Gotham Gazette

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State Legislature

State Legislature

  • myrie avr

    Senator Zellnor Myrie at Thursday's pre-hearing rally (photo: @SenatorMyrie)


    Following several reforms to the state’s election and voting laws that were passed by the state Legislature and signed by Governor Cuomo earlier this year, the New York State Senate’s elections committee seems poised to move ahead with legislation to implement a system of automatic voter registration.

    At a public hearing on Thursday in Albany, the elections committee, chaired by Democratic Senator Zellnor Myrie of Brooklyn, heard testimony from experts, election officials, voting reform advocates, and

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  • cm reynoso press

    Council Member Reynoso, one of the co-authors (photo: John McCarten/City Council)


    In recent history, New Yorkers have witnessed numerous instances of brutality and mistreatment at the hands of the police. Justice has not been delivered in many of these cases, and they all point to a glaring reality: a lack of transparency and accountability plagues the New York City Police Department.

    The public was vividly reminded of this just a few weeks ago when a ...

  • green light ny driver's licenses

    (photo: @EddieATaveras)


    As a former Suffolk county police officer and detective, I think a lot about what keeps our communities safer. And one thing I know is that our roads are safer when everyone who is driving is licensed and insured. That’s why, as a state legislator, I believe New York should let all qualified drivers, regardless of immigrant status, follow the same process to get a driver’s license.

    Driving is essential on Long Island. Throughout most of our region, you need a car to get to

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  • students with signs

    (photo: Governor's Office)


    There has been much discussion that the state Legislature and Governor Cuomo may raise the cap on charter schools, especially since the sub-cap of 235 charter schools in New York City has now been reached. As public school parents and co-chairs of the Education Council Consortium, which represents the elected parent leaders of Community Education Councils across the five boroughs, we overwhelmingly oppose raising the cap

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  • climate crisis

    (photo: Emil Cohen/City Council)


    Grassroots climate activists hope that before state lawmakers adjourn for the summer they will strike a deal with Governor Cuomo to adopt the strongest climate legislation possible.

    And let’s be clear: the strongest climate bill is the NYS OFF Act (A3565/S5526), not the more publicized Climate and Community Protection Act (CCPA).

    The Off Fossil Fuels Act, for 100% renewable energy by 2030, grew out of the successful grassroots campaign to ban fracking in New York. It seeks to implement the study

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  • climate change scooter 2

    (photo: Lime)


    Solving our biggest global crisis of a rapidly warming planet means considering everything through the lens of potential solutions, even something as small as the electric scooter.

    Micromobility is rightfully capturing the keen attention of urbanists around the world -- including the much-discussed e-scooter. And New York is poised to take advantage as well.

    Simultaneously, New York is considering various necessarily ambitious policies to combat climate change and legislation to authorize local governments to roll

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  • protecting hc nyc

    (photo: Kevin P. Coughlin/Office of Governor Andrew M. Cuomo)


    New York State had achieved the highest percentage of residents with health insurance coverage of the four most populous states in the country by 2017, according to the Kaiser Family Foundation, one of the nation's leading health research organizations.

    Ninety-four percent of New York's residents had health insurance coverage that

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  • Cuomo environment

    Gov. Cuomo (photo: governor's office)


    As debate over the Green New Deal has seized the nation, the young people of Sunrise Movement have been challenging politicians to answer a simple question: What is your plan?

    In April, the New York City Council rose to that challenge with a series of bills that sets a high-water mark for urban climate action across the globe. Mayor de Blasio is expected to sign the Climate Mobilization Act soon.

    Governor Cuomo, meanwhile, has allowed the Climate and Community Protection Act (CCPA), the

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  • freelancers rally

    Council Members Rafael Espinal, left, & Brad Lander (photo: City Council)


    Two years ago, the New York City Council’s Freelance Isn’t Free Act went into effect, giving freelance workers legal protections against wage theft, delayed payments, employer retaliation, and lack of contracts for their work. The first-of-its-kind law has since allowed the city to recoup thousands of dollars in wages for

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  • govcuomo capi rally

    Gov. Cuomo at a charter school rally (photo: governor's office)


    After several new charter schools were approved last month, the cap on such schools allowed in New York City was reached. New York State has a cap on the number of issuable charters, which allow a group to start a new charter school, the controversial, privately-run, publicly-funded schools that mostly proliferate in the five boroughs and educate roughly 10% of the city's 1 million students. Within the larger cap, there is a sub-cap for charters that can be issued for schools in New York

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  • cm carlos press

    (photo: John McCarten/City Council)


    A new statewide poll by the progressive think tank Data for Progress finds plurality support for a proposal to allow undocumented immigrants to obtain driver’s licenses, and majority support for legislation requiring “good cause” eviction of tenants and for legislation requiring schools to limit the use of student suspensions. The findings are likely to buoy Democrats in the Legislature as well as advocates attempting to pass those pieces of legislation, among other progressive priorities, before the end of the state

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  • andrew cuomo gov photos albany

    Sen. Hoylman, middle, with his husband & daughter, & Gov. Cuomo, right  (photo: governor's office)


    When Marisa Horowitz-Jaffe and her husband, Doug Jaffe, wanted to have a baby, they faced numerous obstacles before the birth of their twins via a surrogate in a Dallas hospital eight years ago.

