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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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July 18, 2019

Financial report raises concerns about Cuomo's accounting, fund balances, debt
State Comptroller Thomas DiNapoli released an analysis of the state budget financial and capital plans early this month, raising concerns about long-term fund balances, increasing debt, the impacts of federal policies — and Gov. Andrew Cuomo's dubious accounting practices.
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July 17, 2019

Beth Berlin to take over for Elia at NYSED until a new commissioner is found
Executive Deputy Commissioner Beth Berlin will serve as Acting Commissioner of the State Education Department after MaryEllen Elia steps down from the post at the end of August.
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July 16, 2019

ICE will not be able to use new law to ID undocumented immigrants, say lawmakers
After reports that Immigration and Customs Enforcement agents have asked at least three states to run facial recognition searches on their driver’s license databases, concerns have been raised that a new law allowing undocumented immigrants to receive licenses in New York will put them in danger of deportation by federal officers.
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July 15, 2019

Education Commissioner MaryEllen Elia to leave job at the end of August
New York Education Commissioner MaryEllen Elia has announced that she will resign at the end of August. The state's first woman education commissioner, Elia submitted an unexpected resignation letter to the Board of Regents on Monday morning.
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July 15, 2019

Con Ed looking into cause of NYC power outage on Manhattan's West Side
A power outage on the West Side of Manhattan in New York City on Saturday evening lasted a little more than five hours — trapping people in subways and elevators, thwarting theatre-goers on Broadway, dimming the lights in Times Square and leaving drivers without traffic signals from 72nd Street to the West 40s, and from Fifth Avenue to the Hudson River.
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July 13, 2019

NY immigrants encouraged to be aware of rights, resources as ICE raids expected
State leaders and immigrant advocates are working to be sure immigrants — both legal and undocumented — are aware of their rights and the resources available to them as nationwide ICE raids are expected to begin Sunday in an effort to round up immigrants targeted for deportation.
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July 12, 2019

NY opposes HUD prop banning mixed immigration families from receiving assistance
In the final days of public commenting, state agencies and advocacy organizations submitted a barrage of statements opposing a HUD proposal banning mixed immigration status households from residing in federally funded public housing and using the Section 8 Housing Choice Vouchers program, claiming it would have “devastating” effects on children, immigrants and other vulnerable populations.
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July 11, 2019

State announces $350M in grants available for municipal clean water projects
$350 million is now available through the Water Infrastructure Improvement Act and the Intermunicipal Water Infrastructure Grant Program for New York municipalities with infrastructure projects that protect public health or improve water quality.
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July 11, 2019

Cuomo signs pay equity legislation at parade celebrating US Women's Soccer Team
On Wednesday, Gov. Andrew Cuomo signed into law two pieces of legislation that expand equal pay laws at the ticker-tape parade celebrating the world champion U.S. Women's Soccer Team, while at the same time calling on U.S. Soccer to pay the women’s national team the same as the men’s team.
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July 11, 2019

"I am the left," claims Gov. Cuomo, asked about supporting Katz for Queens DA
Gov. Andrew Cuomo claimed dominion over the state Democratic party’s progressive wing earlier this week, in conversation with WAMC’s Alan Chartock, when asked whether he supported the wrong candidate for Queens DA.
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newsnews statecommunitiespolitics governmentenvironmenthealth fitnesstype-text

July 9, 2019

New York makes $350M in grants available for municipal clean water projects
The state has made $350 million available through the Water Infrastructure Improvement Act and the Intermunicipal Water Infrastructure Grant Program for municipalities with infrastructure projects that protect public health or improve water quality.
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newsnews statecommunitiespolitics governmentnews ustype-text

July 9, 2019

Gov signs law allowing U.S. oversight committees access to state tax information
On Monday, Gov. Andrew Cuomo signed into law legislation amending the state tax code to allow federal oversight committees access the state tax records of President Donald Trump.
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July 3, 2019

Nine members of the new state Public Campaign Financing Commission announced
The nine members who will decide how to implement and regulate public financing for elections in New York were announced today.
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July 3, 2019

