Gotham Gazette

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State Legislature

State Legislature

  • Senate GOP Leader Rob Ortt at a rally (photo: NY Senate GOP)


    March 29, 2022 - Max Politics Podcast: Senate Minority Leader Rob Ortt on State Budget Priorities

    Rob Ortt, the State Senate Republican Minority Leader, joined the show to discuss state budget negotiations and top priorities for the GOP conference, including bail reform and more, as well as the potential Buffalo Bills stadium deal.

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

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  • Health care at the hospital (photo: Jeff Reed/City Council)


    Far too many New Yorkers living with serious mental illnesses have been left to languish in our streets, hospitals, jails, and prisons without adequate access to the health care, housing, employment, and other rehabilitative and supportive services they need to survive and thrive.

    Thankfully, help is on the way this year. In the next week, the Governor and State Legislature will work to pass a budget launching an unprecedented number of initiatives to help New

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  • Overdose rescue kit (photo: Edwin J. Torres/Mayoral Photo Office)


    The city of Rochester is not immune to our country’s overdose crisis. In 2020, the most recent year we have data from, we lost over 230 people to preventable overdoses in our city, and preliminary data points to that only increasing in 2021. Each person we are losing sends a shockwave through our communities and families, and we cannot give in to the idea that this epidemic is normal or unpreventable.

    The reality is, every overdose death is preventable.

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  • 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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  • On the job (photo: Michael Appleton/Mayoral Photography Office)


    Roughly a decade has passed since New York City experiencedcrime rates and

    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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  • The New York State Senate (photo: NYS Senate Media Services)


    As with every wave, the Omicron variant stirred a swell of infections and death in New York State's psychiatric hospitals, where some of the most vulnerable New Yorkers are living in congregate settings that heighten the risk of COVID-19.

    The state's 24 facilities, run by the Office of Mental Health (OMH), house roughly 4,400 patients. At least 55 patients and 12 employees have died of COVID-19 since the virus was first detected in New York, a relatively high patient covid fatality rate. ...

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    Gov. Hochul at a solar farm event (photo: Philip Kamrass/New York Power Authority)


    In 2019, I took a vote in Albany that I remain proud of to this day: after supporting the bill for many years, I voted to finally pass the Climate Leadership and Community Protection Act (CLCPA). I thought we were on track. The CLCPA made New York a true leader on climate, committing our state to a rapid decarbonization of our economy and ensuring that we invest in frontline communities most impacted by pollution and climate

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  • Kids at rest (photo: William Alatriste/City Council)


    While New Yorkers have been battling the COVID-19 pandemic, another public health epidemic is on the horizon that similarly affects their capacity to breathe freely: asthma. In 2019,over 1.4 million New Yorkers were living with asthma, and this number has likely grown since then. Over...

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    Freelance photography (photo: NYC Department of Consumer & Worker Protection)


    In 2017, New York City’s “Freelance Isn’t Free” legislation took effect, giving gig workers crucial protections against exploitation and wage theft. State Senator Andrew Gounardes and Assemblymember Harry Bronson are now attempting to replicate the law state-wide with a new bill they introduced on Thursday that would expand state labor law protections to freelancers.

    The bill from Gounardes, a Brooklyn Democrat, and Bronson, a Rochester Democrat,

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  • (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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    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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  • (photo: Michael Appleton/Mayoral Photography Office)

    (photo: Michael Appleton/Mayoral Photography Office)


    The construction industry was more deadly to workers in New York in the first year of the pandemic than in the two years prior, reversing a multiyear decline in the statewide fatality rate, a new report shows.

    Forty-one workers were killed on construction sites in New York in 2020, including 13 in New York City, according to a report published Thursday

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  • adams testifies leg

    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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  • opp reim welfare

    Kids at play (photo: Michael Appleton/Mayoral Photography Office)


    Prior to the pandemic, countless New York families struggled to put food on the table, pay rent, and access the child care or behavioral health care they desperately needed. 

