New York State

An anti-Semitic attack in Rockland County and bail reform goes into effect

Rounding up the week’s political news.

Gov. Andrew Cuomo visited an Orthodox Jewish neighborhood in Williamsburg to show support for the Jewish community in the wake of a rise in anti-Semitic attacks on New Year's day.

Gov. Andrew Cuomo visited an Orthodox Jewish neighborhood in Williamsburg to show support for the Jewish community in the wake of a rise in anti-Semitic attacks on New Year's day. The Office of Andrew M. Cuomo

The past week ushered in not just a new year, but a new decade. The 2010s were an interesting time in New York City and state politics. Anthony Weiner was the front-runner for New York City mayor in 2013, and by 2016, he was already one of the biggest losers of City & State’s first decade. If New York lives up to its reputation, the next 10 years in local politics will surely take some unexpected turns.

First though, a look back not at the past decade, but the past week in the news.

Anti-Semitic attack in Rockland County

On Dec. 29, a man wielding a machete burst into a Hanukkah celebration at the Rockland County home of a rabbi and injured five people, including one man who remains in critical condition. The suspected attacker was quickly arrested and charged with attempted murder, a hate crime and several other crimes. The stabbing capped off a week that had already been marred by numerous anti-Semitic incidents in New York City. Following the stabbing attack, several Jewish lawmakers asked Gov. Andrew Cuomo to declare a state of emergency, which he has not done yet. New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio announced new efforts to combat anti-Semitism in Brooklyn. New York’s congressional delegation also called for new federal funding for security at synagogues and other Jewish institutions.

Bail reform goes into effect

The new year ushered in changes to New York’s bail laws, eliminating cash bail for many misdemeanors and nonviolent felonies. Even before the Rockland County stabbing and other anti-Semitic attacks, Republicans offered grave warnings about the unintended consequences of eliminating cash bail in these cases. New York City Councilman Joseph Borelli pointed to an accused bank robber being released without bail as an example of the law’s failure. The uptick in anti-Semitic hate crimes over the past two weeks led Assemblyman Simcha Eichenstein to introduce legislation to make hate crimes eligible for bail. It also prompted de Blasio, who already had reservations about the bail reforms, to say that the new law needed some fine-tuning.

Brian Kolb arrested, vacates leadership post

Assembly Minority Leader Brian Kolb was arrested for allegedly drinking and driving after crashing his state-owned SUV in a ditch on New Year’s Eve. On Friday, Kolb stepped down from the leadership post that he had held for 10 years, saying in a statement that he would not let his “personal challenges” distract from the conference’s goals. In an ironic, classic New York politics twist, Kolb had written a column just a week before his arrest warning against impaired driving and advising his constituents to drink responsibly over the holidays. He was charged with driving while intoxicated, a misdemeanor, which sparked another debate on the new bail reform laws.

Cuomo approves and rejects last-minute bills

Although the legislative session ended in June, Gov. Andrew Cuomo spent the end of 2019 putting his signature, or veto stamp, on some of the more than 900 bills the state Legislature passed last year. He vetoed a bill meant to protect employees from wage theft and another meant to lower barriers to medication used for opioid use disorder for those on Medicaid. He also declined to take action on a bill that would have eliminated the tipped minimum wage for the majority of workers subject to it. Cuomo did direct the state Department of Labor to phase out the tipped minimum wage by the end of 2020 for car wash workers and hairdressers, although restaurant workers were explicitly left out of the order. An addition to his vetoes, Cuomo also approved several bills, including one authorizing the design-build contracting method for New York City agencies. The process saves time and money by combining an infrastructure project’s design and construction into one contract.

Queens borough president race takes shape

The race to replace former Queens Borough President Melinda Katz began to shift into full gear during the past week. It started when New York City Councilman Donovan Richards got the backing of the Queens Democratic Party in the upcoming nonpartisan special election. Assemblywoman Alicia Hyndman also dropped out of the race, bringing the number of candidates down to five. New York City Councilman Jimmy Van Bramer received the endorsement of Public Advocate Jumaane Williams, bolstering his progressive image. And with Katz officially out of office on Jan. 1, when she began her new gig as Queens district attorney, de Blasio declared that the special election will be held on March 24.

Update: Around the time of publication, former Queens Assistant District Attorney James Quinn announced his run for Queens borough president. He is the sixth candidate in the race.

X
This website uses cookies to enhance user experience and to analyze performance and traffic on our website. We also share information about your use of our site with our social media, advertising and analytics partners. Learn More / Do Not Sell My Personal Information
Accept Cookies
X
Cookie Preferences Cookie List

Do Not Sell My Personal Information

When you visit our website, we store cookies on your browser to collect information. The information collected might relate to you, your preferences or your device, and is mostly used to make the site work as you expect it to and to provide a more personalized web experience. However, you can choose not to allow certain types of cookies, which may impact your experience of the site and the services we are able to offer. Click on the different category headings to find out more and change our default settings according to your preference. You cannot opt-out of our First Party Strictly Necessary Cookies as they are deployed in order to ensure the proper functioning of our website (such as prompting the cookie banner and remembering your settings, to log into your account, to redirect you when you log out, etc.). For more information about the First and Third Party Cookies used please follow this link.

