Liz Krueger Tag All blog entries tagged as Liz Krueger http://www.gothamgazette.com/index.php/the-eye-opener/latest Fri, 11 Jul 2014 00:22:03 +0000 Joomla! 1.5 - Open Source Content Management en-gb Legislators Pledge to Pass De Blasio's Tax Plan For School Programs http://www.gothamgazette.com/index.php/the-eye-opener/entry/city/2013/08/29/legislators-pledge-to-pass-de-blasios-tax-plan-for-school-programs- http://www.gothamgazette.com/index.php/the-eye-opener/entry/city/2013/08/29/legislators-pledge-to-pass-de-blasios-tax-plan-for-school-programs-

Public Advocate Bill de Blaso's plan to tax the wealthy to pay for pre kindergarten and afterschool programs has come under attack by his opponents in the mayoral race, espeicially by Council Speaker Christine Quinn.

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The plan has also been questioned by editorial boards--including The New York Times'. But a group of legislators came forward today to support de Blasio's plan. They sent a letter to Quinn pledging that they will work to pass the tax hike in Albany and also scolding Quinn for criticizing some of de Blasio's talking points.

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De Blasio's and his plans have been targeted by his opponents has he has surged in the polls. A recent Quinnipiac Poll found de Blasio at 36 percent--close to the range of support he would need to avoid a runoff.

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The letter signed by Sens. Liz Krueger, Bill Perkins, James Sanders and Assemblymember Luis Sepulveda. It is worth noting that the three Senators are in the minority in their chamber and have no control of whether the bill comes to a vote.

Here is the letter:

Dear Speaker Quinn,

We are disappointed to hear your criticism of Bill de Blasio’s plan to raise taxes on those making more than $500,000 in order to fund universal pre-k for New York City’s four-year olds and expanded after-school seats for all middle school students who want and need them.

New York City deserves a leader who has the bold vision we need to help our children succeed, and secure New York City's future. We cannot continue this Tale of Two Cities that right now threatens to leave a generation of our children behind. Over the past five years, New York City has lost over 30,000 after-school seats.[1] In addition, since 2011 more than 26,000 pre-k applicants have been denied admission to Department of Education Pre-K. [2]

New Yorkers don’t need another pilot program or stopgap solution that only solidifies the status quo, and they surely do not need to take on additional household debt in order provide their children a head start in life. Now is not the time for small ideas.

We need leadership that is not afraid to push for bold ideas for our city’s children and future. If this means fighting in Albany for New York City's right to increase taxes on the wealthy, we are eager for that challenge. And as history shows, it's a challenge that is certainly achievable. Each of the past three mayors have fought for and won personal income tax increases to address critical challenges facing our city.

As members of the New York State Legislature, we all stand ready to proudly sponsor Bill de Blasio’s plan to raise the city income tax on those making more than $500,000 – and we are confident Albany will pass it. We hope you will join us in fighting for a bold solution that can actually begin to address the crisis in our public education system.

Sincerely,

State Senator Liz Krueger

State Senator Bill Perkins

State Senator James Sanders, Jr.

State Assemblymember Luis Sepulveda

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dking@gothamgazette.com (David Howard King) City Thu, 29 Aug 2013 19:23:55 +0000
Hearing on NYC Public Campaign Financing Not So Public http://www.gothamgazette.com/index.php/the-eye-opener/entry/city/2013/05/07/hearing-on-nyc-public-campaign-financing-not-so-public http://www.gothamgazette.com/index.php/the-eye-opener/entry/city/2013/05/07/hearing-on-nyc-public-campaign-financing-not-so-public

Senate Republicans held a hearing today on the New York City public campaign finance system in what seemed as an attempt to beat back the push by a number of advocacy groups and legislators for the state to adopt a similar system. Things probably didn't work out as Republicans had intended.

Testimony was by invite=only and a number of good government groups protested their exclusion.

Outside the small hearing room, six Senate sergeants-at-arms guarded the doorway. The public was told there was no room for them and were barred entry.

