Gotham Gazette

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Kathy Hochul

Kathy Hochul

  • 12 Issues to Watch in Albany's Post-Budget Legislative Session

    Legislative leaders Stewart-Cousins and Heastie (photo: Kevin P. Coughlin/Office of the Governor)


    With a whopping $220 billion state budget approved, Governor Kathy Hochul and the State Legislature now move on to the post-budget legislative session with a long list of issues to address. The governor and two legislative majorities, all Democrats, have their own priorities, and New York City Mayor Eric Adams also has unfinished state business that he is hoping to accomplish before the session is over.

    But the clock is ticking, with the legislative session scheduled to end June 2, just

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  • State Budget Roundup: Ethics, Transparency, Spending Accountability, Campaign Finance, and Voting

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


    Good government groups and reform-minded officials have for years called for New York State’s Joint Commission on Public Ethics (JCOPE) to be scrapped and replaced with more independence from the elected officials it is meant to regulate. But since the details of a deal to replace the troubled commission began to emerge last month, reformers have raised alarms that the new body would hardly be better than the old.

    A new state ethics commission is one of several measures related to government ethics and

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  • What Adams Did and Didn't Get in His First State Budget as Mayor

    Mayor Adams in Albany (photo: Michael Appleton/Mayoral Photography Office)


    Governor Kathy Hochul and the state Legislature delivered a $220 billion state budget over the weekend, nine days late and packed with last-minute additions that proved controversial, including changes to state bail laws and a massive state subsidy for a new Buffalo Bills stadium upstate. For Mayor Eric Adams, it contained funding and policy decisions to meet some of the new mayor’s major priorities, while not fulfilling other aspects of his state agenda. 

    State Budget Includes Big Boost for CUNY

    City University of New York (photo: CUNY)


    The $220 billion state budget passed by Governor Kathy Hochul and the state Legislature over the weekend included a significant increase in operational and capital funding for CUNY, the City University of New York that educates roughly 275,000 students across 25 schools.

    The new funding will help cover student tuition assistance, faculty hiring, child care programs, fringe benefits for staffers and more. But while significant, the increase of roughly $240 million in CUNY

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  • Max Politics Podcast: Bob Hardt on the Subway Shooting and Lieutenant Governor's Resignation

    Gov. Hochul announcing Brian Benjamin as her Lt. Gov. (photo: Darren McGee/Office of the Governor)


    April 13, 2022 - Max Politics Podcast: Subway Shooting, Lieutenant Governor Resigns & What's Next in New York Politics

    Bob Hardt, New York political director for Spectrum News, joined the show to discuss the major events of the week: the Brooklyn subway station shooting and the resignation of Lieutenant Governor Brian Benjamin, and what comes next.

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

  • Max Politics Podcast: Senators Julia Salazar & Jabari Brisport on the New State Budget

    State Senators Julia Salazar, left, & Jabari Brisport


    April 13, 2022 - Max Politics Podcast: Senators Julia Salazar & Jabari Brisport on the New State Budget

    State Senators Julia Salazar and Jabari Brisport, both Brooklyn Democrats and members of the Democratic Socialists of America, joined the show to discuss major recent events -- the Brooklyn subway shooting and resignation of Lt. Gov. Brian Benjamin -- as well as the recently-passed state budget and upcoming legislative session.

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

  • Expansion of Kendra's Law, Funding for Psychiatric Beds Among State Budget Decisions on Mental Illness Policy

    Gov. Hochul speaks to health care providers (photo: Kevin P. Coughlin/Office of Governor Kathy Hochul)


    Embedded in the $220 billion state budget lawmakers adopted this past weekend is a controversial expansion of Kendra's Law, which allows judges to mandate mental health treatment, including inpatient commitment, to people with mental illness deemed a danger to themselves or others.