Allow All Cookies

Manage Consent Preferences

Strictly Necessary Cookies - Always Active

We do not allow you to opt-out of our certain cookies, as they are necessary to ensure the proper functioning of our website (such as prompting our cookie banner and remembering your privacy choices) and/or to monitor site performance. These cookies are not used in a way that constitutes a “sale” of your data under the CCPA. You can set your browser to block or alert you about these cookies, but some parts of the site will not work as intended if you do so. You can usually find these settings in the Options or Preferences menu of your browser. Visit www.allaboutcookies.org to learn more.

Sale of Personal Data, Targeting & Social Media Cookies

Under the California Consumer Privacy Act, you have the right to opt-out of the sale of your personal information to third parties. These cookies collect information for analytics and to personalize your experience with targeted ads. You may exercise your right to opt out of the sale of personal information by using this toggle switch. If you opt out we will not be able to offer you personalised ads and will not hand over your personal information to any third parties. Additionally, you may contact our legal department for further clarification about your rights as a California consumer by using this Exercise My Rights link

If you have enabled privacy controls on your browser (such as a plugin), we have to take that as a valid request to opt-out. Therefore we would not be able to track your activity through the web. This may affect our ability to personalize ads according to your preferences.

Targeting cookies may be set through our site by our advertising partners. They may be used by those companies to build a profile of your interests and show you relevant adverts on other sites. They do not store directly personal information, but are based on uniquely identifying your browser and internet device. If you do not allow these cookies, you will experience less targeted advertising.

Social media cookies are set by a range of social media services that we have added to the site to enable you to share our content with your friends and networks. They are capable of tracking your browser across other sites and building up a profile of your interests. This may impact the content and messages you see on other websites you visit. If you do not allow these cookies you may not be able to use or see these sharing tools.

If you want to opt out of all of our lead reports and lists, please submit a privacy request at our Do Not Sell page.

Save Settings
Cookie Preferences Cookie List

Cookie List

A cookie is a small piece of data (text file) that a website – when visited by a user – asks your browser to store on your device in order to remember information about you, such as your language preference or login information. Those cookies are set by us and called first-party cookies. We also use third-party cookies – which are cookies from a domain different than the domain of the website you are visiting – for our advertising and marketing efforts. More specifically, we use cookies and other tracking technologies for the following purposes:

Strictly Necessary Cookies

We do not allow you to opt-out of our certain cookies, as they are necessary to ensure the proper functioning of our website (such as prompting our cookie banner and remembering your privacy choices) and/or to monitor site performance. These cookies are not used in a way that constitutes a “sale” of your data under the CCPA. You can set your browser to block or alert you about these cookies, but some parts of the site will not work as intended if you do so. You can usually find these settings in the Options or Preferences menu of your browser. Visit www.allaboutcookies.org to learn more.

Functional Cookies

We do not allow you to opt-out of our certain cookies, as they are necessary to ensure the proper functioning of our website (such as prompting our cookie banner and remembering your privacy choices) and/or to monitor site performance. These cookies are not used in a way that constitutes a “sale” of your data under the CCPA. You can set your browser to block or alert you about these cookies, but some parts of the site will not work as intended if you do so. You can usually find these settings in the Options or Preferences menu of your browser. Visit www.allaboutcookies.org to learn more.

Performance Cookies

We do not allow you to opt-out of our certain cookies, as they are necessary to ensure the proper functioning of our website (such as prompting our cookie banner and remembering your privacy choices) and/or to monitor site performance. These cookies are not used in a way that constitutes a “sale” of your data under the CCPA. You can set your browser to block or alert you about these cookies, but some parts of the site will not work as intended if you do so. You can usually find these settings in the Options or Preferences menu of your browser. Visit www.allaboutcookies.org to learn more.

Sale of Personal Data

We also use cookies to personalize your experience on our websites, including by determining the most relevant content and advertisements to show you, and to monitor site traffic and performance, so that we may improve our websites and your experience. You may opt out of our use of such cookies (and the associated “sale” of your Personal Information) by using this toggle switch. You will still see some advertising, regardless of your selection. Because we do not track you across different devices, browsers and GEMG properties, your selection will take effect only on this browser, this device and this website.

Social Media Cookies

We also use cookies to personalize your experience on our websites, including by determining the most relevant content and advertisements to show you, and to monitor site traffic and performance, so that we may improve our websites and your experience. You may opt out of our use of such cookies (and the associated “sale” of your Personal Information) by using this toggle switch. You will still see some advertising, regardless of your selection. Because we do not track you across different devices, browsers and GEMG properties, your selection will take effect only on this browser, this device and this website.

Targeting Cookies

We also use cookies to personalize your experience on our websites, including by determining the most relevant content and advertisements to show you, and to monitor site traffic and performance, so that we may improve our websites and your experience. You may opt out of our use of such cookies (and the associated “sale” of your Personal Information) by using this toggle switch. You will still see some advertising, regardless of your selection. Because we do not track you across different devices, browsers and GEMG properties, your selection will take effect only on this browser, this device and this website.