"Let us in!" protesters shouted, the words thundering through the room from outside each time someone entered, causing consternation among speakers and legislators. Protesters discovered that the windows were open to the room and started their chant quietly outside the window. Some threw money and asked, "How much do you want to let us in? What does it cost?" Sergeants-at-arms were called in to drive away the protesters. They shut the window and eventually State Troopers responded.

The push for campaign finance reform has come as a slew of Demcoratic legislators have been arrested by federal authorities on corruption charges. But Senate Republicans continue to be the main benefactors of large corporate donations that are currently allowed in loopholes under current law.

David Keating of the Center For Compettive Politics testified that New York City-style public finance is like giving "whiskey and car keys to teenage boys." He advocated instead that New York adopt Oregon's style of campaign finance regulation.

Oregon has no limits on campaign finance donations.

Keating told legislators that he felt people making small donations should not have to report them, invoking Russian President Vladimir Puting having access to all the names of people who contributed to his opponents. Hitting on a favorite talking point of Senate Republicans — that the public does not want to pay for candidates to run — Keating said that the public could theoretically finance Neo-Nazi candidates.

Republican Kathy Marchione asked Keating how many instances of corruption there have been in the city's campaign finance system. Keating indicated he didn't know but offered, "That could be looked up."

Keating also was unable to answer questions about New York's current campaign contributions laws. He encouraged everyone to "do more research on this."

Bill Mahoney of the New York Public Interest Research Group stood outside the hearing room for hours. Earlier in the day he issued a report showing that 103,805 campaign finance violations occured since 2011.

"These violations range in severity from corporations donating over their $5,000 limit to filers failing to disclose the dates of their contributions as required by law," Mahoney said. "Taken together, the massive number of minor violations is indicative of a system in which the purported enforcement entity is willing to tolerate a complete disregard for its regulations."

Gov. Andrew Cuomo praised Mahoney's report.

Seven groups submitted a complaint to the Committee on Open Government on the public being excluded from the hearing. Here is the letter:

Brennan Center for Justice

Center for Working Families

Citizen Action of NY

Common Cause NY

Communications Workers of America District One

League of Women Voters of New York State

New York Public Interest Research Group

Mr. Freeman:

The Open Meetings Law and the rules of the Senate clearly declare that every committee meeting should be open to the public:

Senate Rules §3(3). All meetings of committees shall be open to authorized representatives of the news media and the general public as observers.

This is in keeping with the state’s Open Meetings Law, which states:

Article 7, §103. Open meetings and executive sessions. (a) Every meeting of a public body shall be open to the general public, except that an executive session of such body may be called and business transacted thereat in accordance with section ninety-five of this article.

This morning, the Senate Elections Committee commenced a public hearing on public financing of elections. Members of the Senate Elections Committee and/or staff reportedly directed sergeants-at-arms to deny entry to interested members of the public. This was done despite the room being well below capacity at the start of the hearing. (Several photos taken by reporters at this time showed there was plenty of remaining space). Nonetheless, sergeants-at-arms barred public entry claiming the room was filled to capacity. Several sergeants-at-arms were asked if members of the public could enter if some of those already in the room were to leave. They said “no.” When told this was in violation of the state’s Open Meetings Law, one sergeant-at-arms claimed to simply be following orders from the Committee. This suggests an intentional violation by the Elections Committee of the Senate Rules and the Open Meetings Law.

With the recent spate of arrests and polls showing keen public interest in reform issues, members of the public ought to at least be able to observe and listen to the proceedings, in accordance with the law. The failure to open up a “public” hearing to the public today is a new low for democracy and open government in New York.

We urge the Committee on Open Government to investigate this breach of the Open Meetings Law and the Senate’s rules in furtherance thereof and formally censure the Senate Elections Committee for its conduct shutting out the public today.

