New Yorkers can now choose 'X' as gender on driver's license, IDs

BY Luke Parsnow New York State

New Yorkers now have the option to choose "X" as a gender marker on their driver's license, learner's permit or non-driver identification card, Gov. Kathy Hochul's office announced Friday.

This change is prompted by the state's Gender Recognition Act, which goes into effect on June 24 and aims to provide expanded protections for transgender and non-binary citizens, as well as make it easier for people to change their names, change their sex designation and change their birth certificates to reflect their identity.

Continue Reading

CDC: New York COVID community levels down for first time since mid-April

BY Luke Parsnow New York State

For the first time since mid-April, COVID-19 community levels in New York state have had their first substantial decline, particularly in Central New York, which once led the state and nation in a post-omicron springtime spike, according to new data released Friday from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

As of Friday, 32 of the state's 62 counties are now classified by the CDC as having "high" community levels of the coronavirus. That’s down from 54 last week.

Continue Reading

New York criminal justice advocates push for 11th hour win on Clean Slate Bill

BY Tim Williams New York State

With the clock on the New York legislative session ticking, criminal justice reform advocates are hoping to secure an 11th hour win by passing the Clean Slate Bill, which would seal the criminal records of eligible New Yorkers. Garrett Smith, a statewide organizer at the Center for Community Alternatives, told Capital Tonight that a criminal record is a “scarlet letter” on the chest of New Yorkers hoping to access employment or housing.

The Clean Slate Bill, which is sponsored by state Sen. Zellnor Myrie (D-Brooklyn) and Assemblywoman Catalina Cruz (D-Queens), would automatically seal the criminal records of eligible New Yorkers seven years after sentencing for a felony and three years after the sentencing of a misdemeanor. Gov. Hochul included a clean slate proposal in her 2022 legislative agenda, but the bill hasn’t gotten over the finish line yet. Smith said there are disagreements on the timing of eligibility and argues that pushing the eligibility further back defeats the purpose of the clean slate legislation.

Continue Reading

New York parents of disabled youth may see a 1-year reprieve from OPWDD

BY Susan Arbetter New York State

Parents of profoundly disabled children turning 21 say they are being forced by New York state to send their kids to institutions, including Sunmount in the Adirondacks, rather than allowing them to stay in the specialized out-of-state facilities where they have lived for years.

The change stems from what parents and some lawmakers are calling a loophole in the law that will allow the state to save money.

Continue Reading

What does California's court decision mean for new AR-15 restrictions in New York?

BY Ryan Whalen Buffalo

BUFFALO, N.Y. -- In both the mass murders in Buffalo and Uvalde, Texas over the last two weeks, the alleged shooters were 18 years old and used a semi-automatic AR-15 style rifle.

Gov. Kathy Hochul on Wednesday proposed a ban on similar style guns for adults under the age of 21. A reporter asked Hochul what gave her confidence that law could survive a court challenge when a federal court struck down a similar California law just a few weeks ago.

Continue Reading

New York business leaders urge pause on farmworker overtime change

BY Nick Reisman City of Albany

This past March, U.S. Rep. Antonio Delgado urged Gov. Kathy Hochul to reconsider a lowering of the threshold for overtime pay for agriculture workers from 60 hours a week to 40. Now, a day after he was sworn in as lieutenant governor, business leaders like Brian Sampson hope he's still an ally.

"We ask him to understand that in his role when he was in Congress, he felt that it was bad for his district. In his role as lieutenant governor, he has to understand it is bad for the entire state," said Associated Builders and Contractors President Brian Sampson.

Continue Reading

Top New York Republican: Don't move local elections to even-numbered years

BY Nick Reisman City of Albany

New York lawmakers are considering whether to switch local elections for offices outside New York City to even-numbered years. The reasoning: Doing so would boost turnout in elections in presidential and congressional election cycles, typically when more people vote.

But the top Republican leader in New York, state party Chairman Nick Langworthy, is mounting an effort against the measure.

Continue Reading

New York lawmaker wants deferred retirement option for police, firefighters

BY Nick Reisman City of Albany

Police and firefighters with 20 years of service time would have a deferred retirement option under a measure proposed by New York state Democratic Assemblyman Angelo Santabarbara as part of an effort to aid with recruitment and retention of depleted forces in parts of New York.

The measure is meant to alleviate personnel shortages when senior officers or firefighters retire and can make it difficult to train new recruits. The option as proposed by Santabarbara would allow firefighters and police defer pension payments and continue to be employed.

Continue Reading

Hochul campaign raises $10.1 million over 4 months

BY Nick Reisman City of Albany

Gov. Kathy Hochul's campaign over a four-month period raised $10.1 million as she seeks a full term this year and has in recent weeks started to roll out an advertising campaign ahead of a Democratic primary next month.