    The change to the state's mental hygiene law, one of a handful of contentious final proposals pushed by Governor Kathy Hochul,

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  • Max Politics Podcast: Senator John Liu on Final State Budget Negotiations

    Senator John Liu (photo: NY Senate)


    April 6, 2022 - Max Politics Podcast: Senator John Liu on State Budget Negotiations

    State Senator John Liu, a Queens Democrat, joined the show to discuss final state budget negotiations, hitting on a wide range of key topics being decided among the State Senate, Assembly, and Governor.

    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 get

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  • Bills Stadium Deal Tests Hochul's Ethics Promises and Legislature's Oversight Role

    Gov. Hochul at a Bills game (photo: @GovKathyHochul)


    Last week Governor Kathy Hochul announced a deal to build a new stadium for the Buffalo Bills with hundreds of millions of dollars in state subsidies, and that she was planning to push it through the state budget with little time for scrutiny by the Legislature or public. It was the exact type of Albany politics many feared of the secretive negotiations with Hochul’s hometown team – and the type she promised to leave behind when she took office last year.

    The new stadium deal is also the first major test of a non-binding ...

  • What to Watch For as a New York State Budget Deal is Reached

    Gov. Hochul addresses the Legislature (photo: Darren McGee/Governor's Office)


    New York officials are in the final stages of negotiating what is likely to be a roughly $220 billion state budget for the next fiscal year, which begins Friday, April 1. While the Legislature will not pass the budget bills by the start of the fiscal year, a deal between Governor Kathy Hochul and the two houses of the Legislature is expected within a few days.

    The budget contains hundreds of funding and policy priorities that will impact government

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  • Max Politics Podcast: Senator Gustavo Rivera on Crunch-Time State Budget Negotiations

    State Senator Gustavo Rivera (photo: NYS Senate Media Services)


    March 30, 2022 - Max Politics Podcast: Senator Gustavo Rivera on State Budget Negotiations

    State Senator Gustavo Rivera, a Bronx Democrat and chair of the Senate health committee, joined the show to discuss final state budget negotiations, touching on a variety of key issues, as well as the overarching process, Mayor Adams' Albany agenda, and more.

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

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  • Will New York Form a Covid Response Review Commission?

    Gov. Cuomo holding a covid briefing (photo: Governor's Office)


    In 2018, a sight-seeing helicopter crashed into the East River near Manhattan's Upper East Side, killing five passengers. A year later it happened again on the roof of a skyscraper in midtown. The pilot died. After the second crash, Senator Chuck Schumer called for the FAA to require helicopters be equipped with "black boxes," like airplanes, so officials could examine what goes on in the cockpit before a wreck and avoid future tragedies.

    Two years after the first recorded COVID-19 deaths in New York, facing the threat of a new strain

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  • Max Politics Podcast: What to Know as State Budget Negotiations Enter the Home Stretch

    Governor Hochul speaks to the Legislature (photo: Mike Groll/Office of Governor Kathy Hochul)


    March 23, 2022 - Max Politics Podcast: What to Know as State Budget Negotiations Enter the Home Stretch

    With a new New York state budget due by the April 1 start of the next fiscal year, two top Albany journalists -- Susan Arbetter of Spectrum News and Luis Ferré-Sadurní of the New York Times -- joined the show to break down the key issues being negotiated among Governor Kathy Hochul and the State Legislarture in the home stretch.

    Listen to the conversation and let us know

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  • 'Database of Deals' for State Business Subsidy Accountability Backed by Both Houses of Legislature

    Gov. Hochul talks economic development (photo: Darren McGee/Office of Governor Kathy Hochul)


    In their separate one-house budget resolutions passed this week both houses of the State Legislature included a "database of deals," a public register of state business subsidies that would shed light on billions of dollars in government incentives to corporations.

    The legislation, which has been around for years but not passed, would require the state to publish a searchable database of state subsidies for economic development projects that would document the corporate recipient, the state benefits received,

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  • 'Clear Proof Lives Have Been Saved': Will New York Expand on First Overdose Prevention Centers?

