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Bill de Blasio was escorted out a State University of New York school today, hands bound in a zip tie handcuff after the mayoral candidate and public advocate joined healthcare workers to protest talks of closing Brooklyn's Long Island College Hospital.

De Blasio was among a handful of arrests at the protest, organized by healthcare union SEIU 1199, which endorsed de Blasio's mayoral campaign in mid-May.

Brooklyn Councilman Steve Levin — whose district includes LICH — was also arrested by the New York Police Department, as were a handful of protesters.

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NEW YORK — Over 100 environmental groups from New York, New Jersey and other states are seeking to extend the public comment period for a proposed deepwater liquefied natural gas port off the New York coast.

The port will increase the supply of natural gas in the New York City-metro area.

The port “could pose a major security threat to a densely populated area, risks burdening the region’s ecosystems with air and water pollution, and will tend to discourage investment in renewable energy supplies,” the groups said in a letter sent to federal authorities today.

In their letter to the Maritime Administration and the U.S. Coast Guard, the coalition, led by Catskill Citizens for Safe Energy and Clean Ocean Action, charged that the time allotted — 30 days — for public comment on the project’s scoping documents was insufficient.

“It is manifestly unfair to expect either the general public or concerned individuals with scientific and technical expertise to submit thoughtful and comprehensive scoping comments on an application of over fifteen hundred pages by July 24,” the groups stated.

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City Council Speaker Christine Quinn, who is campaigning to be the first openly gay mayor, got teary-eyed today at City Hall as she discussed the U.S. Supreme Court's overturning of the Defense of Marriage Act.

"It’s indescribable, the feeling to be more of a citizen of the United States," said Quinn, who married partner Kim Catullo last year after Albany passed same-sex marriage in 2011. "Even when you’re speaker of the City Council, to have something happen that makes you feel more fully an American, and your family fully recognized — it’s indescribable."

After the Supreme Court struck down the Defense of Marriage Act that prevented the federal government from recognizing gay marriage — and declined to take up a California case and thereby clearing the way for same-sex marriage in that state — elected officials across New York issued their own statements praising the historic decision.

Gov. Andrew Cuomo, who led the succesful fight to legalize same-sex marriage in New York, called the decision "a major step forward in our efforts to achieve full marriage equality in this nation."

– State Government Editor David Howard King contributed to this report. Photo of Quinn at City Council news conference on DOMA by Bill Alatriste.

Tagged in: DOMA Gov. Andrew Cuomo

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'Call a Moreland Commission and let god sort 'em out'--that seems to be the attitude of Gov. Andrew Cuomo when it comes to dealing with corruption in the legislature.

But John Kaheny of transparency-focused Reinvent Albany says there are some very obvious improvements that could be made to fight corruption right now, without even having to invoke the Moreland Act.

"There are huge opportunities to use technology to radically increase transparency and understanding of the various state spending that serve as quid pro quos," said Kaheny.

For one Kaheny says Cuomo could, "Put all discretionary fund requests, appropriations, and action online in an easy to understand dashboard like Recovery.gov."

Despite the many scandals involving legislators using state discretionary funds to enrich themselves there is no comprehensive list of projects with the names of their political sponor's attached.

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Today the Supreme Court struck down what a number of observers call the "heart" of the Voting Rights Act. The move has shocked and angered a number of New York politicians who say the Act is essential to fair elections.

Chris Bragg of Crain's Insider Blog has a solid piece cataloging just how New York City will be impacted by the decision. In the long run the decision will change how district lines are drawn for city council and state legislature. The city will also be able to use lever voting machines without federal approval.

Here are a few statements:

From Council Speaker Christine Quinn, Robert Jackson and Fernando Cabrera:

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