Gotham Gazette

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State Legislature

State Legislature

  • Carl McCall Cuomo

    Carl McCall (photo: Governor's Office)


    The pay commission tasked with proposing salary adjustments of New York State legislators, statewide elected officials, and top executive branch employees, created in this year’s enacted budget, appears to be in a state of disarray.

    The appointed chair of the commission, New York State Chief Judge Janet DiFiore, announced in May that she could not serve on the commission, citing what she believed to be the unconstitutionality of a judge determining matters that could end up before her in court. She has not been

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  • govcuomo speakerheastie

    Speaker Heastie, left, and Governor Cuomo (photo via the Governor's Office)


    Amid open conflict with Governor Andrew Cuomo, a second-term Democrat, the Republican-controlled state Senate recently passed a package of bills aimed at shedding light on taxpayer-funded economic development projects, among other reform measures. The move helped reignite attention on the legislation and put pressure on the Democrat-led Assembly to pass bills it has previously supported.

    The legislation includes the Procurement Integrity Act, which would restore

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  • comptroller tom finger lakes economic

    Comptroller Tom DiNapoli (photo via the Comptroller's office)


    In March, Governor Andrew Cuomo and the state Legislature once again passed a budget in the middle of the night with little public review. Keeping form with past years, elected members of the Assembly and Senate voted through major budget and policy decisions that they did not know the details of, while there was also no time for feedback from outside watchdogs. The State Comptroller, Thomas DiNapoli, did release a budget ...

  • mxm logo

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


    June 1, 2018 - Max & Murphy Podcast: Senate Democratic Leader Andrea Stewart-Cousins

    andrea stewart cousins

    State Senator Andrea Stewart-Cousins is the leader of the Democratic minority in the Senate, but has high hopes that come January, after this fall's elections, she will be the first woman and

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  • New York City Hall

    New York City Hall


    What to watch for this week in New York politics:

    We're less than a month from New York's congressional primaries, to be held Tuesday, June 26. This Friday, June 1, is the deadline to register to vote to be able to vote in those primaries.

    As those congressional primary races hit the home stretch, we're also now fully into campaign season for the state-level primaries that will be voted on September 13. Most party nominee designations are set for governor,

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  • New York City Hall

    New York City Hall


    What to watch for this week in New York politics:

    On Friday, state legislative leaders released the list of candidates who applied to be named Attorney General through a process that will include public hearings on Tuesday and Wednesday of this week. The list of candidates includes current Attorney General Barbara Underwood, who took over upon Eric Schneiderman’s resignation:

    Thomas J. Abinanti; Lloyd Constantine; Michael D. Diederich, Jr; Jose W. Fernandez;

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  • flanagan via nysenate

    Senate Majority Leader Flanagan and colleagues (photo: @nysenate)


    The Republican-led New York State Senate, which for years had a collaborative working relationship with Governor Andrew Cuomo, passed a slew of government transparency and accountability bills on Wednesday that further highlighted the GOP majority’s recent split with the governor.

    The package of 11 bills, covering everything from campaign contributions to state contracting processes, made its way through the chamber and was sent for approval to the Assembly, which is controlled

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  • shelley mayer

    Shelley Mayer (photo: @Shelley4Senate)


    The Democratic conference in the New York State Senate will soon be one seat shy of a majority. After special election wins Tuesday night to fill two vacant Senate seats, both previously held by Democrats, the party will soon have 31 members in the 63-seat chamber. Shelley Mayer has won in Senate District 37, in Westchester, and Luis Sepulveda has won in Senate District 32, in the Bronx. Both are currently members of the Assembly, seats they will vacate to move to the Senate.

    Democrats hold an overwhelming majority in

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  • New York City Hall

    New York City Hall


    What to watch for this week in New York politics:

    The week begins with the New York political world fixated on the race for Governor after the Working Families Party endorsed Cynthia Nixon on Saturday. The WFP also endorsed City Council Member Jumaane Williams for Lieutenant Governor. Both Nixon and Williams are also running in their respective Democratic primaries, hoping to unseat Governor Andrew Cuomo and Lieutenant Governor Kathy Hochul.

    The WFP

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  • Cuomo Mujica David DeRosa

    Gov. Cuomo and top aides announce a budget deal (photo: Mike Groll/The Governor's Office)


    Governor Andrew Cuomo and his top aides held a press conference late Friday night to announce a deal with the Legislature on a new $168.3 billion state budget for fiscal year 2019, which begins April 1. The announcement came several hours before the final budget bills were voted through both the Senate and Assembly, despite reservations from some lawmakers and another flawed process wherein legislators did not know the full details of what they were voting on and the

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  • krueger doctors

    Senator Krueger, the author, with doctors (photo: @jmumfordmd)


    Note: this column was written and published in March, 2018, several months before Democrats won control of the state Senate through the November elections; they will take the majority in January

    On March 13, the New York State Assembly passed three critical bills regarding reproductive health and rights: the Reproductive Health Act (RHA), the “Boss Bill,” and the Comprehensive Contraception Coverage Act (CCCA). Unfortunately, the majority coalition in the State Senate continues to

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  • governorcuomo edu

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


    Governor Cuomo’s $175 million workforce development proposal, announced earlier this year, promises major new investments in the skills-building programs that New York needs. With industries like healthcare, tech, and construction facing shortages of skilled workers, the governor’s plan can help expand access to opportunity while boosting

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  • New York City Hall

    New York City Hall


    What to watch for this week in New York politics:

