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New York State Government

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Local coverage of what's going on in New York state government, where Gov. Andrew Cuomo and the state Legislature — dominated by Democrats following the 2018 midterms — are pursuing a legislative agenda in open defiance of federal policy under President Donald Trump. (Includes links to state legislators and legislation, as well as relevant agencies, organizations, people, primary sources and public events.)

Local coverage of what's going on in New York state government, where Gov. Andrew Cuomo and the state Legislature — dominated by Democrats following the 2018 midterms — are pursuing a legislative agenda in open defiance of federal policy under President Donald Trump. (Includes links to state legislators and legislation, as well as relevant agencies, organizations, people, primary sources and public events.)
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NewsPlexus Media September 17, 2019

MTA finally releases overview of spending plan due for approval October 1
The MTA Capital Plan Review Board is scheduled to vote on the authority’s $51.5 billion Capital Plan for 2020-2014 next Wednesday, Sept. 25, but good government groups and others have concerns about the spending plan — a brief overview of which wasn’t made public until this Monday, Sept. 16.
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NewsPlexus Media September 17, 2019

Gov signs presidential primary bill without including state, congressional races
Earlier this month, Gov. Andrew Cuomo suggested moving up the state's congressional and state primaries in 2020 to coincide with the presidential primary. But this week the governor signed legislation approving a bill setting the presidential primary for April 28 without including congressional and state races, which were consolidated earlier this year and set for the month of June.
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NewsPlexus Media September 17, 2019

Emergency executive action to ban flavored vaping devices
Gov. Andrew Cuomo announced an emergency executive action on Sunday to ban the sale of flavored electronic cigarettes in New York State.
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NewsPlexus Media September 16, 2019

New license plate vote is over, but 'PlateGate' controversy continues
The newest New York license plate, selected by state residents, was announced early this month — but the controversy kicked up by the state’s plan to require drivers to replace their old license plates remains.
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NewsPlexus Media September 16, 2019

New law prohibits courts from denying adoptions to legally recognized parents
New York has enacted legislation prohibiting New York state courts from denying child adoptions to individuals who are already legally recognized as the child’s parent in New York solely on that basis.
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NewsPlexus Media September 16, 2019

Elijah's Law will protect against allergy anaphylaxis in NY childcare facilities
Gov. Andrew Cuomo signed legislation last week requiring all child daycare programs in New York to follow guidelines for preventing and responding to food allergy anaphylaxis.
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NewsPlexus Media September 13, 2019

State takes action to educate New Yorkers about the dangers of vaping products
Gov. Andrew Cuomo signed an executive order on Thursday, directing state agencies to deploy education awareness program on vaping, and legislation to expand current school-based programs and marketing campaigns aimed at reducing tobacco use to include e-cigarettes and liquid nicotine.
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NewsPlexus Media September 13, 2019

Governor signs 9/11-related legislation on Sept. 11 in NYC ceremony
Gov. Cuomo signed a series of legislation during a memorial in NYC on Sept. 11 to ensure that first responders to the World Trade Center site on Sept. 11, 2001 receive pension and health benefits, announced an additional $1.8 million to fund the 9/11 Memorial Glade and posthumously awarded the Public Service Medal to Det. Luis Alvarez, who spoke before the United States Congress about funding health benefits for 9/11 first responders shortly before his death in June.
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NewsPlexus Media September 11, 2019

Task force to increase upstate cellular coverage holds first meeting Tuesday
Gov. Andrew Cuomo announced the new Upstate Cellular Coverage Task Force on Tuesday, which has been charged with developing potential solutions and policies to address the lack of cell service in rural and remote parts of upstate New York. Members met the same day.
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NewsPlexus Media September 11, 2019

Fewer farms are generating more income in New York, says OSC report
New York state farms generated $5.7 billion in revenue in 2017, representing an increase of more than 20 percent in net farm income over the precious decade despite a decline in their number and acreage, according to a report released last month by State Comptroller Thomas DiNapoli.
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NewsPlexus Media September 11, 2019

