Democratic lawmakers win some ... and lose some

New York Sen. Liz Krueger.
Hans Pennink/AP/Shutterstock
New York Sen. Liz Krueger.

Democratic lawmakers win some ... and lose some

They pushed through tenant protections, but got pushback on financial aid for families of slain soldiers.
April 15, 2019

Who was this week's biggest Winner?

Liz Krueger & Joe Lentol
27%
Jill Furillo
26%
Donovan Richards & Jumaane Williams
22%
Todd Howe
15%
Frank G. Runyeon
7%
Other (write your answer below)
4%

Update: Rent regulations aren’t set to expire until June, but state Sen. Liz Krueger and Assemblyman Joe Lentol didn’t wait around to pass the Tenant Protection Act of 2019 – which made them the biggest winners last week. Meanwhile, Assemblywoman Deborah Glick faced backlash for her committee’s decision not to increase financial aid funding for families of fallen military personnel while adding millions for Dreamers – one of those issues where both the governor and the president were basically on the same page.

You start out as a real player, moving in high-powered circles, driving fast cars, travelling the globe, but suddenly it all comes crashing down. You hit rock bottom, then try to put your life back together, and maybe even find a measure of redemption. No, not Tiger Woods – we’re talking about Todd Howe, the Albany insider who was sentenced this week. See where he ended up on our latest Winners & Losers list, and how he stacks up against this week’s competition.

Winners: 
Jill Furillo

When betting on a standoff between hospital executives and rank-and-file nurses, always choose the ones who spend all day and night on their feet. New York State Nurses Association Executive Director Jill Furillo – and the nurses that her union represents – won a fight to secure minimum staffing ratios for nurses to patients at three of the state’s biggest hospital systems. Furillo can claim the victory as her own, but she couldn’t have done it without all the nurses – and those comfy clogs that helped them hold their ground.

Todd Howe

Formerly high-flying Albany lobbyist Todd Howe is counting his blessings this week after prosecutors gave their controversial witness five years of probation for his involvement in the corruption scandals that sent Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s former brother-from-another-mother Joe Percoco and former economic development guru Alain Kaloyeros to the slammer. Howe may not get to gallivant around the Capitol anymore – but a janitorial gig in Idaho sure beats the laundry room at Otisville.

Liz Krueger & Joe Lentol

In the perennial war between landlords and tenants, state Sen. Liz Krueger and Assemblyman Joe Lentol scored a win for the latter this week with the state Senate’s passage of the Tenant Protection Act of 2019, which was passed earlier in the Assembly. These two sponsors helped secure stronger tenant protections that make it easier to sue landlords for hostile tactics like turning off heat and water or making rent-stabilized buildings uninhabitable.

Donovan Richards & Jumaane Williams

While in the New York City Council, Jumaane Williams was one of its most prolific legislators – and even though he’s now the city’s public advocate, he just can’t stop passing laws. This week, the City Council overwhelmingly passed Williams’ bill barring pre-employment marijuana drug tests, along with a companion bill sponsored by City Councilman Donovan Richards that blocks marijuana testing for people on probation.

Frank G. Runyeon

New York City water towers have long been Runyeon’s mission, publishing investigation after investigation after investigation and uncovering disturbing revelations about their neglect. But his hard work has borne fruit in the form of legislation. The City Council this week passed seven bills reforming water tank oversight in direct response to Runyeon’s reporting. What’s more, his investigation into NYCHA water tanks won him a first place award for in-depth reporting from the New York Press Association – one of several we here at City & State are proud to have received.

Losers: 
Rickey Armstrong Jr.

In the latest development of a fraught financial fight, the Seneca Nation was ordered to ante up more than a quarter billion bucks to the state in unpaid revenue-sharing funds. That’s a tough had for Armstrong, the Seneca Nation president, who also was ordered to renew regular payments to New York going forward. But the standoff could continue, as Armstrong may have another card up his sleeve.

John Flanagan

There’s a minor mutiny in the ranks of Flanagan’s state Senate GOP: state Sen. Phil Boyle won’t wear a tie. Flanagan reportedly approached the wayward Long Island lawmaker, threw a tie on his test and told him to “put one (expletive) on.” Despite the strong language, Boyle rebuffed the request of his leader. It may be no 2009 Democratic coup or 2011 formation of the Independent Democratic Conference, but it’s a slippery slope. If Flanagan can’t get one member to follow the dress code, how can he lead his party back to the state Senate majority?

Deborah Glick

Manhattan Assemblywoman Deborah Glick is getting some Haterade after her Assembly Higher Education Committee voted against expanding a program that gives free college tuition to the families of fallen military personnel. Hundreds of thousands of dollars of new funding were hard to come by this year, she says. But that’s not going over well with critics who note the $27 million Democrats sent Dreamers’ way in this year’s budget – and now the governor is siding with Glick’s critics.

Barry Grodenchik

The New York City Council has been taking member discipline seriously as of late. City Councilman Rubén Díaz Sr. had his subcommittee dissolved after saying the council is “controlled by the homosexual community.” City Councilman Kalman Yeger was bumped from a commitee after saying Palestine does not exist. And now the legislative body’s looking into a staffer’s allegation of sexual harassment against City Councilman Barry Grodenchik, who despite saying he meant no harm has already been demoted.

Samir Saini

A Y2K-like bug that shut down the New York City Wireless Network over the weekend is an embarrassment for Samir Saini, commissioner of the Department of Information Technology and Telecommunications. Saini and the city had a year to prepare for a calendar reset of the Global Position System, but they may not have taken the appropriate steps to prep for the adjustment, causing failures in the city’s traffic light programming and police license plate readers that rely on the network. Come on, people, we’ve been through this before!

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