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Andrew Cuomo

Andrew Cuomo

  • Cuomo Embraces Voting Reform Agenda, But Implementation Poses Challenges

    Cuomo voting 2015

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


    During his State of the State tour early this month, Governor Andrew Cuomo proposed a trio of major reforms hailed as important steps toward modernizing New York’s antiquated electoral system and increasing the state’s paltry voter turnout. While they are long-called for proposals that many are pleased to see Cuomo promote, implementing these goals could be more complicated than it may seem.

    Two of the three reforms, early voting and automatic voter registration, were outlined in Cuomo’s 2016

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  • Constitutional Convention Absent from Cuomo’s 2017 Agenda

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    Gov. Cuomo (photo: Governor's Office)


    Though he has expressed support in the past for a “yes” vote for a constitutional convention on this year’s ballot, Governor Andrew Cuomo’s newly revealed 2017 agenda and 2017-2018 budget provide no indication that such support continues.

    Last year, Cuomo backed a constitutional convention in his lone State of the State speech, which was combined with a budget presentation, and he included $1 million in his spending proposal for a preparatory commission. Yet, this year, the issue is notably absent from Cuomo’s

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  • Cuomo Unveils $152 Billion Executive Budget Plan

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    Gov. Cuomo presents his budget (photo: Governor's Office on flickr)


    Just before 8 p.m. Tuesday evening, Gov. Andrew Cuomo presented to the public his Executive Budget for fiscal year 2017-2018. Speaking from the Executive Mansion, Cuomo briefed a room full of journalists and his aides in remarks that were live-streamed on the internet and carried by NY1 on television.

    As Cuomo explained, the $152.3 billion budget plan followed his State of the

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  • De Blasio ‘Frustrated But Not Surprised’ by Lack of Cuomo Communication on Budget

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


    Mayor Bill de Blasio said on Tuesday at about noon that he had not yet been briefed by Governor Andrew Cuomo’s administration about the governor’s Executive Budget, which was set to be released several hours later.

    “Coming in the door, we have still not been given the details of the state budget. Obviously that’s frustrating, but not surprising,” de Blasio told Gotham Gazette at an unrelated news conference in Queens. “We’re hoping to learn more in the course of the day and then we’ll be able to

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  • The Week Ahead in New York Politics, January 16

    New York City Hall

    New York City Hall


    What to watch for this week in New York politics:

    The week begins with the Martin Luther King Jr. Day holiday, and many celebrations and services around the city, state, and country. Mayor Bill de Blasio will speak at three different events to mark the holiday, then appear in the evening on NY1. Later in the week, de Blasio is set to participate on Thursday in a large New York City rally aimed at sending a message to the incoming Trump administration -- see details

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  • Cuomo Proposed New Wall Street Regulation, But Left It Out of NYC Speech

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


    As part of his 2017 policy agenda, Governor Andrew Cuomo announced on Sunday a plan to ban bad actors from the financial services industry. Cuomo’s proposal would empower a state agency, the Department of Financial Services, with the authority to mete out such punishment to those deemed to have violated the public trust.

    However, when he launched his

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  • A Cheat Sheet to Governor Cuomo's 2017 State of the State Proposals

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    Gov. Cuomo (photo: Governor's Office on flickr)


    Breaking with decades of tradition, Governor Andrew Cuomo decided this year to deliver a series of State of the State addresses, making six speeches over three days to outline his 2017 agenda and tout some of his accomplishments during his first six years as governor.

    Cuomo began his six-stop tour in New York City on Monday, January 9 and concluded it in Albany on Wednesday,

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  • Acknowledging Pervasive Corruption, Cuomo Releases 10-Point Government Ethics Agenda

    Cuomo State of the State Excelsior booklet

    Gov. Cuomo (photo: Governor's Office via flickr)


    Governor Andrew Cuomo concluded his three-day, six-stop State of the State tour in Albany Wednesday, though not at the State Capitol, where he and previous governors have typically held a single event. In contrast to previous addresses, most state legislators were not in attendance to hear the governor lay out his agenda for the year.

