New York City Hall
What to watch for this week in New York politics:
Monday marks exactly three weeks until the April 1 start of the new state fiscal year, by which time a new state budget is due. Negotiations among the two houses of the Legislature and Governor Andrew Cuomo have already heated up, with key policy and funding issues outstanding, and the two Democratic legislative majorities set to introduce their one-house budget resolutions on Monday.
There are four legislative session days again this week in Albany, so there will be public and private negotiations, posturing, and such. Key issues that need to be worked out include a variety of funding levels, including for local education aid, as well as marijuana legalization, congestion pricing, environmental policy, criminal justice and campaign finance reforms, and more. Most of those issues could be kicked to after the budget and continued in negotiations as the legislative session proceeds toward its June finish. Rent regulations are another issue that is likely to be left till after the budget. Mayor control of New York City schools and the cap on charter schools could be dealt with in the budget or after as well, not to mention a number of other policies like sports gambling.
This week we’re also waiting to see when exactly Jumaane Williams officially becomes New York City Public Advocate and how he starts his tenure in the citywide role.
The budget for the office is one smaller aspect of overall city budget negotiations. The City Council will continue this week its hearings on Mayor Bill de Blasio’s $92.2 billion preliminary budget plan. And the 2019 charter revision commission will continue its public hearings -- the commission is looking at the city’s budget process, the role of the public advocate, and much more.
De Blasio is due back on Monday from South Carolina, where he spent the weekend exploring a run for president, flying there after an appearance in Albany Friday, where he talked with Cuomo and legislators about top city priorities for the state budget and spoke at the kickoff reception for Somos weekend.
There's a lot happening this week - see our day-by-day rundown below.
***Do you have events or topics for us to include in an upcoming Week Ahead in New York Politics?
The run of the week in detail:
The New York State Legislature will be in session on Monday in Albany.
The New York State Board of Regents will meet on Monday and Tuesday in Albany.
"On Monday, Mayor de Blasio and Chancellor Carranza will meet with students from P.S. 130 during their lunch period...Immediately after, the Mayor and Chancellor will host a press conference to make an announcement on school meals. This event is open press. There will be Q-and-A. Later, the Mayor will ride the subway from Chambers Street to 14th Street Station to talk with riders about congestion pricing and MTA reform. In the evening, the Mayor will appear live on NY1’s Inside City Hall."
The following City Council committees will hold preliminary budget hearings on Monday:
--Cultural Affairs at 10 a.m., regarding libraries and the Department of Cultural Affairs.
--Youth Services at 2 p.m., regarding the Department of Youth and Community Development.
Also at the City Council on Monday: the Committee on Public Housing will meet at 10 a.m. for an oversight hearing “examining NYCHA’s new agreement with HUD.”
“Representative Adriano Espaillat (NY-13), joined by immigration advocates, will hold a press conference and community event on Monday, March 11th at 10:00 a.m. to speak out against the recent incident by U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) agents that were spotted parked outside of a Washington Heights school and in violation of sensitive locations parameters.”
At 10 a.m. Monday at City Hall, “The New York Alliance Against the Legalization of Prostitution — a coalition of women’s rights organizations, direct service providers, faith-based community leaders, sex trade survivors, and concerned New Yorkers — will hold a press conference and rally to voice opposition to proposed legislation sponsored by New York State Senators Julia Salazar, Jessica Ramos and Brad Hoylman, and Assemblyman Richard Gottfried to decriminalize prostitution, including pimping and sex buying. The Alliance will discuss evidence that prostitution is not a victimless crime by looking at the inherent harms of the sex trade and the lifelong trauma and medical injuries it causes the people it exploits for profit. They will also present the effects of legalized/decriminalized prostitution in other jurisdictions and highlight what can happen if New York state gives the sex trade a green light to flourish. The group will present a progressive alternative to the legislators’ proposal and to current New York State prostitution laws: decriminalize only the people who are prostituted (partial decriminalization) and provide them with comprehensive services, including housing, medical care, trauma-informed counseling, education, job training, and a way to exit the sex trade should they wish to do so.”
At 11 a.m. Monday in Albany, "The Chairs of both the Senate and Assembly Environmental Conservation Committees – Senator Todd Kaminsky and Assemblymember Steve Englebright – and the We Love New York coalition will hold a press conference...to respond to the disastrous potential precedent of an 2019-2020 Executive Budget proposal that would allow agencies to offload staffing costs onto the Environmental Protection Funding (EPF)."
At 11 a.m. Monday, “Brooklyn District Attorney Eric Gonzalez, together with community leaders and criminal justice experts, will make a major announcement.”
At 6 p.m. Monday, the 2019 Charter Revision Commission will hold its third “issues forum” at the Borough of Manhattan Community College to discuss potential charter revisions. This forum will focus on the city’s budgeting processes.
At 6 p.m. Monday, the state’s Census commission will hold the second of six public hearings to discuss the upcoming 2020 U.S. Census and the myriad related issues. The hearing will take place at Hostos Community College in the Bronx.
