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Andrew Cuomo

Andrew Cuomo

  • As We Close Rikers, Setting Our Sights on Essential State-Level Reforms

    Andrew Cuomo

    Gov. Cuomo at an update prison (Governor's Office)


    Anyone following New York City politics knows about JustLeadershipUSA’s mission to close the jails at Rikers Island. In less than a year, the #CLOSErikers campaign successfully pressured Mayor Bill de Blasio to commit to shuttering the jail complex. It is no longer a question of if Rikers will close, but when. But the campaign has always known that

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  • Amid Health Care Funding Fights, Cuomo Explores Special Session

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    Gov. Cuomo with top health and budget aides (photo: Kevin P. Coughlin/Governor's Office)


    Governor Andrew Cuomo has been floating the idea of a special legislative session to address federal cuts to the state’s health care programs, as well as other concerns that have developed, since the state budget was agreed to in April.

    In that budget, Cuomo pushed to include and won a provision granting him nearly unilateral power to adjust the state’s financial plan mid-year in the event of at least $800 million in federal cuts to the state. In April, the governor

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  • The Deadline to Register to Vote this Fall is Fast Approaching

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    New Yorkers line up to vote (credit: Samar Khurshid/Gotham Gazette)


    New York City has roughly 6.6 million residents of voting age but only about 4.99 million registered voters, according to rough estimates from the American Community Survey and the state Board of Elections. The city’s municipal primary election is a little over a month away, on September 12, and ...

  • What About the Buses?

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    (photo: Marc A. Hermann/MTA)


    Newly-minted MTA chief Joe Lhota held a press conference last week to announce a rescue plan for the city’s ailing subway system. The agenda includes signal fixes, maintenance work, new emergency response teams, and even rider communication shifts. Lhota’s blueprint comes with $800-plus million price tag, he said, which set off another round of feuding between Mayor de Blasio and Governor Cuomo about how much the city and

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  • Even Without Federal Cuts, Signs of Trouble for State Finances

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    State Comptroller Tom DiNapoli, right (photo: @NYSComptroller)


    State Comptroller Tom DiNapoli is calmly ringing alarm bells about the New York economy and budget outlook. DiNapoli, the state’s chief fiscal officer, recently announced that overall tax collections for the first quarter of Fiscal Year 2018 -- April through July -- fell by $1.2 billion from the same period last year, a decrease of 6.1% in revenue.

    Not only did tax revenues decrease by $1.2 billion from the prior year, but they were also $1.7 billion below a projection made by the Comptroller’s

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  • For 2018, The Center Must Hold

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    Gov. Cuomo rallying to flip NY House seats (photo: NY Democratic Party)


    If the national Women’s March was any indication, we are in for a Democratic tidal wave come 2018. We’re only seven months into 2017, of course. But if such a wave does occur, then the Republican Party in Congress will only revert back to ideological extremes and obstructionism.

    Why? Because the seats up for grabs are largely the 50 seats held by moderate Tuesday Group caucus members. As their influence wanes, the influence of the Freedom Caucus and other extreme conservatives will

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  • Voting Reform Advocates Say Cuomo Can Do More Through Executive Order

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


    Governor Andrew Cuomo signed an executive order Monday expanding the list of New York State agencies required to provide voter registration assistance and creating a task force to oversee implementation of the program.

    While current state and federal law requires the forms to be available at the Department of Motor Vehicles and certain social service agencies, Cuomo’s

    LaGuardia College President Whipped Colleague Support for Cuomo Scholarship

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    Cuomo with Hillary Clinton, Gail Mellow, far right, & others (photo: Governor's Office)

    Dr. Gail O. Mellow, the president of LaGuardia Community College, contacted fellow City University of New York (CUNY) presidents to gather statements in support of the proposed Excelsior Scholarship program on behalf of Governor Andrew Cuomo, before the proposal was passed and signed into law earlier this year.

    Gotham Gazette

    Cuomo’s Fundraising Gives Him Strong Footing Ahead of Second Reelection Bid

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


    Governor Andrew Cuomo’s campaign finance filings show he’s sitting on a considerable war chest as he heads into the final year of his second term.

    New York’s Democratic governor, up for re-election in Fall 2018, has $25.7 million in his campaign account, according to financial reports filed last week. And as he approaches the state election year,

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  • The Excelsior Scholarship’s Academic Requirements Are Far Too High

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    Gov. Cuomo announcing Excelsior (Kevin P. Coughlin/Governor's Office)


    In January 2014, Kellyn C. was 49 and had been recently laid off from a human resources position. “You need a college degree to remain competitive,” she said. She enrolled as a first-time freshman at CUNY Medgar Evers College (MEC) in Brooklyn. Three and a half years later, she reports, “I’m doing well. I’m applying myself and forging ahead.” She has 96 credits, a GPA above 3.0, and is on track to graduate in December 2017 or January 2018—all significant accomplishments at

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  • Calls For Long-Term Solutions As City Transit Crisis Worsens

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    Governor Cuomo with MTA Chair Joe Lhota (photo: Governor's Office/Flickr)


    Two separate subway track fires on Monday, in the morning and evening, that led to stoppages on multiple lines and delays across the system were just the latest incidents that put the spotlight on problems with New York City’s subways. The last few weeks have seen chronic delays, a recent A-train 

    Rikers May Close. So Should Attica.

