Gotham Gazette

The Place for New York Policy and politics

State Legislature

State Legislature

  • may participates electoral

    The State Senate chamber (photo: Edwin J. Torres/ Mayoral Photo Office)


    American democracy is suffering a crisis of confidence. In too many states, the very mechanics of elections has become a partisan and polarizing issue, with deeply damaging results. This year New York has the chance to model a path forward, with a bipartisan commitment to strengthening democracy and providing the best possible systems for our citizens to be heard. 

    As appointees to the state’s new Public Campaign Finance Board, that commitment is

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  • state legis tax

    The State Capitol in Albany (photo: Michael Appleton/Mayoral Photography Office)


    As New York State faces a severe budget shortfall and awaits federal aid, some lawmakers and activists are advocating for a package of legislation that would increase taxes on the state’s wealthiest residents to avoid cuts to services for the most vulnerable. Among those proposals is a bill that would tax inheritances for multi-millionaires and raise as much as $8 billion for the state every year, according to supporters’ calculations. 

    State Senator Jabari

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  • 3 quad cutting rib

    Queens College (photo: CUNY)


    At the State Legislature’s recent budget hearing on higher education, held virtually on February 4, City University of New York (CUNY) Chancellor Félix Matos Rodriguez discussed his asks for CUNY funding and answered questions about the university’s spending, programs, and operational plans.

    The hearing was the sixth in a series of 13 on Governor Andrew Cuomo’s fiscal year 2021-2022

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  • 2 daily imagery exercising

    New York City (photo: Benjamin Kanter/Mayoral Photo Office)


    After getting "derailed" by the pandemic, Mayor Bill de Blasio is reviving one of his earliest and most delayed mayoral commitments: to reform an out-of-date and unequal property tax system. The city's Advisory Commission on Property Tax Reform will begin holding public hearings, originally scheduled for last March, on its preliminary recommendations and will produce a final report by the time de Blasio leaves office at the end of the year, he said Thursday

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  • 1 budget hearing governments

    Mayor de Blasio testifying remotely (photo: Michael Appleton/Mayoral Photography Office)


    Mayor Bill de Blasio pleaded to state legislators on Thursday to protect New York City from hundreds of millions of dollars in cuts and cost shifts in Governor Andrew Cuomo’s Executive Budget for the next fiscal year, warning that the damage could be worse if federal stimulus aid is not delivered on time.  

    In his annual, and final, appearance before the state Legislature to testify about the governor’s budget plan and the

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  • stateofstateadd gov legis

    The Governor & Legislative leaders (photo: Darren McGee/Governor's Office)


    Eight of the top Democratic mayoral candidates appeared at a virtual forum on Monday to outline their legislative and budget priorities at the state level, and their strategies for achieving those goals. To varying degrees, they laid out tactics for partnering with, even opposing, Governor Andrew Cuomo and corralling the state Legislature to their side. But there were clear differences among the candidates, informed by their own background and experiences,

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  • 4x4mashup edit

     l-r (top): Kathryn Garcia, Scott Stringer, Maya Wiley, Carlos Menchaca; bottom: Shaun Donovan, Dianne Morales, Loree Sutton, Eric Adams


    Eight leading Democratic mayoral candidates appeared in two sessions at the "Albany Agenda" forum hosted by Empire State Indivisible and moderated by Gotham Gazette editor Ben Max. The candidates — Kathryn Garcia, Scott Stringer, Maya Wiley, Carlos Menchaca, Shaun Donovan, Eric Adams, Dianne Morales, and Loree Sutton — discussed their state policy agendas and how they would navigate the processes, politics, and

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  • CUNY students

    CUNY graduates (photo: CUNY)


    Brooklyn State Senator Andrew Gounardes, Bronx Assemblymember Karines Reyes, the CUNY Rising Alliance, and others are holding a virtual press conference Friday to promote the proposed “New Deal for CUNY.”

    The New Deal for CUNY includes three main goals that deal with the university’s funding, spending, staffing, and campuses, would be implemented over the course of five years, and would make CUNY tuition- and fee-free for New

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  • edit width despair hope resillence

    State Senator Myrie, a co-author, with other electeds and advocates


    2020 was a year of tragedy and despair, hope and resilience. In 2021 we must take long overdue steps to address the myriad injustices laid bare by the pandemic, and others plainly evident well before COVID-19.

