Gotham Gazette

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State Legislature

State Legislature

  • Sitting Senator and Former City Council Member Face Off in New Brooklyn State Senate District

    Andrew Gounardes, left, and David Yassky


    Following a chaotic redistricting process in New York, an interesting State Senate primary is shaping up in parts of Brooklyn.

    State Senator Andrew Goundares, who represents the current 22nd district, and former City Council Member David Yassky are the only two Democratic candidates who have entered the race for the new 26th State Senate District. The district includes some of Gounardes’ current district, notably his home turf of Bay Ridge, as well as the neighborhoods of Dyker Heights, Fort Hamilton, Cobble Hill, Gowanus, Red Hook, and parts of Sunset Park, Park Slope,

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  • Passed by Senate, NYC Board of Elections Reform Shelved by Assembly

    Board of Elections reform on the table (photo: Michael Appleton/Mayoral Photography Office)


    A package of reforms to the way elections are run in New York State all but died last week when the Assembly adjourned without bringing the legislation to a floor vote after they passed the Senate. That includes a sweeping bill to restructure the membership and executive leadership of the New York City Board of Elections, which has been plagued by political patronage, nepotism, and mismanagement year after year.

    While legislators

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  • Max Politics Podcast: Dick Gottfried on 52 Years in the State Assembly

    Assemblymember Dick Gottfried (photo: Kevin P. Coughlin/Governor's Office)


    June xx, 2022 - Max Politics Podcast: Dick Gottfried on 52 Years in the State Legislature

    Assemblymember Dick Gottfried is retiring after 52 years in the Legislature. He joined the show to reflect on his tenure, including 35 years chairing the Assembly health committee, how state government has changed over time, his major accomplishments, the New York Health Act, and more.

    Listen to the conversation and let us know what you think, on Twitter ...

  • Slate of Insurgent Candidates Focused on Climate Seizes on Failure of State Bill

    Climate march (photo: Ed Reed/Mayoral Photography Office)


    The Democrat-led state Legislature ended its session over the weekend without passing any additional major pieces of climate-related legislation that some legislators and activists had been pushing for months. The failure to act has provided renewed vigor to several candidates running in the primaries this year who had already been centering climate action in their campaigns, many of them challenging incumbent Democrats.

    They say that the state must take immediate and extraordinary action as the adverse effects of climate change continue

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  • Max Politics Podcast: Diane Savino Says Farewell to the State Senate

    State Senator Diane Savino (photo: NY Senate)


    June 6, 2022 - Max Politics Podcast: Diane Savino Says Farewell to the State Senate

    State Senator Diane Savino, a Democrat representing parts of Staten Island and Southern Brooklyn, joined the show to reflect on her 18-year tenure in the Legislature as she moves on to the next phase of her career after deciding not to seek reelection this year.

    Listen to the conversation and let us know what you think, on Twitter @TweetBenMax. You can listen to the show through the

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  • What's In, What's Out: 2022 State Legislative Session Ends with Major Policy Decisions

    An Albany rally for abortion rights (photo: Mike Groll/Office of Governor Kathy Hochul)


    State lawmakers voted on legislation late into the night Thursday, the scheduled end of the legislative session, and while the State Senate finished its business the Assembly continued passing bills throughout Friday and into Saturday.

    A number of major deals were reached in the final week as the session came to a crescendo, while other marquee proposals fell by the wayside.

    And as of Saturday morning, with the Senate on break but the Assembly still wrapping up business, the fate of at least two

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  • Little Being Done to Address New York’s Prison-to-Shelter Pipeline

    A housing rally (photo:John McCarten/City Council)


    Two out of five people returning to New York City from prison last year were released to a shelter or another placement for homeless adults, according to the New York State Department of Corrections and Community Supervision (DOCCS). At roughly 2,050 people, it was enough to fill the largest hotel in midtown Manhattan. They often ended up sleeping on the streets.