NY seeks billions from pharmaceutical companies accused by Cuomo of “conspiracy”
New York is seeking to secure $2 billion in restitution from opioid manufacturers, distributors and pharmacy benefit managers that the state Department of Financial Services determined has been overcharged — as a result of misinformation — over the last decade.
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NewsPlexus Media September 11, 2019

Cuomo previews budget proposal to make “Buy American” law permanent
At Saturday's Labor Day Parade in New York City, Gov. Andrew Cuomo announced he will advance legislation to make the "New York Buy American" Act permanent as a priority in his next budget.
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NewsPlexus Media September 10, 2019

New law will allow moment for memorialization of 9/11 in public schools
A new law will allow for a brief moment of silence in public schools across the state at the beginning of the school day every September 11th — “to encourage dialogue and education in the classroom, and to ensure future generations have an understanding of the September 11th, 2001 terrorist attacks and their place in history.”
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NewsPlexus Media September 8, 2019

State reviewing 16 innovative plans to transform Buffalo waterfront
Members of the public can now view the top submissions to "Aim for the Sky: Competition to Re-Imagine the Buffalo Skyway Corridor," which challenged the nation's top urban designers, economists, planners and architects to reimagine the four-mile stretch of lakefront.
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NewsPlexus Media September 8, 2019

New law would protect voluntarily intoxicated victims of sex crimes
Perpetrators of sexual assault could no longer be shielded from prosecution because their victims were voluntarily intoxicated if new law succeeds.
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NewsPlexus Media September 7, 2019

Domestic violence victims now have another year to bring civil suits in NY
The statute of limitations on initiating civil suits for injuries related to domestic violence doubled this week.
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NewsPlexus Media September 7, 2019

State recommends 14 more sites to national register of historic places
The New York State Board for Historic Preservation has recommended adding 14 properties, resources and districts to the State and National Registers of Historic Places, which would make them eligible for preservation programs and grant funds.
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NewsPlexus Media September 5, 2019

NY enacts more gun control, increasing access to mental health records, app info
Gov. Andrew Cuomo signed legislation Tuesday, one closing a loophole to give law enforcement access to out-of-state records to help prevent the dangerously mentally ill from obtaining firearm licenses in New York state, and another allowing law enforcement officers more access to gun ownership records.
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NewsPlexus Media September 5, 2019

Gov announces six new appointments to administration
Gov. Andrew Cuomo announced six new appointments to his administration this week.
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NewsPlexus Media September 3, 2019

State broadening investigation into utility's refusal of service in NYC
Gov. Andrew Cuomo fired a shot across the bow of yet another utility company this week, when he sent a letter to the state Department of Public Service, directing the agency to broaden its investigation into a moratorium on natural gas imposed by National Grid after the energy provider failed to get approval for a hotly contested pipeline in May.
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NewsPlexus Media August 30, 2019

NY enacts Erin's Law, mandating sex abuse/exploitation education for grades K-8
Starting next year, public schools will be required to teach child sexual abuse and exploitation prevention classes to students in kindergarten through eighth grade.
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NewsPlexus Media September 2, 2019

DiNapoli: Health Dept. needs to improve oversight of lead poisoning program
The state Department of Health needs to improve its monitoring of New York’s Lead Poisoning Prevention Program on the local level to ensure children with elevated blood lead levels are receiving required services, according to an audit released earlier this month by Comptroller Thomas DiNapoli.
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NewsPlexus Media September 1, 2019

OSC: Persistent system flaws causing DOH to squander millions on health care
New York paid more than $102 million in duplicate payments to managed care organizations for health premiums over a more than four year period, according to an audit released this month by State Comptroller Thomas DiNapoli. The Office of the State Comptroller has identified billions in erroneous payments to managed care organizations since 2005.
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NewsPlexus Media August 31, 2019

