Gotham Gazette

The Place for New York Policy and politics

 

State Legislature

State Legislature

  • new york start capitol

    (photo: Mike Groll/Governor's Office)


    New York State government leaders are fond of appointing commissions, but those bodies are not known for meeting their deadlines. With those facts in mind, an advocacy group released a public letter Tuesday with an important message about governmental machinations that will significantly impact the state’s future.

    With the 2020 Census around the corner, the League of Women Voters of New York State is urging the state Legislature to keep its eye on a key deadline that falls ahead of the all-important population

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  • control board bdb

    (photo: Ed Reed/Mayoral Photo Office)


    With voter approval of a city charter amendment to pursue the creation of a budgetary “rainy day fund” in New York City, de Blasio administration officials are now looking to change state laws so that the city can actually start one.

    “We’re going to have to work together to make this happen,” said First Deputy Mayor Dean Fuleihan at a breakfast event hosted by the Citizens Budget Commission Wednesday morning, just a few hours after polls closed on Tuesday night.

    Voters had overwhelmingly approved an amendment to the

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  • gov cuomo casts

    (photo: the governor's office)


    Few New York elections go by without controversy, and this year’s relatively quiet slate has been no exception. As voters head to the polls during the inaugural early voting period and heading into Election Day, one major question that came up during the June primary continues to hang over the general election.

    A bill that could change the way provisional affidavit ballots are counted as soon as this year is languishing in Albany, having passed both houses of the state Legislature in June. The bill would make it harder to disqualify

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  • senate bill complement

    Senator Benjamin at Thursday's press conference (photo: @BrianKavanaghNY)


    New York State Senator Brian Benjamin, a Manhattan Democrat who is exploring a possible 2021 run for city comptroller, introduced a bill on Thursday that would allow New York City to create a “rainy day fund” to weather fiscal emergencies.

    Currently, the city lacks the authority to set aside revenue in such a dedicated pot, one result of the city’s fiscal crisis of the 1970s. But a question on this year’s general election ballot in the city could change the City Charter to

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  • children toys

    (Dreamstime: Photo 3882847 © Jose Manuel Gelpi Diaz - Dreamstime.com)


    Perhaps few items in society hold the same universal delight as children’s products. They are an important part of children’s wellbeing and development and can remind all of us of simple joys of childhood. We expect products designed specifically for children to be safe and free from chemicals that could cause harm.

    Nobody wants their child to play with a toy containing alarmingly high levels of lead, cadmium, or mercury. However, there are many toys and products on the market today that do

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  • mmv president attends

    (photo: William Alatriste/City Council)


    A state commission charged with creating a plan for ensuring a complete count of New York residents in the 2020 Census has finally released its report, nine months after it was due and with continued ambiguity over how state census funding will be distributed.

    The New York State Complete Count Commission, made up of executive and legislative branch appointees, spent months holding hearings across the state to solicit input on the challenges posed by the decennial census and how the state should respond. The

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  • gov cuomo legislation 200 million

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


    Like the rest of America, New York State is ensnared in the stranglehold of our byzantine healthcare system, which today is best known for skyrocketing pharmaceutical drug prices and a rapid decline in quality of care. One of the most vicious, insidious, and disingenuous tentacles of that system choking the life out of us is the group of corporations known as Pharmacy Benefit Managers (PBMs). 

    While just three Fortune 25 companies – CVS, Express Scripts, and OptumRx – control

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  • fusion voting 600

    (photo: Edwin J. Torres/Mayoral Photo Office)


    September 25, 2019 - Max & Murphy Podcast: The Future of Fusion Voting in New York

    stan fritz wbaiA commission established by Governor Cuomo and the State Legislature is designing a system of public campaign financing for New York, and also considering whether to try to end the practice of fusion voting. Its binding recommendations are due

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  • dannemora cuomo

    (photo: the governor's office)


    Where is Assembly Bill 6980? It updates New York’s Charitable Bail Fund Act to allow approved organizations to bond more people out of jail. The bill passed the Assembly on June 17 and the Senate on June 19, but it hasn’t been sent to Governor Andrew Cuomo, or requested by the governor for his signature, and it’s not clear why.

    Bail reform activists finally had their day this year when the New York Legislature passed a comprehensive law

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  • mayor bdb voting

    (photo: Michael Appleton/Mayoral Photography Office)


    This is part two of a two-part series. Read part one: New York's Election Administration Accountability Vacuum: ‘Bad Choices at Every Step'

    New York City’s Board of Elections, the maligned ten-member commission responsible for overseeing the administration of voting in the five boroughs, has been the subject of criticism for decades owing to inefficiency and

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  • gov andcuomo doc

    (photo: the governor's office)


    At the end of August, NBC New York ran a story about a young woman who was raped after going out to a Manhattan bar. Despite the fact that she came forward, wanting justice to be done, the Manhattan District Attorney refused to prosecute the case.

    When a reporter questioned his decision not to pursue charges, DA Cyrus Vance’s staff shared a letter he wrote

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  • New York City opioid treatment

    (photo: Edwin Torres/Mayor's Office)


    New York City is showing modest progress in the fight to curb the explosion in drug overdoses, with the health department reporting 38 fewer deaths last year compared to 2017, after a concerted $60-million effort focused on substance abuse prevention, treatment, and education, especially with regard to opioids.

