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New York City Hall is quietly orchestrating a campaign to pressure a federal judge not to place NYCHA under federal receivership – warning that such a move would result in “pushing longtime tenants out of their homes.”
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A recently filed lawsuit seeking to undo sweeping new lobbying regulations approved by the state Joint Commission on Public Ethics could derail the implementation of a new, multimillion-dollar online system for tracking lobbying activities in the state.
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Broadly speaking, state lawmakers aren’t happy with various strings attached to the first legislative pay raise in a generation, but for now, there’s been little traction between the state Senate and Assembly to actually overturn the recommendations.
A spate of bogus bomb threats aimed at extorting bitcoins were emailed to locations across New York City, New York state and the country – leaving investigators searching for the source, according to officials and reports.
In what could be an early shot across the bow of Gov. Andrew Cuomo, the incoming Democratic chairman of the state Senate investigations committee, James Skoufis, is promising to take on a much more aggressive oversight role.
NYPD Commissioner James O’Neill defended his officers’ handling of the chaotic fracas at a Brooklyn benefits center that saw a baby torn from his mom’s arms – adding that policy reforms are on the way at the Human Resources Administration, whose guards were also involved.
The Citizens Budget Commission warned the state in a new report not to get too high on spending legal pot revenue, since it would take years to “fully realize a robust legal recreational marijuana market and associated tax revenue.
State Attorney General Barbara Underwood filed a lawsuit against Walmart, Target and a toy importer claiming they sold products – namely “Cra-Z-Jewelz” jewelry-making kits – that contained dangerous amounts of lead.
Parents at one of New York City’s highest-achieving middle schools voted to forge ahead in a federal lawsuit to stop a city plan that some said could severely diminish their children’s chances of getting into the city’s specialized high schools.
Long-term costs for both active and closed landfills cost local governments in New York nearly $300 million, according to a report released Thursday by state Comptroller Thomas DiNapoli.
The Metropolitan Transportation Authority board approved its $17 billion budget for 2019, even though the agency still needs about $400 million in fare increases and cost reductions to balance its books.
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Assembly Speaker Carl Heastie said that a pay raise committee’s decision to impose a ban on outside income for legislators “may have put this entire pay raise … in jeopardy,” adding that the recommendations have some “technical problems."
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The state Department of Health is refusing to disclose why it cannot provide copies of emails between its staff and a major donor to Gov. Andrew Cuomo that received $25 million in unusual state grants.
With Democrats set to take full control of the state Legislature and legislative leaders signaling a renewed commitment to reform, there’s talk of altering, or even repealing and replacing, the state Joint Commission on Public Ethics.
New York suppliers, farmers and manufacturers have dealt with the effects of trade wars that are infringing on sales of crops, steel and other products made in the state and exported across the globe, with tariffs playing an outsized role.
Incoming state Senate Majority Leader Andrea Stewart-Cousins said she anticipates there will be further exploration of workplace sexual harassment, signaling support for public hearings that victims of harassment have been demanding.
Heastie also told reporters that lawmakers in the Assembly are open to holding public hearings to discuss sexual harassment in state government and how to develop policies that would address the issue.
As state lawmakers prepare to begin budget negotiations next month, addiction treatment providers and advocates are again imploring state leaders to respond to the opioid epidemic as they would any other public health emergency.
Rep. Brian Higgins and Buffalo Mayor Byron Brown strongly criticized President Donald Trump’s immigration crackdown, with Higgins taking aim at a proposal to stop funding one or two of the city’s refugee resettlement agencies.
The MTA decided to leave one set of tracks in the Canarsie Tunnel open so L trains can keep running during the approximate 90-minute tour of the tunnel by Cuomo ahead of April’s shutdown.
Editorial Pages
Kudos to New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio for finally cutting a sane deal with a recalcitrant union to pick up the garbage and otherwise do basic maintenance at New York City Housing Authority developments on evenings and weekends.
Big changes are underway at NYCHA, but not big enough, and there’s no guarantee that the reform drive won’t peter out as soon as a federal judge stops threatening to take control of the public housing developments away from the city.
Both houses of the state Legislature will be under Democratic control in January, and Cuomo’s fellow Democrats say ethics reforms are a priority, so with the political winds at his back, the governor will have a chance to push for lasting reforms.
The name Alain Kaloyeros could have been synonymous with so many great things in New York – it’s too bad it will, in the end, be corruption, which should serve as a lesson for New York state leaders, especially those on whose watch this corruption occurred.
From City & State
Fake news and other forms of election interference via social media channels were targeted by a piece of state legislation to force more transparency, but the bill’s author, state Sen. Todd Kaminsky, said at a City & State event Thursday that more needs to be done.
The Washington Post labeled Buffalo a “newly hot city” on Wednesday. That might still have come as a surprise to some, but it’s just the latest media outlet over the past decade to declare that Buffalo has come back from the dead.
Climate change isn’t just a huge issue on the national and international stage – it’s a major policy question here in New York as well. From water quality to offshore drilling to those pesky plastic bags, here are the environmental issues state lawmakers are looking to tackle in the upcoming session.
In Depth
Assemblywoman Amy Paulin wants a champion for New York’s beleaguered subway and bus riders, and when she takes over as chairwoman of the Corporations, Authorities and Commissions Committee, she plans to hold MTA oversight hearings.
After public outcry over the misaligned holiday decorations on a Holland Tunnel sign, the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey announced that it would allow the public to vote on the placement of the decorations.
* New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio said his administration will purchase 17 apartment buildings in a controversial program that pays private landlords to house homeless families, one step in phasing out the notoriously mismanaged cluster site program.
National Politics
The U.S. Senate voted unanimously to condemn Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman as responsible for the killing of journalist Jamal Khashoggi – and voted 56-41 to end the United States’ continued support for Saudi Arabia’s war effort in Yemen.
Maria Butina pleaded guilty to a single charge of conspiring to act as a foreign agent after admitting to being involved in an organized effort, backed by Russian officials, to open up unofficial lines of communication with influential Americans in the National Rifle Association.
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President Donald Trump’s push to construct a massive wall on the U.S. border with Mexico has created a nightmare scenario for congressional Republicans as they race to avert a partial shutdown of the federal government at the end of next week.
House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi struck a deal with Democratic rebels intent on denying her the speakership, agreeing to serve in the role no more than four years, paving the way for her to reclaim the gavel she lost eight years ago.
Trump’s lawyer Rudy Giuliani has undertaken a concerted effort in the past few weeks to win business from governments around the world – including in Africa and South America – for a firm he owns called Giuliani Security and Safety.
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