DiNapoli: Better planning needed for billions in state infrastructure spending
New York state expects to spend an average of $13.4 billion in each of the next five years on capital projects, but the state comptroller says it would benefit from a more comprehensive assessment of its capital assets and needs.
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NewsPlexus Media August 30, 2019

Cuomo, DMV defend license plate replacement plan against bipartisan opposition
Scolding state lawmakers for being hypocritical, misleading and irresponsible, the commissioner of the state Department of Motor Vehicles issued a statement Thursday, defending the statewide license plate replacement program set to begin next April.
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NewsPlexus Media August 30, 2019

Anti-Semitic campaign video from Rockland County GOP draws statewide criticism
A campaign video released on Wednesday by the Rockland County Republican Committee was removed from social media on Thursday, after it was widely condemned as an anti-Semitic attack.
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NewsPlexus Media August 30, 2019

Marijuana, still not legal, is now less criminal
The law decriminalizing marijuana — but not legalizing it entirely — in New York state went into effect on Wednesday, Aug. 28.
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NewsPlexus Media August 27, 2019

IDAs must begin live-streaming and publishing video of public meetings next year
Gov. Andrew Cuomo has signed legislation requiring industrial development agencies to live stream in real time, and post video recordings, of all open meetings and public hearings.
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NewsPlexus Media August 27, 2019

New law restores statute of limitations for prosecution of financial fraud
State enacts legislation Monday increasing New York's capacity to prosecute financial fraud relating to stocks, bonds and other securities. The measure restores the six-year statute of limitations under the Martin Act, allowing New York to better protect investors and consumers, prevent bad practices and hold companies accountable for fraudulent activity and conduct.
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NewsPlexus Media August 27, 2019

Gov restores oversight power he plundered from comptroller nearly a decade ago
Gov. Andrew Cuomo has finally restored oversight powers to the Office of the State Comptroller that he removed in 2011 — arguably enabling at least one of this moribund decade’s parade of depraved public servant scandals.
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NewsPlexus Media August 28, 2019

Assault, No. 1 issue in report on prevalence of violence in New York schools
The nearly 2.7 million students in New York State public and charter schools were collectively involved in more than 32,000 violent and disruptive incidents in the 2017-18 school year — including assaults, bomb threats and sexual offenses — according to a report released this month by the state comptroller.
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NewsPlexus Media August 26, 2019

Tread carefully in New York's subway system, says analysis by state comptoller
The condition of New York City subways has not much improved over the last five years, according to an analysis of MTA data by New York State Comptroller Thomas DiNapoli. But it’s not as bad as it was ten years ago. Primary takeaway? Enjoy the scenery, but watch your step.
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NewsPlexus Media August 26, 2019

Four years ahead of schedule, the new Kosciuszko Bridge opens this week
The second span of the Kosciuszko Bridge will open to traffic before rush hour early on Thursday morning, carrying commuters from Queens into Brooklyn four years ahead of schedule. The state has already partnered with a Brooklyn park conservancy to turn a seven-mile stretch of land underneath the new bridge in Greenpoint into a multi-purpose public park and cultural center.
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NewsPlexus Media August 25, 2019

Committee commences crafting new public campaign finance law, due by December 1
The New York State Public Campaign Financing Commission held its first meeting last week, setting the dates for four public hearings — and setting the stage for the next three months.
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NewsPlexus Media August 25, 2019

State enacts law protecting veterans from pension poaching scams
Gov. Andrew Cuomo signed legislation on Thursday to protect veterans from scammers and unethical businesses who attempt to sell unnecessary, potentially damaging financial products or services to veterans for a commission or fee.
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NewsPlexus Media August 24, 2019

Red Flag gun control law goes into effect today, Aug. 24
Today is the day that New York’s “Red Flag Law” goes into effect, enabling law enforcement, teachers and families to petition state courts to remove firearms from individuals they feel pose a threat to themselves or others.
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NewsPlexus Media August 24, 2019