    One aspect of that fight has been the expansion of access to medication-assisted treatment, which experts and activists

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  • gianaris sen mda wbai px

    Senator Gianaris with activists (photo: @SenGianaris)


    August 7, 2019 - Max & Murphy Podcast: Senate Deputy Leader Gianaris on Gun Control, Queens Politics & More

    mike gianaris wbai inset pxState Senate Deputy Majority Leader Michael Gianaris of Queens joined the show to discuss gun control laws that have been passed in New York, what is ahead for state

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  • gov and may deb pro

    Mayor de Blasio (photo: Rob Bennett/Mayor Bill de Blasio


    This is the third and final part of a three-part series on New York City's antiquated and unfair property tax system, its complications and inequities, the underway task of reforming it, and prospects for the future.

    Read part one - Taking on the Difficult Task - here.

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  • maybdb rem

    (photo: Edwin J. Torres/ Mayor's Office)


    This is part two of a three-part series. Read part one - Taking on the Difficult Task - here. (Skip to part three - The City's Bottom Line - here.)

    Elected officials and their critics alike have decried the complexity and inequality of the state’s property tax system.

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  • mayor deblasio clears

    Mayor de Blasio shovels snow outside one of his two Brooklyn houses (photo: Rob Bennett/Mayor's Office)


    This is part one of a three-part series. Skip to part two - Deep and Complex Inequities - here.

    In May 2018, after years of criticism that New York City’s property tax system lacks equity, Mayor Bill de Blasio and City Council Speaker Corey Johnson announced they would empanel a commission of “blue

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  • albany gov cuomo carl heastie

    Speaker Heastie & Governor Cuomo (photo: the governor's office)


    Despite previously lauding the 2019 state legislative session as the “most productive session in modern political history,” Governor Andrew Cuomo went on to call the session “not progressive enough,” citing a need “to do more on poverty.”

    At his celebratory, mostly upbeat end-of-session press conference on June 21, Cuomo was asked about what did not get done, and cited three issues he said he would work on next year: legalizing adult-use marijuana and paid

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  • offshore wind gov

    (photo: offshore-wind-govMike Groll/Office of Governor Andrew M. Cuomo)


    New York Already has the Lowest Greenhouse Gas Emissions Per Capita of Any State in the Nation and is Moving Forward

    New York State has just enacted a plan to bring its planet-warming greenhouse gas emissions to 15% of its 1990 levels by 2050 and provide enough “carbon-emission offsets“ like forestation and wetlands reclamation to bring total carbon-emissions to “net-zero“ by that same year. These goals put New York at the forefront of the United States in

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  • Cuomo Long Island

    Gov. Cuomo and Long Island officials (photo: Governor's Office)


    I’ve seen a lot through my five decades fighting for tenants in Albany, but I’ve never seen as tectonic a shift in power like we witnessed during this most recent legislative session.

    For decades, the real estate lobby has spent more than the gross domestic product of many small countries to keep incumbents in power and ensure that the deck remained decidedly stacked against tenants, cementing a political status quo as solidly as the foundation of any

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  • krueg myrie 600

    l-r: Liz Krueger (photo: @LizKrueger) & Zellnor Myrie (photo: @zellnor4ny)


    The New York State Legislature, under full Democratic control for the first time in a decade, had an exceptionally productive 2019 legislative session in Albany. Senate Majority Leader Andrea Stewart-Cousins and Assembly Speaker Carl Heastie ushered through ...

  • fairelectionsny

    (photo: @FairElectionsNY)


    As New Yorkers geared up for the holiday weekend last week, state government leaders announced appointments to a new commission with the lofty task of establishing a statewide public campaign financing system.

    The body is seen by many as an opportunity to reduce the influence of wealthy donors on state politics by creating a small-dollar matching program that would amplify the impact of contributions made by average residents, in the vein of what exists in New York City.

    Established during

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  • gov cuomo roberto clemente waterfront

    (photo: the Governor's office)


    Governor Andrew Cuomo signed the Climate Leadership and Community Protection Act (CLCPA) into law last week, finalizing legislation that has been labeled “the most aggressive climate change legislation in the nation,” “comprehensive,” and a “historic compromise.”

    With its aggressive carbon emission reduction mandates and push toward renewable energy and a green economy, the CLCPA has been heralded by lawmakers and supporters as the most comprehensive and ambitious climate change

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  • gov cuomo protecting

    Heastie, Stewart-Cousins, Cuomo, Hochul (photo: Mike Groll/Governor's Office)


    Following a historically productive legislative session in Albany, a broad coalition of progressive advocates has scored the performance of state lawmakers on a range of topics, pointing to major victories and unfinished tasks for reformers as political dust continues to settle from last year’s elections and this year’s governing.

    True Blue NY, a grassroots coalition formed

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  • mryie krueger wbai 600px

    (photo: NYSenate)


    June 26, 2019 - Max & Murphy Podcast: Reflecting on the Year in Albany, with Senators Krueger & Myrie

    wbai krueger myrieState Senators Liz Krueger of Manhattan and Zellnor Myrie of Brooklyn joined the show to reflect on the year that was in Albany, the January through June session with Democrats in full control of state government for the first

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  • gov cuomo inspects

    (photo: the Governor's office)


    As part of their end-of-session rush, the State Legislature passed this year’s state capital budget, months later than usual after it was not passed as part of the other budget bills that moved on or before the April 1 start of the new state fiscal year.

    One provision of the $3.9 billion capital budget added $385 million to the coffers of the opaque State and Municipal Facilities Program, often referred to as SAM, which has in a sense replaced the old “member item” system for awarding pork projects to legislators,

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