Gotham Gazette

The Place for New York Policy and politics

Diane Savino

Diane Savino

  • Max Politics Podcast: Diane Savino Says Farewell to the State Senate

    State Senator Diane Savino (photo: NY Senate)


    June 6, 2022 - Max Politics Podcast: Diane Savino Says Farewell to the State Senate

    State Senator Diane Savino, a Democrat representing parts of Staten Island and Southern Brooklyn, joined the show to reflect on her 18-year tenure in the Legislature as she moves on to the next phase of her career after deciding not to seek reelection this year.

    Listen to the conversation and let us know what you think, on Twitter @TweetBenMax. You can listen to the show through the

    ...
  • State Aims to Reinstate Hundreds of Psychiatric Beds Shifted During Pandemic

    (photo: Kevin P. Coughlin/Office of Governor Andrew M. Cuomo)

    Medical evaluation (photo: Kevin P. Coughlin/Governor's Office)


    New York State is looking to reinstate all of the roughly 400 beds in the state's inpatient psychiatric system that were converted to medical beds at the start of the pandemic two years ago. But there is a long road to restore them despite mounting pressure from elected officials, representatives of the state Office of Mental Health (OMH) told lawmakers at a joint state legislative budget hearing Monday.

    "Across the state there have been

    ...
  • After Subway Shoving, Officials Look to Expand State Laws on Mandatory Treatment for Mental Illness

    dem seek expand

    Subway outreach (photo: Michael Appleton/Mayoral Photography Office)


    In January 1999, Kendra Webdale, a 32-year-old writer, was pushed to her death into the path of an oncoming N train by a schizophrenic man. Webdale’s death prompted the passage of the eponymously named Kendra’s Law, which allows courts to order a person to receive supervised mental health treatment, also known as assisted outpatient treatment, failing which they can be temporarily committed to a hospital.

    Twenty-three years later, the killing of 40-year-old Michelle Go in eerily

    ...
  • With Cuomo Promising Gig Economy Regulations, New York Leaders Consider Pros and Cons of California Model

    gocvuomo center

    (photo: Don Pollard/Office of the Governor)


    This year, more than 40% of New Yorkers will be employed in the so-called gig economy, Governor Andrew Cuomo said in his State of the State speech earlier this month. It was an acknowledgement that the nature of work is changing, or rather has changed, and also a concession that labor rules have not evolved to keep up. Gig economy workers lack the same benefits that full-time workers enjoy, which has helped billion-dollar companies make substantial profit on the backs of unprotected and often underpaid workers. And

    ...
  • The July Financial Picture for Former Breakaway Democrats and Their Primary Challengers

    liu and ramos via jessicaramos

    John Liu and Jessica Ramos (photo: @JessicaRamos)


    The deadline for candidates for state office to file their latest campaign finance disclosures with the state Board of Elections was Monday, July 16. The disclosures show candidate fundraising and expenditures from the last six months, from January to July.

    All 213 seats in the state Legislature -- 150 Assembly and 63 Senate -- are on the ballot this year, but few incumbents face competitive races. The state Assembly is overwhelmingly composed of Democrats, most of whom do not have a

    ...
  • Savino Asks De Blasio for Help Passing ‘Subway Grinder’ Bill He Once Supported

    Savino and de Blasio

    Senator Savino and Mayor de Blasio at lunch (photo: Michael Appleton/Mayor’s Office)


    As a debate rages over the appropriate law enforcement response to subway fare evasion, in Albany, a bill steepening the penalty for certain subway sex offenses is getting another look.

    During Mayor Bill de Blasio’s ...

  • Staten Island Activist Eyes Primary Challenge to IDC Senator Savino

    jasmine robinson idc

    photo: Jasmine Robinson


    State Senator Diane Savino, a founding member of the Independent Democratic Conference (IDC), may be facing a challenge in the Democratic primary this fall.

    Jasmine “Jasi” Robinson, 38, a legal secretary and community activist from Port Richmond, told Gotham Gazette she is mulling a run for the 23rd Senate District that encompasses the North Shore of Staten Island and a sliver of southern Brooklyn, citing the anti-IDC movement among progressives as her inspiration.

    Robinson, who has lived in the district her

    ...
  • Running Without Establishment Support, IDC Challengers Show Initial Fundraising Strides

    zellnor myrie event

    Zellnor Myrie at a campaign event (photo: @zellnor4ny)


    Despite a tentative unity deal between the Senate Democratic conference and the breakaway Democrats in the Independent Democratic Conference (IDC), a number of progressives are pushing forward in their bids to unseat the so-called “turncoat Democrats.”

    Challengers of the eight-member IDC, which forms a ruling coalition government with Senate Republicans, say they have drummed up broad grassroots support, as evidenced by pulling impressive fundraising numbers over a short period of time, with

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

    bdb albany mansion tax rally rachel 

    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

    ...
  • Early in Albany Session, Plastic Bag Fee Sparks Home Rule Debate

    felder bag fee city hall via scott reif

    Senator Felder & opponents of the bag fee (photo: Scott Reif)


    An attempt by lawmakers in Albany to prevent the New York City Council from imposing a fee on plastic and paper bags at retail stores has reignited a debate over home rule and the state government’s interference in the work of a democratically elected local legislative body.  

    The New York State Senate passed a bill on Tuesday that prohibits “the

    ...
  • 2016 A Far Different Election Year for Independent Democrats

    John Nilson

    Sen. Jeff Klein (photo: John Nilsen/Governor's Office)


    The five-member Independent Democratic Conference was under siege. Mainstream Democrats, liberal activists, and the Working Families Party were out to punish IDC members for having empowered Senate Republicans and for preventing a progressive agenda from advancing in the New York State Senate. In 2014, the groups fielded candidates to challenge Bronx Senator Jeff Klein, head of the IDC, and newly-minted IDC member Tony Avella, senator of Queens, in party primaries. It began as an aggressive attempt to oust two of the five members of the IDC,

    ...
  • Does 2015 Offer Return of the Albany Big Ugly?

    Cuomo

    Cuomo had linked the EITC & DREAM Act (photo: Kevin P. Coughlin/Office of the Governor)


    Pop quiz: what do the DNA of felons, casinos, teacher performance, the drawing of legislative district lines, and pension reform have to do with one another? This isn't a trick question - in Albany all of these issues were crammed together by Gov. Andrew Cuomo and legislative leaders in 2012 to form the traditional Albany deal that has come to be known as "The Big Ugly." The only thing that stood out about it was that the 2012

    ...
  • Quiet Before the Storm in New Phase of Mayoral Control Debate

    BdB Albany

    Mayor de Blasio sits to testify in Albany (photo: Skip Dickstein via Twitter)


    At the end of June this year the law that grants New York's mayor control over city schools will expire. The expiration was designed so that all interested parties can take part in a discussion of what works and what doesn't, and adjust the law as needed. Parents, teachers, advocates, and legislators all have ideas about how to make the system better. But this year there

    ...