    Unacceptably, poverty often resulted in families getting involved in the child welfare system and disproportionately impacted children and families of color. Today, the pandemic has only heightened these needs and exacerbated the risk of child welfare involvement.

    We’re at an inflection point. Now

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  • (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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  • rockland psychiatric center main buildings

    Rockland Psychiatric Center (photo: @Acroterion via Wikimedia Commons)


    The winter COVID-19 surge in state-run psychiatric centers has continued, killing two patients in January and with roughly 200 patients still infected as of February 2.

    The facilities, 24 in all, are home to New Yorkers deemed to have severe mental illnesses that require segregation from the community and/or on-site treatment. There are currently 4,400

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  • child store ramos

    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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  • NY Senate

    State Senator Zellnor Myrie of Brooklyn (photo: NY Senate)


    With the failure of federal voting rights legislation this month in the U.S. Senate, advocates in New York are redoubling a push to pass a sweeping state bill that would shore up voting protections for historically disenfranchised groups.

    Legislators introduced the John R. Lewis New York State Voting Rights Act in 2020 to fill at the state level some of the holes left in the federal Voting Rights Act after successive defangings by the U.S. Supreme Court in the past decade. The bill would enshrine a

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  • Michael Appleton/Mayoral Photography Office

    Voting in NYC (photo: Michael Appleton/Mayoral Photography Office)


    State lawmakers are amending a bill that could change the make-up and management structure of the New York City Board of Elections in an attempt to make the troubled agency more effective and accountable.

    "We've been working with both the State Board of Election for guidance, many election lawyers, many people familiar with the problems that the city has had forever with their

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  • sen liz kru 600

    State Senator Liz Krueger (photo: NY Senate)


    January 19, 2022 - Max Politics Podcast: Senator Liz Krueger on Assessing the Governor's Budget and Other 2022 Priorities

    State Senator Liz Krueger, chair of the Senate's finance committee, joined the show to discuss Governor Kathy Hochul's Executive Budget and the hearings Krueger will soon hold on it, as well as other priorities for the Manhattan Democrat including ethics and elections reforms, implementation of the state's marijuana legalization, and more.

    Listen to

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


    Governor Kathy Hochul on Tuesday put forth a $216.3 billion Executive Budget for the 2023 fiscal year, which begins April 1, making massive proposed investments in education, health care, and infrastructure as the state continues on its road to recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic.

    Hochul touted a “socially responsible and fiscally prudent” budget plan that will rebuild the state’s health-care and education workforces, provide tax relief to middle

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    Inside Rikers Island (photo: Michael Appleton/Mayoral Photography Office)


    In 1894, the framers of New York’s most recent constitution created the State Commission of Correction. With eight members, the Commission was empowered to visit and inspect all penal institutions in New York State and to promote their “humane and efficient administration.”

    Clearly, they are failing: New York’s correctional institutions are neither “humane or efficient” today. Rikers

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    Senator Jessica Ramos (photo: NY Senate Media Services)


    January 11, 2022 - Max Politics Podcast: Senator Jessica Ramos on Expanding Child Care, Replenishing the Excluded Workers Fund, & More

    State Senator Jessica Ramos, a Queens Democrat who chairs the Senate's labor committee, joined the show to discuss her push to vastly expand child care in New York, replenishing the Excluded Workers Fund, raising the minimum wage, and other top 2022 priorities, as well as aspects of the political and electoral

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  • roc kh holds

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


    Essential workers have been on the frontlines of the COVID-19 pandemic for two years, risking their lives to keep the rest of us safe and the economy running. These workers don’t have the option to work from home—they are your grocers, nurses, delivery workers, transit operators, retail workers, and more—and they are most vulnerable to this deadly virus. They are also overwhelmingly people of color, women, and immigrants, enduring dangerous jobs for the benefit of the many.

    And now, we look to essential

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