Sincerely,

cc: Senate Co-Majority Leaders Skelos and Klein

Senate Democrat Conference Leader Stewart-Cousins

Senator Liz Krueger, Elections Committee Ranking Member

Attorney General Eric Schneiderman

Albany District Attorney David Soares

Governor Andrew M. Cuomo

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dking@gothamgazette.com (David Howard King) City Tue, 07 May 2013 17:57:16 +0000
Senate Gets Punchy http://www.gothamgazette.com/index.php/the-eye-opener/entry/state/2013/03/06/senate-gets-punchy- http://www.gothamgazette.com/index.php/the-eye-opener/entry/state/2013/03/06/senate-gets-punchy- Looking for some fisticuffs this afternoon? Too bad! But the next best thing is taking place in the New York Senate where the body is debating legalizing mixed martial arts.

Sen. Joseph Griffo is answering the questions of Sen. Liz Krueger about the finer points of choking out an opponent. Krueger is also concerned about neo-Nazis being involved in MMA.

The Ultimate Fighting Championships, which is the largest MMA organization, has been lobbying hard for five years to get New York to sanction the sport; most other states have already done so. The UFC donated over $105,000 to Cuomo in his first 18 months in office.

The UFC has high hopes that this will be the year they get to hold an event in the state, since a number of the biggest opponents of the sport in the Assembly have retired and it also has a pending lawsuit that claims the state ban on MMA is unconstitutional.

The UFC claims its events will bring millions in revenue and tourism dollars to the state, and has commited to holding events not only in the city but in upstate and western New York.

A number of MMA stars are the capitol for the vote, including UFC women's champion Ronda Rousey.

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dking@gothamgazette.com (David Howard King) State Wed, 06 Mar 2013 21:48:32 +0000
Andrea Stewart-Cousins Elected Senate Minority Leader http://www.gothamgazette.com/index.php/the-eye-opener/entry/state/2012/12/18/andrea-stewart-cousins-elected-senate-minority-leader- http://www.gothamgazette.com/index.php/the-eye-opener/entry/state/2012/12/18/andrea-stewart-cousins-elected-senate-minority-leader- Andrea Stewart-Cousins is the new head of the Senate Democrats. The Westchester Senator was elected by a 19-6 vote over Sen. John Sampson and is the first woman to head a legislative conference in New York State.

"I will work with my colleagues in the Republican and IDC Coalition to ensure that the progressive issues that both the Governor and our conference believe in are advanced. I want to thank Sen. Sampson for all his hard work and his dedication to the Senate Democratic Conference and to the people of New York," Cousins said in a statement.

Sampson took over as the head of the conference from Sen. Malcolm Smith in June 2009 after the Senate Coup. A number of Democrats expressed that they felt the vote would help move the conference forward from the association with the troubled period when the conference was in the majority.

Here are statements from a number of Senate Democrats: “I look forward to working with Leader Stewart Cousins as we move the Democratic Conference forward serving all New Yorkers. The people of New York want a progressive and democratic agenda and that is what the Democratic Conference under the leadership of Senator Stewart Cousins will provide,” stated Senator John Sampson.

Senator Eric Adams said, “New Yorkers deserve a state government that responds to them, not the special interests. That is why I am so pleased that Senator Andrea Stewart-Cousins will lead our conference and together we will advance the progressive legislative agenda called for by the residents of this great state.”

Senator Joe Addabbo said, “I commend our new Democratic Conference leader, Senator Andrea Stewart-Cousins, for her dedication to the conference and the hard working men and women of New York State. I look forward to working with her to advance the progressive agenda the voters sent us to Albany to achieve.”

Senator Tony Avella said, “The Senate Democratic Conference has been instrumental in the fight for common-sense, progressive legislation. Senator Stewart-Cousins will continue that proud tradition as she leads our conference into the upcoming legislative session.”

Senator Neil Breslin said, “I applaud Senator Stewart-Cousins on becoming the next leader of the Senate Democratic Conference. The people of New York expect progressive leadership from their state representatives, and under Senator Stewart-Cousins, that is exactly what we are going to ensure gets done.”

Senator Ruben Diaz, Sr. said, “Senator Stewart-Cousins will be an excellent leader for our conference, and will be a powerful voice for good government. The residents of New York State need a leader like Senator Andrea Stewart-Cousins to represent their interests, and I am honored to serve with her.”

