Gotham Gazette

The Place for New York Policy and politics

State Legislature

State Legislature

  • state senator krueger during alb

    State Senator Liz Krueger, the author (photo: NY Senate)


    Advances in assisted reproductive technology (ART), including intrauterine insemination (IUI), in vitro fertilization (IVF), egg and sperm donation, and surrogacy, have created remarkable new family-building options in the last several decades. As someone who is unable to have my own biological children, I support New Yorkers being able to use ART, including surrogacy, to build the families they want.

    Yet these relatively new technologies bring with them complex

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  • equityorg cityhall

    Rally to call for legalization of adult marijuana use (photo: @equityorg)


    Governor Cuomo's rollout of a reworked Cannabis Regulation and Taxation Act means this may finally be the year New Yorkers get access to legal weed. And while a similar legalization push floundered in the statehouse last year, many are optimistic about its odds during the 2020 legislative session. Not only are the vast ...

  • reacc rosw

    (photo: Governor's Office)


    A New Yorker who suffers a heart attack is typically rushed to the nearest hospital for treatment. In a life-threatening emergency minutes matter, so the practice is sound public policy. Yet, if it turns out the hospital is not in the patient’s insurance network, the sigh of relief is short-lived. The bill for the care can top $100,000. Surprise!

    Unaffordable medical bills are the top financial concern of two-thirds of Americans. The crazy system we have created of public and private health insurers, in-and-out of network providers, and

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  • regis voter cha

    (photo: Michael Appleton/Mayoral Photography Office)


    In response to several trends, including low voter turnout and civic knowledge, the past few years have seen a sporadic push for stronger civics education in New York and beyond.

    In the spring of 2018, New York City launched a ”Civics For All” Initiative, which “provides resources, programming, and professional learning to all NYC schools. The initiative focuses on education models

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  • doctors health care

    (photo: Governor's Office)


    When it comes to determining the proper course of care for a serious health issue, decisions should be made by a patient and their health care provider. But too often, health insurers have been undermining providers’ decisions in efforts to cut costs — forcing them to navigate burdensome bureaucratic roadblocks before agreeing to cover prescribed treatments and services. That can result in patients facing delays in care or going untreated altogether.

    To address this problem, New York lawmakers recently worked to

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  • salazar census rally

    State Senator Julia Salazar at a Census rally


    The U.S. Census Bureau will soon kick off the 2020 Census count by sending mail to households to inform them about filling out a questionnaire that lists their names, where they live and how many people live with them, their race and ethnicity, and other information. Self-response to the Census yields the most accurate information about households and given that New Yorkers speak more than 200 languages, Brooklyn State Senator Julia Salazar wants to take steps to ensure that as many people are guided toward participation in

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  • bill online voter

    State Senator Myrie, middle, is pushing his online voter registration bill (photo: @SenatorMyrie)


    Last year, the New York City Board of Elections hobbled a City Council effort to create an online voter registration portal for city residents, claiming it conflicted with state law. But the state Legislature may take steps to correct that situation this year by clarifying the law and allowing an online portal that would act as a test case for a statewide system slated to launch next year.

    The New York City Council passed ...

  • budget hearing jfc

    (photo: Michael Appleton/Mayoral Photography Office)


    Mayor Bill de Blasio made his annual trip to Albany on Monday to testify before the state Legislature on Governor Andrew Cuomo’s executive budget proposal, which is $178 billion for the 2021 fiscal year, and urged lawmakers to help prevent what he called nearly $1.4 billion in potential funding “cuts” to the city that could result largely from a proposed overhaul of the state Medicaid program.

    Testifying before the joint fiscal committees of the State Senate and Assembly over the course of

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  • crowds gather witness

    (photo: Michael Appleton/Mayor's Office)


    New York’s Public Service Commission recently approved another rate hike for Con Edison, as it does every three years. This hike will increase electric rates by 13% and gas rates by 22% over the next three years.

    Con Edison won. Like always, it requested and was granted its rate hike. It doesn't matter that New Yorkers already pay the second highest municipal rates in the country. Nor the $200 million for new fossil-fuel infrastructure baked into Con Ed's request. Despite this, state regulators are once

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  • Cuomo legislative leaders

    Cuomo, center, with 2018 legislative majority leaders (photo: Kevin P. Coughlin/Governor's Office)


    After two years of legislative negotiations, commission reports, and lawsuits, parts of a planned salary increase for state officials remain up in the air, and the fate of long-sought restrictions on legislators’ outside income sits entirely with state lawmakers themselves.

    The raises and corresponding outside income limitations were made by a commission created by the governor and Legislature created to alter the laws dictating

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  • 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

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  • gov cuomo albany fy21 exec budget

    (photo: Darren McGee/Office of Governor Andrew M. Cuomo)


    Governor Andrew Cuomo released his 2021 executive budget proposal in Albany on Tuesday, presenting an $178 billion spending plan for the next fiscal year, including $105.8 billion in state operational spending, a 1.9% increase over the current year, according to the governor’s budget documents.

    The governor proposed significant reforms to quickly-increasing state Medicaid spending and a radical rethinking of education aid to localities, the two largest parts of

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  • Cuomo corruption ethics

    Cuomo in 2013 (photo: Governor's Office)


    The government ethics agenda put forth by Governor Andrew Cuomo in his 2020 State of the State is much shorter than those he’s proposed in years passed.

    In fact, it contains just one proposal: legislation mandating some state officials publish their tax returns. Meanwhile, it leaves out several of Cuomo’s past proposals that have yet to be accomplished, including major campaign finance reforms supported by one of his top allies.

