The U-S Senate has taken the first step towards repealing the Affordable Care Act. However... Republicans will need Democratic support in order to approve a replacement measure. That from local Congressman Tom Reed as the Senate voted 51-to-48 last week to repeal President Obama's signature health care law. Reed says repealing and replacing "Obamacare" will take several steps... and, will have to go through the federal budget process.
Reed says there will also be a vote in the House of Representatives shortly to first repeal the law. As for a replacement... that has already been a topic of discussion itself. Some Democrats have contended there is no replacement legislation. However... Reed says replacing the ACA will require Democratic help in the Senate... where 60-votes will be needed. CNN reports that the Senate will next begin 50 hours of debate on the budget measure, which sets up repeal of much of Obamacare through a separate budget reconciliation bill.
In the weeks after November's election... President-elect Donald Trump and incoming Senate Democratic leader Chuck Schumer sounded like potential allies. Trump tweeted about their "good relationship" and about Schumer's "ability to get things done." Schumer spoke of issues such as infrastructure and trade where Trump had embraced Democratic positions, and the New York Democrat pointed to common ground with the next president. But just days into the new Congress, the Trump-Schumer courtship has turned cold, and the potential allies now sound more like antagonists. Trump has taken to attacking Schumer as Democrats' "head clown" in their party's defense of President Barack Obama's health law. Schumer goaded Trump by repurposing Trump's campaign slogan into Democrats' new rallying cry against GOP efforts to repeal the health law: "Make America Sick Again."
New York Governor Andrew Cuomo breaks with tradition and takes his state of the state address on the road in the coming week. That includes an address at the University of Buffalo this afternoon. Instead of a single address to lawmakers, Cuomo will deliver six speeches in different locations throughout the state. He'll also be in New York City today for the first speeches. Additional addressed are planned for Long Island, Westchester County, Albany and Syracuse. The top Democrats and Republicans in both the Senate and the Assembly are skipping the event in another sign of the tension between the Legislature and the Democratic governor. Instead... lawmakers will return to Albany today for the second week of the 2017 legislative session.
Tickets for Chautauqua Institution's 2017 season go on-sale this morning... and, officials say there will be more than four-thousand events coming up during the nine-week session. That from Chautauqua's Marketing Manager, Vanessa Weinert, who says the season opens on June 24th with a first-ever Chautauqua visitor... who will perform in the new Amphitheater. Weinert says the excitement is growing already. Weinert adds that they have "An Evening with Garrison Keillor" on July 21st... which will be another take-off on his famous PBS Series "A Prarie Home Companion." There is also the weekly lecture series... which will feature a week-six program with the National Comedy Center on Comedy. Weinert says many Chautauqua staff members lobbied for the week on comedy... which will conclude in time for the Lucille Ball Comedy Festival... which runs August 3rd through 6th. Wienert adds the final concert of the season feature's The Beach Boys to conclude Week-Nine. For ticket information... go on-line to chqtickets-dot-COM... or call 357-6250. Weinert adds that you can also go on-line to ciweb-dot-ORG.
The National Comedy Center is partnering with CNN to help promote the network's upcoming docu-series on "The History of Comedy..." which starts February 9th. That from Center Director Journey Gunderson... who says CNN approached them last August during last Summer's Lucille Ball Comedy Festival. Gunderson says the promotion will involve a four-city "live tour..." which will feature some of the "freshest and funniest" stand-up comics. Gunderson says the CNN Producers interviewed several people while they were here last Summer... including one of the three headliners that were here... for the docu-series. She says Lewis Black was interviewed, along with Mark Russell, and Richard Pryor's daughter, Rain Pryor. CNN Originals is putting the series of eight programs together. Gunderson says the promotion tour will include stops in New York City... Boston... Chicago... and, Los Angeles. For more information... and, to purchase tickets... go to the Comedy Center's website at Comedycenter-dot-ORG. "The History of Comedy" Series begins on Thursday, February 9th at 9 PM.
The Chautauqua County Department of Health and Human Services has announced new, emergency measures for those who are homeless during inclement Winter weather. Health and Human Services Director Christine Schuyler says during those periods when temperatures fall to 32-degrees Fahrenheit... or lower... those who are homeless are encouraged to seek emergency shelter through her office. She says anyone experiencing those conditions... may report to either the Jamestown or Dunkirk offices during normal business hours from 8:30 AM through 4:30 PM where assistance will be provided. However... Schuyler says during those times, and after-business hours... all local law enforcement departments, along with the Department of Mental Hygiene, UPMC Chautauqua at WCA, Brooks Hospital, and Chautauqua Opportunities, Inc. Mobile Crisis Team are available to assist with arrangements for emergency shelter for those experiencing homeless conditions. For more information... call 661-8830. After hours... call 753-4231.
A Jamestown man is accused of being in possession of "several types" of narcotic prescription pills during a traffic stop last weekend in the town of Ellicott. Sheriff's officers say they stopped a vehicle operated by 33 year-old Sean Carlson for a traffic violation shortly after 2 AM Saturday on Route 60. Deputies say they found Carlson in possession of the drugs... which he did not have a prescription for. Officers add his license was also suspended. Carlson was arrested on charges including seventh-degree criminal possession of controlled substance... aggravated unlicensed operation... and, failure to keep right. He was issued appearance tickets for Ellicott Town Court.