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    Governor Cuomo at Clinton Correctional Facility in Dannemora (photo: Governor's Office Flickr)


    In much the same way that the movement to end stop-and-frisk policing eventually became a rallying cry for political hopefuls, so, too, has the appeal to close the Rikers Island jail complex now become de rigueur among New York City elected officials. Where though is the corresponding clarion call to close Attica, Sing Sing, or any number of New York State’s brutal and obsolete prisons?

    The

    New York's Top Democrats Rally Against Obamacare Repeal Bill

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    Governor Cuomo at Monday's healthcare rally (photo: Governor's Office)


    At a packed auditorium at Mount Sinai Hospital Monday afternoon, four of the state’s top elected Democrats united in a show of force to rally against a common enemy: the Republican-led U.S. Senate’s bill to repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act, more commonly known as Obamacare.

    Governor Andrew Cuomo, Attorney General Eric Schneiderman, State Assembly Speaker Carl Heastie and New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio banded together on Monday, pledging to take legal action should the

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  • Comptroller vs. Governor: An Old Story in New York

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    Governor Cuomo (left) and Comptroller DiNapoli (center) (photo: Governor's Office/Flickr)


    State Comptroller Thomas DiNapoli and Governor Andrew Cuomo have been airing public disagreement in the news media over the past several months. It is the latest chapter in a long story here in New York -- the Governor and the Comptroller sometimes agreeing but often challenging each other.

    Calling out Cuomo's fiscal policies
    DiNapoli's ...

  • After Promising More, De Blasio Explains Limited Voting Reform Push

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    De Blasio voting (photo: Ed Reed/Mayor's Office)


    On May 31 Mayor Bill de Blasio said that he and partners were “about to launch a major effort” to change state laws governing elections and voting in New York. ”I think people really want electoral reform in this state,” de Blasio told Gotham Gazette at an unrelated press conference. “And there’s a chance to do it, and it’s about creating the pressure needed to achieve it. So, we’re going to be doing a lot in the next few weeks on it.”

    In the subsequent days, de Blasio led two telephone

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  • Powerful Assembly Post May Be Vacant Sooner Than Expected

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    Assemblymember Herman Farrell (photo: The Assembly)


    When Assemblymember Herman “Denny” Farrell, who heads the chamber’s Ways and Means Committee, announced he would not seek reelection next year, it set off a murmur about who might succeed him in the powerful -- and lucrative -- committee post.

    Farrell, a Democrat elected to the Assembly in 1974 and the third longest serving member of the body, is known for his diplomacy and good natured

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  • What's The [DATA] Point? $780 Million, with Comptroller DiNapoli

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    What's The Data Point? Episode 3 -- $780 million, with Comptroller Tom DiNapoli. [You can download What's The Data Point? wherever you get your podcasts, including on iTunes]

    For the third episode of What's The [Data] Point? we were joined by New York State Comptroller Tom DiNapoli, the state's chief fiscal watchdog. With hosts Ben Max and Maria Doulis, DiNapoli discusses his thus far unsuccessful efforts to reform the state's contracting processes in the wake of the $780 million bid-rigging scandal that broke last year with federal

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  • Mayoral Control Extended in Special Session with Usual Albany Process

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    Gov. Cuomo on Thursday (photo: Philip Kamrass/Governor’s Office)


    To prevent the impending lapse of mayoral control over New York City schools, the state Legislature and Governor Andrew Cuomo passed a two-year extension Thursday as part of a larger omnibus bill, which included a pension enhancement for certain uniformed workers, special recognition for former Governor Mario Cuomo, and several benefits for upstate areas.

    A special session was called Wednesday by Gov. Cuomo specifically to address mayoral leadership over city schools, which was set

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  • Calls for Vetoes as 'Benefit Sweeteners' Head to Governor's Desk

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    (photo: The Governor's Office)


    As the dust settles on the scheduled legislative session in Albany and subsequent “extraordinary session” called by Governor Andrew Cuomo, much of the focus has been on the extension of mayoral control of city schools, finally passed Thursday after serious brinkmanship. There has also been plenty of talk centered on what didn’t happen: procurement, ethics, and electoral reform, the Child Victims Act, and more.

    The Citizens Budget Commission (CBC), a fiscal watchdog, is also calling for scrutiny of other items that

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  • New York Must Lead on Civil Rights

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    (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

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    (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

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    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

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    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

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    (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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