Gotham Gazette

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State Legislature

State Legislature

  • 'Those are the Things That Keep States Strong': Senator Krueger on Top Priorities and Budget Negotiations

    Senator Liz Krueger (photo: NY Senate)

    Lawmakers in Albany are in the midst of crafting a new budget, with negotiations now stretching beyond the April 1 start of the new fiscal year. Democratic Governor Kathy Hochul and the two houses of the State Legislature, both with Democratic supermajorities, are likely to pass a budget “extender” so the state can pay its bills, especially payroll, as they continue negotiations this week.

    State Senator Liz Krueger, a Manhattan Democrat who leads the Senate’s finance committee, has been at the center of the budget process, co-chairing weeks of legislative hearings on

  • As State Budget is Negotiated, A Closer Look At Mayor Adams' Albany Agenda

    Mayor Adams & Governor Hochul (photo: Ed Reed/Mayoral Photography Office)

    With a new state budget entering final negotiations, Mayor Eric Adams traveled to the state capital this week to pitch Governor Kathy Hochul and the State Legislature on his administration’s fiscal and policy priorities. Funding for migrant asylum-seekers and the MTA as well as other fiscal matters remain at the top of his list as the mayor has otherwise presented a limited policy agenda in Albany amid attempts to recalibrate his relationship with legislative leaders.

    Last year, Adams’ intergovernmental and Albany

  • Leaders of Hochul-Adams 'New' New York Panel Push Legislature to Support Housing Proposals in State Budget

    The Governor, Mayor, ABNY leaders, Richard Buery & Dan Doctoroff (photo: Governor's Office)

    As final negotiations over the state budget take place in Albany, a panel of experts convened by Governor Kathy Hochul and Mayor Eric Adams are urging the State Legislature to support a series of proposals to tackle the state’s immense need for new housing. 

    In June 2022, the governor and mayor assembled the 'New' New York panel of more than 50 experts and leaders across labor, business, academic, nonprofit, and philanthropic circles to advise them on the future of the city and state. The panel was

  • Uncertain Future for New Public Campaign Finance System in State Budget Negotiations

    Inside the State Legislature (photo: Mike Groll/Office of Governor Kathy Hochul)

    Despite funding in the executive and legislative budget proposals, lawmakers have not ruled out shelving the state's fledgling public campaign finance system for the upcoming election cycle.

    Rumors that lawmakers were considering delaying the new small-dollar matching program as part of budget negotiations have been swirling since such talks were...

  • 20 Issues to Watch as State Budget Negotiations Enter Home Stretch

    Gov. Hochul addresses the Legislature (photo: office of Governor Kathy Hochul)

    The Democratic supermajorities in the State Senate and Assembly recently laid their cards on the table with the passage of their chambers' one-house budget resolutions.

    The resolutions serve as opening counter-offers to Governor Kathy Hochul's $227 billion executive budget and sweeping policy agenda, marking battle lines and raising the stakes on a number of key issues. They followed weeks of legislative hearings on the governor's

  • Getting to a Deal on the Housing Compact New York Needs

    Gov. Hochul addresses the state (photo: Darren McGee/Governor's Office)

    Policymakers in Albany sent a clear message to their constituents last week: we are not serious about solving the housing shortage that is driving rents up, causing extreme housing insecurity, and keeping our communities segregated. The housing growth strategy outlined in both the Senate and Assembly one-house budget resolutions is a weak, incentive-driven approach that replicates housing policies that have been tried and failed. Localities that want to remain exclusionary and not add housing can still

  • Max Politics Podcast: Senator Liz Krueger on State Budget Negotiations

    State Senator Liz Krueger, center-right, with other state leaders (photo: NYS Senate)

    March 20, 2023 - Max Politics Podcast: Senator Liz Krueger on State Budget Negotiations

    State Senator Liz Krueger, chair of the Senate finance committee, joined the show to discuss state budget negotiations with under two weeks before the April 1 deadline for a new spending plan.

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

  • State Legislators Push 'Treatment Not Jails Act' to Avoid Incarceration for Many with Mental Illness

    Treatment could be available for more defendants (photo: Michael Appleton/Mayor's Office)

    State legislation to expand alternatives to incarceration for people with mental illness is gaining momentum in Albany amid debates over how criminal justice, public safety, and mental health care policy interact.

    The Treatment Not Jails Act would require judicial diversion courts in every county of the state and expand the list of special circumstances that qualify a defendant to have their case heard outside a conventional

  • After Hochul’s 2022 Veto, Lawmakers Reintroduce Bill to Protect Freelance Workers Statewide

    (photo: @Sen_Gounardes)

    The pandemic changed employment patterns across the country, with more and more Americans turning to freelance or independent work to make a living — only hastening a trend many years along. But New York State still lacks wage protections for freelance and independent workers, something two lawmakers are hoping to remedy after last year’s attempt to do so was vetoed by Governor Kathy Hochul, a fellow Democrat.

