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State Legislature

State Legislature

  • Legislative Session Starts with Flurry of Activity, and Cuomo Out of Town

    Cuomo Rochester

    Gov. Cuomo in Rochester (photo: The Governor's Office)


    The New York State Legislature returned to session Monday after its annual two-week Passover/Easter post-budget hiatus, and lawmakers want the governor to know they are ready to work.

    While Governor Andrew Cuomo continued his state-wide infrastructure and economic development tour this week, during the bustling first two days of session the Legislature advanced some provocative legislation, sending a clear message to the governor that the final two months of session will not be as uneventful

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  • 10 Key Takeaways for New York City from the New State Budget

    Cuomo de Blasio


    A new $153 billion New York state budget was passed through the Legislature Sunday evening, nine days into the new fiscal year, following a particularly lengthy and tumultuous negotiation period.

    After Governor Andrew Cuomo announced a budget deal Friday night, the Assembly approved the budget Saturday, while State senators -- called back to Albany from their districts -- moved through the final budget bills the following day.

    Within the spending plan are items that have serious ramifications for New York

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  • Investigations Into De Blasio Spurred City Reform, Renewed Calls for State Changes

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


    Although it was recently announced that Mayor Bill de Blasio and his aides would not be charged in two separate investigations related to their fundraising activities, both cases prompted widespread calls for reform of campaign finance laws and closure of holes that allow, even encourage, a pay-to-play political culture.

    The two parallel investigations, at the state and federal levels, exposed vulnerabilities in the law that allowed the

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  • Cuomo Announces $153 Billion State Budget Deal

    Cuomo budget press conference

    Cuomo and top aides (photo: Philip Kamrass/Governor's Office)


    At just before 9 p.m. Friday night, Governor Andrew Cuomo announced that he had reached a deal with state legislative leaders on a $153 billion budget for the new fiscal year, which began one week ago.

    Cuomo and the Legislature had passed a budget “extender” on Monday to keep state operations running, but continued to negotiate throughout the week in order to put a full fiscal year budget together. After several fits and starts, many rumors, and several late nights,

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  • For Cuomo, Ethics Reform Forgotten as Budget Lurches

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    Gov. Cuomo, middle, with two top aides (photo: Philip Kamrass/Governor's Office)


    Governor Andrew Cuomo forgot about government ethics reform. At a press conference Wednesday, the governor explained to reporters that state budget talks had fallen apart over a few core issues. He pointed out with pride, though, that virtually everything he had proposed earlier this year he had gotten the Legislature to agree on, other than two major sticking points related to criminal justice and affordable housing. Cuomo had to be reminded by his budget

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  • Deal or No Deal? State Budget Negotiations Drag & New York City Waits

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    Cuomo (photo: The Governor's Office)


    Though Governor Andrew Cuomo and legislative leaders indicated for more than a week they were "very close" to a budget deal, negotiations appeared to collapse on Wednesday, and senators were sent back to their districts for their regularly scheduled Passover and Easter break. Cuomo held a press conference at the state Capitol outlining areas of agreement and major sticking points, but he indicated negotiations would continue - at some point.

    Now, seven days into the new fiscal year, it appears that a new compromise

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  • After Negotiation Impasse, State Passes ‘Extender’ Budget

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


    After the official deadline was missed and budget talks reached a weekend impasse, both houses of the New York State Legislature passed a set of bills Monday to extend the current budget, with tweaks, until May 31 in order to avoid a government shutdown.

    When it became apparent that they would not have a deal in place by the April 1 deadline, Governor Andrew Cuomo, who prides himself on on-time budgets, said he was allowing a weekend "grace period" to negotiate a

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  • The Week Ahead in New York Politics, April 3

    New York City Hall

    New York City Hall


    What to watch for this week in New York politics:

    All eyes are on Albany, where a new state budget is late and negotiations continue. The state’s new fiscal year began Saturday, April 1, but there is still no spending plan from the Governor and Legislature. At about midnight Sunday night, with negotiations at an impasse, Governor Andrew Cuomo announced he would move an "extender" budget on Monday and that legislative leaders had said they would pass it. The extender will largely continue state spending as

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  • 15 Questions for the Final Week of State Budget Negotiations

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    De Blasio & Cuomo in 2014 (photo: The Governor's Office)


    The New York State budget, which is expected to be delivered on time, is due April 1, but as state government leaders enter the final week of negotiations there are many questions left open for New York City.

    These include the fate of more than $100 millions in state-to-city funding cuts proposed by Governor Andrew Cuomo; whether more than $1 billion in affordable housing funding will be released; final budgetary allocations toward

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  • The Week Ahead in New York Politics, March 27

    New York City Hall

    New York City Hall


    What to watch for this week in New York politics:

    Buckle up, it’s the final week before a new state budget is due by midnight Friday -- the start of the new fiscal year is April 1. As always, negotiations are expected to come down to the wire, and it’s likely that the bargains reached at the last minute will be budget and policy decided and voted through with almost no review by rank-and-file legislators or the public. Albany!

    There’s a great deal at stake in

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  • Will Latest Indictment Give New Life to Ethics Reform in Albany? Don’t Bet On It

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    State Sen. Rob Ortt (photo: @SenatorOrtt)


    Corruption charges brought against a member of the state Senate Republican majority Wednesday have provided an opportunity for Democrats to jumpstart the seemingly dormant conversation on government ethics as state budget negotiations enter their final week.

    Senator Rob Ortt, of Niagara County, pleaded not guilty in Albany County Court Thursday morning, following his indictment on three felony counts of filing a false instrument, ...

