Gotham Gazette

The Place for New York Policy and politics

 

State Legislature

State Legislature

  • freelancers rally

    Council Members Rafael Espinal, left, & Brad Lander (photo: City Council)


    Two years ago, the New York City Council’s Freelance Isn’t Free Act went into effect, giving freelance workers legal protections against wage theft, delayed payments, employer retaliation, and lack of contracts for their work. The first-of-its-kind law has since allowed the city to recoup thousands of dollars in wages for

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  • govcuomo capi rally

    Gov. Cuomo at a charter school rally (photo: governor's office)


    After several new charter schools were approved last month, the cap on such schools allowed in New York City was reached. New York State has a cap on the number of issuable charters, which allow a group to start a new charter school, the controversial, privately-run, publicly-funded schools that mostly proliferate in the five boroughs and educate roughly 10% of the city's 1 million students. Within the larger cap, there is a sub-cap for charters that can be issued for schools in New York

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  • cm carlos press

    (photo: John McCarten/City Council)


    A new statewide poll by the progressive think tank Data for Progress finds plurality support for a proposal to allow undocumented immigrants to obtain driver’s licenses, and majority support for legislation requiring “good cause” eviction of tenants and for legislation requiring schools to limit the use of student suspensions. The findings are likely to buoy Democrats in the Legislature as well as advocates attempting to pass those pieces of legislation, among other progressive priorities, before the end of the state

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  • andrew cuomo gov photos albany

    Sen. Hoylman, middle, with his husband & daughter, & Gov. Cuomo, right  (photo: governor's office)


    When Marisa Horowitz-Jaffe and her husband, Doug Jaffe, wanted to have a baby, they faced numerous obstacles before the birth of their twins via a surrogate in a Dallas hospital eight years ago.

    Their twins were born in a Texas hospital because the couple was forced to travel out of state in order to use a surrogate. New York is one of only two states in the country to criminalize surrogacy, a fact Horowitz-Jaffe

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  • cuomo klein via gov

    Cuomo and Klein (photo: governor's office)


    Few New York residents have probably heard of the State and Municipal Facilities Program, or SAM, but in recent years, it has been one of the top avenues by which state lawmakers “bring home the bacon,” providing many millions of dollars in funding for district projects. Otherwise known as “pork,” these projects include things like new or renovated parks, schools, libraries, and more, with far greater funding going to legislators based on their political power.

    However, in this year’s

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  • jessica ramos 600a

    (photo: @RamosforStateSenate)


    April 17, 2019 - Max & Murphy Podcast: State Senator Jessica Ramos on the Albany Agenda

    jessica ramos 150State Senator Jessica Ramos of Queens joined the show to discuss her first budget season in the state Legislature -- accomplishments, disappointments, lessons learned -- and what lies ahead on issues including marijuana legalization, rent

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  • govcuomo meadow

    (photo: Mike Groll/Office of Governor Andrew M. Cuomo)


    As focus on the 2020 Census intensifies, one key aspect of the discussion is how the population count will impact legislative representation and redistricting. Along with new congressional districts -- New York stands to lose at least one if not two seats in the House of Representatives -- ...

  • govcuomo photos

    (photo: governor's office)


    My organization, Reinvent Albany, applauds Governor Cuomo and the legislature for passing congestion pricing in the state budget. Yet we are concerned about it being undermined by boundless exemptions for politically powerful interest groups, and a proliferation of other new structures and requirements for the Metropolitan Transportation Authority (MTA) that passed along with the tolling program.

    Paradoxically, the MTA legislative “reform” package also included a deal for the Legislature to approve new CEO/Chair Pat Foye without

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  • cuomo salt weather

    (photo: governor's office)


    The federal tax law overhaul enacted at the end of 2017 capped state and local income and property tax deductions on federal income tax returns at $10,000, damaging millions of New Yorkers’(and tens of millions of other Americans’) ability to itemize deductions on their federal tax returns. The change also resulted in sudden shifts in New Yorkers’ behavior toward their own New York tax payments. Over the past two budget cycles the changes have destabilized New York State’s tax revenue collection patterns and caused considerable

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  • state map

    NY State Senate Districts (image via Google Maps)


    Following the 2020 Census, New York will kick off the decennial redrawing of its state legislative and congressional districts to ensure equitable representation based on population. But the next redistricting process is untested so far, having been approved after the 2010 Census when New York saw a severe undercount, contributing to the loss of one congressional seat, followed by a redistricting that many observers and elected officials criticized for creating overly complicated state legislative districts on partisan

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  • gnd4ny divestny

    (photo: John McCarten/NY City Council)


    The window for meaningful action on climate change is narrowing. Every year, as more climate impacts become “locked-in,” changes we have to make to save the planet become even harder to implement. Right now, fossil fuel industry campaign contributions to politicians are holding

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  • bail sign via zellnor

    (photo: @zellnor4ny)


    At a Sunday press conference, following his overnight announcement of a $175.5 billion budget deal, Governor Andrew Cuomo heralded a criminal justice reform agreement with the Legislature, and thanked one member of the Assembly in

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  • mxm logo

    Ben Max, left, of Gotham Gazette, and Jarrett Murphy, right, of City Limits


    April 3, 2019 - Max & Murphy Podcast: 10 State Budget Takeaways

    38813932055 a4cf29902e zThere's a new state budget, with $175.5 billion in spending and a lot of policy included. We break down some of the key takeaways.