    It’s crunch time for a new state budget, which is due by the April 1 start of the new fiscal year. While a new budget won’t necessarily be done by then -- many years the budget has been late by days, weeks, or months (though under Governor Andrew Cuomo they have been on time or close to it) -- negotiations are due to heat up this week and there are promises that the budget will be done by March 30, before the Passover

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  • mxm logo

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


    March 13, 2018 - Max & Murphy Podcast: A Journalist Runs for State Senate, with Ross Barkan

    ross barkan senate277px

    Ross Barkan announced late last year that he was making the leap from journalism to running for elected office and entered the race in the 22nd State Senate District, a Brooklyn seat currently held

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  • museum of political corruption

    (image: Museum of Political Corruption)


    The New York State legislature is often cited as the most corrupt in the nation and Bruce Roter, founder and president of the board of trustees of Albany’s upcoming Museum of Political Corruption, wants to tell the story of how we got there and help the

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  • New York City Hall

    New York City Hall


    What to watch for this week in New York politics:

    This week we're awaiting gubernatorial campaign announcements from Republican Marc Molinaro and Democrat Cynthia Nixon.

    As those election year moves happen, or don't, government is happening in Albany, where the Legislature will be in session four days this week as we enter crunch time for a new state budget, which is due by the April 1 start to the new fiscal year. One-house budgets are expected this week from

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  • New York City Hall

    New York City Hall


    What to watch for this week in New York politics:

    This week will see the beginning of preliminary budget hearings at the City Council, where Council members will hear from representatives of the de Blasio administration about the mayor's proposed budget for next fiscal year, which begins July 1, and ask questions about how money is being allocated, savings, and more.

    Key details of the city budget that is agreed upon later this year by Mayor de Blasio and the

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  • jackson ramos presser

    Jessica Ramos and Robert Jackson


    The eight-member Independent Democratic Conference of the New York State Senate has drawn increasing ire from Democrats around the state, especially in New York City. Democratic senators who have broken away from their colleagues in the regular Democratic conference, IDC senators form a power-sharing agreement with Senate Republicans, helping the GOP enhance its razor thin majority. The Senate is the only current Republican stronghold in state government.

    Several factors, including the election of

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  • New York City Hall

    New York City Hall


    What to watch for this week in New York politics:

    It's a very busy week in New York politics, including a packed week at the City Council, two days of legislative session in Albany, and much more. The week spans the final days of February and first days of March, which is the key month for budget negotiations in the state capital - the new state fiscal year begins April 1. Expect state budget discussions to heat up mid-March, but there are ongoing negotiations,

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  • cuomo voting grimace

    Gov. Cuomo voting (photo via The Governor's Office)


    Governor Andrew Cuomo has officially called a special election to fill 11 vacant seats in the Legislature — two in the Senate and nine in the Assembly — for April 24. Of these, four vacancies are located within the five boroughs of New York City. The short races are quickly heating up to replace three former city-based state legislators who have joined the City Council -- former Assembly members Francisco Moya and Mark Gjonaj and former Senator Ruben Diaz Sr. -- and another lawmaker, Brian Kavanagh,

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  • op ed carlucci

    State Senator David Carlucci, the author


    New York’s voting laws are woefully outdated and lag behind much of the rest of our country. Too many New Yorkers experience unfair and unnecessary restrictions when they wish to exercise their constitutional right to vote. Unsurprisingly, New York consistently ranks near the bottom in voter turnout when compared to other states.

    According to 24/7 Wall St., an average of only 59.2% of eligible New York voters voted in the presidential elections from 2000 through 2012. That makes New York 42nd among the 50

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  • New York City Hall

    New York City Hall


    What to watch for this week in New York politics:

    Mayor Bill de Blasio will give his 2018 State of the City address this week, on Tuesday evening. The first of his second term, de Blasio is expected to talk more about his newly branded quest to make New York City “the fairest big city in America.”

    Budget hearings continue in Albany this week, and the Legislature will also hold session days to introduce and pass legislation on Monday and Tuesday, before taking

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  • John Flanagan Senate

    Senate Leader John Flanagan (photo: State Senate)


    The New York State Senate leadership’s attempt to revamp its sexual harassment policy is drawing criticism from advocates and lawmakers.

    Ordered by Senate Majority Leader John Flanagan, a Republican from Long Island, the rewrite enhances protections but also adds a seemingly gratuitous line warning that falsely accusing someone is a “serious

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  • dream act presser mtr

    The author at a press conference in Albany for the Dream Act


    On Monday the New York State Assembly passed the New York Dream Act. For immigrant youth like me, this legislation would be a game-changer.

    I am a Dreamer. I came to this country at the age of two from Mexico. I am an American through and through. I have worked hard to get ahead. I’ve excelled in school. Without state tuition assistance, I worked throughout college to be able to pay tuition and other costs. Finally, last year, I graduated from City College. It was harder than it

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  • riders fix the subway sign

    (photo: @RidersNY)


    With the “summer of hell” in the past and sustained heat on Governor Andrew Cuomo to fix the long-neglected subway system, one of New York City’s most prominent straphanger advocacy groups will travel to Albany to demand action from Cuomo and the state Legislature.

    Riders Alliance members will go to the state capital on Monday, February 12, to rally, garner media attention, and meet with lawmakers, hoping to push Cuomo and the Legislature to pass a new long-term funding mechanism for repairing, maintaining, and

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