Morning Read: Budget Bonanza, Sandra Lee Goes Upscale

Governor Andrew Cuomo and the legislature both gave things up in the new State budget deal.

The budget deal doesn’t include a health insurance exchange, which is part of President Barack Obama’s health care reform plan that’s currently being debated in the Supreme Court, but Governor Cuomo vowed to create an exchange in the Empire State by executive order.

New York City was a “big winner” in the budget deal with increased aid for city schools, a fully-funded MTA capital plan and a Bloomberg-backed plan to have non-violent youthful offenders serve their time closer to home rather than upstate.

There is $1.2 billion for infrastructure construction projects in the budget. Governor Cuomo said: “It’s all about jobs, jobs, jobs — it’s all about economic development.”

If you haven’t had enough budget news this morning, check out this footage of Governor Cuomo and his staff discussing the deal.

Spending on lobbying in New York hit a record $220 million last year.

The pro-Cuomo Committee to Save New York topped the list of big lobbying spenders.

Sandra Lee, the governor’s girlfriend, is making her homecooking brand more upscale and courting the fashion world leading to speculation she’s prepping for Governor Cuomo’s possible 2016 campaign.

After a series of NYPD controversies, the Civilian Complaint Review Board received broad authority to prosecute police misconduct cases.

Spokespeople for Charlie Rangel and Adriano Espaillat tussled over the news Mr. Rangel agreed to pay a $23,000 for using a rent-controlled apartment as a campaign office ahead of their possible race against each other.

Eliot’s former aide says Governor Cuomo learned from Spitzer and Paterson’s mistakes.

Caroline Kennedy will host an Upper West Side fundraiser for her cousin, Joseph’s, bid to take Barney Frank’s seat in Massachusetts.

CSEA President Danny Donohue is not a fan of the budget deal.

Tough questions from the Supreme Court justices hint the Court may strike down President Barack Obama’s insurance mandate law.

Newt Gingrich laid off one-third of his campaign staff.

Ivanka Trump endorsed Mitt Romney.

The parents of slain teen Trayvon Martin took their case to Capitol Hill.

President Obama joined the social media site Pinterest.

Ron Paul doesn’t know why he hasn’t gotten more votes.

Herman Cain defended his controversial ad that depicted a rabbit being shot. “The liberals are trying to paint it like I’m killing animals. The rabbit that we shot was a toy, stuffed rabbit.”