Gotham Gazette

The Place for New York Policy and politics

 

State Legislature

State Legislature

  • gov cuomo dna

    (photo: Governor's Office)


    For decades, the phrase “three men in a room” has been used to capture how the leadership of New York state government (the governor, the state Assembly speaker and the state Senate majority leader) in Albany decides in back-room negotiations what legislation lives or dies. Finally, this year, state government can remake itself much closer to the image of true democracy. Leaders in the Assembly and Senate, Carl Heastie and Andrea Stewart-Cousins, are for the first time both African-American, and one is a woman.

    This is an undeniably

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  • mxm logo

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


    February 13, 2019 - Max & Murphy Podcast: A Hearing on Sexual Harassment in Albany, with Rita Pasarell of the Sexual Harassment Working Group

    rita pasarell wbai 150Rita Pasarell was a victim of sexual harassment as a legislative aide and has more recently been an advocate pushing the state to hold public hearings on

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  • cy vance manhattanda

    Manhattan DA Cy Vance (photo: @ManhattanDA)


    District attorneys wield nearly unfettered discretion as to whether to prosecute potential defendants, but nothing in the law prevents lawyers for the accused from donating to a district attorney’s election campaign. Most New Yorkers became aware of this glaring blindspot in the state’s campaign finance law in 2017, following news that Manhattan District Attorney Cy Vance’s campaign had accepted thousands of dollars from an attorney for Harvey Weinstein, the disgraced Hollywood mogul who Vance’s office had

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  • de Blasio city hall budget

    Mayor de Blasio (photo: Ed Reed/Mayor's Office)


    Mayor Bill de Blasio received a warmer reception in Albany on Monday than he has in past years as he testified before the state Legislature on Governor Andrew Cuomo’s 2020 executive budget proposal and how it would affect New York City. Over the course of more than two hours, the mayor argued for more education funding, emphasized the need for a comprehensive revenue plan for the MTA, enlisted legislators to help fend off proposed funding cuts and costs shifts, and defended his

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  • health care is a right

    (photo: Michael Appleton/Mayor's Office)


    In November, New Yorkers voted for a united government in Albany with a resounding directive: fix our broken healthcare system. Those election results are directly linked to the financial strain New Yorkers are facing as they struggle to choose between paying for their medication, premiums, long-term care, and basic needs, such as food or housing.

    The high costs of healthcare in our state have devastated hundreds of thousands of New York families by bankrupting those who are

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  • mxm logo

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


    February 7, 2019 - Max & Murphy Podcast: State Senator Alessandra Biaggi

    alessandra biaggi 150Alessandra Biaggi shocked the New York political world when she defeated then-State Senator Jeff Klein in last September's primary. After hitting the ground running upon taking office in January, State Senator Biaggi joined

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  • express poll e poll book

    (photo: Elections Systems & Software)


    As Democrats in the state Legislature continue a rapid pace of passing legislation to start the new session, the state Senate seems poised to advance another round of election and voting reforms, including approving the use of electronic poll books to administer elections.

    Electronic poll books, used in at least 34 states and the District of Columbia, are a fairly simple but significant instrument in

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  • New York City Hall

    New York City Hall


    What to watch for this week in New York politics:

    This week the state Legislature will continue its very busy start to the year, including more budget hearings, while Governor Andrew Cuomo will give a speech in Manhattan on Thursday.

    The main event of the week might be the first debate in the special election for Public Advocate, which will take place ...

  • gov cuomo provide update clinton

    (photo: the governor's office)


    Taking the stage at the Global Citizen Festival in Central Park last September, Governor Andrew Cuomo promised to end cash bail “once and for all,” a move that would launch New York into the national spotlight with New Jersey and California. “In America you are still innocent until proven guilty,” he told the cheering crowd. “And that’s whether you’re black or white. That’s whether you’re rich or poor.”

    The elimination of the cash bail system, under which poor black and Hispanic New Yorkers

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  • cuomo legistlation pro

    Gov. Cuomo with Lt. Gov. Hochul & legislative leaders (photo: Mike Groll/Governor's Office)


    Governor Andrew Cuomo, a third-term Democrat, delivered his State of the State speech earlier this month, laying out his proposed $175.2 billion executive budget for the 2020 state fiscal year that begins April 1. Calling it his “justice agenda,” Cuomo unveiled a long list of proposals, some new and

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  • victor della plaza hotel rally

    (photo: The Release Aging People in Prison Campaign)


    For years, advocates, community members, and New York State lawmakers have worked to change our state’s unfair, biased, and harmful criminal legal system. We came together as supporters of common sense, cost-saving reforms that would benefit all New Yorkers. But our efforts were stymied by a political landscape that prevented us from making these important changes.

    Now that landscape is different and the power dynamics in the state Legislature have shifted, it is time for

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  • New York City Hall

    New York City Hall


    What to watch for this week in New York politics:

    This week the fast pace of action early in the new Albany legislative session will continue, as Democrats now in control of both houses and the governor's office move ahead with more of their policy agenda. This week's highlights will include the Child Victims Act and several gun control bills. See below for more.