State awards more than $900,000 in funding to help new and early-stage farmers
New York state has awarded more than $900,000 to new and early-stage farmers around the state, to help them expand production or advance innovative agricultural techniques that increase sustainability.
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newsgardening farmingnews statecommunitiespolitics governmenttype-text

July 3, 2019

State awards more than $900,000 in funding to help new and early-stage farmers
New York state has awarded more than $900,000 to new and early-stage farmers around the state, to help them expand production or advance innovative agricultural techniques that increase sustainability.
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newstravelnews statecommunitiespolitics governmenttransportationtype-text

July 2, 2019

MTA reorganization timetable shortens as groups advocate for more transparency
A law signed at the end of the 2019 legislative session by Gov. Andrew Cuomo includes a requirement that the Metropolitan Transportation Authority Board approve a reorganization plan for New York City’s subway systems by the end of this month, while advocacy groups argue that there needs to be more transparency to the process.
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June 29, 2019

NYPD announces millions are expected in NYC this weekend for Pride celebrations
As many as four million people are expected to visit New York City this weekend for the annual NYC Pride March and to celebrate the 50th anniversary of the 1969 Stonewall uprising, and NYPD has announced route changes and security measures in place for Sunday's events.
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June 28, 2019

In final days of session, Legislature passes two LGBTQ laws battling homophobia
In the last days of the 2019 legislative session, state lawmakers passed a law that would close a legal defense loophole by which defendants accused of murder could attempt to justify their actions to a jury by claiming that discovering that the victim was gay or trans caused them “extreme emotional disturbance.” Another would require gender-neutral bathrooms in state-owned or -operated buildings.
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June 28, 2019

Delta's new LaGuardia terminal to open this fall
Gov. Andrew Cuomo has announced that the first of four concourses that will comprise Delta's new state-of-the-art terminal at LaGuardia Airport is on track to open this fall, representing a major milestone in the $8 billion construction of a whole new LaGuardia Airport.
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newsnews statecommunitiespolitics governmenttype-text

June 28, 2019

Free fishing in NYS tomorrow and Sunday
Gov. Andrew Cuomo has announced that New York residents can fish for free without a license in one of the 7,500 lakes and ponds or 70,000 miles of rivers and streams across the state this Saturday and Sunday. This weekend is one of six planned for 2019.
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June 27, 2019

Legislature ends "historic" session with all around accolades and a "baby ugly"
The 2019 legislative session finally wound down in the Assembly early morning on Friday, two days after the official last day for voting. Democratic state leaders congratulated each other on what was a historically progressive session. And an 11th-hour omnibus bill traditionally known as the "big ugly" was dubbed the "baby ugly," and passed during the last moments of session with little fanfare or argument.
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June 25, 2019

Women's Justice Agenda moves forward in 2019, without Equal Rights Amendment
Late in the 2019 session, Gov. Andrew Cuomo called on lawmakers to pass an amendment to the equal rights article of the state constitution, along with three other bills associated with his Women's Justice Agenda, before session ended on June 19. While each of the other bills is now awaiting a signature from the governor, the ERA amendment will now have to wait another year for legislators to begin the lengthy process.
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June 21, 2019

Failing to pass recreational marijuana, New York decriminalizes the drug
After efforts to legalize recreational marijuana died in the Senate, New York state legislators pass a bill decriminalizing the drug and establishing procedures to expunge records for both past and future convictions.
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newsnews statecommunitiespolitics governmentgardening farmingtype-text

June 21, 2019

Lawmakers pass bill granting farm laborers long-denied protections
On the last day of the 2019 legislative session, state lawmakers passed the Farm Laborers Fair Labor Practices Act, granting farm workers long-denied protections. Gov. Andrew Cuomo has said he will sign the legislation, which opponents argue will cause "irreparable harm" to an industry that is already struggling.
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newsnews statecommunitiespolitics governmentgardening farmingtype-text

June 21, 2019

Lawmakers pass bill granting farm laborers long-denied protections
On the last day of the 2019 legislative session, state lawmakers passed the Farm Laborers Fair Labor Practices Act, granting farm workers long-denied protections. Opponents of the legislation say it will cause "irreparable harm" to an industry that is already struggling.
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newsenvironmentnews statecommunitiespolitics governmenttype-text

