Both houses of the state Legislature passed legislation to give farmworkers labor rights akin to those other hourly employees have, such as overtime, a day of rest and the right to unionize, ending decades of debate on the subject.
State lawmakers crossed party lines to approve a sweeping new set of reforms to the state’s sexual harassment laws that are designed to offer new protections for victims, both in the workplace and when they report inappropriate behavior.
Gov. Andrew Cuomo and state lawmakers brought to an end what had been called the “gay and trans panic” defense, extended the statute of limitations for rape and instituted a host of other measures to protect members of the LGBT community.
State legislators spent most of the morning and afternoon flying through bills at a rapid-fire pace, completing the passage of several major issues but still having a significant volume of work left to do before wrapping up for the year.
The New York City Council adopted a $92.8 billion budget for 2020 less than a week after reaching a deal with Mayor Bill de Blasio that includes millions of dollars in extra funding for parks and libraries, and 285 more social workers for public schools.
De Blasio said Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez was wrong to describe the Trump administration’s migrant detention facilities as “concentration camps,” saying you can’t compare what the Nazis did with what’s happening now.
New York City Councilman Robert Holden has reported a top city Department of Education official to an ethics tribunal and the agency that investigates misconduct in public schools for urging underlings to attend a rally supporting schools Chancellor Richard Carranza.
Bronx residents are suing New York City to force four jails set to replace Rikers Island to go through separate land use review processes, the first in a cadre of threatened lawsuits to stymie plans for a new jail in every borough except Staten Island.
In some respects, the state’s wildly aggressive new climate change law is exciting, but there is also much to worry about in the legislation, particularly for upstate and its already struggling economy.
State lawmakers acted in the best interest of public health last week when they approved a measure to end the practice of some parents citing religious beliefs as a justification for failing to vaccinate their children.
Incoming NYCHA Chairman Gregory Russ looks solid on paper, but NYCHA’s problems are written in lead paint, in black mold, in fat rats, in stinking garbage, in leaking roofs and broken elevators and broken promises, so he has a lot to prove.
The New York City Council took up the next bid to kill the Central Park horse carriage industry, and it’s outrageous that hardworking drivers have to take off work to defend themselves and their horses.
Hundreds of mostly black spectators descended on Capitol Hill for a historic hearing on a bill that would create a commission to develop proposals to address the lingering effects of slavery and consider a “national apology” for the harm it caused.
Research Director, Empire Center for Public Policy
THIS YEAR'S RANK: 97CHANGE: -4
LAST YEAR'S RANK: 97
As founder and research director of the Empire Center for Public Policy, E.J. McMahon is a go-to expert on budget plans and policy proposals. His organization promotes greater transparency, accountability and fiscal responsibility in state government, which often puts him at odds with lawmakers and the governor. McMahon previously worked as a journalist in Albany, as an Assembly Republican staffer and a budget adviser for almost 30 years, giving him great insight into the goings-on in the Capitol.