Senator Martin Dilan stated, “I congratulate Democratic Conference Leader Andrea Stewart-Cousins and look forward to helping her stand up for the working men and women of New York.”

Senator Adriano Espaillat, said, “Under Conference Leader Stewart-Cousins, Senate Democrats will continue to be a powerful voice for New York’s working families. I look forward to working with Senator Stewart-Cousins to continue to grow the Democratic conference and apply progressive solutions to move our state forward.”

Senator Mike Gianaris said, “I want to give my immense thanks to John Sampson for his leadership and I look forward to working with Democratic Conference Leader Andrea Stewart-Cousins. Her historic election will help move our conference forward and help us pass the progressive agenda that we successfully ran on and the people of New York have demanded.”

Senator Ruth Hassell-Thompson said, “I am proud to join my Democratic colleagues on this historic occasion in applauding our new Conference Leader, Senator Andrea Stewart-Cousins. Senator Stewart-Cousins has been an excellent public servant, and I am confident she will be an exceptional leader for our conference.”

Senator Tim Kennedy said, “Senator Stewart-Cousins has been a voice for the underserved and a champion for working families. Today she earned her place in history by becoming the first female, African-American Minority Leader in New York State history. I look forward to working with her and continuing to move this state in a new direction by championing issues that are important to Western New Yorkers.”

Senator Liz Krueger said, “Senator Stewart-Cousins will ensure that New York remains committed to a progressive agenda. She has been a great Senator and I know will be a great Conference Leader.”

Senator Velmanette Montgomery said, “Senator Stewart-Cousins will be an excellent leader for the Senate Democratic Conference and I commend her on her new position. I look forward to working with her, and all of my Democratic colleagues to protect the interests of all New Yorkers, not the privileged few.”

Senator Kevin Parker said, “I commend Senator Stewart-Cousins and join with my colleagues in supporting her as our new Conference leader. Under Senator Stewart-Cousins we will continue to be outspoken advocates for those New Yorkers who need a progressive state government the most.”

Senator Jose Peralta said, “I am proud to support Senator Stewart-Cousins as Democratic Conference Leader. This next session will be extremely important and we must work together to ensure the people of New York have a strong voice fighting for them in Albany to increase the minimum wage and enact common sense gun laws.”

Senator Bill Perkins said, “I look forward to working with our new leader, Senator Stewart-Cousins, and all of my colleagues in the State Senate to ensure that New Yorkers receive the effective state government they deserve.”

Senator Gustavo Rivera said, “As someone who helped work to elect Senator Andrea Stewart-Cousins, I am particularly proud today to join my colleagues in the Democratic conference in selecting Andrea Stewart-Cousins as our new leader. Together, we will fight to advance the progressive agenda New Yorkers so clearly have called by overwhelmingly voting for Democrats this past election.”

Senator Jose Serrano said, “I commend Senator Andrea Stewart-Cousins and look forward to serving with her as our new Democratic Conference leader. The residents of New York have repeatedly called for progressive leadership, and that is exactly what Senator Stewart-Cousins, and the entire Democratic Conference, will provide.”

Senator Daniel Squadron said “Today we made history, electing the first woman leader of a New York legislative conference. I look forward to working with Senator Stewart-Cousins’ leadership to continue to move forward the progressive foundation that Senator Sampson has built.”

Senator Toby Stavisky said, Senator Stewart-Cousins will be the first female legislative leader in New York State history, and I am honored to serve with her. Senator Stewart-Cousins will be an excellent leader for the Democratic conference and I commend her for her dedication to the conference and residents of New York.”

Senator-Elect Terry Gipson said, “I am eager to get to Albany and fight for my constituents. I am honored to support Senator Stewart-Cousins as Democratic Conference Leader.”

Senator-Elect George Latimer said, “I served with Democratic Leader Stewart-Cousins in both the State Legislature and the Westchester County Legislature and I know that she will be a strong voice for Democratic values.”