    Throughout the week, Cuomo released 35 proposals, many of them aimed at lifting the middle class, including tuition-free city and state college for

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  • Speaking Directly to 'Middle Class Anger,' Cuomo Offers Something for Everyone

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    Gov. Cuomo delivers his NYC State of the State (photo: Cuomo's office)


    Invoking a populist message of economic inclusiveness and social progress that faces dire threats from a changing national reality, Governor Andrew Cuomo kicked off his 2017 State of the State tour on Monday morning in New York City.

    On the 64th floor of 1 World Trade Center, at the first of six planned events around the state, the governor spoke to a seated assembly of more than 100 people, including state and local elected officials and everyday New Yorkers, relaying an overall message

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  • Under Clouds, Cuomo Launches State of the State Tour with New Proposals

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    Gov. Andrew Cuomo (photo: Governor's Office on flickr)


    Heading into a three-day, six-stop tour across the state, Governor Andrew Cuomo has formally released ten planks of his 2017 State of the State agenda. Through public events and press releases, Cuomo has announced a variety of proposals under the banner “excelsior, ever upward.”

    Cuomo’s State of the State junket comes as he’s feuding with state legislators and with the backdrop of a major corruption scandal in his administration, particularly his economic development programming. The second-term

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  • Tensions High as State Legislature Returns to Session

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    Heastie, Cuomo, Flanagan


    Several themes loomed as the New York State Legislature held its first day of its new session on Wednesday in Albany. The 2017 legislative calendar, and with it the 2017-2018 Legislature, began oaths of office and speeches by party leaders in both the state Senate and Assembly. The tone was set, priorities were announced or reaffirmed, tensions were evident, and the jog toward the next state budget -- due by April 1 -- began.

    The most important remarks were delivered by the two majority leaders: Assembly Speaker Carl Heastie,

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  • Cuomo’s Tuition-Free Plan Must Be More Inclusive

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


    Governor Cuomo’s plan to make tuition free for many New York State residents who attend SUNY or CUNY two- or four-year schools would be an exciting step toward ensuring students across the state can access New York’s prized public university systems. The newly-announced Excelsior Scholarship proposal could help

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  • 70 Questions for 2017 in New York Politics

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


    Happy New Year! As we get ready for 2017, there are, as always, many questions in New York politics. In early 2016, we asked 40 questions for the year ahead. This time, we’re asking 70 for 2017.

    There's a lot to look for in the new year, including a mayoral race and other city elections; so here are our big political questions for the year ahead -- if you want to share them, answer any,

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  • Predictions! Experts Look Ahead to 2017 in New York Politics

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    New Year’s Eve 2015/16 (Michael Appleton/Mayor’s Office)


    As we usually do around this time of year, Gotham Gazette asked New York politicos to look into their crystal balls for predictions for the year ahead. Below you'll find insights from elected officials, journalists, advocates, analysts, and others who are tuned in to New York politics.

    We know that 2017 will be interesting given it’s a city election year, and there’s

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  • Top Ten Stories of 2016 in New York Politics

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    Bill Bratton departs (both photos: Michael Appleton/Mayor’s Office)


    Gotham Gazette's Top Ten Storylines of 2016 in New York Politics:

    10. Bill Bratton Leaves ‘On Top’
    In an extraordinary send-off -- his own mini-parade -- Bill Bratton departed 1 Police Plaza on September 16, 2016 for the final time as NYPD commissioner. For about two-and-a-half years Bratton was Mayor Bill de Blasio’s police commissioner and the arrangement worked mostly well for both: Bratton had the job and power in it that he wanted, de Blasio had

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  • Massive Bank Settlements Fueled Spending Spree by Electeds

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


    In the wake of the financial collapse and the Great Recession, New York City and State officials began to rake in enormous sums of money from settlements with major banking institutions.

    Because New York is the major financial industry hub of the world, local officials have jurisdiction over these institutions, and thus related fines, forfeitures, and restitutions. In deals made outside of the budgetary process, New York officials like the Attorney General, and Manhattan District

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  • Calling for Efficiency, Cuomo Pushes Latest Municipal Consolidation Contest

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    Gov. Cuomo (photo: Governor's Office on flickr)


    Since his time as attorney general, Governor Andrew Cuomo has painted a picture of New York as a state cluttered by redundant and inefficient municipalities, attributing the state’s notoriously high property taxes in large part to a bureaucratic web of overlapping government services.

