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Gotham Gazette

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Andrew Cuomo

Andrew Cuomo

  • For State Budget, Leaders Choose 'On Time' Over Open

    cuomo flanagan heastie june 2015

    Heastie, Cuomo, Flanagan (l-r), June 2015 (photo via The Governor's Office)


    As negotiations over the state's $150 billion budget sputtered on Thursday, Gov. Andrew Cuomo ramped up pressure on legislators to accept a deal. Speaking with reporters, Cuomo implied legislators could jeopardize a potential pay raise if they can't deliver an on-time budget.

    "So they're gonna need to be able to make that case not just to the pay commission but to the people of the State of New York in November when they go to seek re-election," Cuomo said. "So

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  • Criminal Justice Reform Again Given Little Attention in Budget Negotiations

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    Gov. Cuomo in Dannemora (photo via The Governor's Office)


    As Gov. Andrew Cuomo and legislative leaders rush to deliver an on-time budget, criminal justice reform advocates aren't holding out hope that any of their major legislative priorities will be included in the final document. Advocates are resigned that many of their priorities, which are backed by Cuomo and included in his executive budget, will be pushed to the post-budget legislative session.

    A budget is due by midnight Thursday, with the new fiscal year beginning on Friday, April 1,

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  • Citing Success Academy Experiences, Parents Tell Cuomo to Increase Charter Accountability

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    Gov. Cuomo at a 2014 charter school rally (via The Governor's Office on flickr) 


    Five New York City parents are calling on Governor Andrew Cuomo to withdraw funding and increase oversight of charter schools as a response to what they say is systemic mistreatment of children, particularly their own, by the Success Academy charter school network.

    In an open letter to the governor, four parents of former Success Academy students, and one whose child is still enrolled in the network, criticize Success Academy’s disciplinary policies and say its

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  • Confusion, Concern Remain as Cuomo Promises Full CUNY Funding

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    Shirley Jackson of the CUNY Student Senate at Thursday's protest (via @PSC_CUNY)


    Gov. Andrew Cuomo's budget proposal to have New York City take over $485 million in funding for CUNY still has a number of legislators and advocates on edge despite the administration's repeated attempts to quell concerns. Advocates and faculty held a "die in" at Cuomo's New York City office on Thursday afternoon and a number of legislators say they remain ready to delay the state budget and vote against it should CUNY

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  • Senate Schedules De Blasio for Two Hearings on Mayoral Control of City Schools

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    De Blasio makes a school appearance (photo: Ed Reed/Mayor's Office)


    The New York State Senate announced on Thursday afternoon that it has scheduled two hearings on mayoral control of New York City schools. Republicans who control the chamber have questioned Mayor Bill de Blasio's education policies, which are far different from his predecessor's, and only agreed to a one-year extension last year.

    Mayoral control is set to expire June 30, and the two hearings - one in Albany and one in New York City - will occur in May. In his Executive Budget, Governor

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  • New York's Coming ConCon Battle

    crowd

    (photo via The Governor's Office on flickr)


    New York's Constitution mandates that every 20 years New Yorkers be granted the opportunity to vote on whether to call a state constitutional convention. This referendum is next on the ballot on Nov. 7, 2017.

    The unique democratic function of this referendum is to provide New Yorkers with a mechanism to bypass the Legislature's gatekeeping power over constitutional reform, which is a problem when the Legislature has an institutional conflict of interest with the people. Such a conflict occurs when the Legislature controls the

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  • Oft-Criticized Ethics Watchdog Names Cuomo Aide as Executive Director

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    Gov. Cuomo gives an ethics reform speech in 2015 (Governor's Office via flickr)


    The state's independent ethics commission took the first official ethics-related action in Albany since the convictions of former Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver and former Senate Majority Leader Dean Skelos on Tuesday when it appointed a man with ties to both Gov. Andrew Cuomo and legislative leaders as its new executive director.