    In New York City, it's the 2019 "City Hall in Your Borough" week in the Bronx. Mayor Bill de

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  • gov cuomo carlheastie

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


    New Yorkers have been upset by state legislators’ compensation for more than 200 years. At the 1821 constitutional convention, Ezekiel Bacon, a former member of the Assembly and of Congress, called the pay issue “…a hobby horse of ambitious demagogues and peddling politicians, that caused the great questions that affected the vital interest of the state too often to be overlooked.” The current debate is nothing new. We’ve never liked how much legislators are paid. We’ve never liked how the matter is

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  • govcuomo pass

    (photo by Governor's Office)


    A legally-mandated state commission that was meant to examine the challenges in counting New York’s population for the 2020 Census and craft recommendations to achieve an accurate count has not been named despite having already missed a January 10 deadline for issuing its initial report.

    Last year, Governor Andrew Cuomo and the state Legislature included in the state budget a measure to create the New York State 2020 Complete Count

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  • cuomo sotos ja

    (photo via the Governor's office)


    Governor Andrew Cuomo, a Democrat starting his third term, laid out an ambitious social, economic, and racial “justice agenda” at his State of the State speech on Tuesday as he also presented a $175.2 billion executive budget proposal for the 2020 state fiscal year that begins April 1.

    Speaking at the Hart Theater in Albany, Cuomo celebrated full Democratic control of the State Legislature for the first time in his tenure and promised quick movement on a raft of legislation within the first 100 days of the new legislative

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  • senator cat young

    Senator Young, the author (photo: @SenatorCathyYoung)


    It’s a new day in New York. On January 1, the Senate Republican Conference, our state’s last line of defense against tax-and-spend, downstate-centric policies, assumed its new role as the minority party in the New York State Senate.

    While many in New York are cheering this change, many others are wary. They should be.

    A host of progressive, and in some cases, extremist, agenda items are being pushed by Governor Cuomo and the Democratic majorities in each house of the

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  • comprehensive reform gov

    (photo via the Governor's Office)


    As the state Legislature returns to session on Wednesday with Democrats in control of both chambers for the first time in a decade, State Senator Liz Krueger of Manhattan and Assemblymember Robert Carroll from Brooklyn are set to introduce a resolution that would amend the state constitution, adding new provisions to prevent and combat public corruption.

    The resolution, first introduced late in last year’s

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  • macaulay honors college

    (photo via CUNY Office of Communications)


    Every year thousands of undocumented youth graduate from high school with a singular hope of realizing their American Dream and making it to college. Too often, though, these dreams are deferred as immigrant youth are denied fair and equal access to state financial aid.

    There is a solution to this injustice: the New York Dream Act. The bill would promote education equity, ensuring that every student has an equal opportunity to fulfill their dream of attending college by allowing immigrant youth access to New

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  • primary voting parkslope

    (photo: Michael Appleton/Mayoral Photography Office)


    Over the last several decades, 15 states across the country – both red and blue – have modernized their voting laws, including our neighbors in New Jersey and Massachusetts. Unfortunately, here in New York we remain mired in the past, refusing to implement reforms to fix the state’s poor electoral system and erecting arbitrary barriers to voter participation.

    The results are clear: New York routinely has some of the lowest voter turnout rates in the country. In 2018, ...

  • Cuomo de Blasio Amazon

    Cuomo & de Blasio celebrate Amazon to NY (photo: Kevin P. Coughlin/Governor's Office)


    1. Will Kirsten Gillibrand and/or Michael Bloomberg run for President?

    2. Will Andrew Cuomo explore a presidential run?

    3. How will Chuck Schumer perform as Senate minority leader amid a new power dynamic in Washington? What impact will Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez have as she officially takes office and the year progresses? What other New York representatives will make significant impact in the new Washington, especially given

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  • Cuomo Stewart-Cousins Klein

    (photo: The Governor's Office)


    As 2018 comes to a close, we’re looking back at some of our “best” and most-read articles of the year. In a separate post, we’ll highlight some of the “best” pieces we reported that aren’t among our top ten most-read articles, which are listed below. This list does not include articles like election guides or candidate lists or even our summaries of voter turnout numbers, all of which are often among our most-read posts, as was our article that reported on the mayor's charter revision commission

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  • jessica ramos mnn

    State Senator-elect Jessica Ramos (photo: Gotham Gazette)


    This is part of AGENDA 2019, a joint Gotham Gazette-City Limits project
    Find the rest of the series here

    mnn jessica ramos

    Jessica Ramos won an unlikely victory in the Democratic primary to then cruise to victory in the general election and become State Senator-elect for her Queens district

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  • nys senator elect state senate majority deputy leader mnn

    (photo: @MNN59)


    This is part of AGENDA 2019, a joint Gotham Gazette-City Limits project
    Find the rest of the series here

    mnn js mg

    Democrats won control of the State Senate in November and are set to take the majority in January, giving the party full control of state

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  • guards rikers

    (photo: Michael Appleton/Mayor's Office)


    This is part of AGENDA 2019, a joint Gotham Gazette-City Limits project
    Find the rest of the series here

    Riding high on the crest of a Democratic blue wave powered by grassroots progressives, New York Democrats finally took back the state Senate

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  • ethics reform announc

    Skelos, Cuomo & Silver in 2011 (photo via the Governor's office)


    This year’s elections in New York saw the issues of public corruption and government ethics reform take centerstage in several campaigns. Insurgent Democratic candidates, some who succeeded and others who did not, challenged incumbent elected officials on their parts in the broken system of corruption prevention and ethics enforcement at the state level that has allowed -- some say encouraged -- rampant corruption and self-enrichment.

    Much criticism has been levelled at the state’s Joint Commission

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