  • In Albany, De Blasio and Democrats Push ‘Mansion Tax’

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    De Blasio in Albany (photo: Rachel Silberstein/Gotham Gazette)


    Mayor Bill de Blasio journeyed to Albany Wednesday to rally with Democratic legislators and activists for the extension of the “millionaires’ tax,” set to expire this year, as well as the “mansion tax,” a proposal the mayor has been pushing since 2015. De Blasio and his allies called for both to be part of the new state budget due by April 1.

    Citing the threats of deep federal budget cuts from President Donald Trump’s administration and a

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  • Adjusting to Albany: Senator Jamaal Bailey

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    Sen. Jamaal Bailey (photo via @jamaaltbailey)


    State Senator Jamaal Bailey knows his way around Albany. A University of Albany graduate, Bailey launched his legislative career as an intern for Assemblymember Carl Heastie, who is now Speaker of the Assembly and one of most powerful people in the state. Working for Heastie, Bailey was instrumental in pushing legislation to enact more stringent safety measures on

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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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  • Adjusting to Albany: Meet NYC’s New Class of State Legislators

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    photo via @NYSCapitolTours


    While the ethics trainings and orientation for new state legislators may have evolved over the years, one thing has remained constant: the daunting task of navigating the Capitol’s maze-like corridors during one’s first weeks of work in Albany.

    Orientation provides some roadmap to Albany’s byzantine legislative processes, including workshops in drafting bills, organizing a press conference, and conducting research, and legislative staffers are provided for support, but it can take a few

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  • The Week Ahead in New York Politics, March 20

    New York City Hall

    New York City Hall


    What to watch for this week in New York politics:

    The New York political world is still reeling from and reacting to the news that Mayor Bill de Blasio and his aides will not be charged in either of two investigations into their behavior. Comptroller Scott Stringer has said definitively he is running for reelection, Gov. Andrew Cuomo has said it’s time to move on to

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  • Since State of the State, Cuomo Silent on Ethics Reform

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    Gov. Cuomo (photo: Governor's Office, flickr)


    For the second year in a row, in his January State of the State, Governor Andrew Cuomo laid out an ambitious ethics reform agenda that touched on a variety of issues and aimed at restoring public trust in New York State’s scandal-plagued government. But, also for a second year in a row, Cuomo has not followed up with any discernible public push to rally support for that

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  • One-House Budgets Show Little Indication Ethics, Voting & Campaign Finance Reforms Will Advance in Albany

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    Heastie, Cuomo, Flanagan (photo: Kevin P. Coughlin/Governor's Office)


    In one-house budgets passed this week, the state Legislature showed little evidence that new government ethics, voting, and campaign finance reform measures will be passed in Albany any time soon. This, despite persistent issues with public corruption, antiquated election laws, and the ongoing ability for wealthy interests to donate virtually unlimited sums to politicians.

    Through his January State of the State tour, 2017 policy book, and executive budget, Governor

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  • With One-House Budgets Due, Key Points of Contention in Albany

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    Heastie, Cuomo, Flanagan (photo: Governor's Office/Kevin P. Coughlin)


    With a new state budget due by the end of the month, the Senate and Assembly are finalizing their one-house budget resolutions. The one-house statements of priorities in the Democrat-controlled Assembly and Republican-controlled Senate will be passed this week, and their passage signals the official start to the negotiations that will yield a state spending plan for the new fiscal year, which begins April 1.

    The one-house budgets are shaped, in part, by a

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  • The Week Ahead in New York Politics, March 13

    New York City Hall

    New York City Hall


    What to watch for this week in New York politics:

    The week starts with many eyes on Preet Bharara, who was fired Saturday from his position as United State Attorney for the Southern District of New York. Bharara refused to resign when asked to along with the country's 45 other U.S. attorneys appointed by President Barack Obama, as is common practice when a new federal administration omes into power. Bharara's lone refusal, though, came under special circumstances: in

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  • The Week Ahead in New York Politics, March 6

    New York City Hall

    New York City Hall


    What to watch for this week in New York politics:

    As the week begins, Governor Andrew Cuomo is in Israel on an "economic development and unity trip." Cuomo left Saturday and is due back on Monday.

    Mayor Bill de Blasio has also been traveling -- the mayor was in Chicago on Friday for a fundraiser, a meeting with Mayor Rahm Emanuel, and a speech at the City Club of Chicago; he then traveled over the weekend holding fundraisers in Florida and California. De Blasio is due back in New York City on

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  • The Week Ahead in New York Politics, February 27

    New York City Hall

    New York City Hall


    What to watch for this week in New York politics:

    After a somewhat slow Presidents Day week in which both the City Council and State Legislature were out of session, this week is a busy one, with the Legislature meeting in Albany and a variety of City Council hearings, including the start of preliminary budget hearings.

    Mayor Bill de Blasio is back in town after a trip to Atlanta where he was whipping votes for Keith Ellison for Democratic National Committee

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  • The Week Ahead in New York Politics, February 20

    640px New York City Hall

    New York City Hall


    What to watch for this week in New York politics:

    As usual, the Presidents' Day week will be a slow one as both the New York City Council and the state Legislature will be on break. Over the weekend, however, elected officials were busy in Albany, as the Legislature's Black, Latino, and Asian Caucus held its annual Caucus Weekend celebration and conference. The event had a distinctly anti-Donald Trump flavor to it, with dozens of speeches critical of the

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  • The Week Ahead in New York Politics, February 13

    Gotham Gazette:

    New York City Hall


    What to watch for this week in New York politics:

    Mayor Bill de Blasio will deliver his State of the City speech on Monday evening at the Apollo Theater in Harlem, likely touting the accomplishments of his first three years in office as he gets ready to face reelection later this year. In announcements last Friday and over the weekend, the mayor revealed a few of the major initiatives he will include in his speech -- a $1.9 billion investment to increase affordability at 10,000 units of

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