The following City Council committees will hold preliminary budget hearings on Tuesday:
--Governmental Operations at 10 a.m., regarding the Department of Citywide Administrative Services, the Law Department, the Board of Elections, the Office of Administrative Trials and Hearings, and community boards.
--Aging at 10 a.m., regarding the Department for the Aging.
The New York State Legislature will be in session on Tuesday in Albany.
At 9 a.m. Tuesday, the New York City Board of Correction will hold a public meeting at 125 Worth Street.
At 6 p.m. Tuesday, there will be a debate among the seven candidates for Queens District Attorney at CUNY Law School. Gotham Gazette’s Ben Max and law professor Zephyr Teachout will moderate the debate, which is being co-sponsored by a long list of advocacy and community groups. [Read: 'We're in a New Era’: Inside the Crowded Race to Elect the Next Queens District Attorney and Reset the Borough’s Prosecutorial Agenda]
The City Council will hold a stated meeting on Wednesday at 1:30 p.m. Council Speaker Corey Johnson will host the usual pre-stated press conference at 12:30 p.m.
The New York State Legislature will be in session on Wednesday in Albany.
At 10 a.m. Wednesday, the City Planning Commission will hold a public meeting at 120 Broadway.
At 5 p.m. Wednesday, this week’s Max & Murphy program will air on WBAI radio, and will feature an interview with state Comptroller Tom DiNapoli, and a discussion of criminal justice reform issues with Tina Luongo, chief defender of the criminal practice at Legal Aid Society.
At 6 p.m. Wednesday, the MTA will host the second of four open houses for community members regarding the “revised” L-train project. This hearing will take place at the Williamsburg Northside School.
At 6:30 p.m. Wednesday, the Civilian Complaint Review Board will hold a public board meeting at the Van Dyke Community Center in Brownsville.
The following City Council committees will hold preliminary budget hearings on Thursday:
--Transportation at 9:30 a.m., regarding the MTA and New York City Transit, the Department of Transportation, and the Taxi and Limousine Commission.
--Criminal Justice at 10 a.m., regarding the Department of Probation, the Department of Correction, and the Board of Correction.
--Veterans at 2:30 p.m., regarding the Department of Veterans’ Services.
Also at the City Council on Thursday
--The Committees on Public Housing and Oversight will meet jointly at 11 a.m. for an oversight hearing “examining the DOI report on NYCHA mismanagement at the Throggs Neck Houses,” as well as to discuss proposed laws requiring agency heads to disclose false statements made in an official capacity by their agency and for DOI to report to the council on NYCHA employee overtime. The committees will also discuss a resolution calling on the state to pass a law requiring NYCHA to “conduct annual evaluations of agency property employees.”
The New York State Legislature will be in session on Thursday in Albany.
At 10 a.m. Thursday, the New York City Campaign Finance Board will hold a board meeting at 100 Church Street.
The latest episode of the What’s The [Data] Point? podcast from Gotham Gazette and Citizens Budget Commission will tape and publish on Thursday, and will feature Nicole Gelinas of the Manhattan Institute discussing transit-related issues, including her evaluation of New York City Council Speaker Corey Johnson’s recently-unveiled proposals for city takeover of the subways, a five-year “master plan for city streets,” and more, as well as her own recent study of congestion in the city. Find What’s The [Data] Point? wherever you get your podcasts, or look for it posted at the Gotham Gazette website on Thursday afternoon.
At 6 p.m. Monday, the 2019 Charter Revision Commission will hold its fourth “issues forum” at the Borough of Manhattan Community College to discuss potential charter revisions.
Friday and the weekend
Mayor de Blasio may make his weekly appearance on WNYC’s The Brian Lehrer Show at 10 a.m. Friday.
The following City Council committees will hold preliminary budget hearings on Friday:
--Economic Development at 10 a.m., regarding the Economic Development Corporation.
--Consumer Affairs at 11 a.m., regarding the Department of Consumer Affairs.
--Small Business at 1 p.m., regarding the Department of Small Business Services.
At 10 a.m. Friday, the Senate Standing Committee on New York City Education will meet at 250 Broadway in Manhattan for a public hearing regarding mayoral control of public schools.
At 2 p.m. Friday, the Senate Standing Committees on Corporations and Transportation and the Assembly Standing Committee on Transportation will meet jointly at Buffalo City Hall for a public hearing regarding the effectiveness of the state’s transit network in Buffalo.
At 2 p.m. Friday, Brooklyn Borough President Eric Adams will host a joint legislative hearing at Brooklyn Borough Hall to “examine NYC’s homeownership housing crisis.” He will be joined by Senators Velmanette Montgomery, Brad Hoylman, Kevin Parker, Robert Jackson, and Brian Benjamin, and Assemblymembers Tremaine Wright and Al Taylor.
by Ben Brachfeld and Ben Max