Gotham Gazette

The Place for New York Policy and politics

 

State Legislature

State Legislature

  • aerial solar panels

    (photo: mayor's office on flickr)


    On Friday, March 15, over 1 million students from 125 countries walked out of school to demand that we act on climate change.  As New Yorkers, we’re already seeing the devastating impacts of climate change in our communities. We all remember the damage to homes, lives, and communities caused by Superstorm Sandy, and we know we’ll face more intense storms in the future. As summers get longer and hotter, more of our elderly neighbors will be at risk for heat stroke or even death.

    We also know that the impacts

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  • gov cuomo immigrant

    (photo: governor's office)


    Immigrants in New York are under attack. In New York City for example, despite municipal policies to welcome and protect immigrants, ICE arrests of immigrant individuals with no criminal convictions have rapidly increased. From fiscal year 2016 to fiscal year 2018, ICE non-criminal arrests in the New York City area increased by 414%.

    These increases reflect the president’s negative rhetoric and policies

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  •  nynurses

    (photo: @nynurses)


    During one night shift at the children’s hospital where she worked as a nurse, Nicolette Mabeza‘s unit filled up with intubated children. She and the other nurses were frantic.

    “It was just the entire floor running around,” said Mabeza, who worked in the intensive care unit at NewYork-Presbyterian Morgan Stanley Children’s Hospital in Washington Heights. “Some nurses had two intubated patients and they weren’t even right next to each other.”

    Nurses stretched to the limit by understaffing would regularly cry on the job, she

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  • mayorsoffice aff

    (photo: Michael Appleton/Mayoral Photography Office)


    One of the greatest and most immediate challenges facing New York is a statewide affordable housing crisis that continues to affect millions of families. Elected officials must support and promote new legislation and policies that will help our state produce more affordable homes and, correspondingly, do no harm to much-needed housing efforts.

    The reality today is that more than 3 million households across the state still pay more than 30 percent of their income on housing costs, which means they are

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  • wikimedia call center

    (photo: Wikimedia Commons)


    Long gone are the days when a family could live comfortably with a minimum wage job. In 1968, a worker making the federal minimum wage could support a partner and a child above the poverty line. Today, you can’t even support yourself and a child on it. Even with the recent increase to the minimum wage, hitting $15 an hour in New York City, it’s impossible for families in many parts of the state to live

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  • heastie carl nys assembly speaker 9.62

    (photo: Buck Ennis/Crain's)


    Though Democrats have for years blamed Republican intransigence for the failure of key campaign finance and ethics reforms in Albany, those measures still appear stalled even as their party controls the entire state Legislature and governor’s office. On Friday, Assembly Speaker Carl Heastie said that the votes are not there in his chamber to approve a public-matching campaign finance system, despite the fact that the Assembly has repeatedly passed such a measure in the past when

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  • mxm logo

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


    March 6, 2019 - Max & Murphy Podcast: State Senator David Carlucci

    dav carlucci senateState Senator David Carlucci represents a Rockland and Westchester district that has a significant stake in the MTA, congestion pricing, and other key transit discussions, not to mention the overall state budget and other state

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  • reunion hug prison visit


    It is time to address the crisis of family separation. This time, it’s not about the humanitarian emergency on our nation’s southern border, but our own homegrown crisis that affects New York’s approximately 80,000 children with a parent in prison. Most of these children deeply miss and want to visit their mothers or fathers, yet distance is a barrier, and many of New York’s 54 prisons are not accessible by public transportation.

    Time and again, constituents from across the state have asked us for help. Grandmothers like Mrs. Coleman who was unable

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  • niley ro am

    Assemblymember Nily Rozic, the author


    “An eating disorder? I wish I had one of those — I could stand to lose a few pounds.”

    Every year, clients, advocates, and professionals visit the New York State Capitol to meet with legislators. When discussing their eating disorder experiences and pushing for legislation to ensure proper insurance coverage, too often they are met with that response and others like it.

    These kinds of insensitive quips reveal how little many people know about the danger and severity of eating disorders.

    No one intentionally

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  • cr cuomo

    2014 NY gubernatorial debate (photo: C-SPAN)


    With Democrats in charge of the state Legislature, there’s broad optimism that New York may finally create a state-level public financing system for electoral campaigns modelled after the program in place in New York City, including mandatory debates for candidates for statewide offices who receive public campaign funds.

    In his executive budget released last month, Governor Andrew Cuomo proposed a voluntary public campaign financing program that would provide a 6-to-1 match for the first $175 of each contribution. The

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  • up 2017 1014 054 294s23m

    Sital Kalantry, the author (photo: Cornell Law School)


    New York State is on the brink of replacing an outdated and prohibitive law that criminalizes the practice of compensated surrogacy, one of only two states that does so. Legislation to reverse the law has been introduced in both houses of the state Legislature, and Governor Cuomo has demonstrated support for it by including it in his Executive Budget.

    As a law professor who focuses on gender equity, ...

  • may bdblasio office

    Mayor de Blasio discusses marijuana policy (photo: Michael Appleton/Mayor's Office)


    New York seems poised to enact the country’s first automatic record-clearing guidelines for past marijuana convictions. Doing so, advocates and officials say, could remove barriers for hundreds of thousands of New Yorkers whose convictions -- for behavior that may soon be legal -- complicate tasks ranging from obtaining child custody to job searching to renting an apartment.

    Automatic record-clearing is part of a larger ongoing discussion on legalizing adult

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  • 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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