June 19, 2019

New York is set to pass the most ambitious climate change plan in the nation
State lawmakers are expected to pass a landmark law on the last day of session that will make New York a national leader in combating climate change — giving it the most ambitious climate goals in the U.S. at a time when most experts agree that even that will not be enough to avoid certain impending consequences of human-caused climate change.
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June 19, 2019

NY becomes 13th state to allow undocumented immigrants to get drivers licenses
New York has become the 13th state to authorize drivers’ licenses for undocumented immigrants in the U.S. It was unsure whether Gov. Andrew Cuomo would sign the controversial bill, but he ultimately did so last night.
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newsnews statecommunitiespolitics governmentbusiness financehometype-text

June 14, 2019

Legislature to pass landmark legislation permanently protecting New York tenants
Democratic leaders in Albany announced earlier this week that an agreement has been reached on a series of historic changes to state rent regulations meant to strengthen protections for tenants across the state, close key loopholes and address economic inequality. Over the objections of real estate developers and landlords, both chambers are expected pass the comprehensive package today, Friday, June 14 — just one day before existing rent regulations are set to expire.
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June 14, 2019

State passes law eliminating religious exemption for vaccinating children
State legislators passed a contentious bill this week that would remove the religious exemption for vaccination requirements for children. Opponents of the bill yelled epithets and threats at Assemblymembers who voted in favor of the law, which passed that chamber by a vanishing margin following a three-hour debate. Invoking science and the current measles outbreak, Gov. Andrew Cuomo signed the bill moments after the full Legislature approved it.
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June 11, 2019

Driver licenses for undocumented immigrants set to pass state Assembly today
The state Assembly is expected to pass legislation today that would allow undocumented immigrants to obtain drivers’ licenses in New York, but passage in the Senate is uncertain with only seven days left in the legislative session.
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June 11, 2019

New poll shows New York wants weed and equal rights, but no 4th year for Cuomo
In the final days of session, a poll released Monday by Siena College shows that New Yorkers strongly support the elimination of religious exemptions for vaccinating children and an amendment prohibiting discrimination on the basis of sex, but remain opposed to allowing undocumented immigrants to get driver’s licenses.
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June 7, 2019

State Senate passes package of animal welfare legislation
State senators passed a series of legislation on Tuesday, June 4, aimed at protecting domestic animals in New York, including a ban on declawing cats and the reconfiguration and fortification of laws relating to animal fighting ventures.
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June 7, 2019

Senate moves forward on cybersecurity legislation protecting personal data
The state Senate passed cybersecurity legislation this week aimed at protecting the data of New York residents, but a more ambitious privacy bill that would give New Yorkers unprecedented control over their personal information may be a heavier lift.
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newsbusiness financecommunitiespolitics government

June 4, 2019

Legislature may finally pass long-desired economic development oversight law
Legislation to increase oversight of loosely regulated local development corporations that spend billions in public funds throughout the state just passed the Senate for the first time since it was introduced in 2010 — but the Assembly, which has passed the bill every year since, still hasn't moved it out of committee with only ten days left in the session.
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newshealth fitnessnews statecommunitiespolitics governmentculture

May 31, 2019

Recreational marijuana in 2019 looking increasingly like a pipe dream
It’s doubtful whether progressive state Democrats will be able to legalize recreational marijuana before the legislative session ends on June 19, but lawmakers filed a multi-faceted amendment last week in an eleventh hour push to make the proposed bill more palatable to the governor and wary Senate colleagues.
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newsnews statecommunitiespolitics government

May 25, 2019

Rent laws set to expire as state legislators consider replacement regulations
With only 13 legislative days left in the 2019 session, lawmakers are pushing to pass rent regulations that advocates say would close key loopholes in tenant protections. There are at least nine housing-related bills currently in legislative committees could still be passed by the Legislature before June 16 — and some of them would apply to rental properties across New York state, rather than only to those located in or around New York City.
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newsnews statecommunitiespolitics government

May 24, 2019

Legislature passes bills to turn over Trump taxes, prosecute those he's pardoned
Both houses of the state Legislature passed laws this month, amid some debate, specifically aimed at limiting the power of the federal administration by compelling the state tax department to turn over certain documents to congressional oversight committees and closing a double jeopardy "loophole" in order to allow the prosecution of certain individuals pardoned by the U.S. president.
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newsnews stateenvironmentcommunitiespolitics government