    This week, Brooklyn State Senator Andrew Gounardes and Assemblymember Harry Bronson of Rochester reintroduced the ...

  • New York Launch of Online and Automatic Voter Registration Delayed Until at Least May

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

    The state's new automatic voter registration system was meant to launch New Year's Day, but officials with the State Board of Elections claim emergency voting measures associated with the pandemic have forced the timeline back. The program is intertwined with an electronic registration system, meant to usher in widespread online voter registration, that is even further delayed – currently more than two years behind scheduled April 2021 launch.


  • In Albany, Mayor Adams Testifies on Governor Hochul's Budget, State Priorities

    Mayor Adams and top aides in Albany (photo: Michael Appleton/Mayor's Office)

    Mayor Eric Adams trekked to the State Capitol in Albany on Wednesday, testifying before the State Legislature on Governor Kathy Hochul’s $227 billionexecutive budget proposal for the state’s 2024 fiscal year, which starts April 1, and outlining some of his administration’s state-level priorities.

  • Could 2023 Finally See Movement on New York City Property Tax Reform?

    Housing (photo: Edwin J. Torres/Mayoral Photography Office)

    It’s been well over a year since Mayor Eric Adams promised, on the campaign trail, to “immediately” form a committee to "come up with real solutions" to make New York's property tax system more fair and equitable. But Adams never formed the committee and he has not made property tax reform a priority in his first 13 months as mayor.

    After 40 years of lawsuits, commissions, and half-hearted efforts at property tax reform, there is limited optimism for wholesale change,

  • Governor Hochul Presents $227 Billion Executive Budget for Next Fiscal Year

    Gov. Hochul presents budget details (photo: Mike Groll/Office of Governor Kathy Hochul)

    Governor Kathy Hochul on Wednesday released a $227 billion Executive Budget, her proposal for the 2024 fiscal year, which begins April 1, including major initiatives on mental health, affordable housing, public safety, and investments in “the New York Dream” to support seniors, young adults, parents, veterans, entrepreneurs, and others.

    “It's a thoughtful plan that furthers our progressive values and our priorities as New Yorkers, but also ensures fiscal responsibility,” said Hochul, a Democrat who just

  • Max Politics Podcast: Roberto Ramírez on Hector LaSalle's Nomination for Chief Judge and Latino Representation in New York

    A rally in support of Hector LaSalle for Chief Judge (photo: Don Pollard/Governor's Office)

    January 24, 2023 - Max Politics Podcast: Roberto Ramírez on Hector LaSalle's Nomination to Become Chief Judge and Latino Representation in New York

    Roberto Ramírez — a founding partner and political strategist at The MirRam Group, a former Assemblymember, Bronx Democratic Party leader, and advisor on Freddy Ferrer's mayoral campaigns — joined the show to discuss Hector LaSalle's nomination to be the next Chief Judge of New York, Latino representation at the highest levels of

  • After Second Legislative Passage, New York State Equal Rights Amendment To Go Before Voters in 2024

    Gov. Hochul signs abortion rights legislation (photo: Governor's Office)

    Voters in the fall of 2024 will have a chance to enshrine civil rights protections for women, LGBTQ people, and abortion access into the state constitution after lawmakers on Tuesday pass the New York State Equal Rights Amendment for the second time.

    If approved by voters, the state constitution will for the first time prohibit discrimination on the basis of ethnicity, national origin, disability, and sex, "including pregnancy and pregnancy outcomes,

  • Max Politics Podcast: State Senator Jessica Ramos on Hector LaSalle, the Minimum Wage, & More

    State Senator Jessica Ramos (photo: NYS Senate Media Services)

    January 19, 2023 - Max Politics Podcast: State Senator Jessica Ramos on Hector LaSalle, the Minimum Wage, & More

    State Senator Jessica Ramos - a Queens Democrat, labor committee chair, and member of the judiciary committee - joined the show to discuss her vote against confirming Hector LaSalle to be the next Chief Judge, her efforts to increase the minimum wage, and more.

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

  • What Wasn't in Hochul's 2023 State of the State Agenda

    Gov. Hochul delivers her 2023 State of the State (photo: Don Pollard/Governor's Office)

    In her State of the State speech last week, Governor Kathy Hochul, a Democrat, outlined her agenda for the year ahead, pledging continued action on public safety, an ambitious housing plan, major investments in climate action, mental health care, child care, and more. But even as she outlined many planks in her policy agenda, further outlined in a 275-page booklet, there were several areas where she only provided a vague notion of something

  • State Senate Again Starts Legislative Session with Voting and Election Reforms

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

    Democrats in the New York State Senate announced plans to pass a package of voting and election reforms on Monday, marking the fifth year in a row since taking the majority that they have highlighted the issue at the top of the legislation session.

