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Gotham Gazette

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Andrew Cuomo

Andrew Cuomo

  • New York Must Lead on Civil Rights

    ellia at a school nysednews

    (photo via @NYSEDNews)


    The silence from D.C. is deafening.

    As The Washington Post recently reported, “the Trump administration is reducing the role of the federal government in fighting discrimination and protecting minorities by cutting budgets, dissolving programs and appointing officials

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  • How The Mayoral Control ‘Special Session’ Works

    de Blasio desk Albany

    (photo: Edwin J. Torres/Mayor's Office)


    To prevent the lapse of mayoral control over New York City schools, Governor Andrew Cuomo on Tuesday called an “extraordinary session” of the state Legislature to convene on Wednesday at 1p.m. in Albany. Often referred to as a “special session,” details of how the day will unfold -- especially what legislation will pass -- are still unclear.

    Currently, the session has been called for just one day, with the only named purpose the extension of authority granted to the New York City Mayor, currently Bill

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  • 5 Reasons Mayoral Control is on the Verge of Lapsing

    de Blasio Albany dark

    Mayor de Blasio in Albany (photo: Michael Appleton/Mayor's Office)


    Mayor Bill de Blasio’s control of the New York City school system is only good for the rest of this week. The state Legislature ended its scheduled legislative session last Wednesday without a deal on an extension, something Governor Andrew Cuomo called “dereliction of duty,” and de Blasio has said puts the futures of 1.1 million schoolchildren at risk.

    The New York Times ...

  • What Moved and What Didn’t as State Session Ended

    Cuomo speaking tour

    Gov. Cuomo (photo: Kevin P. Coughlin/Governor's Office)


    With both houses of the state Legislature gaveled out, signalling the end of the 2017 legislative session, there a several unsettled issues for New York City, starting with the annual saga of renewing mayoral control over city schools, a policy set to expire at the end of June.

    Deadlocked over mayoral control, legislative leaders were not able to come to an agreement by the end of the scheduled session on Wednesday evening, though on Thursday talks continued among legislative leaders,

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  • The Governor Cannot Duck Reckoning for Mass Transit Decline

    Cuomo subways

    (photo: The Governor's Office)


    New York’s mass transit riders are experiencing a serious and rapid decline in service. The negatives are palpable and documentable; ever-worsening delays are aggravating and angering the millions of New Yorkers who need the subways, buses, and commuter rail systems to move them around.

    A State Comptroller’s audit found on-time weekday performance for the subway system had declined from 80% in 2013 to 74% in 2014; the MTA’s investor disclosure documents show OTP declined to 70% in 2015, to 67% in 2016; and the MTA website

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  • Albany on the Penultimate Day of Legislative Session

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    The Capitol (photo: Ben Max)


    The lobby was packed with lobbyists. The Dunkin Donuts was humming. Food trucks lined the sunny street and appeared to be doing better than average business. Reporters were hungry for any tidbit of news.

    Assembly members and Senators bounced in and out of their respective chambers, where dozens of bills were voted through with astonishing speed. Negotiations on major pieces of more contentious legislation were held behind closed doors by the four most powerful people in state government, all men.

    The state Capitol building on

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  • More Than Mayoral Control: De Blasio’s End of Session Priorities

    De Blasio Heastie Albany

    De Blasio & Heastie (photo: Michael Appleton/Mayor's Office)


    It is easy to mistakenly think there is only one thing Mayor Bill de Blasio wants from state lawmakers before they conclude the dwindling legislative session in Albany. Negotiations over an extension of soon-to-expire mayoral control of New York City schools have sucked most of the oxygen from the proverbial room -- though not the room, of ‘three men’ fame, which sat empty for months, until Monday -- leaving little time and attention for de Blasio’s other top priorities needing

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  • With Session Ending and Trial Looming, No Legislative Response to Bid-rigging Scandal

    Cuomo Flanagan Heastie

    Flanagan, Cuomo, Heastie (photo: The Governor's Office)


    With just three scheduled days left in the legislative session and the corruption trial of several close associates of Governor Andrew Cuomo for their roles in a bid-rigging scandal scheduled to commence in October, the Legislature has yet to pass any meaningful legislation to prevent such abuses of the procurement process.

