Gotham Gazette

The Place for New York Policy and politics

Kathy Hochul

Kathy Hochul

  • How Governor Hochul Can Make Progress on Housing Through Executive Action

    Governor Hochul (photo: Kevin P. Coughlin/Office of the Governor)

    The most pressing issue facing New York is a lack of housing. A Regional Plan Associationanalysis shows that the state needs to build 817,000 more homes over the next decade to address shortages and meet expected population and job growth – the root cause of many symptoms currently ailing New York City.

    For example, according to the city’s most recent...

  • Where is the State Legislation at Center of Mayor Adams’ Jordan Neely Response?

    Mayor Adams releases a mental health plan (photo: Ed Reed/Mayor's Office)

    On May 10, Mayor Eric Adams made his first extended remarks on the death of Jordan Neely, a Black homeless man with a history of mental illness who was killed on the subway ten days earlier by Daniel Penny, a white Marine veteran.

    Adams called Neely's killing a "tragedy," and said he "did not deserve to die." But Neely didn't receive critical mental health care, Adams said, which left him decompensating and calling for help on a subway car in the minutes

  • Housing Development in New York City Slows to a Crawl as Officials Debate Tax Incentives

    Housing focus (photo: Ed Reed/Mayoral Photography Office)

    Affordable housing construction in New York has declined significantly in the last few years in the wake of COVID-19 through a combination of factors including higher interest rates, inflation and supply chain instability resulting from the overall disruption of the pandemic. But a key factor that real estate developers, city and state government officials, and many housing advocates cite is the expiration of the state’s 421-a property tax exemption for the construction of affordable housing as part of larger rental housing developments.

  • Max Politics Podcast: Top City & State Housing Officials on the NYS Budget Impasse & What Comes Next

    Ground-breaking (photo: Ed Reed/Mayoral Photography Office)

    May 19, 2023 - Max Politics Podcast: Top City & State Housing Officials on the NYS Budget Impasse and What Comes Next, with Jessica Katz & RuthAnne Visnauskas

    At the annual NYSAFAH affordable housing conference in Manhattan, Max Politics host Ben Max of Gotham Gazette moderated a discussion with New York City Chief Housing Officer Jessica Katz and New York State Housing Commissioner RuthAnne Visnauskas about the state budget failure on housing and what comes next at the state and city levels.

    Listen to the

  • What Advocates and Electeds Say Mayor Adams Should Be Doing Differently About the Asylum-Seeker Crisis

    Mayor Adams and others tour a HERRC (photo: Michael Appleton/Mayoral Photography Office)

    As the migrant asylum-seeker crisis continues to escalate, and another surge of arrivals has begun after a federal pandemic-era border policy expired last week, Mayor Eric Adams is taking increasingly desperate steps to ease the impact on New York City.

    While virtually everyone agrees that the federal and state governments should do more to help the city, critics say there are still several concrete measures the mayor has failed to

  • Hochul Gambled On A Late Budget; Did It Pay Off?

    Gov. Hochul meets with legislative leaders (photo: @GovKathyHochul)

    The dust is beginning to settle on the $229 billion New York state budget, which was approved last week after a month of delay that saw Governor Kathy Hochul and the State Legislature make major compromises on spending and policy measures.

    Hochul has expressed no regret for delaying the budget for the second time in two years, after she managed to convince the Legislature to support her top priority and change the state’s bail laws yet again. She won other priorities, too, but came up empty on her biggest proposal for the

  • Fines for Hospitals that Don't Reactivate Psychiatric Beds Included in New State Budget

    Hospital services (photo: Governor's Office)

    Hospital leaders are "disappointed" to see the state budget include new penalties for hospitals that fail to reopen shuttered psychiatric beds as part of a $1.4 billion plan to beef up New York's mental health care infrastructure.

    Hospitals around the state have been struggling to bring over 1,000 psychiatric beds back online after closing them during the height of the pandemic due to severe staffing shortages and lack of funding.

    The $229 billion budget passed by Governor Kathy

  • How Mayor Adams' Albany Agenda Fared in the New State Budget

    Mayor & Governor (photo: Darren McGee/Governor's Office)

    New York State’s $229 billion budget deal for the new fiscal year has both good and bad news for New York City and Mayor Eric Adams’ Albany agenda.

    It directs additional funding for the ongoing migrant asylum-seeker crisis, provides a lifeline to the cash-strapped MTA, funds rent relief for public housing residents, extends a child tax credit, increases enforcement for illegal marijuana sales, and more. But it excluded regulatory changes and tax incentives that

  • Max Politics Podcast: Senator Gustavo Rivera on the New State Budget

    Senator Gustavo Rivera (photo: NYS Senate Media Services)

    May 4, 2023 - Max Politics Podcast: Senator Gustavo Rivera on the New State Budget

    State Senator Gustavo Rivera, a Bronx Democrat and chair of the Senate health committee, joined the show to discuss the newly-passed $229 billion state budget for the 2023-2024 fiscal year, which began April 1.

