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Gotham Gazette

The Place for New York Policy and politics

 

State Legislature

State Legislature

  • city council rikers jail coreyjohnson

    Speaker Johnson, the author (photo: Jeff Reed/City Council)


    In New York, you can be locked up based on purported evidence that isn’t even disclosed to you, until a trial that can be postponed indefinitely, unless you are wealthy enough to pay your way out. That is the reality under our state’s antiquated laws governing cash bail, discovery, and speedy trial. With Democrats truly controlling both houses of the state Legislature and the governorship for the first time in decades, we now have a meaningful opportunity to

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  • gov cuomo long island no tax

    Gov. Cuomo on Long Island (photo: governor's office)


    Before Democrats reclaimed the state Senate last year, Governor Andrew Cuomo spent years triangulating with the Democratic-controlled Assembly, two factions of Senate Democrats, and the Republican Senate majority. The arrangement allowed him a heavy hand over the legislative and budget agendas in Albany and gave him the ability to claim credit and deflect blame as he saw fit (though critics didn’t always buy his explanations). Progressive legislation regularly withered on the vine

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  • mayorofficefirstdayfive

    (photo: Benjamin Kanter/Mayoral Photo Office)


    In 2007, I was honored to chair the Commission on School Governance, a body appointed by then Public Advocate Betsy Gotbaum to make recommendations on the future of New York City’s mayoral control law, which was about to come up for renewal.

    I brought a unique perspective to the deliberations. I had served two terms as president of the New York City Board of Education during the 1970s, and had fought hard to preserve the board’s role in hiring and monitoring the performance of NYC school

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  • may bdb nycha active construction

    (photo: Demetrius Freeman/Mayoral Photography Office)


    As the next state budget is being debated in Albany, increasing attention is being paid to the state’s prevailing wage laws. With so much misinformation out there, let’s set the record straight. Paying construction workers a middle class wage is a net positive for New York’s economy.

    Specifically, the issue is how construction workers are paid for projects that receive public funds. Since 1897, projects receiving taxpayer funds are required by New York State law to

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  • legalize marijuana new york rally

    (photo: Jake Plowden)


    The cannabis industry has expanded dramatically in recent years. The state of California led the way on the legalization of medical marijuana with the first dispensaries opening there more than 20 years ago. Colorado legalized recreational marijuana in 2014, and has since been joined by nearly a dozen other states and the District of Columbia.

    Yet in the midst of this cannabis market boom, communities of color have too often been left watching from the sidelines, excluded from the opportunity to create jobs

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  • cityo council john0mc cm

    (photo: John McCarten/NY City Council)


    We live in a state with enormous resources, and a $175 billion annual budget—yet many New Yorkers still lack access to adequate maternal care. New York's maternal mortality rate is higher than the national average, and even worse in communities of color. Black women are over three times more likely to die from complications during childbirth than their white

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  • got ga si gov

    (photo: Governor's office)


    As we near the final days of state budget negotiations, a familiar anxiety is growing as advocacy groups and everyday New Yorkers await the fate of critical policy and funding decisions.

    Despite a fast start to the legislative session and optimism abounding from a Democratic trifecta that seemed focused and committed to delivering on campaign promises, the realities of the same-old behind-closed-doors budget process are setting in ahead of the April 1 deadline.

    For far too long, the state budget has contributed to growing

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  • gov cuomo mta fare increase

    (photo: governor's office)


    It’s decision time for the New York State Legislature on the State budget, due March 31, and it’s still not clear congestion pricing has the votes to pass. I’ve been an advocate for congestion pricing since Mayor Bloomberg first proposed it in 2007 and I know that this is the year to get it done.

    The two houses of the State Legislature each pass a “one-house” budget resolution in early March to outline their budget priorities: this year the State Assembly one-house budget articulates that the Assembly

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  • myrie camp fin

    Senate Democrats push campaign finance reform (photo: @zellnor4ny)


    With less than two weeks until a new state budget is due, Governor Andrew Cuomo and the Legislature have yet to come to an agreement on a public campaign financing model for state elections. But the conversation around the measure, which advocates and experts say is a long-due reform in a state beset with repeated corruption scandals, has taken a turn since Assembly Speaker Carl Heastie raised several doubts about the viability of public campaign financing, some of which Cuomo has

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  • 4gottfried

    Ben Max, left, of Gotham Gazette, and Jarrett Murphy, right, of City Limits


    March 20, 2019 - Max & Murphy Podcast: Support for Marijuana Legalization, with Assemblymember Richard Gottfried

    assemblymember richard gottfried 150Assemblymember Richard Gottfried was a co-sponsor of a marijuana legalization bill in the 1970s. In 2019, he's still pushing for allowing adult-use

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  • public financing cuomo

    (photo: Kevin P. Coughlin/Office of the Governor)


    “Black humanity and dignity requires Black political will and power. Despite constant exploitation and perpetual oppression, Black people have bravely and brilliantly been the driving force pushing the U.S. towards the ideals it articulates but has never achieved. In recent years we have taken to the streets, launched massive campaigns, and impacted elections, but our elected leaders have failed to address the legitimate demands of our Movement. We can no longer wait.”

    Those words launch the

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  • aerial solar panels

    (photo: mayor's office on flickr)


    On Friday, March 15, over 1 million students from 125 countries walked out of school to demand that we act on climate change.  As New Yorkers, we’re already seeing the devastating impacts of climate change in our communities. We all remember the damage to homes, lives, and communities caused by Superstorm Sandy, and we know we’ll face more intense storms in the future. As summers get longer and hotter, more of our elderly neighbors will be at risk for heat stroke or even death.

