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Gotham Gazette

The Place for New York Policy and politics

Citizens Union
 

State Legislature

State Legislature

  • 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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  • 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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  • 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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  • 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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  • 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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  • 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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  • 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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  • 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 de blasio chelsea

    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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  • Kaminsky1

    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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  • 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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  • golden nypd

    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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  • 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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  • 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. Every

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  • DiNapoli speech charts

    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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  • Klein and co

    State Sen. Jeff Klein, center-right & other Bronx electeds (@RepEliotEngle)


    In January 2011, State Senator Jeff Klein declared himself leader of a group of four breakaway Democrats who were united in their dissatisfaction with the recent dysfunction of their conference’s leadership. They created the Independent Democratic Conference, or IDC, despite the fact that Klein had been deputy leader of the Senate Democrats and was in control of the New York State Democratic Senate Campaign Committee during the 2010 elections, all through the now legendary strife

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  • Flanagan and co

    Senate Leader Flanagan & other GOP Senators (photo via NYS Senate)


    Whether it’s at the state or federal level, recent history has demonstrated that when one party controls government, checks and balances go out the window. Recent history has some important lessons as we approach this year’s crucial elections.

    In 2008 Democrats took control of Congress and along with the election of President Barack Obama, controlled the executive and legislative branches in Washington. In Albany, for the first time since 1964, Democrats gained a

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  • NYC BOE photo voting machines cropped

    (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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  • ASC and other Sen Dems

    Sen. Stewart-Cousins and fellow Senate Democrats (photo: @AndreaSCousins)


    This November millions of New Yorkers will head to the polls on Election Day. While our state legislative races receive far less media attention than the Presidential race, they are still critically important. Today, much of the dysfunction in our state, and our government’s failure to address the real needs of working people, young and old, is a direct result of continued Republican control of the State Senate.

    Now that the primaries are over, it is essential

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  • Marisol Alcantara winner Lis Smith photo

    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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  • New York City Hall

    New York City Hall


    What to watch for this week in New York politics:

    This week Sunday was the 15th anniversary of the September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks. Mayor Bill de Blasio, his predecessors, Governor Andrew Cuomo, and many others remembered the victims, honored the first responders, and commemorated the day at the September 11 Commemoration Ceremony at the World Trade Center. De Blasio, Cuomo, and others also participated in other commemorative events, with Cuomo announcing

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  • Errol No Debate

    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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  • AD65 panel Li mic

    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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  • Cuomo 2016 State of the State side stage

    Gov. Cuomo (photo via The Governor's Office on Flickr)


    Can legal restrictions halt corruption in the state Legislature? History suggests that they are necessary but limited.

    A new ethics law, more of the same
    Several state legislators have been charged with corrupt practices in recent years and the leaders of both houses of the Legislature found guilty of violating federal laws. Sheldon Silver and Dean Skelos are headed to prison unless their appeals succeed. The

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  • alcantara diaz jr

    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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