    State Comptroller Tom DiNapoli has introduced a comprehensive bill to address the issue, which is the basis for a Senate bill sponsored by Senator John DeFrancisco, a

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  • With Subways in Crisis, It’s Showtime for Mayoral Candidates

    Cuomo subway train

    (photo: The Governor's Office)


    Standing near a City Hall subway stop, Staten Island Assembly member and GOP mayoral candidate Nicole Malliotakis railed against Mayor Bill de Blasio’s handling of the city’s transit system and its state-controlled operator, the Metropolitan Transit Authority.

    At a podium set up just outside a 4 and 5 train entrance -- the same station that the mayor and his family emerged from for his inauguration on January 1, 2014 -- Malliotakis said last Friday that de Blasio has been ineffective and pledged that if she is elected

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  • While Calling for CUNY Investigations, Cuomo Sought Endorsements from College Presidents

    Cuomo Sanders Excelsior 
    (photo: Kevin Coughlin/Governor’s Office)


    Public university administrators and college presidents enthusiastically supporting a governor’s proposal to fund tuition for potential students is a situation that would normally invite little scrutiny.

    That picture becomes murkier when the university’s management has been a frequent target of that governor; is the focus of an expanding investigation conducted by the state’s inspector general, who reports to the secretary to the governor; and the governor publicly calls for greater oversight of

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  • For Second Time, Legislature Sends FOIL Penalty Bill to Cuomo

    bill signing Cuomo

    (photo: Philip Kamrass/Governor's Office)


    A bill that would greatly strengthen New York’s Freedom of Information Law (FOIL), already vetoed once by Governor Andrew Cuomo, has again passed both houses of the Legislature -- with some minor adjustments.

    The bipartisan legislation, which passed the

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  • Petition Asks Cuomo to Prioritize Voting Reforms

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    Brooklyn Voters Allliance Action (photo: Sam Raskin)


    Members of a new advocacy group, Brooklyn Voters Alliance Action, gathered outside Governor Andrew Cuomo’s New York City office Tuesday afternoon to deliver a petition urging the governor to take action on voting reforms.

    The 30 or so demonstrators highlighted five key points they would like the governor to address in the petition they presented, which they said had 1,500 signatures on it. The state has about two weeks to pass any new laws before the end of the legislative session in Albany and Brooklyn Voters,

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  • As Session Nears End, Electoral Reforms Mostly Stalled & Cuomo Quiet

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    Gov. Cuomo votes (photo: The Governor's Office)


    Governor Andrew Cuomo’s prediction that there is insufficient political will at the New York State Legislature to pass any significant voting reform measures this year may be coming to fruition.

    During the final weeks before the end of the legislative session, this year June 21 -- when lawmakers leave the Capitol and

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  • Max & Murphy on Politics

    max murphy screenshots

    Jarrett Murphy, left, of City Limits, and Ben Max, right, of Gotham Gazette


    Each week, Ben Max of Gotham Gazette and Jarrett Murphy of City Limits discuss the latest on policy and politics in New York. Episodes, which are typically 10-15 minutes, began in February, 2016 with a focus on housing, but have expanded to other topics. Episodes are below, and can also be found on iTunes and other podcast networks. LISTEN:

    June 1st, 2017: Election Season is Here!

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  • De Blasio Announces Plan to Push Electoral Reform in Albany

    de blasio voter registration

    Mayor de Blasio registers voters (photo: Edwin J. Torres/Mayor's Office)


    Mayor Bill de Blasio said on Wednesday that he is about to “launch a major effort” to see voting and election reforms passed in Albany by the end of the legislative session, which runs until the middle of June.

    De Blasio, a Democrat running for reelection this year, has called for reforms like early voting and same-day voter registration that have stalled in the state capital. While the mayor has expressed his support for those and other changes to the state’s

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  • Potential Departure of Two Senate Democrats Poses Another Threat to Unity

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    Ruben Diaz Sr. (photo: @NYPD43Pct)


    While Democrats technically reclaimed a majority of state Senate seats through a special election Tuesday, a deeply fractured party picture remains. As different factions point fingers and call for unity, it seems likely that the headcount will drop down again by the end of the year.

    Two mainline Democratic senators have announced that they are running for other offices this year. Senator George Latimer, of Westchester County’s 37th District, is eying the county executive seat,

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  • Whose Job Is It To Investigate The Legislature’s Lulu System?

    klein

    IDC Leader Jeff Klein (via nysenate.gov)


    Reports that state senators have been receiving stipends for committee chair positions that they do not actually hold has drawn scrutiny to the Legislature’s stipend system and raised questions about the legality of the ways in which Senate leadership has arranged such payouts, often called lulus. Those questions have led to others, specifically whose job it is to investigate the potential wrongdoing involved and whether any legal or ethics enforcement entities will take action.

