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State Legislature

State Legislature

  • Albany on the Penultimate Day of Legislative Session

    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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  • Establishing a Newborn Health and Safe Sleep Program in New York

    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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  • More Than Mayoral Control: De Blasio’s End of Session Priorities

    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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  • With Session Ending and Trial Looming, No Legislative Response to Bid-rigging Scandal

    Cuomo Flanagan Heastie

    Flanagan, Cuomo, Heastie (photo: The Governor's Office)


    With just three scheduled days left in the legislative session and the corruption trial of several close associates of Governor Andrew Cuomo for their roles in a bid-rigging scandal scheduled to commence in October, the Legislature has yet to pass any meaningful legislation to prevent such abuses of the procurement process.

    State Comptroller Tom DiNapoli has introduced a comprehensive bill to address the issue, which is the basis for a Senate bill sponsored by Senator John DeFrancisco, a

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  • The Week Ahead in New York Politics, June 19

    New York City Hall

    New York City Hall


    What to watch for this week in New York politics:

    This week all eyes are on Albany as the last three scheduled days of the legislative session are Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday. The session could extend to the end of the week, but no one expects it to go beyond that. The most pressing issue for New York City and the de Blasio administration, among several top priorities, is an extension of mayoral control of city schools. The legislation allowing mayoral control is set to expire at the end of the month.

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  • The Week Ahead in New York Politics, June 12

    New York City Hall

    New York City Hall

    What to watch for this week in New York politics:

    It's crunchtime in Albany, where there are just seven scheduled days of legislative session left: four this week and three the next. What will get done? It's still unclear, though a few high-profile bills have moved lately, including one through both houses that raises the age for marriage in New York. Both houses have also passed a bill related to the state's Freedom of Information Law. Governor Andrew Cuomo vetoed similar legislation in 2015, but

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  • For Second Time, Legislature Sends FOIL Penalty Bill to Cuomo

    bill signing Cuomo

    (photo: Philip Kamrass/Governor's Office)


    A bill that would greatly strengthen New York’s Freedom of Information Law (FOIL), already vetoed once by Governor Andrew Cuomo, has again passed both houses of the Legislature -- with some minor adjustments.

    The bipartisan legislation, which passed the

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  • As Session Nears End, Electoral Reforms Mostly Stalled & Cuomo Quiet

    Cuomo voting 2015

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


    Governor Andrew Cuomo’s prediction that there is insufficient political will at the New York State Legislature to pass any significant voting reform measures this year may be coming to fruition.

    During the final weeks before the end of the legislative session, this year June 21 -- when lawmakers leave the Capitol and

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  • The Week Ahead in New York Politics, June 5

    New York City Hall

    New York City Hall


    What to watch for this week in New York politics:

    A city budget deal was announced Friday night by Mayor Bill de Blasio and the City Council. As the week begins we're digesting and dissecting that and awaiting full details.

    The City Council holds several committee hearings this week, and there is a full-body Council "Stated" meeting on Thursday at which new bills are introduced and bills that have been passed through committee voted through the full Council.

    Speaking of the

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  • 10 Bold or Bizarre Proposals for a New York Constitutional Convention

    voting constitutional convention


    When New York voters head to the polls on November 7, Election Day, printed on their ballots will be the question, “Shall there be a convention to revise the constitution and amend the same?”

    A "yes" vote would trigger a state constitutional convention process that could lead to major changes to the New York constitution.

    While the first New York Constitution dates back to 1777, the version used today was adopted in 1894, with significant modifications made following the 1938 constitutional convention. Of those in support of a

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  • The Week Ahead in New York Politics, May 30

    640px New York City Hall

    New York City Hall


     What to watch for this week in New York politics:

    It’s a fairly quiet post-holiday week in New York. The state Legislature is not in session in Albany this week. Legislators will return to the Capitol on Monday, June 5, with 11 sessions days to go over three weeks. For his part, Governor Andrew Cuomo continues to hold events around the state - he starts his week on Staten Island - see  below for details. 

    The City Council concluded budget hearings last week on Mayor Bill de

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  • Potential Departure of Two Senate Democrats Poses Another Threat to Unity

    rev ruben diaz sr town hall bdb crop

    Ruben Diaz Sr. (photo: @NYPD43Pct)


    While Democrats technically reclaimed a majority of state Senate seats through a special election Tuesday, a deeply fractured party picture remains. As different factions point fingers and call for unity, it seems likely that the headcount will drop down again by the end of the year.

    Two mainline Democratic senators have announced that they are running for other offices this year. Senator George Latimer, of Westchester County’s 37th District, is eying the county executive seat,

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  • The Week Ahead in New York Politics, May 22

    New York City Hall

    New York City Hall

    What to watch for this week in New York politics:

    Mayor Bill de Blasio is in the Bronx this week for the second installment of “City Hall in Your Borough.” He was on Staten Island previously for a week of events, constituent office hours, and meetings. See below for his Monday schedule of events. We know of two other events thus far: the de Blasio administration is holding constituent hours and a resource fair on Tuesday morning and a town hall meeting Wednesday night. He's also said to be attending

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  • The Week Ahead in New York Politics, May 15

    New York City Hall

    New York City Hall

    What to watch for this week in New York politics:

    The state Legislature continues its post-budget session in Albany this week -- including Monday there are just 17 days of session left, it ends June 21. There are other events to watch in Albany this week, see below for details.

    In New York City, the City Council continues its hearings this week on Mayor Bill de Blasio's executive budget proposal. The Council and de Blasio must agree on a new city budget by the July 1 start of the new fiscal

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  • Adjusting to Albany: Assemblymember Brian Barnwell

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    Assemblymember Brian Barnwell (photo via NY State Assembly District 30)


    If Queens voters were looking for fresh face to represent them in Albany, they found it in Assemblymember Brian Barnwell.

    The 30-year-old attorney beat out nine-time incumbent Assemblymember Margaret Markey during the September Democratic primary ...

  • Adjusting to Albany: Assemblymember Carmen De La Rosa

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    Assemblymember Carmen De La Rosa (photo via @CnDelarosa)


    Born in the Dominican Republic, Carmen De La Rosa immigrated as a child to Inwood, in upper Manhattan, where she was raised and still lives, now with her fiance and daughter. She launched her legislative career in 2007, working for Assemblymember Daniel O’Donnell on the Upper West Side. She later became Democratic female district leader for the 72nd Assembly District and chief of staff to City

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  • The Week Ahead in New York Politics, May 8

    New York City Hall

    New York City Hall

    What to watch for this week in New York politics:

    The state Legislature continues its post-budget session in Albany this week -- including Monday there are just 20 days of session left, it ends June 21. There are other hearings and events to watch in Albany this week, see below for details. Governor Andrew Cuomo has been spending little time in Albany since the new state budget passed, the governor has been touring the state celebrating the highlights of the budget deal.

    In New York

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  • The Week Ahead in New York Politics, May 1

    New York City Hall

    New York City Hall

    What to watch for this week in New York politics:

    President Donald Trump is due back in New York City for the first time since taking office this week -- see below for details and expect protests, traffic gridlock, and political statements from all corners.

    The State Legislature continues its post-budget legislative session in Albany, with only six weeks to go. There will be legislation announced and bills voted through as early as Monday. Tuesday will see a group of New Yorkers lobbying for

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  • 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

    de blasio spotlight town hall

    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

    Cuomo Mujica David budget

    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

    Cuomo desk

    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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