    We also know that the impacts

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  • gov cuomo immigrant

    (photo: governor's office)


    Immigrants in New York are under attack. In New York City for example, despite municipal policies to welcome and protect immigrants, ICE arrests of immigrant individuals with no criminal convictions have rapidly increased. From fiscal year 2016 to fiscal year 2018, ICE non-criminal arrests in the New York City area increased by 414%.

    These increases reflect the president’s negative rhetoric and policies

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  •  nynurses

    (photo: @nynurses)


    During one night shift at the children’s hospital where she worked as a nurse, Nicolette Mabeza‘s unit filled up with intubated children. She and the other nurses were frantic.

    “It was just the entire floor running around,” said Mabeza, who worked in the intensive care unit at NewYork-Presbyterian Morgan Stanley Children’s Hospital in Washington Heights. “Some nurses had two intubated patients and they weren’t even right next to each other.”

    Nurses stretched to the limit by understaffing would regularly cry on the job, she

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  • mayorsoffice aff

    (photo: Michael Appleton/Mayoral Photography Office)


    One of the greatest and most immediate challenges facing New York is a statewide affordable housing crisis that continues to affect millions of families. Elected officials must support and promote new legislation and policies that will help our state produce more affordable homes and, correspondingly, do no harm to much-needed housing efforts.

    The reality today is that more than 3 million households across the state still pay more than 30 percent of their income on housing costs, which means they are

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  • wikimedia call center

    (photo: Wikimedia Commons)


    Long gone are the days when a family could live comfortably with a minimum wage job. In 1968, a worker making the federal minimum wage could support a partner and a child above the poverty line. Today, you can’t even support yourself and a child on it. Even with the recent increase to the minimum wage, hitting $15 an hour in New York City, it’s impossible for families in many parts of the state to live

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  • heastie carl nys assembly speaker 9.62

    (photo: Buck Ennis/Crain's)


    Though Democrats have for years blamed Republican intransigence for the failure of key campaign finance and ethics reforms in Albany, those measures still appear stalled even as their party controls the entire state Legislature and governor’s office. On Friday, Assembly Speaker Carl Heastie said that the votes are not there in his chamber to approve a public-matching campaign finance system, despite the fact that the Assembly has repeatedly passed such a measure in the past when

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  • mxm logo

    Ben Max, left, of Gotham Gazette, and Jarrett Murphy, right, of City Limits


    March 6, 2019 - Max & Murphy Podcast: State Senator David Carlucci

    dav carlucci senateState Senator David Carlucci represents a Rockland and Westchester district that has a significant stake in the MTA, congestion pricing, and other key transit discussions, not to mention the overall state budget and other state

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  • reunion hug prison visit


    It is time to address the crisis of family separation. This time, it’s not about the humanitarian emergency on our nation’s southern border, but our own homegrown crisis that affects New York’s approximately 80,000 children with a parent in prison. Most of these children deeply miss and want to visit their mothers or fathers, yet distance is a barrier, and many of New York’s 54 prisons are not accessible by public transportation.

    Time and again, constituents from across the state have asked us for help. Grandmothers like Mrs. Coleman who was unable

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  • niley ro am

    Assemblymember Nily Rozic, the author


    “An eating disorder? I wish I had one of those — I could stand to lose a few pounds.”

    Every year, clients, advocates, and professionals visit the New York State Capitol to meet with legislators. When discussing their eating disorder experiences and pushing for legislation to ensure proper insurance coverage, too often they are met with that response and others like it.

    These kinds of insensitive quips reveal how little many people know about the danger and severity of eating disorders.

    No one intentionally

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  • cr cuomo

    2014 NY gubernatorial debate (photo: C-SPAN)


    With Democrats in charge of the state Legislature, there’s broad optimism that New York may finally create a state-level public financing system for electoral campaigns modelled after the program in place in New York City, including mandatory debates for candidates for statewide offices who receive public campaign funds.

    In his executive budget released last month, Governor Andrew Cuomo proposed a voluntary public campaign financing program that would provide a 6-to-1 match for the first $175 of each contribution. The

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  • up 2017 1014 054 294s23m

    Sital Kalantry, the author (photo: Cornell Law School)


    New York State is on the brink of replacing an outdated and prohibitive law that criminalizes the practice of compensated surrogacy, one of only two states that does so. Legislation to reverse the law has been introduced in both houses of the state Legislature, and Governor Cuomo has demonstrated support for it by including it in his Executive Budget.

    As a law professor who focuses on gender equity, ...

  • may bdblasio office

    Mayor de Blasio discusses marijuana policy (photo: Michael Appleton/Mayor's Office)


    New York seems poised to enact the country’s first automatic record-clearing guidelines for past marijuana convictions. Doing so, advocates and officials say, could remove barriers for hundreds of thousands of New Yorkers whose convictions -- for behavior that may soon be legal -- complicate tasks ranging from obtaining child custody to job searching to renting an apartment.

    Automatic record-clearing is part of a larger ongoing discussion on legalizing adult

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  • gov cuomo dna

    (photo: Governor's Office)


    For decades, the phrase “three men in a room” has been used to capture how the leadership of New York state government (the governor, the state Assembly speaker and the state Senate majority leader) in Albany decides in back-room negotiations what legislation lives or dies. Finally, this year, state government can remake itself much closer to the image of true democracy. Leaders in the Assembly and Senate, Carl Heastie and Andrea Stewart-Cousins, are for the first time both African-American, and one is a woman.

    This is an undeniably

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  • mxm logo

    Ben Max, left, of Gotham Gazette, and Jarrett Murphy, right, of City Limits


    February 13, 2019 - Max & Murphy Podcast: A Hearing on Sexual Harassment in Albany, with Rita Pasarell of the Sexual Harassment Working Group

    rita pasarell wbai 150Rita Pasarell was a victim of sexual harassment as a legislative aide and has more recently been an advocate pushing the state to hold public hearings on

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