    We must shore up our medical system and our schools. We must rebuild our social safety net. And we must once and for all, decidedly and without hesitation, address the long-standing harms perpetrated by the criminal legal system against

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  • Gotham Gazette:

    Senator Liz Krueger (photo: NY Senate)


    January 20, 2021 - Max & Murphy Podcast: State Senator Liz Krueger on New York’s Finances

    State Senator Liz Krueger, a Manhattan Democrat who chairs the Senate's finance committee, joined the show to discuss the state's fiscal picture, the governor's new executive budget plan, aid from Washginton, and more.

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

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  • sotsad gov

    Governors Andrew and Mario Cuomo (photo: governor's office)


    Early in 1984 I visited Governor Mario Cuomo’s office in Albany at his invitation. He wanted to discuss a talk I’d given at the New School about his first year as governor. I found myself going on about the growing dominance of the governor in New York’s legislative process. Governor Cuomo loved to debate. I knew from earlier experience that trouble was ahead when he started a sentence by addressing me as “professor.”

    “Don’t you realize, professor,” he said, “that when it comes to making law, they can act

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  • state jamaal bailey

    State Senator Jamaal Bailey (photo: NY Senate)


    December 16, 2020 - Max & Murphy Podcast: State Senator Jamaal Bailey on the Albany Agenda and Leading the Bronx Democrats

    State Senator Jamaal Bailey of the Bronx joined the show to discuss his agenda, where the state may be headed in terms of solving its fiscal issues and helping struggling New Yorkers, and his leadership of the Bronx Democratic Party.

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

  • f lady visit

    Health care remains the top issue for voters (photo: Ed Reed/Mayor's Office)


    The Biden-Harris victory is great news and a huge relief. Our country has suffered under Trump.

    But we have a problem. A record number of voters rejected a national campaign that stood for greater economic fairness, science-based policies on COVID-19 and the environment, protecting health care coverage, and racial justice.

    In New York state legislative races, moderate and progressive candidates did well, achieving strong legislative majorities for Democrats in both houses. But several

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  • stu voter reg

    Voters would have less hassle registering under AVR (photo: Michael Appleton/Mayor's Office)


    Following the widespread problems in the execution of this year’s elections, it’s clear we need to transform New York’s voting systems from top to bottom. From restoring confidence in the Board of Elections to reducing long lines and wait times counting ballots, lawmakers must take action now to prevent another disaster the next time New Yorkers vote. Thankfully, there is one important fix that can be done immediately: enacting the Automatic Voter Registration legislation that passed the

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  • 2 commish

    New Yorkers at a hospital, pre-pandemic (photo: Michael Appleton/Mayoral Photography Office)


    When Mariana Pineda was diagnosed with COVID-19 in April, she spent several days in the hospital being treated for pneumonia and sepsis after not being able to see a primary care doctor due to a recent change in insurance plans.

    Pineda, an asthmatic, is one of an untold number of New Yorkers who put off seeking treatment for the coronavirus due to complications with insurance plans or not having health care coverage at all.

    “The third day of feeling very sick at home

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  • cuomo heastie stewart cousins

    Gov. Cuomo, Speaker Heastie, Majority Leader Stewart-Cousins (photo: Governor's Office)


    Despite facing tough battles in districts that they narrowly won two years ago and being on the verge of defeat in some places, Democrats also flipped a few seats and will grow their large majority in the State Senate, retaining control of both chambers of the Legislature by wide margins. Along with the ongoing tenure of third-term Governor Andrew Cuomo, Democrats will keep full control of New York state government through 2022, the next state election

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  • 4 st kru

    Senator Liz Krueger (photo: NY Senate)


    November 18, 2020 - Max & Murphy Podcast: State Senator Liz Krueger on Next Steps in the Covid Fight

    State Senator Liz Krueger joined the show to discuss the next steps in New York's fight against the coronavirus.

