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The Week Ahead in New York Politics, February 5


New York City Hall

New York City Hall


What to watch for this week in New York politics:

This week will start off with a bang as Mayor Bill de Blasio makes his annual journey to Albany to testify at a legislative budget hearing. De Blasio has several issues with the executive budget proposal put forth in January by Governor Andrew Cuomo, his fellow Democrat and frequent sparring partner. De Blasio will make clear his state legislative and budget priorities for the year, and answers questions from members of the Senate and Assembly about those priorities, his record, city use of state funds, and whatever other matters they choose to raise.

De Blasio is expected to reiterate at least some of the priorities he outlined early this year, while also pushing back against Cuomo's budget proposals to cut certain funding to the city, provide less-than-expected education aid to the city, shift certain costs to the city, and require the city pay more for the MTA. The mayor discussed some of those budget issues when he released his own preliminary budget on Thursday of this past week. De Blasio is expected to either address outright or be asked about congestion pricing and where he stands on the recommendations put forth by Cuomo's "Fix NYC" panel, which the mayor has given a warmer reception than the general concept of congestion pricing in comments prior to the panel's report.

The Legislature will hold four days of budget hearings this week in Albany, while the two houses will hold legislative session on only Monday and Tuesday.

On Tuesday in the city, the newly empowered City Council Committee on Oversight and Investigation will hold its first hearing under new Speaker Corey Johnson and new committe Chair Ritchie Torres. The subject will be NYCHA, with a focus on heat for tenants. Council Member Alicka Samuel, the chair of the Council's public housing committee, which Torres chaired last term, will also lead the hearing. Johnson, Torres, Samuel, and others Council members are expected to heavily criticize NYCHA leadership and demand more answers about rcent heat outages and how NYCHA is responding to tenants' conditions. [Hear Torres talk about his new role in this recent episode of the Max & Murphy Podcast]

As always, there's a number of events to be aware of this week - see our day-by-day rundown below.

***Do you have events or topics for us to include in an upcoming Week Ahead in New York Politics?
e-mail Gotham Gazette editor Ben Max: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.***

The run of the week in detail:

Monday
The State Legislature will be in session on Monday in Albany.

At the State Legislature on Monday, there will be a joint legislative hearing on the executive budget proposal relating to local governments at 10 a.m. Mayor de Blasio will be among those testifying, and he will appear first. [Read: De Blasio Lays Out Initial 2018 Albany Priorities]

Comptroller Scott Stringer and City Council Speaker Corey Johnson will also testify at the state budget hearing.

At 10 a.m. Monday, Johnson will speak at the Helen Hayes Theatre ribbon cutting ceremony on West 44th Street.

On Monday, VOCAL-NY will host its 2018 “Hepatitis C Elimination Legislative Awareness Day” in Albany.

At 9 a.m. Monday, U.S. Reps. Joe Crowley, Carolyn Maloney, and Ro Khanna will deliver remarks at a tech training session hosted by Google and Goodwill at the Goodwill facility in Astoria.

On Monday "at 11:30 AM, Brooklyn Borough President Eric L. Adams will join New York City Housing Authority (NYCHA) tenants impacted by the citywide heating crisis that left thousands in the cold this winter, as he calls on NYCHA to take actions to address challenges facing its underfunded capital program, namely a commitment to spend its recent and future fuel cost savings on emergency boiler repairs and conversions. According to a Citizens Budget Commission (CBC) study, NYCHA utility costs fell by $48 million from 2013 to 2016, largely due to lower natural gas prices as buildings were converted from oil to natural gas heating systems. Borough President Adams will advocate for this revenue stream to go directly toward more conversions so this cost savings can increase, creating a virtuous cycle of support for NYCHA."

At 1 p.m. Monday at the State Capitol, Assembly Speaker Carl Heastie will hold a “press conference regarding the DREAM Act. He will be joined by members of the Assembly Majority and advocates,” in the Speaker's Conference Room.

At 1:30 p.m. Monday in the State Capitol, "advocates, community leaders, and elected officials will gather to unveil a progressive revenue package that would raise $16 billion for New York. They will call on Governor Cuomo and the state legislature to pass this revenue package, and discuss how and why it will benefit all New Yorkers. The progressive revenue package would raise enough to close the current budget deficit, offset looming federal budget cuts from Washington, and fund major new investments in jobs and infrastructure, including the MTA." Participants will include "members of labor unions, community groups, and advocacy organizations; elected officials from the state legislature, including Assemblyman Jeffrion Aubry."