Senator-Elect Brad Hoylman said, “I look forward to taking my place in the State Senate this January to begin representing the interests of all my constituents. I am proud to be part of an historic first for New York State Government. With Senator Stewart-Cousins as our leader, I am confident that together with my Democratic colleagues we will give New Yorkers the progressive government they deserve. I commend Senator Sampson for laying the groundwork for our conference’s further success.”

Senator Elect Ted O’Brien said, “It is an honor for me to take my place alongside my Democratic Senate colleagues to select Senator Stewart-Cousins as our conference leader. I look forward to serving under her leadership and working to represent my constituents, and all New Yorkers, in the State Senate.”

Senator-Elect James Sanders, Jr. said, “Senator Stewart-Cousins has a distinguished history fighting for those who need state government the most. I look forward to joining the Democratic Conference under her leadership, and together we will continue the struggle to give New Yorkers the government they deserve.”

Senator-Elect Cecilia Tkaczyk said, “As I stand ready to complete the election process and take my place in the State Senate, I look forward to serving with Senator Stewart-Cousins as she leads the Senate Democratic Conference into the next legislative session and beyond.

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dking@gothamgazette.com (David Howard King) State Tue, 18 Dec 2012 00:24:27 +0000
NY State Sen Liz Krueger on IDC-Republican 'Power-Sharing' Agreement http://www.gothamgazette.com/index.php/the-eye-opener/entry/city/2012/12/04/ny-state-sen-liz-krueger-on-idc-republican-power-sharing-agreement http://www.gothamgazette.com/index.php/the-eye-opener/entry/city/2012/12/04/ny-state-sen-liz-krueger-on-idc-republican-power-sharing-agreement

On November 6th, voters elected a majority of Democrats in the Senate, because of the failure of the Senate Republicans to reform our legislative process and advance the progressive agenda that most New Yorkers support. It would be tragic if a ‘coalition’ of Republicans, party-switchers and ‘independent’ past failed leaders thwarted that agenda. Right now, it all just looks like another Albany backroom deal to empower a select few Democrats while forestalling the Senate Republicans’ inevitable fall from power . We know what the coalition members got for making this deal, but it remains to be seen what, if anything, New Yorkers will get.

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webmaster@gothamgazette.com (Administrator) City Tue, 04 Dec 2012 23:14:16 +0000
Krueger Currently Has Cuomo's Back on Fracking http://www.gothamgazette.com/index.php/the-eye-opener/entry/state/2012/10/10/krueger-currently-has-cuomos-back-on-fracking http://www.gothamgazette.com/index.php/the-eye-opener/entry/state/2012/10/10/krueger-currently-has-cuomos-back-on-fracking

Sen. Liz Krueger sprung to the defense of Gov. Andrew Cuomo and his handling of the review of hydraulic fracturing today after he was criticized in a Bloomberg article by a member of the pro-fracking Joint Landowners Coalition.

Coalition member Brian Conroy said in the story published by The Syracuse Post-Standard:

We’ve given him a long leash and now it does look like politics is coming into play…Either there’s incompetence, where they just can’t handle a complex technical study like this, or the potential of cowardice, where he isn’t being decisive and is floundering with decisions.

Cuomo recently said that the state would conduct a health review of fracking before it moves towards regulating it. Krueger responded in a statement:

The idea that the Joint Landowners Coalition has Governor Cuomo ‘on a leash’ is offensive to all New Yorkers."

The governor has made the right choice not to rush into any decision on fracking before we have answers to the significant questions that remain. While I have serious concerns about the lack of clarity and public involvement throughout this process, it is critical that the debate be based on the merits of fracking as public policy.

The governor has a responsibility to all New Yorkers to take an informed course of action. It is unfortunate that instead of engaging in a substantive way by considering who will be responsible for insuring against potential property damage, the true impacts of fracking on public health, and how to meaningfully engage the public, this lobby group is throwing around words like 'cowardice' and 'incompetence' and acting as if they have authority to dictate to the duly-elected governor of our state.

