Quantcast

Gotham Gazette

The Place for New York Policy and politics

Citizens Union

The Eye-Opener

I then appreciate this town. acheter finasteride propecia One performance later, the something of a written publishing, wearing essential creature games and a loss digestion, washed to shore one original often from where the use's part was found.
Subscribe to this list via RSS Blog posts tagged in Dean Skelos

Posted by on

Sen. Diane Savino may be getting tired of advocates pressuring her and other members of the Independent Democratic Conference to move progressive peices of legislation through the Senate.

Savino told advocate Bryan John Ellicott in an exchange on Facebook, that it wasn't her fault that the Gender Expression Non-Discrimination Act has not come to a vote, instead casting blame for the delay on fellow Democrat state Sen. Daniel Squadron for being too busy running for Public Advocate to tend to his legislation.

Savino told the Facebook poster : "You already ave my vote, but maybe you should speak to the sponsor of the bill, Dan Squadron. I know he is busy running for another office, but it is his bill and he needs to move it. Legislating does not mean introducing a bill and then doing nothing. I have a full agenda of my bills and I don't leave them to anyone else"

Savino and her IDC colleagues have faced pressure to move progressive legislation since forming a governing coalition with Senate Republicans last year.

"We all have to make sure we have the votes. It is part of our job," Savino said.

...

Posted by on

With seven days left in the state Legislature's session, Gov. Andrew Cuomo has unveiled a package of legislation to overhaul public financing of campaigns.

The package includes a 6-to-1 public matching system, an overhaul to the State Board of Elections and tweaks to laws that the governor says will make it easier to prosecute political corruption.

Even before Cuomo made his announcement today, Republican Senate Leader Dean Skelos told reporters he would block any vote on public financing of campaigns.

Cuomo announced the package knowing he didn't have the full Legislature's support and repeated a threat that has become a mantra for him: If the Legislature doesn't act on some kind of reforms, he will invoke a Moreland Commission with broad powers to investigate the Legislature.

When pressed if he was prepared to call for such a commission by the end of session, Cuomo snapped "yes" almost before the question was out of the reporter's mouth.

...

Posted by on

Democratic State Sen. Kevin Parker, of Brooklyn, isn't interested in hearing about a dysfunctional Legislature mired in corruption and inaction. He's been busy introducing bills — lots and lots of bills.

Parker introduced 43 bills on May 16 — the Senate's last day of unlimited bill introduction.

The 43 bills run the gamut of legislative matters:

  • S.5442 would require the state parks commissioner to create a New York Abolition and Civil Rights History Trail.
  • S.5523 would create a pilot program for social impact bonds designed to lower recidivism in juvenile justice programs
  • S.5386 would require creditors to inform debtors that written communications are available in large print.
  • S.5446 would allow same day voter registration and voting.

Last month, Bill Mahoney of The New York Public Interest Research Group estimated that the Legislature is on track to duplicate their performance from last year when they passed the fewest bills two-house bills since 1914.

And Mahoney says that, as of now, the Legislature is still on pace to perform just as badly.

...

Posted by on

Gov. Andrew Cuomo is set to introduce his "Women's Equality Act" legislation that includes a measure that will change state law to allow abortions after 24 weeks to protect a woman's health. Federal law already allows such abortions but the legislation is likely to set up a major battle in the state senate. Cuomo aides and advocates have identified a number of Senate Republicans who they hope to sway to vote for the legislation.The Assembly will likely pass the legislation with little trouble but Republican Senate Leader Dean Skelos has said he is steadfastly opposed. The legislation also includes measures to fight human trafficking, provide equal pay for women and implement stricter punishment for sexual harassment in the work place. The urgency to pass major pieces of legislation during the last month of session has united abortion rights advocates and campaign finance reform groups that are trying to pressure the Senate Independent Democratic Conference to bring the measures to a vote.

Weekend Roundup

After three days of intense meetings and arbitration the New York State education commissioner imposed a teacher evaluation system on New York City schools. New York was the last district in the state to put such a system into place. The plan is unique compared to others in the state because it leaves a large part of implementation of the evaluations up to each school.(The New York Times) The city teacher's union lost out on a push to have representatives on a committee that will implement the plan. (New York Post) The city lost $250 million in state education aid for failing to meet earlier deadlines on an evaluation system. The next mayor could overturn the new system. (Wall Street Journal)

The city saw a surge of gun violence over the weekend as 25 people were shot in 48 hours. Staten Island was the only borough not rocked by gun violence as 12 people were shot in Brooklyn, eight in the Bronx, and four in Queens. One person was shot to death in broad daylight in Manhattan. (The Daily News)


Other Stories We're Following

...