    Seth Agata, who JCOPE - the Joint Commission on Public Ethics - says it hired after a nine-month,

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  • Cuomo's Public Schedules Offer Little Information

    cuomo reporters

    Cuomo gives a press briefing in Tarrytown (Kevin P. Coughlin/Governor's Office)


    Earlier this month, Gov. Andrew Cuomo was facing pressure from the press, local officials, and the public to make his first appearance in Hoosick Falls, a small town near the Vermont border. Residents of the town were told in December that their drinking water was unsafe for consumption due to contamination from a toxic chemical that may lead to cancer. Cuomo, whose administration has been accused of mishandling reports about water contamination in the

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  • Letter to the Editor: Getting the Facts Right on the Governor's Budget

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    Director of State Operations Jim Malatras, the author (photo: Governor's Office)


    To the Editor:

    Re: "Proposed CUNY Cuts Threaten the University's Timeless Mission" that ran on March 16.

    It's important we separate fact from fiction for your readers. As we always have, the Governor's

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  • CUNY Faculty’s Lost Decade & The Risk Ahead

    PSC CUNY Albany protest

    PSC CUNY rally in Albany (photo: Emma Powell


    The faculty at the City University of New York has lost a decade. Salaries at CUNY have been frozen since the October 2010 expiration of our contract and even before that they failed to keep pace with inflation. In 2015, assistant and associate professors at the top salary step earned 92% in real terms of what they earned in 2006. Full professors at the top step did slightly better, taking home just

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  • Assembly Announces Internal Reform Plan to Mixed Reviews

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    Assembly Speaker Heastie (photo via The Governor's Office)


    On Thursday afternoon - after session, at the end of Sunshine Week - the Assembly's year-long path to greater transparency and participation took a major step as Assembly Speaker Carl Heastie announced recommendations made by his reform committee and pledged to enact them.

    The proposals - some actual rules changes, others pledges - are designed to empower members through the committee process

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  • Proposed CUNY Cuts Threaten the University's Timeless Mission

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    At the CUNY Grad Center (photo via @GC_CUNY)


    Roused from the self-imposed seclusion of doctoral dissertation data entry, I was awakened by attention to the recently-proposed drastic budget reduction to our nation's largest urban university system – the City University of New York (CUNY). These are cuts that simply cannot be allowed to go through and this is an issue that affects all of New York, not just the faculty, students, and staff of CUNY.

    Public funding for higher education in New York City is the lifeline for many, offering a college education that is

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  • New York City Interests Given Varied Priority in Three Albany Budget Plans

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    De Blasio & Heastie (Michael Appleton/Mayoral Photography Office)


    Mayor Bill de Blasio didn't need to see the Assembly and Senate one-house budgets to know where he stands with each chamber - Assembly Speaker Carl Heastie is a close ally of the mayor, his fellow New York City Democrat, while Senate Republicans hold a major grudge against de Blasio for leading a failed effort to boot them from the majority two years ago. Most Republican legislators, who control the Senate but not the Assembly, are also philosophically opposed to much of de Blasio's

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  • In Albany, Sunshine Week Starts with Darkness

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    Heastie, Cuomo, & Flanagan (l-r) in 2015 (photo via The Governor's Office) 


    The first Sunshine Week following the convictions of former Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver and former Senate Majority Leader Dean Skelos got off to an inauspicious start Monday as representatives of the state's major good government groups gathered in Albany to give their evaluation of the ethics reforms put forward in the one-house budgets released by the Assembly and Senate majorities over the weekend.

    "Unfortunately with a late Friday release what we're

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  • Democrats and Republicans Run Parallel Races in Special Elections Created by Corruption

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    Chris McGrath, Republican candidate for state Senate (photo: @McGrath4Senate) 


    Both groups are accustomed to scrapping for power and attention. With two recent federal corruption convictions, each saw an opportunity to grab more. And now, in downtown Manhattan and Nassau County Long Island, Republicans and Democrats are running parallel campaigns to seize upon a chance to flip one seat in each of the two houses of the New York State Legislature. 