    Since 2019 Democrats have ushered in a new electoral landscape, including early voting, automatic voter registration, and the New York State Voting Rights Act, among many other shifts. The latest package in the Senate sets the tone on election issues ahead of Governor Kathy Hochul's

  • Max Politics Podcast: State Senate Majority Leader Andrea Stewart-Cousins on 2023 Priorities

    Senate Majority Leader Andrea Stewart-Cousins (photo: NYS Senate Media Services)

    January 6, 2023 - Max Politics Podcast: State Senate Majority Leader Andrea Stewart-Cousins on 2023 Priorities

    New York State Senate Majority Leader Andrea Stewart-Cousins joined the show to discuss her 2023 priorities, the new Senate Democratic supermajority, her relationship with Mayor Adams, the governor's nomination of Justice Hector LaSalle to be Chief Judge, lessons of the 2022 elections, and more.

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

  • The Facts About the Grieving Families Act

    Facing life and death (photo: Michael Appleton/Mayor's Office)

    Just the facts, ma’am.

    That’s what fictional Dragnet detective Joe Friday used to ask for on TV decades ago. Today, the phrase is best known as a meme, but it’s still a good approach to decision-making in government. My colleagues and I should always look at the facts because that will point us towards the best course of action.

    Rarely is this more apparent than in the discourse around the Grieving Families Act,

  • Max Politics Podcast: Assemblymember Zohran Mamdani on a New Plan to 'Fix the MTA' & More

    Assemblymember Zohran Mamdani at Wednesday's press conference (photo: Kara McCurdy)

    December 15, 2022 - Max Politics Podcast: Assemblymember Zohran Mamdani on How to 'Fix the MTA' & More

    Assemblymember Zohran Mamdani, a Queens Democrat, joined the show to discuss his new plan to 'Fix the MTA,' upcoming state budget negotiations, the 2022 election results, and more.

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

  • What to Know About the Adult Survivors Act, New York’s New Law Allowing Civil Suits Over Past Sexual Abuse

    Gov. Hochul signs the Adult Survivors Act (photo: Darren McGee/Governor's Office)

    As of November 24, the Adult Survivors Act went into effect in New York State, allowing survivors of sexual offenses one year to file civil claims for cases that occurred even decades ago. 

    The Adult Survivors Act (ASA) was signed into law in May by Governor Kathy Hochul, the state’s first female governor, and removes the statute of limitations for certain civil claims regarding past sexual offenses between November 24 2022 and

  • Queens Assembly Member Up Just One Vote After Recount as Fight Over 98 Ballots Remains

    Assemblymember Stacey Pheffer Amato (far left, photo: @Stacey23AD)

    Assemblymember Stacey Pheffer Amato, a Queens Democrat, is leading by just one vote over her Republican opponent, Thomas Sullivan, after a manual recount for the District 23 election concluded on Wednesday. But, the race is still not over as a court battle for nearly 100 additional ballots remains to be decided.

    On election night, Amato trailed Sullivan by 246 votes in an election with more than 32,000 ballots cast, a close enough margin to trigger an automatic hand recount. More than 1,000 absentee and affidavit ballots remained uncounted at the

  • 'A Bill Like This Should Be A No-Brainer': Hochul Yet to Move on Legislation Restoring Comptroller's Contract Review Powers

    Gov. Hochul at a bill-signing (photo: Mike Groll/Governor's Office)

    Update: Governor Hochul signed legislation to restore some of the comptroller's oversight of SUNY, CUNY, and Office of General Services centralized contracts on December 30, 2022.

    Governor Kathy Hochul has yet to sign a bill that would restore some of the Comptroller's contract oversight powers that had been stripped by her predecessor, Andrew Cuomo, putting her at odds with the state's chief fiscal watchdog, members of the State Legislature,

  • Don't Believe the Hype; Bail Reform is Good Policy and Good Politics

    Speaker Heastie & Majority Leader Stewart-Cousins (photo: State Senate)

    In 2019, Democrats in New York were feeling pretty good. New York City had its first two-term Democratic mayor since the 1980s. Democrats controlled the Governor’s mansion in Albany and every other statewide office. We controlled the State Assembly and the State Senate – both with commanding majorities.

    Washington, of course, was a mess. One party was in the thrall of a former game show host, and they were too afraid of upsetting him to get