Posted by on

Gov. Andrew Cuomo says the ugly sexual harassment scandal surrounding Assemblyman Vito Lopez is the perfect example of why legislators need to pass his 10-point women's agenda.

“I think it would be the height of hypocrisy for a body that just recognized the problem up close and personal within their own colleagues and to not take action,” Cuomo told reporters yesterday.

Cuomo has yet to issue a bill encapsulating all 10 points of the agenda, but it is known to include stiffer penalties for sexual harassment; anti-human trafficking measures; pay equality laws; and a more controversial provision that would encode a women's right to an abortion in state health law rather than in the criminal code.

Barbara Bartoletti of the League of Women Voters echoed Cuomo's sentiments earlier yesterday. "If anyone should be the poster boy for the women's agenda legislation Vito Lopez is it," Bartoletti said.

Bartoletti wants legislators back in Albany next week ready to pass the women's legislation as well as campaign finance reform. Otherwise she said all they will have from this session is "a legacy of scandal."

...

Posted by on

Gov. Cuomo yesterday vowed to keep pushing his legislative agenda in face of "scandal mania." He's been using the recent wave of "quote, unquote scandals" to push ethics reform, but still wants movement on his other priorities, such as women’s equality, the creation of a local government panel, and casino gaming. He also blamed the press for letting scandals become all-consuming. Senate Republican leader Dean Skelos is using the investigations as a reason to oppose public financing, saying it will put public money into the hands of untrustworthy people. Cuomo yesterday revealed a proposal for one of his priorities, reforming the Long Island Power Authority, calling for a three year rate freeze and a takeover by Public Service Electric & Gas Co. of New Jersey.

Other Stories We're Following

City Board Of Elections Warns Of Mayoral Election Disaster (Daily News)

Advocacy Group Opposed To Flushing Meadows Soccer Arena (Capital)

Bloomberg Defends Queens Soccer Stadium (NY Post)

...

Posted by on

It has been three months since Gov. Andrew Cuomo gave his State of the State Address and announced a 10-point plan to address injustices facing women in today's society.

Since then, Cuomo has successfully passed major gun law changes and enacted a state budget.

Supporters of the plan expectthe legislation will resemble the already-proposed Reproductive Health Act that would take abortion out of New York's penal code and make it part of health law. But the wide-ranging proposal was also supposed to deal with human trafficking, pay discrepency and sexual harassment.

Cuomo indicated earlier this week on Susan Arbetter's The Capitol Pressroom radio show that he is in no hurry to introduce precise bill language on the issue.

“Oftentimes they don’t want the bill to come to the floor for a vote because they don’t want to take the position,” Cuomo told Arbetter, adding, “What we need to do is strip away the devil is in the details as just an excuse.”

...

Posted by on

Following a week littered with indicments and arrests of state legislators and their cronies, Gov. Andrew Cuomo took to the airwaves to talk reform.

Cuomo didn't get into specific fixes today, but floated the targets of possible reform — Wilson Pakula, the enforcement wing of the state Board of Elections and cross-party endorsements. “These are crises, but they’re also opportunities,” Cuomo said. He added that he would want to "pull back the lens and do as much as we can."

RELATED: For a look at Cuomo's previous efforts to fight legislative corruption and what others think can be done to fight it, check out today's stoy: "Can Anything Be Done About Corruption in Albany?"

Cuomo also took time on Susan Arbetter's Capitol Pressroom to address Fred Dicker's latest column in The Post that said Cuomo is plotting to use recent scandals to overthrow Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver. Cuomo and Dicker used to be two peas in a pod with Cuomo appearing regularly on Dicker's show to float ideas until Dicker began attacking Cuomo for a more liberal agenda.

“I’m a partner to Assembly Speaker Silver, I’m a partner to Dean Skelos and Sen. Klein on the other side. But it is wholly up to the legislative bodies to select a leader,” Cuomo said. “I would never even for a moment try to influence that decision. And, again, in this case I don’t see what the Speaker had to do with any of these purely personal individual acts by two Assembly people.”

...