May 20, 2019

Dems could consider comprehensive plans before it's too late to correct climate
With only 16 legislating days left in the session, Congressional Democrats are trying to find a way forward on meaningful climate action. But even if they manage to pass any of the number of bills currently sitting in committee, there's no guarantee the governor will sign them into law. Cuomo, one of 24 governors who has committed his state to upholding the goals of the Paris Climate Agreement, has also indicated that he's not interested in passing any more environmental legislation in this session. Meanwhile, critical thresholds continue their portentous advance.
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newstransportationnews statecommunitiespolitics governmentautos

May 18, 2019

NY moves toward requiring backseat seat belts for all adults
New York is poised to become the 20th state to require backseat passengers of all ages wear to seat belts or risk incurring a fine.
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May 17, 2019

Second legislative sexual harassment public hearing set for Friday
Three freshmen senators are holding a second public hearing on the issue of sexual harassment in the workplace next week. Senators Alessandra Biaggi, James Skoufis and Julia Salazar held the first such hearing to take place at the Legislature in almost 30 years back in February — yet, many of those who testified during the emotionally wrought 11-hour hearing spoke of horrific behavior that took place within those very halls.
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newshealth fitnessnews statecommunitiespolitics government

May 14, 2019

State lawmakers to hold hearing on single-payer health insurance plan
The state Legislature has announced a joint public hearing to gather feedback on the New York Health Act, a bill that would create a universal, publicly funded single payer health plan in New York State.
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May 13, 2019

Senate passes "Stephen's Law," other bills targeting substance abuse and opioids
State senators passed three bills on Monday aimed at combating substance abuse and the ongoing opioid crisis.
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May 11, 2019

Lawmakers looking at series of bills aimed at increasing school bus safety
The New York State Senate advanced legislation this week that will increase penalties for overtaking stopped school buses and expand school bus safety education programs.
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newscrimenews statecommunitiespolitics government

May 8, 2019

Senate passes law allowing convicted felons to serve on courtroom juries
Senate Democrats passed more criminal justice legislation on Tuesday — including a controversial bill that will allow felons to serve on juries after they've fulfilled the terms of their sentences.
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May 8, 2019

Senate Dems to pass bills thwarting Trump tax tactics, presidential pardons
State senators are expected to pass two pieces of legislation today that are directly aimed at President Donald Trump — one authorizing the state tax department to share information with federal congressional oversight committees and another allowing the state to prosecute individuals pardoned by the president.
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May 6, 2019

After decades of indictments, lawmakers mull laws to ensure ethics in state govt
As an energized, empowered and expanded Democratic party settles into new roles, could this be the year that the Legislature finally passes laws to elicit ethical behavior in state government? Two bills under consideration by state senators today would be a good, and long overdue, step in that direction.
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newsnews statecommunitiespolitics government

May 5, 2019

Senate ethics and elections committees take up bills intro'd by eager freshman
When the Senate Ethics Committee meets this week, it will consider legislation for the second time in its history — and the second time this year. Chaired by Alessandra Biaggi, the enthusiastic freshman senator from New York City who defeated IDC leader Jeff Klein with more than 70 percent of the vote, the formerly feckless committee has new energy and an expanded mission. Two separate sexual harassment bills introduced by Biaggi will be considered this Tuesday by the Senate committees on ethics and elections — committees that seem likely to overlap often in Albany.
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newstransportationnews statecommunitiespolitics government

May 5, 2019

When the Assembly Transportation Committee meets this week, members will consider speed limits, road construction signs, antique cars, firefighters, idling vehicles and the state Department of Transportation's opaque financial planning.
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May 5, 2019

The Assembly Codes Committee is considering a variety of legislation when it meets this Tuesday at noon. Bills on the agenda cover everything from the declawing of pets to environmental justice, gender discrimination in retail, health care and idling cars.
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May 5, 2019

On Tuesday, May 7, the Assembly Codes Committee will take up six bills aimed at protecting victims of domestic violence.
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