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State Legislature

State Legislature

  • Cuomo Unveils $152 Billion Executive Budget Plan

    Cuomo budget presentation

    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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  • Largely Inactive Senate Ethics Committee Restructures

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    Sen. Gianaris (photo: State Senate)


    New York state government has had no shortage of ethics scandals, but has had a deficiency in active, effective bodies to prevent, punish, and root out bad behavior among elected and appointed officials.

    When the new legislative session began in Albany earlier this month, there was an immediate shake-up of the long-dormant state Senate ethics committee, throwing the always-simmering chamber to a quick boil.

    The Senate ethics committee, as well as a parallel

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

    Cuomo speech Albany

    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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  • The Week Ahead in New York Politics, January 9

    New York City Hall

    New York City Hall


    What to watch for this week in New York politics:

    This week in New York politics will be dominated by Governor Andrew Cuomo, who is giving six regional State of the State addresses. Before we turn to New York politics, though, there's also a lot to watch for in national politics this week: President Barack Obama is giving his farewell address Tuesday night and cabinet nominations by President-elect Donald Trump face confirmation hearings throughout the

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  • Tensions High as State Legislature Returns to Session

    cuomo heastie flanagan

    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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  • The Week Ahead in New York Politics, January 3

    New York City Hall

    New York City Hall


    What to watch for this week in New York politics:

    Happy New Year! 2017 Promises to be a fascinating year in New York politics. We’re here with our first Week Ahead of the new year, and this week will be an important one. We recently published our Top Ten Stories of 2016 in New York Politics and our 70

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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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  • Top Ten Stories of 2016 in New York Politics

    Bratton departure NYPD 1PP

    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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  • The Week Ahead in New York Politics, December 19

    New York City Hall

    New York City Hall


    What to watch for this week in New York politics:

    There are just two weeks left in 2016, so get to work accomplishing any past new year’s resolutions you may be slacking on. And, prepare some good ones for 2017.

    As the year winds down -- this is our last Week Ahead of the year -- we’re watching to see if Gov. Andrew Cuomo and state legislators will agree to hold a special legislative session in Albany. Time is obviously running out to do so. The full package

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  • Does Higher Pay Attract Better Politicians?

    state of the state auditorium standing

    (photo via The Governor's Office)


    After months of deliberating, a commission tasked with recommending salary adjustments for state lawmakers and executive branch employees met for the final time on Nov. 15 and did not suggest raises. The salary of New York state legislators has remained the same since 1999, and could stay unchanged until the commission meets again in another four years, as established by the 2015 law

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

    de blasio register to vote brooklyn

    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

    pay commission shot nov 15 2016

    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

    heastie cuomo flanagan

    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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  • The Week Ahead in New York Politics, November 14

    New York City Hall

    New York City Hall


    What to watch for this week in New York politics:

    Members of the media, people in politics, and many others continue to explain Donald Trump’s surprising victory in the Presidential race, and to monitor his transition efforts. There are many questions about the presidential race and the path ahead.

    New York leaders, mostly disappointed Democrats, regrouped in Puerto Rico this weekend for the annual SOMOS conference. Mayor Bill de Blasio was there on Saturday

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  • Fixing New York’s Broken Voting System

    gianaris vote better 1

    Senator Gianaris, the author


    When I went to cast my vote, in the same polling location I have voted all my life, the line was out the door. I’ve never seen it that crowded before. At other polling sites in my district, wait times lasted up to two hours, often scuttling voters' other plans for the day or causing upheaval for families. Observing the chaos, I thought about the 34 states that have already enacted early voting, a process proven to increase voter participation and enhance convenience.

    Why hasn't New York adopted this common-sense

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

    al smith dinner 1

    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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  • Donald Trump Elected President in Big Night for GOP

    Trump election night 2

    President-Elect Donald Trump


    On a huge Election Day for Republicans, Donald Trump won the presidential election, the GOP kept control of both houses of Congress, and, here in New York, Republicans have increased their margin in the state Senate, the party’s last stronghold of statewide power.