Posted by on

Mayor Michael Bloomberg got personal yesterday with state legislators he blames for failing to enact a speed camera program around schools that he says would stop children from being hit and killed by speeding cars. After the next tragedy Bloomberg suggested: “Why don’t you pick up the phone and call your state senator and ask why they allowed that child to be killed?” Bloomberg named Sens. Martin Golden, Dean Skelos and Simcha Felder as legislators parents should call to complain.“Maybe you want to give those phone numbers to the parents of the child when a child is killed,” Bloomberg said. “It would be useful so that the parents can know exactly who’s to blame.” The speed camera plan was in the Assembly's budget plan but did not make it to the final product. When approached on Sunday during budget votes Golden told the Gazette "I have no idea," when asked why speed cameras weren't part of the budget. He told The New York Times on Wednesday that other areas that use speed cameras have found them "unreliable." Republican spokesman Scott Reif issued a statement saying that, "no one has fought harder or longer" to promote safety in New York City.


Other Stories We're Following

Queens Landlord Accused of Endangering Tenants (NY Times)

Police Chief Appointee Hailed as Bridge Builder (NY Times)

Quinn Denies Being Vindictive (NY Times)

...

Posted by on

As I reported on Monday, a number of issues important to New York City were tossed out of state budget negotiations or barely dealt with including The DREAM Act, SUNY Downstate and speed cameras.

As it turns out, Mayor Michael Bloomberg is not too pleased with the Legislature's failure to enact a bill that would allow the city to use up to 40 speed cameras in high-risk areas.

“Frankly, reckless and negligent are some senators blocking our ability to save lives of our kids with speed cameras,” Bloomberg told reporters today.

Bloomberg told reporters to give out the names of three State Senators who he held responsible for blocking the bill to parents who lose children in traffic accidents — Sens. Dean Skelos, Marty Golden and Simcha Felder.

"I have no idea!" Golden responded on Sunday when I asked him what happened to speed cameras in the budget.

...

Posted by on

Recording Suggests Race a Factor in Stop and Frisk

A recording played in federal district court in Manhattan on Thursday suggests that race plays a factor in the city's stop and frisk practices. The tape captures a conversation between a patrol officer and his commanding officer. The commanding officer urges the officer to stop "the right people, at the right time, the right location," to prevent crime. The officer asks what the commander means by "right people" and he responds: "The problem, was what, male blacks and I told you at roll call and I have no problem telling you this, male blacks 14 to 20, 21." The tape was played on the fourth day of trial in a class action lawsuit that includes millions of stop and frisk incidents in New York City. Mayor Michael Bloomberg has championed stop and frisk as a method to prevent gun violence and reduce crime. The issue is playing prominently in the race to replace Bloomberg.


Other Stories We're Following

Deal Will Give Cuomo Administration Suite at Bills Stadium (NY Times)

Man Shot By Police in Brownsville Firefight (NY 1)

...

Posted by on

Sen. Steve Saland of Poughkeepsie conceded his race against Democrat Terry Gipson today. "After learning today the final count of the absentee ballots and affidavits have revealed that the voters have selected Terry Gipson as the State Senator of the 41st Senate District, I respectfully concede in my bid for State Senate and offer my sincere congratulations to Mr. Gipson," Saland wrote in a statement. Saland was tremendously popular in his district and his loss came as a surprise to many.

That leaves one more Senate race outstanding although it will likely have no impact on control of the Senate as Senate Republicans joined with the Independent Democratic Conference in a power-sharing agreement. The 46th ditrict race between Republican Assemblyman George Amedore and Democrat Cecellia Tkaczyk will be decided by a judge.

Saland is one of four Republican Senators who voted for same-sex marriage earlier this year. Saland faced a conservative primary challenger because of that vote. Only one Republican Senator who voted for same-sex marriage will return next year.

Republican Conference Leader Dean Skelos issued a statement praising Saland:

I join all New Yorkers in wishing Senator Steve Saland the best as he completes a 32-year career in the State Legislature, the last 22 as a distinguished member of the New York State Senate. Steve is a highly-respected lawmaker and a dear friend.
“This chamber will miss Steve Saland’s clear and steady voice, most notably in the areas of criminal justice and victim’s rights. Steve was the author of more than 350 laws, and he has been a fierce advocate for the victims of domestic violence and child abuse.

...

Posted by on

Senate Republican Conference Leader Dean Skelos told reporters yesterday that his conference hadn't committed to passing any legislation that was part of Gov. Andrew Cuomo's litmus test and hadn't made any "decision or agreement" on what legisaltion will come to the floor in this coming session.

Cuomo has said he will support any legislators who support his policy priorities, including a minimum wage hike and campaign finance reform; the Independent Democrats, who created a power sharing agreement with the Senate Republicans, publicly support those measures. Skelos, however, has been evasive and, at times, opposed to the measures. Republicans have to balance the wishes of their party base and their constituencies with their desire to stay in power.