    Listen to the conversation and let us know what you think, on Twitter @TweetBenMax. You can listen to the show through the embedded audio below or download the episode wherever you

  • State Budget Includes $1 Billion Mental Health Agenda, Additional Push to Restore Psychiatric Beds

    Gov. Hochul talks mental health care (photo: Darren McGee/Governor's Office)

    Governor Kathy Hochul is touting the inclusion of over $1 billion for mental health care in the new $229 billion budget deal recently struck with legislative leaders.

    "When it comes to keeping people safe, there are commonsense places we can start as well. One of them has to do with fixing our mental health system because it is broken, the rates of mental illness have been on the rise, and the pandemic only made matters far worse," Hochul said

  • Budget Includes $39.5 Million for New State Public Campaign Finance System


    In the Legislature (photo: NYS Senate Media Services)

    State lawmakers this week approved Governor Kathy Hochul's proposed $39.5 million allocation to New York's new campaign finance system, including base funding for a small-dollar public match.

    The funding includes $25 million for public matching funds that will be available to participating candidates running for statewide and legislative offices beginning in 2024. It also includes the full $14.5 million sought by administrators to run the program.


  • ‘An Unprecedented Commitment’: New State Budget Advances Several Major Climate Policies

    Gov. Hochul talks clean energy (photo: Darren McGee/Governor's Office)

    Climate activists are cheering New York’s $229 billion budget for the 2024 fiscal year, which was approved Tuesday night, celebrating three major policy victories and a series of additional funding allocations. The changes, seen as monumental by supporters and critics alike, include passage of legislation that will ban gas hookups in new construction, allow the state power authority to build and own renewable energy facilities, and create a “cap and invest” system with decreasing caps on greenhouse

  • CUNY Tuition to Remain Flat as University System Gets Funding Boost in State Budget

    At CUNY (photo: @CUNY)

    In the new state budget that was passed Tuesday night, the City University of New York, CUNY, will get significant operational and capital funding boosts while students from New York will be spared tuition increases, Assembly leadership announced on Tuesday.

    The State Legislature is approving budget bills in Albany, bringing the $229 billion state budget for the 2024 fiscal year to a conclusion, one month after it was due.

    While all final details have yet to be dissected, Assembly Speaker Carl Heastie announced on Tuesday that the CUNY system, which has more than

  • It Could Take Years to Restore Hospital Psychiatric Beds Statewide, Records Show

    Gov. Hochul talks health care (photo: office of Governor Kathy Hochul)

    It could take years and tens of millions of dollars for upstate hospitals to restore more than 200 psychiatric beds that were shuttered in recent years, owing to major operating deficits and an industry-wide staffing shortage with no end in sight, according to records obtained by Gotham Gazette.

    The delays throw a wrench in Governor Kathy Hochul's plan to restore 1,050 psychiatric beds that had been closed or repurposed statewide during the pandemic – a

  • Max Politics Podcast: Why Housing Policy Negotiations Fell Apart in Albany, with Cea Weaver

    Gov. Hochul (photo: Mike Groll/Office of Governor Kathy Hochul)

    April 25, 2023 - Max Politics Podcast: Housing Policy Falls Out of the State Budget, with Cea Weaver

    Cea Weaver, campaign coordinator for Housing Justice for All, joined the show to discuss state budget negotiations, the apparent demise of negotiations over housing policy, and the left-wing perspective on the issue and key components of the debate, including Good Cause Eviction, the governor's Housing Compact, and more.

    Listen to the conversation and let us know what you think, on Twitter ...

  • How Much to Raise, How Much to Spend: Hochul and Legislature Wrangle Over Tax Rates in State Budget Negotiations

    Gov. Hochul makes a budget presentation (photo: Mike Groll/Governor's Office)

    When Governor Kathy Hochul delivered her State of the State address in January, she promised to keep income taxes flat this year while identifying other revenue sources to pay for major funding needs.

    "A majority of economists are predicting a recession," she said. "And it's also one of the reasons why we will not be raising income taxes this year."

    The Legislature is now putting that promise to the test, seeking to increase taxes on the state’s highest individual and corporate earners as the legislative and

  • Max Politics Podcast: Senator Leroy Comrie on the MTA in State Budget Negotiations

    Senator Leroy Comrie (photo: Kevin P. Coughlin/Governor's Office)

    April 21, 2023 - Max Politics Podcast: Senator Leroy Comrie on the MTA in State Budget Negotiations

    State Senator Leroy Comrie, a Queens Democrat who chairs the Senate's committee with MTA oversight, joined the show to discuss how the MTA is factoring into state budget negotiations, plans for funding the transit authority, whether the state budget will advantage subway and bus riders, the future of Penn Station area redevelopment plans, housing and bail policy negotiations, and more.

