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Gotham Gazette

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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 begins with celebrations and rememberances of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Tuesday will see Governor Andrew Cuomo present his Executive Budget for the 2018-2019 fiscal year that begins April 1. We'll be not only watching the presentation and the details of the budget, but how Mayor Bill de Blasio and others in the city react to Cuomo's fiscal plan, which is a starting point of hearings and negotiations with

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  • Cuomo legislative leaders Albany

    Gov. Cuomo and legislative leaders (photo: Darren McGee/Governor's Office)


    Since the 2018 session began last week, Governor Andrew Cuomo and legislative leaders have outlined their agendas for the year, and addressed or hinted at some of the significant challenges facing state lawmakers.

    In particular, threats from the federal government were acknowledged by Cuomo during his state of the State address and in remarks from legislative leaders in the Assembly and Senate, from the potentially harmful environmental policy of

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  • de Blasio Albany agenda

    Mayor de Blasio in the snow (photo: Michael Appleton/Mayor's Office)


    The state Legislature is back in session, beginning the months-long process of deliberating on its $160-billion budget and legislation for the coming fiscal year that starts April 1. For New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio, a second-term Democrat, it poses the annual opportunity to lobby for the city’s priorities, including small and large policy changes and additional funding for city agencies.

    De Blasio had mixed successes in the state capitol, where he has few

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  • New York City Hall

    New York City Hall


    What to watch for this week in New York politics:

    This week we'e continuing to examine Governor Andrew Cuomo's 2018 State of the State speech and policy book, which were delivered last week. Cuomo's 2018 agenda includes fighting the new federal tax code, a variety of proposals that affect New York City, and a 'reform' agenda that ...

  • Cuomo Long Island flag

    (photo: The Governor's Office)


    New York’s leading government reform groups reacted to Governor Andrew Cuomo’s 2018 State of the State agenda on Thursday in Albany, holding a press conference to urge the governor and legislative leaders to adopt a package of reforms to help restore public confidence in state government.

    Despite, or perhaps because of, the fact that Cuomo failed to pass any of the reforms he promised in the wake of the alleged bid-rigging schemes associated with his signature economic development programs, government ethics

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  • Cuomo State of the State reforms

    Gov. Cuomo at his 2018 State of the State (photo: Philip Kamrass/Governor's Office)


    During his 2018 State of the State speech on Wednesday in Albany, Governor Andrew Cuomo spent little time on government ethics reform, but did address at somewhat greater length his proposals to increase access to the ballot box and change state campaign finance law.

    In sum, the “reform” portion of Cuomo’s remarks were relatively brief, though the governor did expand more on his proposals to change voting, campaign financing,

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  • Cuomo Flanagan Long Island

    Gov. Cuomo and John Flanagan, right (photo: Kevin P. Coughlin/Governor's Office)


    As the legislative session kicks off this week, there are a slew of open state Senate and Assembly seats, and Governor Andrew Cuomo has not indicated when or whether he will call a special election to fill the vacancies.

    January 1 was the earliest the second-term governor could have called the election day to fill all 11 vacancies, and a growing number of critics are pressuring Cuomo to make the pronouncement as soon as possible. The election

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  • New York City Hall

    New York City Hall


    What to watch for this week in New York politics:

    This week starts a two-week sprint to what amounts to the end of the political year: Friday, December 22. Though there will be some political business Christmas week, and a deal to crown the next Speaker of the City Council could be announced any time before the January 3 vote, most of the rest of the political activity for the year (and thus the four-year city term) will take place this week and next. That includes a

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  • New York City Hall

    New York City Hall


    What to watch for this week in New York politics:

    This week will start with Mayor de Blasio and the NYPD celebrating low crime in New York City, especially the incredibly low number of murders and shootings in the city thus far this year, looking at data through November.

    For his part, Governor Andrew Cuomo took a quick trip to Puerto Rico on Saturday to recognize New Yorkers who have been on the ground there, many helping to restore power on the island, and

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  • Cuomo voting election integrity

    Gov. Cuomo votes (photo: Kevin P. Coughlin/Governor's Office)


    Is New York ready for an election cyber-attack? Are the state’s voting systems vulnerable to hacking?

    The New York State Assembly’s Election Law Committee heard testimony on Tuesday from state and local election board officials and cybersecurity experts on the systems in place to protect the state’s election processes from the types of coordinated cyberattacks that were carried out by Russian actors who sought to influence the 2016 presidential

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  • 34868772685 4a41dee04d z

    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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  • bobbt carroll presser

    Assemblymember Robert Carroll at Monday's rally


    On the eve of Election Day 2017, a state Assembly member from Brooklyn held a press conference focused on voter engagement and turnout, but it wasn’t in support of his own candidacy -- he’s not up for reelection until next year -- or anyone else’s. Instead, Assemblymember Robert Carroll was talking about his push to allow 17-year-olds to vote.

    In the state capital of Albany, Carroll recently introduced a bill, the Young Voter Act, that would

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  • Cuomo Sheldon Silver Skelos Albany

    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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  • gjonaj election night crop 

    Mark Gjonaj & Bronx Democratic leadership (photo: @MarkGjonajNY)


    With the New York City primary election behind us, it appears that at least three state legislators are likely to be leaving behind the trips to Albany for plush City Council seats.