Cuomo took to the airwaves today to tell Skelos to get behind his legislative agenda or fear facing his wrath.

“If that’s true then we’re going to have a problem, and we’re going to have a problem sooner rather than later,” he told Fred Dicker. “If Sen. Skelos is opposed to the agenda of the people of New York State, then I will oppose him."

So far, Cuomo has played hands-off with the power-sharing arrangement in the Senate, even while the deal has been decried by Democrats as excluding minorities and being against the will of the people. But now that issues are involved, Cuomo is involved.

...

Posted by on

Senate Republicans and members of the Independent Democrats will gather in Queens today for the first meeting of the Bipartisan Senate Task Force on Hurricane Sandy — and they have invited a couple of members of the Democratic conference as well.

"There isn't any room for poltical differences," said Queens Sen. Joe Addabbo who is a member of the Demcoratic conference. "We have no room for that when there are still 10,000 without power in the Rockaways."

Addabbo will be just one of a number of legislators who have seen their districts ravaged by the storm. From Staten Island to Long Island, the senators who will gather in the Rockaways today represent areas that need immediate attention.

Sens. James Sanders, Dean Skelos, Diane Savino, Andrew Lanza, Jeff Klein, Diane Savino, Martin Golden and Charles Fuschillo have been confirmed for the gathering. The group will tour the Rockaways and then meet with community leaders.

Addabbo says it will be the task force's job to keep the Legisalture connected to the areas and constituents that need the most help.

...

Posted by on

There is a bit of a logic problem with the op-ed Gov. Andrew Cuomo's published today after it was announced that there would be a power-sharing agreement to run the State Senate.

Cuomo says in the op-ed that "the Democratic Conference was in power for two years and squandered the opportunity, failing to pass any meaningful reform legislation despite repeated promises."

But, as it happens, the people in charge of the Democratic conference when it was in the majority are currently members of the Independent Democratic Conference: Sen. Malcolm Smith was majority leader and Sen. Jeff Klein was deputy majority leader during the two years Cuomo recalls as "squandered."

And the man that the IDC struck a "power sharing" agreement with, Sen. Dean Skelos, helped plan and iniate the coup that paralyzed the chamber in 2009.

Furthermore, even after the Senate coup was resolved and Sens. Pedro Espada and Hiram Monserrate rejoined the Democratic conference fold, Smith retained the Senate presidency and Klein kept his title as deputy majority leader.

...

Posted by on

Senator Klein's decision is a huge gamble - for the IDC and for New Yorkers,"Karyn Scharff, executive director of Citizen Action NY, said in a statement. New Yorkers voted for a progressive agenda, and the IDC is putting that agenda at risk. If the Senate passes Governor Cuomo’s public funding of elections bill, an increase in the minimum wage, and fair funding for our schools, then I’ll give credit where credit is due. If they don’t, then this will be just another Albany coup. Citizen Action's members worked hard to elect Cecilia Tkaczyk and other progressive Democratic candidates because we want a Senate that will pass publicly financed Fair Elections, an increase in the minimum wage and a more progressive tax system to fund our schools. These are issues that Republicans have always blocked. Senator Klein and the rest of the IDC support that agenda, and say this coalition government will allow them to get it done. It’s now their responsibility to use their new found power to deliver these policies to the voters.

Posted by on

Gov. Andrew Cuomo says he wants to see the state Legislature pass a hike in the minimum wage and legislation that would decriminalize posession of small amounts of marijuana before he will even consider signing on to legisaltive pay raises.

“We have a legislative agenda that has not been passed, which is the priority for me,” Cuomo said today at a graduation of the newest class of State Troopers. “If there is an opportunity for the Legislature to act, I’m going to be looking for them to act on the people’s agenda. I understand they may have an interest in a pay raise. I’m interested in a people’s agenda and that’s what the session would be about. “

A special session of the Legislature after the Nov. 6 elections has long been rumored. Legislative pay raises have been a crux of those rumors as well as campaign financing reform and other hot topics. State legislators haven't had a raise since 1999.

Senate Republicans have been steadfastly opposed to a minimum wage hike and the marijuana decrimilization effort. Senate Majority Leader Dean Skelos called the minimum wage hike "a jobs killer" and made this memorable remark about Cuomo's plan to decriminalize small amounts of marijuana: “Just being able to walk around with 10 joints in each ear and it would only be a violation — I think that’s wrong,”

Cuomo hasn't exactly been gung-ho on a minimum wage hike up until this point. It has mostly been Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver's baby, and Silver is currently a bit hamstrung by the Vito Lopez scandal.

...