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State Assembly

State Assembly

  • Assembly Takes Stock of State Economic Development Programs Ahead of Next Negotiations

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    Howard Zemsky in Buffalo (via Governor's Office)


    Ahead of the 2018 legislative session, the New York State Assembly’s Economic Development Committee held a hearing Monday in Albany to evaluate the progress of the state’s multitude of economic development programs and hear testimony from companies and organizations that have benefited from state grants.

    Taking center stage was Howard Zemsky, Governor Andrew Cuomo’s economic development czar as president and CEO of Empire State Development, who defended the state’s jobs programs and was

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  • Departure of Assembly Ethics Official Prompts Calls for Broader Reforms

    Carl Heastie Assembly

    Carl Heastie (photo: Kevin P. Coughlin/Governor's Office)


    When ethics expert Jane Feldman’s departure from the New York State Assembly, and her appraisal of the experience as “as waste of money,” was first reported by the Times Union last week, many saw it as another blow to reform efforts in Albany.

    Feldman ...

  • Amid Larger Moment, Will Albany Face Another Sexual Misconduct Reckoning?

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    Gov. Cuomo, Sheldon Silver & Dean Skelos in 2012 (photo via The Governor's Office)


    As allegations of sexual harassment and assault against disgraced movie producer and major Democratic political donor Harvey Weinstein piled up earlier this month, women around the world took to social media to share stories of abusive behavior using the hashtag #MeToo.

    The light being shone on the predatory behavior of Weinstein and

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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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  • 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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  • Adjusting to Albany: Assemblymember Brian Barnwell

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    Assemblymember Brian Barnwell (photo via NY State Assembly District 30)


    If Queens voters were looking for fresh face to represent them in Albany, they found it in Assemblymember Brian Barnwell.

    The 30-year-old attorney beat out nine-time incumbent Assemblymember Margaret Markey during the September Democratic primary ...

  • Adjusting to Albany: Assemblymember Carmen De La Rosa

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    Assemblymember Carmen De La Rosa (photo via @CnDelarosa)


    Born in the Dominican Republic, Carmen De La Rosa immigrated as a child to Inwood, in upper Manhattan, where she was raised and still lives, now with her fiance and daughter. She launched her legislative career in 2007, working for Assemblymember Daniel O’Donnell on the Upper West Side. She later became Democratic female district leader for the 72nd Assembly District and chief of staff to City

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  • Adjusting to Albany: Assemblymember Yuh-Line Niou

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    Assemblymember Yuh-Line Niou (photo via @yuhline)


    Yuh-Line Niou, Assemblymember for the 65th District in Lower Manhattan, has a tough task. The new Assembly member takes the seat held by disgraced former Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver for 40 years. Niou won the September 2016 Democratic primary -- backed by the Working Families Party -- and November general election after losing a prior special election to Alice Cancel, who had been the choice of the Silver machine.

    Now, she must navigate growing into her role as an elected official, managing constituent

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  • Adjusting to Albany: Assemblymember Robert Carroll

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    Assemblymember Bobby Carroll (photo via @Bobby4Brooklyn)


    A lifelong resident of Windsor Terrace, Robert “Bobby” Carroll hails from something of a Brooklyn political dynasty. His grandfather co-founded the influential Central Brooklyn Independent Democrats (CBID) club, and, until he assumed his state Assembly seat, Bobby Carroll served as the club’s youngest president. Carroll previously worked as an attorney alongside his father, John Carroll, who has also served as CBID’s president, and in 2001 ran unsuccessfully against Mayor Bill de Blasio in a Democratic

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  • Assembly Members Propose Changes to Cuomo's Free-Tuition Plan

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    Assemblymember James Skouis, right (photo: @JamesSkoufis)


    More than 30 members of the state Assembly have signed a budget letter to their Speaker, Carl Heastie, outlining an alternative version of the free college tuition proposal being championed by Governor Andrew Cuomo that they want Heastie to adopt for the chamber.

    The Assembly members, all Democrats, aim to make Cuomo’s plan more inclusive of the middle class and to ease proposed aid restrictions for the students at New York public universities who stand to benefit from the program.

    The

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  • Beware of 'Common Sense' Arguments Against the Millionaire's Tax

    Speaker Carl Heastie

     Assembly Speaker Carl Heastie (photo: The Governor's Office)


    Higher taxes on New York’s wealthy are on the table in three places for this year’s budget negotiations. Governor Andrew Cuomo’s Executive Budget for 2018 includes an extension of the so-called "millionaire’s tax”. The state Assembly has decided to see the governor

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  • State Legislators from New York City Should Not Be Bagging the Bag Fee

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    Elected officials and advocates rally outside City Hall (photo: @bradlander)


    New York City is trying to do something about plastic bags, but my state Assemblymember is attempting to undermine the city’s ability to do so. He, along with many of his NYC-based colleagues, are acting against their own constituents’ interests. This is a normal New York State versus City story, but in a moment where the stakes of politics are high because the federal government’s threats are real, this battle between city and state feels more offensive and disheartening than

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  • 2016 Again Highlights New York ‘Incumbency Protection Machine’

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    (photo via NYC Board of Elections)


    New York City residents are represented in the state Legislature by a total of 91 seats, 26 in the state Senate and 65 in the state Assembly. Among them, 60 are held by incumbents who were uncontested in their party primary elections that took place Tuesday, September 13.