At 6:30 p.m. Monday, the Brooklyn Historical Society will host “Urban Health, Urban Parks,” discussing “the positive impact of city parks on the health of urban dwellers.” Panelists will include Prospect Park Alliance president Sue Donoghue, New York Times columnist Jane Brody, and author Florence Williams. CityLab’s Laura Bliss will moderate.

Mayor de Blasio will make his weekly appearance on NY1's Inside City Hall Monday evening in the 7 and 11 p.m. hours. He'll also appear on the upstate Capitol Tonight news progam in the 8 p.m. hour.

Tuesday
The State Legislature will be in session on Tuesday in Albany.

At the State Legislature on Tuesday
--There will be a joint legislative hearing on the executive budget proposal relating to human services at 10 a.m.
--The Senate Joint Task Force on Heroin and Opioid Addiction will meet at 5 p.m. at Binghamton University’s Innovative Technologies Complex to “examine the issues facing communities in the wake of increased heroin abuse.”

At the City Council on Tuesday:
--The Committees on Public Housing and Oversight & Investigations will meet jointly at 10 a.m. for an oversight hearing regarding “chronic heat and water failures in NYCHA housing.” Council Speaker Corey Johnson has pledged to participate in the entire hearing.
--The Subcommittee on Landmarks, Public Siting, and Maritime Uses will meet at noon.
--The Committee on Economic Development will meet at 1 p.m. for an oversight hearing regarding “NYCEDC 2018 and Beyond: Borough-by-Borough in the Next Four Years.”
--The Subcommittee on Planning, Dispositions, and Concessions will meet at 2 p.m.

On Tuesday the New York City Charter School Center and the Northeast Charter Schools Network will host a lobbying day in Albany at the Empire State Plaza Convention Center, demanding “funding equity for all public school students, and the elimination of the arbitrary cap on charter schools in New York.”

At 6 p.m. Tuesday, TransitCenter will host “Is It Rigged” at One Whitehall Street in Lower Manhattan, discussing the highly-inflated cost of transit construction in New York as compared to other cities. The panel will feature Brian Rosenthal of the New York Times, Nicole Gelinas of the Manhattan Institute, Rich Barone of the Regional Plan Association, and Chris Ward of Metro NY.

Wednesday
At the State Legislature on Wednesday, there will be a joint legislative hearing on the executive budget proposal relating to environmental conservation at 9:30 a.m.

At the City Council on Wednesday:
--The Subcommittee on Zoning and Franchises will meet at 9:30 a.m.
--The Committee on Standards and Ethics will meet at 11 a.m. for an oversight hearing regarding “section 10.80 of the Council Rules.”
--The Committee on Public Safety will meet at 1 p.m. for an oversight hearing “examining NYPD crowd control and protest procedures.”

On Wednesday, WE ACT for Environmental Justice will hold a lobbying day in Albany “to demand Governor Cuomo commits to 100% renewables and a fee on corporate climate polluters.”

Thursday
At the State Legislature on Thursday, there will be a joint legislative hearing on the executive budget proposal relating to taxes at 9:30 a.m.

At the City Council on Thursday:
--The Committee on Higher Education will meet at 10 a.m. for an oversight hearing regarding “hiring a new chancellor and college president at the City University of New York.”
--The Committee on Fire and Emergency Management will meet at 10 a.m. for an oversight hearing regarding “diversity in the FDNY.”
--The Committee on Land Use will meet at 11 a.m.

“The next public meeting of the New York City Campaign Finance Board (CFB) will be held on Thursday, February 8, at 10:00 AM.”

At 6 p.m. Thursday, the Association for a Better New York will host Melissa DeRosa, Secretary to the Governor, for a “What’s On Tap” talk at the Anheuser-Busch offices in Chelsea.

Friday and the weekend
Mayor de Blasio is expected to make his weekly appearance on WNYC’s The Brian Lehrer Show on Friday morning at 10 a.m.

***
Have events or topics for us to include in an upcoming Week Ahead in New York Politics? E-mail Gotham Gazette executive editor Ben Max any time: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. (please use "For Week Ahead" as email subject).

***
by Ben Brachfeld and Ben Max
@GothamGazette



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