New York State’s $153 billion overdue budget passed the state Assembly on Saturday. The state Senate approved it late Sunday. The plan makes New York the first state to make tuition at public colleges and universities free for middle-class students in families with annual incomes less than $125,000. State Senator David Carlucci called the budget “good news for the Hudson Valley” and said it includes $2.5 billion for water infrastructure project to ensure safe drinking water. There are also provisions to allow ride-hailing services like Uber and Lyft to operate beyond New York City, and those under the age of 18 will no longer be detained in adult jails or prisons.
New York State’s budget, on the verge of collapse Wednesday, and on life support yesterday. Now, some lawmakers think may they may have a compromise that involves a deal on charter school funding, one of the last sticking points. Published reports indicate lawmakers may also be coming to a compromise on two other major sticking points including an affordable housing tax credit and a plan to raise the age of criminal responsibility from 16 to 18. Not everyone’s optimistic about an agreement for the budget that’s already six days late. Republican Senate Leader John Flanagan’s spokesman told the Associated Press that it’s too soon to say whether there’s an agreement. Lawmakers have already approved a two-month emergency budget extension to avoid a government shutdown.
Monday’s “slow speed derailment” is still causing headaches for Rockland commuters and could be for a few more days. A damaged switch machine is at the center of the repairs, affecting Amtrak and New Jersey Transit, both operating on altered schedules.
Meanwhile, fuel had to be cleaned up as two truck drivers were taken to Englewood Hospital with non-life threatening injuries yesterday following an accident involving a tractor-trailer that rear-ended a flatbed tractor-trailer on the westbound upper level of the George Washington Bridge. One was cited for “stopping on the roadway” and the other was issued a summons “imprudent speed.” The 3:30 am accident snarled traffic on the bridge and in the area for hours at the height of the morning rush.
Major delays on the upper level of the George Washington Bridge have the bridge partially shut down, due to an accident investigation following a tractor-trailer crash. The New Jersey-bound upper level is closed completely and all traffic is being diverted to the lower level. The inbound side upper level had been shut down for emergency vehicles only, but has since been reopened but not without congestion. Delays on the inbound side upper level are reportedly up to around one hour to the tolls and about 30 minutes on the lower level. We’ll have more details in our traffic report and as more information becomes available.
Meanwhile, Monday’s “slow-speed derailment” of a New Jersey Transit train in Penn Station is still causing delays. The Port Jervis and Pascack Valley Lines are again on holiday schedules, and Metro-North is advising customers that train service from Secaucus has been reduced. They’re suggesting commuters remain on their trains until Hoboken, and then continue into Manhattan using PATH trains.
NJ Transit says it’s operating this morning on a holiday schedule following Monday morning’s train derailment at New York Penn Station. Amtrak says riders using Penn Station should expect delays of 30 minutes to an hour. Rail service on all trains that use the Hudson Tunnel was temporarily suspended yesterday after the “slow-speed derailment” around 9 a.m. in tunnel 9, a New York Fire Department official said. Three people suffered minor injuries. Two suffered serious injuries but they are reportedly in stable condition.
We hope you haven’t put away your shovels and snow-blowers just yet. A nor’easter is threatening our region with over a foot of snow projected Monday night into Tuesday morning. The NYS Governor’s office has activated the state emergency operations center. O&R has declared a Storm Watch due to the weather outlook with high winds expected to hit our region overnight Monday, and through the day on Tuesday. O&R’s Mike Donovan reminds listeners severe storm activity has the potential to cause power line damage and electric service interruptions, and crews are standing by ready to repair storm damage and restore service as needed. County Executive Ed Day says the county is not under a state of emergency yet, and he’d rather avoid that if it’s unnecessary, but urges people to stay off the roads. Mark Hannok is calling for the snow to begin around 2am Tuesday morning. Tune in for his up-to-the-minute forecast.
Sorry kids, all Rockland school districts were closed for superintendent conferences. Tonight’s plays and musicals in Clarkstown, Pearl River, Ramapo, and North Rockland are reportedly still on as planned. BOCES is closed, as are St. Anthony’s, Albertus Magnus, St. Gregory’s, and Dominican College (day classes cancelled). Finkelstein Memorial Library has a 12 Noon delayed opening. RCC Senior Meetings are cancelled.
- North Rockland School District on a 2 hour delay.
- Clarkstown: Normal schedule, except for Laurel Plains. The elementary school is closed due to electrical issues.
- Rockland Boces: CTEC, CBI Tech, IDT programs canceled due to heating issues.
- Dominican College Opens at 9:45 am today.
- Rockland Public School Districts (all on a 2 hour delay)
- No AM preschool, no am early intervention at Jawanio. 2 hour transportation delay for programs. However, the agency staff reports as usual.
- All senior programs at RCC are canceled.