    With a stunning show of support across the country, Trump and his vice presidential running mate Mike Pence won more states than expected and Trump will become the 45th President of the United States. Reports came in around 2:40 a.m. that Hillary

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  • Cuomo and De Blasio Outline Priorities for a Democratic Senate, with A Lot In Common

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    Cuomo & de Blasio in Chelsea (photo: Michael Appleton/Mayor's Office)


    In typical fashion, Gov. Andrew Cuomo and Mayor Bill de Blasio are saying a lot of the same things, but doing so nowhere near each other and without mentioning the other.

    In a role reversal from 2014, during the current election season Cuomo is actively pushing for Democrats to win key swing seats and take control of the State Senate, Republicans’ last bastion of power in statewide government, while de Blasio is on the sideline.

    But if you listen closely,

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  • It's Time for Wholesale Ethics Reform

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    Sen. Todd Kaminsky, the author (photo: @toddkaminsky)


    The headline is the same. The names are interchangeable.

    And yet, the laws and attitudes stay the same.

    The most recent indictment of Nassau County Executive Ed Mangano and Oyster Bay Supervisor John Venditto should serve as a wakeup call to elected officials and taxpayers alike. The corruption within our governments is pervasive and isn’t going anywhere until we implement comprehensive ethics reform. No one is above the law.

    Having put away both corrupt Democrats and Republicans as a former

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  • Key Congressional & State Senate Races in New York Will Shape Chamber Control

    Teachout Faso

    Zephyr Teachout (D), left, & John Faso (R), debate in NY19


    As Election Day draws near, presidential candidates Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton have debated three times and are in the home stretch of the campaign -- as are Libertarian candidate Gary Johnson and Green Party candidate Jill Stein. This election has shaped up to be like none other. When another round of revelations about Trump’s past

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  • With Chamber Control at Stake, No Democratic Challenger to Republican Senator from Brooklyn

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    Sen. Marty Golden (photo: @NYPDAuxilary)


    With a great deal on the line for New York City, Democrats are trying to flip the State Senate and a handful of races across the state will make the difference. One Brooklyn district has a significant Democratic voter registration advantage and an incumbent Republican, yet no one is challenging Senator Martin Golden. In 2012, a Democratic challenger won 42% of the vote against Golden.

    In the overwhelmingly Blue state of New York, and an even Bluer New York City, a Democratic challenge to an incumbent

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  • New York’s Young Adult Unemployment Crisis Needs A Strategy

    NYCEDC pic students tour

    Students on a tour (photo via NYCEDC)


    Starting one’s adult life in poverty and without a job has serious long-term economic consequences that negatively impact future job prospects, earnings, and wealth. Young people are scaling one of the toughest jobs cliffs in recent memory, and the situation is a looming threat to economic growth in our state. We need to combat New York’s young adult unemployment crisis with a robust strategy, and now.

    One analysis found that a young person who is unemployed for six months can expect to

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  • Limited Down Ballot Choices for New Yorkers Come November 8

    Sample BK ballot for Nov 2016 short

    sample ballot


    When New Yorkers go to the polls November 8, they’ll be facing a big choice at the top of the ballot, with four presidential candidates to choose from. Further down the ballot, however, there will be much more limited choice for many given the number of uncontested general election races for state legislative seats.

    New York City residents are represented by 91 seats in the New York State Legislature. Of those, 26 are in the 63-seat Senate and 65 in the 150-seat Assembly.

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  • DiNapoli, Seeking Restored Power, Points Finger at Only the System

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    Comptroller DiNapoli (photo: @NYSComptroller)


    Comptroller Tom Dinapoli is not interested in pointing fingers at any of his fellow elected officials when it comes to the massive scheme alleged to have corrupted major state economic development programs under the noses of Governor Andrew Cuomo and state legislators.

    In the wake of corruption charges brought against nine individuals by U.S. Attorney Preet Bharara, DiNapoli was given multiple opportunities Friday during a radio interview, but he declined to criticize either Cuomo or the

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