    Assembly Republicans and Senate Democrats again find themselves in similar

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  • The Week Ahead in New York Politics, March 14

    New York City Hall

    New York City Hall


    What to watch for this week in New York politics:

    Mayor Bill de Blasio has reason to smile as this week begins. Through negotiations with the City Council and outside critics, de Blasio appears to have gotten just about everyone on board with his citywide zoning changes and they are all-but-certain to be passed through the City Council over the next two weeks - first through committee this week, then the full Council on March 22. The City Planning Commission has to

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  • Heastie Outlines Assembly Ethics Plan

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    Carl Heastie (photo: Office of the Governor - Kevin P. Coughlin)


    In a major departure from his predecessor, Assembly Speaker Carl Heastie publicly laid out his conference's proposals for government ethics reform during a wide-ranging speech and interview Friday morning. At a breakfast event hosted by Crain's New York Business, Heastie explained the proposals for preventing government corruption that will be contained in the Assembly's one-house budget, the release of which is key to intensifying negotiations with Governor Andrew Cuomo and Senate Majority

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  • The Week Ahead in New York Politics, March 7

    New York City Hall

    New York City Hall


    What to watch for this week in New York politics:

    Budget season heats up this week: the state budget is due by the end of the month, the legislature's one-house budgets are expected this week, as are further negotiations among Cuomo, Assembly Speaker Carl Heastie, and Senate President John Flanagan, and New York City budget hearings continue. After holding its ...

  • The Week That Was in New York Politics, Feb. 29-March 4

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    photo: Stanley Kubrick via Museum of the City of New York


    Gotham Gazette's Week in Review, Friday March 4, 2016

    PHOTO OF THE WEEK: Mayor de Blasio and City Council Member Robert Cornegy Jr. visit Bed-Stuy businesses, via William Alatriste;

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  • Several Significant Questions About The Governor's Budget

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    Gov. Cuomo at his State of the State (via The Governor's Office)


    Gov. Andrew Cuomo's 2016-2017 budget proposal has legislators and budget experts scratching their heads as to how major capital projects will be paid for, how the state plans to make good on a promise to fund the MTA, and how certain measures might affect funding for New York City. Many are wondering if the governor will keep his pledge that his plan to shift millions in costs for CUNY and Medicaid "won't cost New York City a penny."

    These questions linger almost two months

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  • Housing Groups Defend Homelessness Report After Pushback from Cuomo Administration

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    A Vocal-NY protest (Matt Curtis/Vocal-NY)

     


     

    Housing groups are coming to the defense of a report issued this week that critiques Gov. Andrew Cuomo's homelessness policies and questions his attempts to place the blame for a rising homeless population on Mayor Bill de Blasio.

    Kristi Berner, spokesperson for the State's Office of Temporary and Disability insurance, slammed ...

  • City Council to Begin Public Examination of Mayor's Budget

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    Mayor de Blasio briefs Council members on his FY17 budget (William Alatriste)


    On Tuesday, the City Council will hold the first of many preliminary budget hearings on Mayor Bill de Blasio’s initial fiscal year 2017 spending plan, part of a months-long negotiation process that will end in June when the City Council and the Mayor must agree upon a budget for fiscal year 2017.

    First in general terms, then agency by agency, the Council will ask de Blasio

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  • The Week Ahead in New York Politics, February 29

    New York City Hall

    New York City Hall


    What to watch for this week in New York politics:

    Are you ready for some budget crunching? If not, get ready - the City Council starts its preliminary budget hearings on Tuesday, at which Council committees will examine Mayor Bill de Blasio's $82 billion spending plan in general, then department by

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  • Shut Down the Criminal Court

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    City Council Speaker Melissa Mark-Viverito should be commended for using her State of the City address, titled "More Justice," to call for criminal justice reform. She rightly observes that "we need more justice in the justice system" and ticked off some specific goals, including reducing the population at Rikers Island, creating civil procedures for minor violations, and improving the warrant process. However, the speaker

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  • Private Sector Retirement Security Plans Become Next Progressive Cause

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    De Blasio delivers his State of the City (photo: Demetrius Freeman/Mayor's Office) 


    Experts warn that the entire country could be headed for a financial crisis caused by the fact that an aging workforce has not been saving for retirement.

    Whether due to cutbacks of public pensions, the lack of retirement plans offered by private employers, or workers forced to raid their savings, it appears to a growing number of advocates and politicians that many Americans will be forced to keep

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