    Listen to the conversation and let us know what you think -- we're on Twitter @TweetBenMaxand @JarrettMurphy. You can listen to the show through the embedded audio below or download the

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  • 2 leg exa

    Gov. Cuomo and Chief Judge Difiore (photo: governor's office)


    Members of the New York State Assembly’s Judiciary Committee held a virtual hearing on Thursday to examine the impacts of a proposed $300 million cut to the state judiciary’s budget. The reduction, which represents a 10% cut to the court system’s $3 billion budget for the current fiscal year, was announced by the Office of Court Administration (OAC) in September in response to Governor Andrew Cuomo’s directive that all state entities reduce their budgets by 10% to mitigate the budgetary effects of economic

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  • Cuomo state senate Democrats Gounardes

    Gov. Cuomo with now-State Senator Andrew Gounardes in Oct. 2018 (photo: Cuomo/Flickr)


    After flipping several State Senate seats in 2018 and taking control of the upper legislative chamber and therefore all of state government, Democrats sought to hold onto their wide majority this year even with a Republican president atop the ticket. They believed they might be able to win a supermajority in the chamber to match that of Democrats in the Assembly by picking up at least two additional Senate seats, if not more.

    But as Senate

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  • New York State Senate chambers almost empty

    The New York State Senate chambers (photo: NY Senate)


    Though hundreds of thousands of votes across New York are still to be counted and many races are not yet called, it appears certain that Democrats will retain the majority in the State Senate that they won two years ago, and by a fairly wide margin. But, Republicans seem poised to regain several seats in the chamber to narrow what has been an exceptionally wide 40-23 seat margin and keep Democrats from expanding it to ...

  • waits line hundred

    A long early voting line (photo: Michael Appleton/Mayoral Photography Office)


    New York City's first early voting period in a presidential general election saw 1.1 million in-person votes cast, hours of waiting across the city, and the threat of a court challenge to expand voting options. Experts and administrators didn't know exactly what to expect because of the unprecedented confluence of the coronavirus pandemic, universal absentee voting, and Trump-era political zeal.

    The results point to a number of potential changes that could improve the option in the

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  • 2 malliotakis rose

    Assemblymember Nicole Malliotakis, left, & Rep. Max Rose face off in NY-11


    Voting in the 2020 general election is set to come to a conclusion on Tuesday, November 3, Election Day. The full, official results won't be known for weeks.

    The eyes of the world are on the presidential race between President Donald Trump and former Vice President Joe Biden, and it's unclear when a winner may be declared.

    Though it's unlikely Trump can pull off an upset and beat Biden in New York, voters here have been going to the polls in large numbers, just

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  • 2 after doing adv 1

    Mayor de Blasio after voting (photo: Michael Appleton/Mayoral Photography Office)


    In April 2016, just after party primary elections featuring a major error by the New York City Board of Elections, Mayor Bill de Blasio announced that he would push for legislation in Albany to professionalize the day-to-day operations of the Board, among other bills that could improve the city's perennially bungled election administration and create more access to the ballot box for New Yorkers. Over four years and several poorly-run elections later, de Blasio made a similar announcement

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  • majority leader asc

    Senate Majority Leader Andrea Stewart-Cousins (photo: NY Senate)


    Two years ago, Democrats won a majority in the New York State Senate for the first time in eight years, winning full control of the state Legislature and the governor’s office and allowing them to pursue a raft of progressive legislation that had stalled under Republican obstruction. As the New York GOP has continued to diminish since that election, including another wave of retirements among state senators, and as President Donald Trump remains unpopular in the state, Democrats now see an opportunity to

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  • Rebecca Seawright & Lou Puliafito

    Lou Puliafito & Rebecca Seawright


    Last time she faced a Republican challenger, in 2016, Assemblymember Rebecca Seawright won by a margin of nearly 50 points. Her Assembly district, which includes the Upper East Side, Yorkville, and Roosevelt Island, has a solid Republican presence but is generally considered a firmly Democratic stronghold. Yet due to a series of ballot controversies, Seawright’s reelection bid has been thrust into some uncertainty this year.

    The trouble started for the Assembly member this Spring, when her

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