    Listen to the conversation and let us know what you think -- we're on Twitter ...

  • housing complex

    (photo: Benjamin Kanter/Mayor's Office)


    April 3, 2019 - Max & Murphy Podcast: The Debate Over Rent Regulations

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  • Cuomo legislators bills

    (photo: governor's office)


    Although the state budget approved earlier this week included several progressive priorities for Governor Andrew Cuomo and the state Legislature, there are still three months left in the legislative session this year and a list of remaining items on which the governor and legislators have promised action.

    Taking advantage of their party’s newfound control over both houses of the Legislature, Democrats moved a long list of bills already this year, both prior to and in the budget. Though there has been a

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  • whats the data point


    What's The [Data] Point? Episode 70 -- $175.5 billion, Breaking Down the New State Budget, with Dave Friedfel and Patrick Orecki of CBC [You can download What's The [Data] Point? wherever you get your podcasts, including on iTunes]

    cuomo state budgetNew York State has a brand new $175.5 billion budget for the fiscal year that began April 1. Citizens Budget Commission experts

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  • Cuomo presentation budget

    Gov. Cuomo (photo: Kevin P. Coughlin/governor's office)


    The 2020 state budget agreement between Governor Andrew Cuomo and the state Legislature is one of the most consequential legislative packages to have passed in several years and enacts sweeping changes to the state’s criminal justice system, mass transit in New York City, voting laws, health care, environmental protections, and more. But government reform advocates are disappointed by what they see as half-measures on campaign finance reform and the exclusion of broader

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  • Cuomo top aides new budget deal 2019 2020

    Cuomo and top aides announce budget deal (photo: Mike Groll/Governor's Office)


    Governor Andrew Cuomo and legislative leaders agreed on a $175.5 billion state budget for fiscal year 2020, which begins Monday, that includes several significant policy changes for New York, including a congestion pricing program for New York City, a plastic bag ban of sorts, major criminal justice reforms, and a commitment to enact through a new commission a campaign finance program that includes public matching funds.

    The deal,

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  • Cuomo state budget briefing

    Gov. Cuomo and top aides (photo: governor's office)


    The deadline for the state’s 2020 fiscal year budget is midnight on Sunday and state legislators are expected to work through the weekend as they negotiate a variety of thorny issues with Governor Andrew Cuomo, finalizing the details of policies that have been agreed to in principle, fighting over other issues that are less settled, and determining exactly how much to spend on what in the new fiscal year that begins Monday.

    Some of the budget bills are already public, with

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  • city council rikers jail coreyjohnson

    Speaker Johnson, the author (photo: Jeff Reed/City Council)


    In New York, you can be locked up based on purported evidence that isn’t even disclosed to you, until a trial that can be postponed indefinitely, unless you are wealthy enough to pay your way out. That is the reality under our state’s antiquated laws governing cash bail, discovery, and speedy trial. With Democrats truly controlling both houses of the state Legislature and the governorship for the first time in decades, we now have a meaningful opportunity to

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  • gov cuomo long island no tax

    Gov. Cuomo on Long Island (photo: governor's office)


    Before Democrats reclaimed the state Senate last year, Governor Andrew Cuomo spent years triangulating with the Democratic-controlled Assembly, two factions of Senate Democrats, and the Republican Senate majority. The arrangement allowed him a heavy hand over the legislative and budget agendas in Albany and gave him the ability to claim credit and deflect blame as he saw fit (though critics didn’t always buy his explanations). Progressive legislation regularly withered on the vine

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  • mayorofficefirstdayfive

    (photo: Benjamin Kanter/Mayoral Photo Office)


    In 2007, I was honored to chair the Commission on School Governance, a body appointed by then Public Advocate Betsy Gotbaum to make recommendations on the future of New York City’s mayoral control law, which was about to come up for renewal.

    I brought a unique perspective to the deliberations. I had served two terms as president of the New York City Board of Education during the 1970s, and had fought hard to preserve the board’s role in hiring and monitoring the performance of NYC school

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  • may bdb nycha active construction

    (photo: Demetrius Freeman/Mayoral Photography Office)


    As the next state budget is being debated in Albany, increasing attention is being paid to the state’s prevailing wage laws. With so much misinformation out there, let’s set the record straight. Paying construction workers a middle class wage is a net positive for New York’s economy.

    Specifically, the issue is how construction workers are paid for projects that receive public funds. Since 1897, projects receiving taxpayer funds are required by New York State law to

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  • legalize marijuana new york rally

    (photo: Jake Plowden)


    The cannabis industry has expanded dramatically in recent years. The state of California led the way on the legalization of medical marijuana with the first dispensaries opening there more than 20 years ago. Colorado legalized recreational marijuana in 2014, and has since been joined by nearly a dozen other states and the District of Columbia.

    Yet in the midst of this cannabis market boom, communities of color have too often been left watching from the sidelines, excluded from the opportunity to create jobs

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  • cityo council john0mc cm

    (photo: John McCarten/NY City Council)


    We live in a state with enormous resources, and a $175 billion annual budget—yet many New Yorkers still lack access to adequate maternal care. New York's maternal mortality rate is higher than the national average, and even worse in communities of color. Black women are over three times more likely to die from complications during childbirth than their white

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