    Their twins were born in a Texas hospital because the couple was forced to travel out of state in order to use a surrogate. New York is one of only two states in the country to criminalize surrogacy, a fact Horowitz-Jaffe

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  • cuomo klein via gov

    Cuomo and Klein (photo: governor's office)


    Few New York residents have probably heard of the State and Municipal Facilities Program, or SAM, but in recent years, it has been one of the top avenues by which state lawmakers “bring home the bacon,” providing many millions of dollars in funding for district projects. Otherwise known as “pork,” these projects include things like new or renovated parks, schools, libraries, and more, with far greater funding going to legislators based on their political power.

    However, in this year’s

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  • jessica ramos 600a

    (photo: @RamosforStateSenate)


    April 17, 2019 - Max & Murphy Podcast: State Senator Jessica Ramos on the Albany Agenda

    jessica ramos 150State Senator Jessica Ramos of Queens joined the show to discuss her first budget season in the state Legislature -- accomplishments, disappointments, lessons learned -- and what lies ahead on issues including marijuana legalization, rent

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  • govcuomo meadow

    (photo: Mike Groll/Office of Governor Andrew M. Cuomo)


    As focus on the 2020 Census intensifies, one key aspect of the discussion is how the population count will impact legislative representation and redistricting. Along with new congressional districts -- New York stands to lose at least one if not two seats in the House of Representatives -- ...

  • govcuomo photos

    (photo: governor's office)


    My organization, Reinvent Albany, applauds Governor Cuomo and the legislature for passing congestion pricing in the state budget. Yet we are concerned about it being undermined by boundless exemptions for politically powerful interest groups, and a proliferation of other new structures and requirements for the Metropolitan Transportation Authority (MTA) that passed along with the tolling program.

    Paradoxically, the MTA legislative “reform” package also included a deal for the Legislature to approve new CEO/Chair Pat Foye without

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  • cuomo salt weather

    (photo: governor's office)


    The federal tax law overhaul enacted at the end of 2017 capped state and local income and property tax deductions on federal income tax returns at $10,000, damaging millions of New Yorkers’(and tens of millions of other Americans’) ability to itemize deductions on their federal tax returns. The change also resulted in sudden shifts in New Yorkers’ behavior toward their own New York tax payments. Over the past two budget cycles the changes have destabilized New York State’s tax revenue collection patterns and caused considerable

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  • state map

    NY State Senate Districts (image via Google Maps)


    Following the 2020 Census, New York will kick off the decennial redrawing of its state legislative and congressional districts to ensure equitable representation based on population. But the next redistricting process is untested so far, having been approved after the 2010 Census when New York saw a severe undercount, contributing to the loss of one congressional seat, followed by a redistricting that many observers and elected officials criticized for creating overly complicated state legislative districts on partisan

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  • gnd4ny divestny

    (photo: John McCarten/NY City Council)


    The window for meaningful action on climate change is narrowing. Every year, as more climate impacts become “locked-in,” changes we have to make to save the planet become even harder to implement. Right now, fossil fuel industry campaign contributions to politicians are holding

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  • bail sign via zellnor

    (photo: @zellnor4ny)


    At a Sunday press conference, following his overnight announcement of a $175.5 billion budget deal, Governor Andrew Cuomo heralded a criminal justice reform agreement with the Legislature, and thanked one member of the Assembly in

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  • mxm logo

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


    April 3, 2019 - Max & Murphy Podcast: 10 State Budget Takeaways

    38813932055 a4cf29902e zThere's a new state budget, with $175.5 billion in spending and a lot of policy included. We break down some of the key takeaways.

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

  • housing complex

    (photo: Benjamin Kanter/Mayor's Office)


    April 3, 2019 - Max & Murphy Podcast: The Debate Over Rent Regulations

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    mike mckee twitter
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  • Cuomo legislators bills

    (photo: governor's office)


    Although the state budget approved earlier this week included several progressive priorities for Governor Andrew Cuomo and the state Legislature, there are still three months left in the legislative session this year and a list of remaining items on which the governor and legislators have promised action.

    Taking advantage of their party’s newfound control over both houses of the Legislature, Democrats moved a long list of bills already this year, both prior to and in the budget. Though there has been a

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  • whats the data point


    What's The [Data] Point? Episode 70 -- $175.5 billion, Breaking Down the New State Budget, with Dave Friedfel and Patrick Orecki of CBC [You can download What's The [Data] Point? wherever you get your podcasts, including on iTunes]

    cuomo state budgetNew York State has a brand new $175.5 billion budget for the fiscal year that began April 1. Citizens Budget Commission experts

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  • Cuomo presentation budget

    Gov. Cuomo (photo: Kevin P. Coughlin/governor's office)


    The 2020 state budget agreement between Governor Andrew Cuomo and the state Legislature is one of the most consequential legislative packages to have passed in several years and enacts sweeping changes to the state’s criminal justice system, mass transit in New York City, voting laws, health care, environmental protections, and more. But government reform advocates are disappointed by what they see as half-measures on campaign finance reform and the exclusion of broader

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