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Gotham Gazette

The Place for New York Policy and politics

Citizens Union
 

State Legislature

State Legislature

  • 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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  • Pam Harris voting via Facebook

    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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  • Cabrera Rivera NY1 screenshot 2

    screenshot of CM Cabrera, left, & Sen. Rivera from NY1


    A Super PAC backed by the education reform lobby and a number of wealthy out-of-state donors has earned the enmity of establishment Democrats by pouring hundreds of thousands of dollars into races in the Bronx, Brooklyn, and Long Island in an effort to unseat Democrat incumbents. The group, New Yorkers for Independent Action, now appears to be adjusting its strategy by supporting some incumbents.

    The PAC is at least partially focused on

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  • Cuomo DOH Hoosick Falls

    photos via The Governor's Office on Flickr


    After months of refusal and delay, the state Legislature is set to begin a series of hearings on drinking water contamination in New York. It became clear many months ago that the water in Hoosick Fall had been contaminated by a chemical known as PFOA and the first of three scheduled hearings will take place Tuesday in the village.

    Tuesday’s hearing is a joint one by two state Senate committees, health and environmental conservation. The other two hearings are set to be joint Senate

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  • New York City Hall

    New York City Hall


    What to watch for this week in New York politics:

    This pre-Labor Day weekend week is looking like a fairly quiet one in New York politics, though there are a few things to watch for. Mayor Bill de Blasio is due to return Sunday evening from a vacation week traveling throughout New England with his family and could have an active week. The mayor starts the week with one public event on his schedule: he'll be in Queens Monday evening to deliver remarks at the

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  • Harary AD73

    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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  • Espaillat Alcantara

    Espaillat, center, & Alcantara, right of center (photo: @Espaillat4NY)


    Marisol Alcantara, a labor organizer who ran a successful insurgent campaign for district leader in 2010, is seen by many in her Uptown district as a liberal firebrand. As Alcantara now pursues election to the New York State Senate, she is also fighting a proxy war for Senator Adriano Espaillat, who is about to be elected to Congress and Alcantara hopes to replace. The hotly contested Democratic primary for Espaillat’s Senate seat is becoming a test of his power and that

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  • apartment bronx airbnb story

    photo: Sofie Hecht for Gotham Gazette


    As Governor Andrew Cuomo weighs whether to sign it, a high-stakes fight continues over legislation to regulate Airbnb, the popular home-sharing service. Before and since the state Legislature passed the bill this Spring, the related lobbying battle has touched on various socioeconomic factors including tech entrepreneurship, the sharing economy, affordable housing, organized labor, and more.

    Airbnb is now entering into the fray ...

  • Trump NY GOP

    photo: @NewYorkGOP


    New York State Senate Democrats have picked up seats in every presidential year in the past two decades. They’ve been chomping at the bit for Hillary Clinton, a former New York Senator, to head the presidential ticket, telling anyone who would listen that she would bolster turnout for them and win them swing districts, thereby securing them control of the chamber, perhaps for good.

    What the Senate minority didn’t count on was the Republican presidential candidate being toxic to black and Hispanic voters and alienating a

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  • apartment sky muir

    photo: Brandon Muir


    New York should never have reached the point where Ashton Kutcher cares more about the economic future and personal freedom of New Yorkers than the state Legislature does.

    Yet, that’s exactly where we find ourselves as the actor is one of a number of tech investors who sent a letter urging Governor Cuomo to veto a bill that would crush temporary home-sharing service Airbnb.

    Lawmakers in Albany and New York City began an assault on Airbnb with a 2010 bill that placed arbitrary time limits on short-term

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  • cuomo state of the state ethics podium

    Gov. Cuomo during his 2016 State of the State (via The Governor's Office)


    After nearly two months, Governor Andrew Cuomo requested on Friday that the Legislature send him an ethics reform package he personally designed and pushed the Legislature to pass in June with the assistance of a message of necessity he issued to speed the process. The governor now has 10 days to sign it, which he is expected to do.

    Announced by Cuomo late in the legislative session, the actual bill was then a mystery for days before being

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  • Cuomo Geico jobs econ dev

    Gov. Cuomo at a jobs announcement (photo: Philip Kamrass, Governor's Office)


    Over the last few weeks, several reports and legislative hearings have once again cast an unflattering light on New York’s economic development policies. Unfortunately, this is nothing new. In my 14 years serving in the State Senate, I’ve seen the names of the programs change, but the results remain the same – huge giveaways to a select group of companies that don’t live up to their job creation promises.

