If the New York City schools budget has been a roller coaster this year, it’s been on one of those dark indoor coasters, where you don’t know where it’s going next. Latest? An appeals court is letting the June budget cuts stay in place – even though Mayor Adams’ administration totally broke the law by not following the right procedures. Does it even matter? The school year is halfway over. Some schools gained, some lost – and the billions are still flowing, like the latest announcement of $205 million for special education programs.
Anna Kelles, Kevin Parker -
Well, look who failed the Brock Pierce School of Cryptocurrency.Gov. Kathy Hochul signed into law a two-year moratorium on new proof-of-work cryptocurrency mining operations at fossil fuel plants last week, delivering Assembly Member Anna Kelles & state Sen. Kevin Parker – along with environmentalists and some upstate small businesses – a major, if delayed, win.The cryptocurrency industry has argued that this mining moratorium will limit growth of the industry in New York as a whole, but the crypto sector might have some other, more pressing concerns on its hands to deal with now.
George S. Kaufman, Larry Silverstein and Jay Martin -
Several blocks near Kaufman Astoria Studios in Queens, New York, are about to get a serious makeover. The City Council recently voted to approve Innovation QNS, a development project that will completely overhaul the area around the movie studio. The plan moved forward after developers conceded to local Council Member Julie Won’s push for more affordable housing. Whether or not it’ll be a win for Astoria remains to be seen, but it’s certainly a victory for the studio, Silverstein Properties and Bedrock Real Estate Partners.
Hakeem Jeffries -
Big congratulations are in order for Rep. Hakeem Jeffries. After a historic victory this week, Jeffries is now the first Black leader in either chamber of Congress. With hard work comes great reward. The congress member has been quietly preparing for this role on the sidelines for years. Now, Jeffries’ dream has finally become a reality and history has been made.
Edwin Skepple -
Committing fraud isn’t a good look for anyone, but it’s an especially poor move for a captain at the New York City Department of Correction. That didn’t stop Edwin Skepple from allegedly giving fraudulent information to obtain funds through a pandemic-era program intended to aid struggling small businesses, according to authorities. Granted, Skepple isn’t the only person on New York’s payroll to commit fraud - more than dozen other current or former public employees face similar charges - but he’s certainly the most high profile.
Anthony Grice -
The Hudson Valley city of Newburgh was the second locality to adopt good cause eviction legislation, and now it’s following in its predecessor’s footsteps by being the second to have it overturned. Sadly for Newburgh Council Member Anthony Grice, who introduced the legislation last year, a state judge found the law meant to protect tenants from unjust evictions and rent hikes unconstitutional. Earlier this year, a judge in Albany came to the same conclusion. It’s likely that the law will stay in place as the appeals process plays out, much like in Albany, but the loss probably still stings for Grice, as well as Hudson Valley housing advocates who fought to make the law a reality.
Shelley Mayer & Angelo Santabarbara -
Kathy Hochul's wave of 39 legislative vetoes hit state Senator Shelly Mayer and Assembly Member Angelo Santabarbara hard this week. As sponsors of a bill aiming to improve oversight on state agencies' handling of group home operations, Mayer and Santabarbara disagree with Hochul's decision to veto the legislation. While Hochul attributed her choice to state budget limitations, Mayer plans to reintroduce the bill in the legislature, stating, "we're not going to be deterred in being a voice for these family members."