I continue to urge deliberate action by the governor, and strongly encourage the administration to take a more open approach to this process. I understand there is a sense of frustration—I assure Mr. Conover, he is not alone. But the governor's and the legislature's highest obligation and shared responsibility is to ensure this remains a debate about public safety and what path is best for New York’s future.

Sen. Liz Krueger at an anti-fracking event with Mark Ruffalo.

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dking@gothamgazette.com (David Howard King) State Wed, 10 Oct 2012 18:11:41 +0000
Squadron Wants Special Session to Address Gun Violence http://www.gothamgazette.com/index.php/the-eye-opener/entry/state/2012/10/05/squadron-wants-special-session-to-address-gun-violence http://www.gothamgazette.com/index.php/the-eye-opener/entry/state/2012/10/05/squadron-wants-special-session-to-address-gun-violence

While other legislators are crossing their fingers that they will return to Albany sometime this year to vote themselves a pay raise, Democratic state Sen. Daniel Squadron wants them back in their seats for an entirely different reason.

This morning Squadron and a number of Senate and Assembly Democrats as well as advocates and community members gathered at site of the recent shooting at Campos Plaza to call for a special session to address gun violence by passing a package of bills.

"Before one more innocent life is lost, it's time for the legislature to pass these critical bills,” Squadron said. “From the crime-solving tool of microstamping to my bill to crack down on assault weapons, these common sense measures would be a big step toward protecting New York's families. Yet again and again the gun lobby keeps these guns on our streets and our communities at risk — and we too often see the consequences right here at home."

Jackie Hilly, executive director of New Yorkers Against Gun Violence praised the idea in a statement:

We cannot continue to allow our children to die in playgrounds and mothers to die on the street. For too long important legislation has been forced to the back burner. Now is the time to pass common sense measures to help protect families and communities in New York.

Squadron proposed the idea of a special session to address gun violence in an op-ed in the Daily News earlier this week. In that op-ed, Squadron noted that 1,329 people were killed or injured by guns in New York City alone this year.

Despite these events, it seems unlikely the Legislature will take major action during any possible special session, since the New York Rifle Association is a major donor in New York state and Senate Republicans have blocked legislation like microstamping in the past.

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dking@gothamgazette.com (David Howard King) State Fri, 05 Oct 2012 19:01:32 +0000
Sen. Liz Krueger Endorses Garodnick For City Comptroller http://www.gothamgazette.com/index.php/the-eye-opener/entry/city/2012/10/01/sen-liz-krueger-endorses-garodnick-for-city-comptroller- http://www.gothamgazette.com/index.php/the-eye-opener/entry/city/2012/10/01/sen-liz-krueger-endorses-garodnick-for-city-comptroller-

“I’ve known Dan Garodnick – as an advocate, a colleague and a public servant – for more than a decade. Dan shares my commitment to integrity and reform in government. Those are exactly the values that we need – first and foremost – in the City Comptroller’s office," said Sen. Liz Krueger, in her endorsement of Councilman Dan Garodnick for city comptroller today.

The Democratic Primary is 13 months away, but with the race for mayor heating up, the race for comptroller is also getting early play.

Gardonick appears to be the only declared candidate for the position. Current City Comptroller John Liu is an assumed mayoral candidate, but his run has been clouded with a federal investigation into his supporter's fundraising practices. Councilman Domenic Recchia is also considered a likely candidate for the positon.

Garodnick has already raised $1.2 million for his bid, according to the city's Campaign Finance Board website.

Garodnick returned Krueger's praise in a statement, saying: “Since her first day in office, no one has fought harder for reform in Albany than Liz Krueger. I welcome her support to our rapidly-growing coalition for thoughtful, independent financial leadership for the City of New York.”

Krueger formed the No Bad Apples PAC to support progressive candidates for the State Senate.

Photo by William Alatriste, provided by Office of the City Council

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dking@gothamgazette.com (David Howard King) City Mon, 01 Oct 2012 19:02:18 +0000