    Following the path of former State Senator Bill Perkins, who was elected to the City Council in a special election earlier this year, two Assembly members and one state senator are likely to be making the same jump come January: State Senator Ruben Diaz Sr, Assemblymember Mark

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  • de blasio law interpretation

    (photo: Demetrius Freeman/Mayor's Office)


    A much talked-about provision of Mayor Bill de Blasio’s 13th-hour deal to have his control over city schools extended was the agreement that 22 revoked or surrendered charter school charters could be reissued without counting towards the predetermined state cap on the number of charter schools.

    In exchange for a two-year extension of mayoral control of city

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  • de Blasio voting distance

    De Blasio voting (photo: Ed Reed/Mayor's Office)


    On May 31 Mayor Bill de Blasio said that he and partners were “about to launch a major effort” to change state laws governing elections and voting in New York. ”I think people really want electoral reform in this state,” de Blasio told Gotham Gazette at an unrelated press conference. “And there’s a chance to do it, and it’s about creating the pressure needed to achieve it. So, we’re going to be doing a lot in the next few weeks on it.”

    In the subsequent days, de Blasio led two telephone

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  • farrell assembly floor

    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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  • Cuomo special session

    Gov. Cuomo on Thursday (photo: Philip Kamrass/Governor’s Office)


    To prevent the impending lapse of mayoral control over New York City schools, the state Legislature and Governor Andrew Cuomo passed a two-year extension Thursday as part of a larger omnibus bill, which included a pension enhancement for certain uniformed workers, special recognition for former Governor Mario Cuomo, and several benefits for upstate areas.

    A special session was called Wednesday by Gov. Cuomo specifically to address mayoral leadership over city schools, which was set

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  • cuomo pension reform

    (photo: The Governor's Office)


    As the dust settles on the scheduled legislative session in Albany and subsequent “extraordinary session” called by Governor Andrew Cuomo, much of the focus has been on the extension of mayoral control of city schools, finally passed Thursday after serious brinkmanship. There has also been plenty of talk centered on what didn’t happen: procurement, ethics, and electoral reform, the Child Victims Act, and more.

    The Citizens Budget Commission (CBC), a fiscal watchdog, is also calling for scrutiny of other items that

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  • de Blasio desk Albany

    (photo: Edwin J. Torres/Mayor's Office)


    To prevent the lapse of mayoral control over New York City schools, Governor Andrew Cuomo on Tuesday called an “extraordinary session” of the state Legislature to convene on Wednesday at 1p.m. in Albany. Often referred to as a “special session,” details of how the day will unfold -- especially what legislation will pass -- are still unclear.

    Currently, the session has been called for just one day, with the only named purpose the extension of authority granted to the New York City Mayor, currently Bill

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  • de Blasio Albany dark

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


    Mayor Bill de Blasio’s control of the New York City school system is only good for the rest of this week. The state Legislature ended its scheduled legislative session last Wednesday without a deal on an extension, something Governor Andrew Cuomo called “dereliction of duty,” and de Blasio has said puts the futures of 1.1 million schoolchildren at risk.

    The New York Times ...

  • Cuomo speaking tour

    Gov. Cuomo (photo: Kevin P. Coughlin/Governor's Office)


    With both houses of the state Legislature gaveled out, signalling the end of the 2017 legislative session, there a several unsettled issues for New York City, starting with the annual saga of renewing mayoral control over city schools, a policy set to expire at the end of June.

    Deadlocked over mayoral control, legislative leaders were not able to come to an agreement by the end of the scheduled session on Wednesday evening, though on Thursday talks continued among legislative leaders,

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  • albany capitol

    The Capitol (photo: Ben Max)


    The lobby was packed with lobbyists. The Dunkin Donuts was humming. Food trucks lined the sunny street and appeared to be doing better than average business. Reporters were hungry for any tidbit of news.

    Assembly members and Senators bounced in and out of their respective chambers, where dozens of bills were voted through with astonishing speed. Negotiations on major pieces of more contentious legislation were held behind closed doors by the four most powerful people in state government, all men.

    The state Capitol building on

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  • De Blasio Heastie Albany

    De Blasio & Heastie (photo: Michael Appleton/Mayor's Office)


    It is easy to mistakenly think there is only one thing Mayor Bill de Blasio wants from state lawmakers before they conclude the dwindling legislative session in Albany. Negotiations over an extension of soon-to-expire mayoral control of New York City schools have sucked most of the oxygen from the proverbial room -- though not the room, of ‘three men’ fame, which sat empty for months, until Monday -- leaving little time and attention for de Blasio’s other top priorities needing

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  • baby box

    a "baby box"


    As sponsors of legislation to establish a Newborn Health and Safe Sleep Pilot Program, we call on the Legislature to combat infant mortality in New York and pass the bill.

    This measure is an important step forward in our state’s ongoing efforts to support new parents and provide all children with the best possible start to life.

    According to the Department of Health, over 90 infants in New York die every year as a result of unsafe sleep

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