    In these just-completed primaries, 66 percent -- or about two-thirds -- of the city’s state legislative seats saw no intra-party competition. Twenty-four New York City-based

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  • Keith Wright Weighs Options Amid Uptown Power Shifts

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    Keith Wright and Inez Dickens (photo via Wright's Assembly page)


    Before Assemblymember Keith Wright had conceded to Sen. Adriano Espaillat in their congressional race, speculation had already begun about which seat Wright would seek next if not victorious. Wright eliminated one option when he pledged in the heat of the race to replace retiring Rep. Charles Rangel that he would not seek reelection to the Assembly seat he has held since 1992. Wright challenged Espaillat to do the same

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  • New York State Legislative Primary Results

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    Marisol Alcantara and company celebrate (photo by Lis Smith on Twitter)


    On New York’s third primary night of this election year, state legislative races in New York City were almost all Democratic and many incumbents did not face intra-party challenges.

    In several state Senate and Assembly races across the city, Democratic primary winners were selected in fairly low voter turnout affairs and most will easily cruise to election in November - some won’t even have

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  • Assembly Candidates Turn Down Televised Debates

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    NY1 Anchor Errol Louis (NY1 screenshot)


    New York City’s premiere political television news show, NY1’s Inside City Hall, has been hosting candidate debates in the weeks leading up to the September 13 state legislative primaries, as it has ahead of past elections.

    NY1 has been home to many debates over the years, including earlier this year, when it hosted seven Democratic candidates seeking to replace retiring Rep. Charles Rangel and the NY1-CNN presidential primary

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  • Crowded Assembly Field Looks to Quickly Unseat Silver Replacement

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    AD65 candidates at a debate (photo: @FilAmDems)


    In a world where U.S. Attorney Preet Bharara hadn’t turned his eye toward public corruption in state government, Sheldon Silver would likely be running for his 21st term in the Assembly and easily extending by another two years his 40-year reign over Manhattan’s 65th Assembly District.

    In the real world, Silver, who had already resigned the powerful Assembly speakership he held for almost 20 years, was automatically stripped of

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  • Races to Watch in State Legislative Primaries

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    State Senate candidate Marisol Alcantara & BX BP Diaz Jr. (photo: @NYAlcantara31)


    With state legislative party primaries rapidly approaching, there are several races New Yorkers should keep a close eye on, both in the city and across the state, including some that could play key roles in deciding majority power in the state Senate, which is currently under Republican leadership.

    The September 13 vote in some races, especially in Democrat-heavy New York City, will likely determine the winner in November. Still other races have little

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  • Two Very Different Democratic Assembly Primaries in Brooklyn

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    Assemblymember Harris votes (photo via Facebook)


    Among the upcoming legislative primary elections, two Brooklyn State Assembly races with very different storylines are intensifying. Unusual electoral circumstances in the 44th and 46th Assembly Districts make the contests races to watch. Located in Downtown Brooklyn, the 44th seat, which is opening up due to the retirement of the longtime incumbent, is home to a short, frenzied primary race among three Democrats. In the 46th, an embattled short-term incumbent and an

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  • Manhattan GOP Sees Hope on Upper East Side

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    Rebecca Harary with supporters (photo via @TeamHarary)


    When it comes to the New York State Legislature, most electoral attention is paid to the Senate, which Republicans control by a thin majority and only because an elected Democrat caucuses with them and they have a power-sharing agreement with a five-member faction of breakaway “independent” Democrats. This November’s elections will determine control of the chamber.

    In the State Assembly, however, the balance of power is not close. Republicans have been at a massive

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  • Assembly to Begin Implementation of Technology-Based Reforms

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    photo via The Governor's Office


    Earlier this year, Assembly Speaker Carl Heastie announced he would implement a series of recommendations -- proposed by the Assembly Workgroup on Legislative Process, Operations and Public Participation -- designed to increase transparency, efficiency and participation in the chamber. Some of those changes were voted on as rules reforms, others were made as pledges. But many of them that deal with

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  • Another Legislative Session Ends with Thousands Still in Solitary

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    photo: Bob Jagendorf


    Earlier this month, I saw Mariposa & the Saint: From Solitary Confinement, A Play Through Letters. Actress and activist Julia Steele Allen plays Sara Foneseca, or Mariposa, as she is referred to in the play, and uses Mariposa’s own words to express her experiences in the Security Housing Unit (SHU) at a women’s prison in California. For the past ten

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  • Increasingly Popular, Design-Build for City Relies on Albany

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    New NY Bridge Construction (photo: New York State Transit Authority)


    Every day, approximately 140,000 vehicles travel an elevated stretch of the Brooklyn-Queens Expressway that runs through Brooklyn Heights between Atlantic Avenue and Sands Street. In addition to being one of New York’s busiest roads, one

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  • Time for Restorative Justice in Our Schools

    Zaire Kiran Agostini

    Zaire Kiran Agostini, the author


    Being a black girl in New York schools is hard—the stereotypes and biases we face are painful, and often overlooked. Too often, they lead to suspensions and arrests of young people like me that take us out of school and push us toward the streets, prison, or worse. Now is the time for New York State to take action to address the damage being done by out-of-touch school discipline policies.

    When teachers or administrators look at girls like me talking with my friends, they look at us like we are always about to cause

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  • Players in 2009 Mayoral Control Fight Take Different Positions in 2016

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    De Blasio testifies in Albany, May 4 (photo: Demetrius Freeman/Mayor's Office)


    In 2009, then rank-and-file Assembly Member Carl Heastie was the lead sponsor of a bill designed to weaken then Mayor Michael Bloomberg’s ability to determine education policy in New York City. Seven years later, Assembly Speaker Heastie is thought to be Mayor Bill de Blasio’s greatest ally in the fight to renew the system of mayoral control of city schools as is.

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