ABO soon to have enhanced oversight power regarding public authority reporting
The state Authorities Budget Office will soon have the power to suspend local authority board members and executive staff for failure to submit reports required by state law, a step forward in an ongoing effort by certain state agencies to make their "opaque" activities more transparent.
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NewsPlexus Media August 24, 2019

New crime laws expand compensation access for certain victims
A series of crime victim legislation was enacted on Wednesday, when Gov. Andrew Cuomo signed legislation allowing domestic violence victims to sue those who fail to obey or enforce an order of protection and extending victim compensation eligibility to victims of unlawful surveillance crimes and to children who have witnessed a crime.
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NewsPlexus Media August 24, 2019

NY county clerks question implementation of licenses for undocumented immigrants
The New York State Association of County Clerks has a litany of “questions and concerns” for the state Department of Motor Vehicles regarding the implementation of a controversial new law allowing undocumented immigrants to obtain state driver licenses.
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NewsPlexus Media August 23, 2019

NY sues EPA over certificate of completion issued to GE for Hudson PCB cleanup
The state Department of Environmental Conservation and Attorney General Letitia James filed a lawsuit against the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency on Wednesday, claiming that it violated federal law when it issued a “Certificate of Completion” to General Electric Company in April for its removal of polychlorinated biphenyls from the Hudson River.
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NewsPlexus Media August 22, 2019

State enacts workplace protections for victims of domestic violence
A new law makes changes to the Human Rights Law to include victims of domestic violence as a protected class, expand protections for victims of domestic violence and strengthen support for domestic violence victims.
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NewsPlexus Media August 20, 2019

New Yorkers can now vote for new state license plate design
The governor has launched a statewide survey to select the design for the newest state license plate, which will replace all plates more than ten years old during the next two years.
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NewsPlexus Media August 20, 2019

Proposed law would require education on hate symbolism for grades 6-12
New York students in middle and high school would be required to receive an education on the meaning of racist and hateful symbolism if a new bill passes when lawmakers return to Albany in January.
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NewsPlexus Media August 18, 2019

Gov proposes law to prosecute acts of domestic mass violence as domestic terror
Gov. Andrew Cuomo advanced the first domestic terrorism law in the U.S. to include mass violence motivated by hate spawned within our national borders.
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NewsPlexus Media August 17, 2019

CVA look-back window gives survivors of child abuse one year to file civil suit
The look-back window provision in the Child Victims Act went into effect this week, giving victims of child abuse who have passed the time constraints on filing charges a one-time, year-long opportunity to file a civil complaint against their perpetrator.
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NewsPlexus Media August 14, 2019

Three bills the governor signed into law this week are intended to protect infants — in the home, at child care facilities and while sleeping in their cribs. But federal officials say a new ban is likely to prove ineffective and may even create new potential hazards for the infants of uninformed parents.
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NewsPlexus Media August 14, 2019

Private school bus drivers are now required to report any allegation, suspicion or confirmation of child abuse — visual, oral or written — of which they become aware.
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NewsPlexus Media August 14, 2019

HRL amended to specifically prohibit discrimination due to religious garb, hair
NY amends law prohibiting religious discrimination, to clarify that it also prohibits discrimination based on religious attire, clothing or facial hair.
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NewsPlexus Media August 14, 2019

State enacts sexual harassment protections pushed by victims of state lawmakers
Gov. Andrew Cuomo signed legislation this week significantly strengthening state anti-discrimination and sexual harassment laws — legislation primarily propelled by a group of former legislative aides in New York state government who were victimized by powerful politicians, state officials or high-ranking staff.
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NewsPlexus Media August 12, 2019

Ethics in Albany remains elusive
Former MTA head Joe Lhota resigned last fall because he was ethically compromised, according to a recently revealed resignation letter that refutes a different tale told by Lhota and Gov. Andrew Cuomo; and Cuomo appears reluctant to restore contractual oversight authority he revoked from the state comptroller more than a decade ago, even though that revocation likely enabled the infamous Buffalo Billion bid-rigging scheme and resulted in the criminal convictions of some of Cuomo’s cronies.
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