    An Overdose Prevention Center (photo: @nycHealthy)


    In December, New York City became the first municipality in the country to establish Overdose Prevention Centers to allow people with substance use disorders to safely use drugs under medical supervision while receiving services such as medical care, mental health treatment, and more. After years of consideration and discussions with other levels of government, the de Blasio administration gave a longtime nonprofit service-provider the go-ahead to offer safe injection sites.

    Within the first three months, the two sites in East Harlem and Washington

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  • ‘A Fundamental Shift’: New York’s Clean Energy Plans Move Ahead

    NYSERDA's Doreen Harris with Gov. Hochul (photo: Mike Groll/Governor's Office)


    New York is well on its way to meeting its ambitious clean energy goals, according to one of the top state officials charged with implementation, and there are several major projects in the offing essential to moving from fossil fuels to a combination of wind, water, and solar power.

    Doreen Harris, the president and CEO of the New York State Energy Research and Development Authority’s (NYSERDA),

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  • 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

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

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    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

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  • Adams Testifies Before State Legislature with Focus on Criminal Justice Reforms, Mayoral Control of Schools, and Social Safety Net

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    Mayor Adams (photo: Michael Appleton/Mayoral Photography Office)


    Mayor Eric Adams on Wednesday appeared before the State Legislature to testify on Governor Kathy Hochul’s proposed budget for the 2023 fiscal year and his own Albany agenda, as well as take questions from legislators. Adams, a former state senator making his first appearance before the Legislature as mayor, reiterated his calls for changes to state criminal justice laws, pushed for changes in state law to enhance child care and tax credits for working New Yorkers, asked for more state

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  • Adams to Present Albany Agenda, React to Hochul Budget

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

    Mayor Adams and Governor Hochul (photo: Mike Groll/Governor's Office)


    During his first month in office, Mayor Eric Adams issued a plan to address gun violence, signed several executive orders, and announced a few other policy initiatives, but he has largely been occupied by a series of tragedies in the city and building

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  • A Housing Plan for the Pandemic’s Aftermath

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    A housing line-up (photo: Governor's Office)


    Governor Kathy Hochul’s commitment to a $25 billion, five-year housing plan creating and preserving 100,000 affordable homes throughout the state – including 10,000 supportive housing units designed to prevent homeessness – sends a bold and welcome signal to low-income New Yorkers still grappling with the spiraling economic effects of the pandemic. 

    At a time when 4 in 10 job losses have not come

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  • Agency Heads Explain Hochul's Plan for State Hiring Spree

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

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


    Despite recruitment and retention challenges, state agencies will be able to achieve Governor Kathy Hochul’s plan to return staffing to pre-pandemic levels, officials testified Monday at a legislative budget hearing.

    "I believe that all agencies will be able to attain that goal," said Acting Commissioner of the Department of Civil Service Rebecca Corso, referring to the governor’s vision for next fiscal year, which begins April

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  • 'I'm Coming Back for $3 Billion More': Jessica Ramos on the Excluded Workers Fund, Child Care Expansion, Nail Salon Wages, and More

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    State Senator Jessica Ramos (photo: NY Senate)


    New York should more aggressively tax the state’s billionaires and large businesses to support workers, provide child care, and boost a just economic recovery from the pandemic, according to State Senator Jessica Ramos.

    Speaking on a recent episode of the Max Politics podcast from Gotham Gazette, Ramos, a Queens Democrat and chair of the Senate's labor committee, outlined her 2022 goals. At the top of

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  • Max Politics Podcast: New York's Clean Energy Vision

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    NYSERDA CEO Doreen Harris, left, with DEC Commissioner Basil Seggos (photo: @Doreen_M_Harris)


    January 28, 2022 - Max Politics Podcast: New York's Clean Energy Vision

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    photo: Rex Linga

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  • For State's Future, The Governor Must Say No Sometimes

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

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


    Now that Governor Hochul’s State of the State address and budget presentation have been delivered, the drumbeat of advocates, interest groups, legislators and other officials seeking increased spending will grow louder. With the primary election in only six months the temptation is strong to give everyone at least some of what they want. But, flush as the state’s coffers are right now, New York cannot afford to do it all and difficult decisions

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