    Four Republican senators and three members of the

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  • The Evolving Powers of the New York Attorney General

    schneiderman cuomo attorney general

    Cuomo & Schneiderman (photo: The Governor's Office)


    The office of New York Attorney General has recently become one of the most high-profile law enforcement jobs in the country, and a springboard to the Governor’s Mansion, with its own heightened powers and prestige. Both Eliot Spitzer and Andrew Cuomo jumped from Attorney General to Governor of New York after tenures marked by major prosecutorial victories, and there is plenty of talk that current A.G. Eric Schneiderman -- one of the leading national opponents of President Donald

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  • Murky Definitions for Government Entities Undermine Transparency

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    Gov. Cuomo in Buffalo (photo: The Governor's Office)


    When Rockland County Democratic Party Chair Kristen Zebrowski Stavisky fills out her annual state disclosure forms, she consults her husband for question six, which requires the listing of contracts held with a state or local agency held by the filer, filer’s spouse, or unemancipated child.

    Evan Stavisky, a partner in the prominent Albany lobbying firm The Parkside Group, after checking with the firm’s lawyer, has told his wife that his company does not represent any government

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  • Legislative Session Starts with Flurry of Activity, and Cuomo Out of Town

    Cuomo Rochester

    Gov. Cuomo in Rochester (photo: The Governor's Office)


    The New York State Legislature returned to session Monday after its annual two-week Passover/Easter post-budget hiatus, and lawmakers want the governor to know they are ready to work.

    While Governor Andrew Cuomo continued his state-wide infrastructure and economic development tour this week, during the bustling first two days of session the Legislature advanced some provocative legislation, sending a clear message to the governor that the final two months of session will not be as uneventful

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  • De Blasio Skeptical of Cuomo’s New Budget Powers

    Cuomo de Blasio

    De Blasio & Cuomo (photo: Michael Appleton/Mayor's Office)


    As part of the budget deal announced earlier this month, Governor Andrew Cuomo highlighted the inclusion of new power his administration now has to adjust the state spending plan mid-year given significant federal cuts to New York. While Cuomo said it is an important provision in the state budget given uncertainty and threats from Washington D.C., Mayor Bill de Blasio expressed skepticism.

    When he announced a deal with the state Legislature on April 7, Cuomo outlined the major

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  • Déjà Vu in Cuomo's Highlight Accomplishments from New Budget

    Cuomo property taxes

    Gov. Cuomo (photo: Kevin P. Coughlin/Governor's Office)


    Governor Andrew Cuomo's April 10 announcement on the passage of the state budget cited several new initiatives and innovations that were included in the budget bills for the new 2017-2018 fiscal year, which began April 1.

    But history suggests that at least three of them actually are not really new.

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  • Ramped Up Economic Development Funding, Less Transparency in New State Budget

    Cuomo Buffalo

    Gov. Cuomo in Buffalo (photo: The Governor's Office)


    The new state budget, passed nine days into the fiscal year, is by many accounts a win for New Yorkers, with the inclusion of, among other things, significant new funding for education and affordable housing, college affordability measures, billions for clean water infrastructure, and important criminal justice reforms.

    The agreement hammered out by Governor Andrew Cuomo and the Legislature also included major provisions central to what is perhaps the governor’s top ongoing priorities. When he

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  • 10 Key Takeaways for New York City from the New State Budget

    Cuomo de Blasio


    A new $153 billion New York state budget was passed through the Legislature Sunday evening, nine days into the new fiscal year, following a particularly lengthy and tumultuous negotiation period.

    After Governor Andrew Cuomo announced a budget deal Friday night, the Assembly approved the budget Saturday, while State senators -- called back to Albany from their districts -- moved through the final budget bills the following day.

    Within the spending plan are items that have serious ramifications for New York

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  • After the Excelsior Scholarship

    Cuomo Sanders scholarship

    Gov. Cuomo (photo: Kevin P. Coughlin/Governor's Office)


    Victory for middle class New Yorkers! The state budget finally passed and it includes a number of college affordability reforms for middle class students. Despite some of the shortfalls of these reforms, they are an exciting step forward in reinvesting in the state’s public university systems after years of structural disinvestment, flat financial aid, and tuition hikes.

    These reforms must be treated as initial progress toward greater investment into SUNY and CUNY that will

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