    Cuomo’s latest attempt to detangle the web is an incentivized competition challenging two or more local governments to come up with a bold consolidation plan as a way to cut spending, increase efficiency, and lower property

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  • Bias in New York Prisons Requires a Blue Ribbon Commission Investigation

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    Gov. Cuomo on a prison tour (photo via Governor's Office on flickr)


    According to The Sentencing Project, New York State has led the nation by reducing its prison population by 26 percent between 1999 and 2012, while the nationwide state prison population increased by 10 percent. During these years of decarceration, violent crime rates fell at a greater rate in New York than national averages.

    Yet, despite New York’s lead in simultaneously decarcerating its prison system and reducing crime, racial disparities throughout New York’s criminal justice system remain

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  • Much Agreement on Need for Bail Reform, But Little Movement

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    On Rikers Island (photo: Michael Appleton/Mayor's Office)


    There is an ongoing conversation in New York about how to fix the bail system that many agree is broken, keeping too many poor people in jail after they are arrested for low-level nonviolent offenses but cannot afford to post bond and, at times, allowing individuals back onto the street who are prone to violence but able to pay bail. Efforts at reform have been full of fits and starts.

    About a month ago, Mayor Bill de Blasio announced measures to make

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  • Max & Murphy on Politics

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    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:

    January 19th, 2017

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  • Taking Up Voting Reform, De Blasio Cites Sanders Campaign as Motivation

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    De Blasio registers a voter (photo: Edwin J. Torres/Mayor's Office)


    As Public Advocate, Bill de Blasio strongly pushed for voting reform in New York, but as Mayor, it has not been high on his list of priorities. Last month, with Election Day around the corner, that seemed to change as de Blasio renewed his call for a system that will encourage voting in a state with one of the lowest voter turnout rates in the country.

    The advocacy comes just ahead of de Blasio’s re-election year and is spurred in part, the mayor said, by the

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  • State Pay Commission Implodes as Cuomo Appointees Effectively Kill Salary Increases

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    State pay commission panelists at final meeting, Nov. 15, 2016


    The final meeting of the state commission tasked with recommending pay raises for executive branch employees and state legislators was marred by disagreement and accusations, and failed to produce any results on Tuesday. It appears that the panel will be disbanded without taking any substantive action.

    In a chamber at the New York City Bar Association in midtown, members of the New York State Commission on Legislative, Judicial, & Executive

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  • Recommendations Near, State Pay Commission Constitutionality Questioned

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    Heastie, Cuomo, Flanagan (photo via Governor's Office)


    Recommendations on potential salary increases for Governor Cuomo and members of the state Legislature are due Tuesday, but constitutional questions hang over the effort to increase legislative and executive chamber pay.

    The New York State Commission on Legislative, Judicial, & Executive Compensation is at the center of the issue and an ongoing legal battle over the validity of the process it was put in charge of through 2015 legislation. Created as

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  • Could Trump & Sanders Populism Fuel Constitutional Convention Approval?

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    Senator Bernie Sanders (photo: @BernieSanders)


    With the 2016 presidential election over, can the populist fervor surrounding the candidacies of Senator Bernie Sanders and President-elect Donald Trump be harnessed into a new kind of revolution on a state level here in New York?

    A year from now, next Election Day, New Yorkers will have the chance to vote on a referendum to call a Constitutional Convention, an opportunity to rewrite state laws that comes around once every 20 years. Proponents of the convention — at this point mostly academics

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  • Donald Trump, New York Corruption & A Loss of Faith in Institutions

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    The 2016 Al Smith Dinner


    Public trust in Washington began diminishing under President Lyndon Johnson over the course of the 1964 presidential election and the escalation of war in Vietnam. Watergate ushered in a new era of distrust in government in the United States as the country’s top elected office was compromised. By 1974, public trust in government dipped below 40 percent for the first time since such records had been kept. 

    As with

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