event Monday in Colonie: "The liberal media is going nuts over this. [Senator] Chuck Schumer is going nuts over this ... Well, wait a minute: This is a promise [the president] made, and he's doing it in a very sensible way." [TWCN]
+ Donald Trump accused Chuck Schumer of "fake tears" during Schumer's emotional denunciation of the White House's immigration order over the weekend: "I'm going to ask him who was his acting coach, because I know him very well." A Schumer spokesman when asked about what Trump said: "We are not going to dignify that with a response." [TU x2]
+ The president of the Masjid As-Salam mosque in Albany on the events of the weekend: "The Muslim community is very much uncertain and confused." [TWCN]
+ A Sage student from Togo in West Africa who's a practicing Muslim: "I'm scared that I'm going to lose the hope that I came to this country for." [TU+]

Abortion rights
Andrew Cuomo said Monday he will push for a state constitutional amendment that make abortion rights a part of state law. Cuomo: ""As Washington seeks to limit women's rights, we seek to protect them, and as they threaten reproductive rights, I propose a constitutional amendment to write Roe v. Wade into the New York State Constitution to prevent any attack on the right to choose." A state constitutional amendment would have to make it through the state legislature twice before going to voters, which would appear to be a challenge given the current alignment of the state Senate. [WNYT] [News10] [TU]

Stripping pensions from convicted public officials
A state constitutional amendment that would allow the pensions to be stripped from public officials convicted of a felony related to their office will be on the ballot this November. [TU]

Albany and state aid
Much of Kathy Sheehan's testimony in front a joint state legislature budget hearing Monday focused on Albany's disproportionately low levels of state aid -- along with disproportionately high amount of un-taxable property -- and her push for $12.5 million in additional state aid to close the city's budget gap. [TU] Earlier: Does Albany get a fair share of state aid?

Affordable housing in Saratoga Springs
Saratoga Springs mayor Joanne Yepsen in her state of the city address Monday: "The definition of affordable housing is changing ... It's not just Section 8 housing anymore, it's people like you and me who are getting priced right out of our community." The speech also focused on human rights and what's been going on in national politics. [Daily Gazette] [Saratogian]

North Colonie schools vote
Among the criticisms of the North Colonie school district's $196 million building plan that was recently voted down that surfaced during a community forum Monday: the overall price tag and a lack of clarity. [WNYT] [TU]

Rensselaer chickens
The city of Rensselaer is looking at tightening its law for backyard chickens. [TU]

Albany police detective DWI arrest
State Police say the off-duty Albany police detective arrested for DWI this past weekend in Saratoga Springs registered a BAC of .25 (legal limit is .08). Albany police say the detective has been suspended. [NYSP] [TU]

Schenectady County jail death lawsuit
The widow of a man who died after suffering complications at the Schenectady County jail in 2015 has filed a lawsuit alleging the company that provides medical services at the jail didn't provide proper care. [TU+]

Schenectady train station
It sounds like the Schenectady train station project is off the rails. [TU+]

Ecovative caught in EPA freeze
Ecovative CEO Eben Bayer on the Green Island company getting caught up in the Trump administration's freeze of EPA grants: "Why would you go after a program that supports domestic manufacturing and technology for the United States?" [Biz Review]

Headline of the day
"Tilted Kilt goes bottoms-up in Niskayuna" [TU]

Stuff going on today

Assisted Loving
Tuesday-Sunday: Capital Rep opens its new production of Assisted Loving (it was in previews this past weekend). It runs through February 19. Tuesday-Sunday various times -- $20 and up

Robert Coover
The NYS Writers Institute visiting writers series opens its season with fiction writer Robert Coover at UAlbany talking about his Huckleberry Finn sequel Huck Out West. Tuesday 8 pm, uptown campus performing arts center -- free

Punk Rock Sketch and Sip
The Punk Rock Sketch and Sip is back at The Low Beat. "Learn or practice figure drawing with live, alternative figure models, with local artist and educator Robert B. Eaton. Enjoy a complimentary drink while you sketch. All skill levels welcome, attendees are encouraged to bring their own materials but limited materials will be provided to get you started." Tuesday 7 pm -- $15 / $8 with valid student ID

Music: Greensky Bluegrass at The Egg
"[T]heir own version of bluegrass music, mixing the acoustic stomp of a string band with the rule-breaking spirit of rock & roll." 7 pm -- $25


I encourage anyone in fear of the facist uprising to visit and pressure your congressional representatives to stand up to facist bullies.

The article about the impact of the EPA freeze on Ecovative was excellent. Another great quote from CEO Eben Bayer: "Businesses like certainty and this creates an incredible amount of uncertainty." And there is a lot of uncertainty for many companies in the U.S. right now, thanks to the actions of the new administration.

There's a "Show of Support for International Students" march and rally Wednesday at noon, going from RPI to Monument Square on River Street in Troy. Here's the link:

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