    The heavily-truncated list comes after more than a year of controversy

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  • wash wom rights

    Gov. Cuomo with Assemblymember Seawright, center, & others (photo: Governor's Office)


    Governor Andrew Cuomo is promoting a more expansive version of a New York State equal rights amendment than he did last year, tipping the balance between the discrepant Assembly and Senate bills in the direction of inclusivity, favored by the Senate.

    Despite Cuomo’s new support for a broader set of protections, the Assembly on Monday passed a narrower expansion for the second year in a row, renewing uncertainty about the amendment’s future.

    In 1938, New York

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  • prison cell bars

    (photo: Andrew Bardwell/Wikimedia Commons)


    When I was first elected to the New York State Assembly in November 2016, I pledged to promote safety, fairness, and justice for my community and other communities across New York. I knew that we had so much work to do to support everyday New Yorkers and their loved ones, especially those harmed by the criminal justice system—something that has impacted me and so many others in my northern Manhattan district for decades. 

    While colleagues and I made important changes to New York’s pre-trial legal system in

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  • Cuomo legislative leaders

    Gov. Cuomo and other state leaders (photo: Darren McGee, Governor's Office)


    In the opening days of the 2020 state legislative session, debate continues to rage over whether to revisit major changes to the bail system made last year and key Albany policy-makers have been staking out initial positions in a reignited conversation that could lead to revising the reforms.

    The three top decision-makers -- Governor Andrew Cuomo, Assembly Speaker Carl Heastie, and Senate Majority Leader Andrea Stewart-Cousins, all Democrats -- have each taken a

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  • and cuomo westchester kc office

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


    State lawmakers are poised to make a second attempt at launching the process to legalize automatic voter registration for eligible New Yorkers who interact with certain government agencies.

    Mirroring the auspicious beginning of the 2019 session, which in the first weeks saw a historic spate of voting reforms passed by the new two-house Democratic majority, lawmakers say another package of election bills, including automatic voter registration (AVR), is likely to

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  • jan wbai krueger600

    Seantor Liz Krueger, center (photo: New York State Senate)


    January 8, 2020 - Max & Murphy Podcast: Cuomo's State of the State & What's Next, with Senator Liz Krueger

    jan wbai krueger250State Senator Liz Krueger, a Manhattan Democrat and chair of the Senate finance committee, joined the show to give her reactions to Governor Cuomo's State of the State speech,

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  • Cuomo signs legislation

    (photo: Governor's Office)


    In the final weeks of 2019, Governor Andrew Cuomo quietly signed a bill changing the way affidavit ballots are counted, an issue that roiled New York City last summer during the controversial recount in the Queens District Attorney Democractic primary. Borough President Melinda Katz, who had Cuomo’s endorsement, eventually prevailed over public defender Tiffany Cabán by just 60 votes, with hundreds of potential votes not counted -- votes that may have been counted had the governor signed the affidavit ballot bill into law

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  • Cuomo State of the State

    Gov. Cuomo (photo: Mike Groll/Governor's Office)


    Having already released more than 30 proposals, Governor Andrew Cuomo will unveil his full 2020 agenda for this year’s legislative session on Wednesday as he delivers his annual State of the State address in Albany. Unlike last year and several others during his prior nine years as governor, Cuomo’s speech won’t be accompanied with the release of his executive budget proposal, which is expected soon and must address a $6.1 billion projected deficit for the next fiscal year.

    Cuomo’s 2020 agenda will

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  • worker protections freelancers gig

    (photo: Don Pollard/Governor's Office)


    I recently attended a fascinating panel on a topic that will be hotly-debated in Albany in 2020 – the regulation of the gig economy workforce. I listened to representatives from organized labor. We heard from spokespeople from technology platforms like Postmates and DoorDash. There were academics. There were even public officials, such as State Senator Diane Savino, the sponsor of a bill

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  • speaker co jo

    (photo: William Alatriste/City Council)


    January 1, 2019 - Max & Murphy Podcast: 2020 Vision - Previewing the Year Ahead in New York Politics

    PodcastJeff Mays of the New York Times, Dana Rubinstein of Politico New York, and Brendan Lyons of the Albany Times Union joined the show to preview 2020 in New York politics, with the first segment focused on New York City politics, Mayor de Blasio, and more, and the second segment

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  • bdb cohosted town vanessa gibson cm

    (photo: Mayoral Photography Office)


    1. Will Donald Trump be removed from office? Will he win a second term as president? What will be the results of any known or unknown investigations into Trump world, from Congress to New York Attorney General Letitia James to the U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of New York or elsewhere?

    2. How will Mike Bloomberg fare in the 2020 presidential race? What impact will he have on the race (even if he isn’t the Democratic nominee)?

    3. Who will key New York Democratic

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  • hud nycha announcement

    (photo: Michael Appleton/Mayoral Photography Office)


    December 25, 2019 - Max & Murphy Podcast: The Top 10 Stories of 2019 in New York Politics

    PodcastThe hosts break down the 10 biggest stories of 2019 in New York politics, from all-Democratic control in Albany to Mayor de Blasio's short-lived presidential campaign, from a federal monitor for NYCHA to a 'transformative' year at the MTA, Corey Johnson's quest to 'break

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  • outline justice agenda

    (photo: governor's office)


    New York State is set to adopt a new electoral campaign finance system, with voluntary participation, lower individual contribution limits, and a new public matching system to amplify small donations. It is based on the recommendations of a state commission, which also raised the threshold for political party ballot access, that will become law unless the state Legislature acts to amend them by Sunday, December 22, which legislative leaders have given no indication they will attempt.

    But while many reform-minded elected

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