    On the Friday before the

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  • housing rally

    Advocates outside Gov. Cuomo's office Wednesday (photo via Coalition for the Homeless)


    Housing advocates have done a job shirked by Gov. Andrew Cuomo and legislative leaders this session and crafted a plan for how the state should spend $1.9 billion on affordable and supportive housing over the next five years.

    The governor and Legislature agreed to dedicate $1.9 billion in the April 1 budget, but negotiations on how to

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  • John Nilson

    Sen. Jeff Klein (photo: John Nilsen/Governor's Office)


    The five-member Independent Democratic Conference was under siege. Mainstream Democrats, liberal activists, and the Working Families Party were out to punish IDC members for having empowered Senate Republicans and for preventing a progressive agenda from advancing in the New York State Senate. In 2014, the groups fielded candidates to challenge Bronx Senator Jeff Klein, head of the IDC, and newly-minted IDC member Tony Avella, senator of Queens, in party primaries. It began as an aggressive attempt to oust two of the five members of the IDC,

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  • flanagan

    Senate Majority Leader Flanagan, second from right (photo via Facebook)


    New York State Senate Republicans are headed into a fight for their survival, dealing with the departure of veteran lawmakers, top staff, and one rising star.

    The impending fall elections for all 63 Senate seats will test control of the chamber by Senate Republicans, the party’s only check on Democratic strongholds in the state

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  • homelessness
    Affordable Housing in East Harlem (Sophie Hecht)


    The week of June 26, over 70 San Francisco media outlets came together to report on homelessness in the Bay Area. The collaboration, the San Francisco Homeless Project, produced over 300 local articles, videos, and radio and television segments, as well as similar collaborations in cities across the U.S. and internationally.

    Within this much deserved media coverage is the sentiment of a former San Francisco mayor, which may describe what ails our approach to the homelessness crisis here in New York State.

    The San Francisco

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  • Hector Ramirez petitioning

    Hector Ramirez petitioning in the Bronx (photo via Facebook)


    Bronx Assemblymember Victor Pichardo will no longer be facing former Assemblymember Nelson Castro, a onetime federal informant who helped dig up dirt on fellow electeds in an attempt to reduce charges he was facing for election-related perjury, in the upcoming Democratic primary.

    Instead, Pichardo will again be

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  • de blasio cuomo january 2014

    De Blasio & Cuomo in 2014 (photo: Rob Bennett, Mayor's Office)


    Mayor Bill de Blasio has repeatedly voiced his frustration with his fellow Democrat, Gov. Andrew Cuomo, who he says has worked with Senate Republicans in the state Legislature to stymie his agenda and major progressive legislation. In an interview with Harry Siegel of the Daily News late last month, the mayor said Cuomo could have “done a lot more to

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  • de blasio cuomo 2014 presser

    De Blasio and Cuomo in 2014; photo via The Governor's Office


    Mayor Bill de Blasio has made it clear that he feels like he’s often fighting for New York City’s interests against both Gov. Andrew Cuomo and state Senate Republicans, with Assembly Democrats as his key allies. In his initial statement reacting to the recent end of the 2016 legislative session in Albany, de Blasio put a thank you to Assembly Speaker Carl Heastie and company at the forefront, never mentioned Cuomo, and gave his take on what he assessed as a mixed bag

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  • pay commission

    The state pay commission (photo by Meg O'Connor)


    A commission tasked with examining the compensation of state lawmakers and executive branch officials met for the fifth time Tuesday, and all seven commissioners agreed that heads of state agencies deserve a significant raise. However, the meeting was adjourned without the commissioners examining the salaries of statewide elected officials, and nothing was agreed upon during the brief and heated discussion of pay for Assembly members and state Senators.

    The commission's recommendations are due

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  • de Blasio voting 2016

    Mayor de Blasio votes (photo: Michael Appleton/Mayor's Office)


    Many eyes will be on the New York City Board of Elections come Tuesday as New Yorkers head to the polls for the second time this year, casting their votes in congressional primaries. The first election, April’s presidential primaries, was so problematic it prompted multiple city and state authorities to launch investigations into

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