    Those inside the so-called prison-to-shelter pipeline say cycling through the criminal legal and shelter systems is destabilizing and dehumanizing as they attempt to reenter

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  • Don’t Let Belmont Bonds Become the Next New York Boondoggle

    An empty Belmont


    The twice-bankrupt New York Racing Association (NYRA) is back at the State Capitol, cup in hand, asking the state to back $450 million in bonds to rebuild Belmont Park’s perfectly suitable and usually empty racetrack. The bonds would be in addition to the millions of dollars the state already provides to the industry through subsidies and tax exemptions. Considering the ongoing financial problems, coupled with diminishing interest and economic development as a result, it would be fiscally irresponsible for the state to back the

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  • Albany Can Give New York City More Power to Fix the Housing Crisis

    Housing in focus (photo: Michael Appleton/Mayoral Photography Office)


    State lawmakers clearly understand that New York faces an emergency-level housing crisis and have acted accordingly: adopting a five-year housing plan to invest $25 billion in affordable and supportive housing across the state. But the job is not over, there are several important housing bills under consideration that would help New York City fight the housing crisis.

    In the final days of the state legislative session, Albany has a chance to help the city

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  • Series of Voting and Election Reforms on Table for Final Days of 2022 State Legislative Session

    Out to vote (photo: Michael Appleton/Mayoral Photography Office)


    The likelihood of Albany Democrats getting failed elections reforms back on the ballot in the next two years is dwindling as the end of the state legislative session approaches.

    Despite promising to get back on the horse immediately after a surprising referendum defeat last November, Democrats with supermajorities in both houses of the Legislaturedo not

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  • Finally Compensating New York's Wrongfully Convicted

    Cleaning up at Rikers (photo: Michael Appleton/Mayoral Photography Office)


    The United States is the world’s largest jailor. As a result of our criminal justice system, we regularly put innocent people behind bars.Conservative estimates say 20,000 people are currently in jail or prison throughout the nation for crimes they did not commit.

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  • 'Clean Slate' Will Create a More Equitable and Inclusive New York

    A rally for the Clean Slate Act (photo: Emil Cohen/NYC Council Media Unit)


    With the end of this year’s legislative session in Albany quickly approaching, we must seize the opportunity to pass critical reforms that will have a real impact on advancing racial and economic equity in our state. The Clean Slate Act holds the potential for meaningful progress in our fight for justice, directly impacting 2.3 million New Yorkers. The passage of this bill by the State Legislature will affirm New York’s principles and prioritization of equity, and it is past time for serious

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  • Tenants are Struggling; New York Needs Good Cause Eviction Now

    Tenants in New York City (photo: Michael Appleton/Mayoral Photography Office)


    Tenants in New York are struggling. Rent prices are through the roof, rising more than 30% from last year. People are getting kicked out of their homes at rates we haven’t seen since before the pandemic.

    Add to this the growing costs of

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  • As End of Albany Session Approaches, Legislators Near Consensus on New York Equal Rights Amendment Including Abortion Protections

    A rally for reproductive rights (photo: Don Pollard / Governor’s Office)


    Momentum is building behind an Equal Rights Amendment to the New York State Constitution that would enshrine reproductive rights and a range of anti-discrimination protections into the state's highest governing document.

    Versions of the amendment have circulated in the Legislature for years without being reconciled among the two chambers, the Senate and Assembly. But it has gained new urgency with the expected U.S. Supreme Court demise of Roe v. Wade, as states look to shore up their own abortion

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  • New York Again Moves to Support Sexual Assault Survivors

    Gov. Hochul signs the Adult Survivors Act (photo: Mike Groll/Office of Governor Kathy Hochul)


    This is a troubling time in America. With the Supreme Court poised to overturn Roe v. Wade, the fight over women's reproductive rights is becoming more focused on state capitals, where at least half of the states in this country are likely to ban or seriously restrict abortions (and, in some cases, certain forms of birth control) even in cases of rape and incest or the serious injury or death to the pregnant woman. This will cause immeasurable harm to women and

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  • Affordability, Good Cause Eviction, and the Costs of the Housing Ecosystem

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


    No matter who you are, these past two years have been difficult for New Yorkers across the state. The COVID-19 pandemic was not only a health crisis where we lost tens of thousands of our loved ones, but also an affordability crisis. Too many of our neighbors lost jobs, routines, social connections, and more. Hundreds of thousands were thrown into economic instability, made even more difficult by circumstances that predated the pandemic: the housing crisis. 

    Everywhere you

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  • Stringer Preps State Senate Primary Challenge to Hoylman

    Scot Stringer, left, and Brad Hoylman (photo: @bradhoylman)


    New York State Senator Brad Hoylman, a Manhattan Democrat, is running for reelection in a redrawn district after a chaotic state redistricting process. But the incumbent could face serious competition in the August primary as former New York City Comptroller and mayoral candidate Scott Stringer is gearing up to challenge him.  