    Listen to the

  • Major Climate and Energy Policies Being Decided in Albany State Budget Negotiations

    Gov. Hochul talks green energy (photo: Governor's Office)

    As Governor Kathy Hochul and the Legislature continue to hammer out the details of the overdue $230 billion state budget, there are major climate and energy policies at stake that environmental advocates say are crucial to meeting New York’s climate goals.

    Already about three weeks late, the state budget has been held up over the governor’s insistence on further changes to the bail law and wrangling with the Legislature over her ambitious “Housing Compact”

  • Hochul, Legislature Look to Allocate $337 Million to Fight Gun Violence; Where's It Going?

    Gov. Hochul discusses gun violence prevention funding plans (photo: Governor's Office)

    Acrimony in state budget talks over bail and discovery reform belies broad agreement between Governor Kathy Hochul and the Legislature on putting more than $330 million toward combating gun violence.

    Shootings have always plagued New York's cities but became a major public focus in recent years amid a pandemic-era spike in gun violence following decades of decline. Four out of five shooting victims in New York City are Black, most of

  • Max Politics Podcast: Breaking Down State Budget Negotiations, with Liz Benjamin & Ken Lovett

    Gov. Hochul and other state leaders (photo: Governor's Office)

    April 14, 2023 - Max Politics Podcast: Breaking Down State Budget Negotiations, with Liz Benjamin & Ken Lovett

    Liz Benjamin and Ken Lovett, two veteran Albany journalists now in public affairs consulting, joined the show to discuss New York state budget negotiations, the power dynamics at play in the capital, key issues being negotiated among Governor Hochul and the Legislature, and more.

    Listen to the conversation and let us know what you think, on Twitter ...

  • CUNY Funding a Key Issue in State and City Budget Negotiations


    Gov. Hochul speaks at LaGuardia Community College CUNY (photo: @CUNY)

    Funding for the City University of New York, CUNY, is among a number of major focus issues as elected officials negotiate a new state budget this month and a new city budget by July.

    Lawmakers, students, faculty, and others are concerned about proposals in both Governor Kathy Hochul’s and Mayor Eric Adams’ budget proposals, which are now the source of negotiations with their respective legislatures. Though Hochul included a modest increase in overall funding for CUNY in her January executive budget, she also proposed

  • 'It's Incumbent on the State To Do This': Lawmakers ‘Optimistic’ Housing Access Vouchers will be in Budget Deal

    A place to call home (photo: Michael Appleton/Mayor's Office)

    As Governor Kathy Hochul tries to convince the Legislature to support her ambitious housing agenda focused on increasing the supply of homes, legislators seem unwilling to do so without including in a state budget deal major protections for current tenants including a new rental voucher program.

    The Housing Access Voucher Program (HAVP) would provide state-funded rental subsidy vouchers to those experiencing homelessness or facing evictions and at risk of homelessness, regardless of immigration status. The bill is sponsored by

  • It’s Time for Albany to Expand Educational Choice for New York City Families

    (photo: Kevin P. Coughlin/Office of Governor Kathy Hochul)

    This month, the New York State Legislature has the chance to pass a state budget that will have a profoundly positive impact for thousands of students in New York City.  

    In February, Governor Kathy Hochul proposed lifting the regional cap on charter schools in New York City, and reviving “zombie” charters – a proposal that would finally allow more public charter schools to open their doors. The proposal would mean two things: more good schools in the communities

  • Hochul, Legislators Look to Pass Holistic Criminal Justice Improvements


    (photo: Mike Groll/Office of Governor Kathy Hochul)

    While another potential rollback of bail reforms has taken center stage in state budget negotiations for the second straight year, the fates of a swath of other criminal justice programs are being quietly hashed out.

    Governor Kathy Hochul and state legislative leaders are in the midst of pinning down the contours of a roughly $230 billion state budget, already past the April 1 start of the new fiscal year. Even with the focus on bail, all parties are talking about a holistic suite of criminal justice-related policies with hundreds of

  • For a More Equitable New York City, Reinstate 421-A

    Affordable housing on the docket (photo: Michael Appleton/Mayoral Photography Office)

    The great strength of New York is our diversity. Strangers from all walks of life share the subway, the sidewalk, and the park. Of course, it’s not perfect: spiking inequality coupled with an acute housing affordability crisis has fostered disparities that have been exacerbated by the pandemic.  But very few large cities anywhere on the planet has our “gorgeous mosaic” of the well-off and the working class; the immigrant and the well-established; the young and the old; the cis- and