    Hoylman had previously considered a bid for an open seat in New York’s 10th congressional district, which is currently represented by U.S. Rep. Jerry Nadler, who is now running in the redrawn 12th

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  • Max Politics Podcast: Senator Andrew Gounardes on End of Legislative Session Priorities & More

    State Senator Andrew Gounardes (photo: NY Senate Media Services)


    May 25, 2022 - Max Politics Podcast: Senator Andrew Gounardes on End of Legislative Session Priorities & More

    State Senator Andrew Gounardes, a Brooklyn Democrat, joined the show to discuss major issues being negotiated as the end of this year's state legislative session nears. Gounardes discussed speed camera legislation, mayoral control of New York City schools, the 421-a real estate/affordable housing tax program, Mayor Adams' relationship with the State Legislature, and more.

    Listen to the

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  • New York Can Make History by Shutting Down the Puppy Mill Pipeline

    Edie Falco, animal welfare advocates & NY lawmakers support Puppy Mill Pipeline Bill (ASPCA)


    Last year, the ASPCA helpedrescue over 500 dogs who were living in horrific conditions at multiple properties across Iowa that were operated by Daniel Gingerich, a USDA-licensed breeder. Despite documenting more than 200 violations of the federal Animal Welfare Act (AWA)

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  • We’re Assembly Members, Healthcare Experts, Women of Color, Mothers, and Fed Up: It’s Time to Pass the New York Health Act

    "Healthcare is a right" (photo: Ed Reed/Mayoral Photography Office)


    The fact is, New York’s profit-driven health-care system continues to fail marginalized communities like those we represent in the State Legislature. As a matter of racial and gender justice, we must finally pass single-payer health care this state legislative session.

    Before we were elected to office, we each worked in or around New York’s health-care system – Assemblymember Reyes as an oncology nurse, Assemblymember Forrest as a maternal-child health nurse,

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  • New York Deserves the Future Promised by 30x30

    Precious New York (photo: Carl Heilman/Governor's Office)


    Warmer spring weather ushers in reminders of the natural beauty we have in New York, from the vibrant blooms of the dogwood and magnolia trees to the return of migratory birds singing. People swarm back to our local parks where picnic baskets and roller skates make a long-awaited resurgence. The Hudson River teems to life with the reappearance of kayakers who can be spotted from way above by hikers in the Catskills.

    We enjoy some of the most marvelous landscapes the United

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  • Adams Makes Progress in Pledge to Expand Earned Income Tax Credit for Low-Income New Yorkers

    Mayor Eric Adams (photo: Michael Appleton/Mayoral Photography Office)


    The Earned Income Tax Credit is a boon for low-income New Yorkers, putting hundreds, even thousands of dollars back in their pockets each year. Though it is a federal credit, it is matched by New York City and State, and Mayor Eric Adams made expansion a top priority for his administration as part of his agenda to lift up struggling New Yorkers. This year, at the new mayor’s urging, the state enhanced its EITC and the mayor increased the city’s investment in the credit. 

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  • No Movement on Failed Voting Amendments After New York Democrats Vowed to Try Again

    Voters at the polls (photo: Michael Appleton/Mayoral Photography Office)


    After the stunning defeat of two voting-related state constitutional amendments on the ballot last fall, Democrats vowed to reinitiate the multi-year process this legislative session in Albany. But no state lawmaker appears to have introduced legislation this year to amend the New York constitution to allow for same-day voter registration and universal absentee voting, raising the possibility that they may not act at all.

    Barring a

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  • New York Voting Rights Act Begins Moving in Senate But Remains Stalled in Assembly

     

    Voters at the poll-site (photo: Michael Appleton/Mayoral Photography Office)


    A sweeping voter protectionbill, theJohn R. Lewis Voting Rights Act of New York (NYVRA), moved

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  • New York City Electeds, Advocates Outline Priorities for State Climate Action Council

    Mayor Adams and others discuss wind energy plans (photo: Ed Reed/Mayoral Photography Office)


    New York’s sweeping Climate Leadership and Community Protection Act of 2019 set the state on a path to reaching net-zero emissions over the next three decades. The law established a Climate Action Council that drafted a framework for achieving that goal, and is now more than halfway through the process of seeking public input on its proposed plan. 

    The Council held its seventh public hearing on Tuesday in Brooklyn, out of

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