Hochul's campaign on Thursday is set to report raising $31.6 million to date and has $18.5 million in cash on hand. New York residents accounted for 76% of her donors, and 70% of her contributions were of $250 donations or less.

Continue Reading

A Lake Placid Olympics? Lawmakers seek study

BY Nick Reisman City of Albany

More than 40 years after Lake Placid last hosted a Winter Olympics, some New York lawmakers want to form a commission about bringing the games back to the North Country and potentially co-host it with another community.

The state Assembly on Wednesday approved a measure that would create a commission on hosting the games, a move that would come after the state has already spent millions of dollars for the Olympic Regional Development Authority to upgrade facilities to prepare for the 2023 World University Games.

Continue Reading

New York's civil liability law for gunmakers survives legal challenge

BY Nick Reisman City of Albany
UPDATED 5:51 AM ET May. 26, 2022

A federal court on Wednesday rejected a legal challenge to a New York law that is meant to make it easier to bring lawsuits against gun manufacturers, a victory for Democratic legislators who had championed the civil liability law.

The decision came a day after a mass shooting at an elementary school in Texas that left 19 children and two teachers dead, and 10 days after a mass shooting in Buffalo in which 10 people at a supermarket were murdered.

Continue Reading

How school bus safety might improve in New York

BY Nick Reisman City of Albany

New York lawmakers are calling for new safety provisions for school buses in the state in order to cut down on crashes and illegal passing by other vehicles.

A bill announced Wednesday by Brooklyn Democratic state Sen. Andrew Gounardes would require school buses across the state to have two stop-arm attachments, one on the driver's side and another on the passenger side.

Continue Reading

NY state Senate-passed antitrust reform expected to die in Assembly

BY Kate Lisa New York State

Both houses of state government are not in agreement about overhauling the state's antitrust laws as they prepare to leave Albany.

Senators on Wednesday passed Deputy Senate Majority Leader Mike Gianaris' 21st Century Antitrust Act in a split 36-25 vote. The proposed law would criminalize business practices that establish a monopoly within any New York labor market, and would make it illegal for business owners to abuse market dominance.

Continue Reading

CUNY mapping expert on new New York state Senate maps

BY Susan Arbetter New York State

According to Steve Romalewski, director of the CUNY Mapping Service at the CUNY Graduate School’s Center for Urban Research, the new New York state Senate maps drawn by Special Master Jonathan Cervas are definitely better than the current state Senate maps drawn in 2012.

But there’s a caveat.

Continue Reading

Will the New York Assembly pass economic development reform?

BY Susan Arbetter New York State

Since the Buffalo Billion scandal in 2016, government watchdog groups have been trying to pass a selection of bills that would restore oversight, as well as create more transparency around state economic development deals.

“There are a number of different bills that would go a long way to restoring some sanity to a rather chaotic economic development system,” Ron Deutsch, director of New Yorkers for Fiscal Fairness, told Capital Tonight. “For the last decade, I would suggest, we have been subjected to what I like to call ‘Cuomo-nomic Development’, where Gov. Cuomo was really trying to take the reins of the economic development programs, and moving things in the directions that benefitted him and the folks that he wanted to benefit.”

Continue Reading

Buffalo parent leader upset with some school responses to shootings

BY Ryan Whalen Buffalo

BUFFALO, N.Y. -- Buffalo Public School students are dealing now not only with the reality of a racially-motivated mass shooting in their own community, but a second attack aimed at children in Texas less than two weeks later.

We The Parents Co-Chair and Buffalo Equity Coalition member Sam Radford said their fears are real and warranted.

Continue Reading

Antonio Delgado sworn in as New York's new lieutenant governor

BY Luke Parsnow and Zack Fink New York State
UPDATED 7:00 PM ET May. 25, 2022

New York has a new lieutenant governor.

Antonio Delgado took the oath of office Wednesday for his the new role as Gov. Kathy Hochul’s second in command, becoming the state’s third lieutenant governor in less than a year.

Continue Reading

New York immigrants drive calls for greater deportation protections

BY Kate Lisa New York State

The fervent pounding of drums and pleading from immigrant New Yorkers rang outside the state Capitol with growing demands for legislators to increase protections against deportation before session ends next week.

The New York for All Act would limit state and local law enforcement from using resources to aid U.S. Immigration & Customs Enforcement agents disclosing a person's citizenship or immigration status to U.S. Immigration & Customs Enforcement in efforts to curb deportation. The bill would prohibit state or local law enforcement, peace officers, school resource officers, state agencies, state employees and probation agencies from disclosing a person's immigration status, nationality, country of origin or corresponding release or court dates as part of ICE investigations, interrogations and inquiries.

Continue Reading

Improvements to New York's Holocaust education will head to Hochul's desk

BY Nick Reisman City of Albany

A survey of the state of New York's Holocaust education curriculum would be required under a bill being sent to Gov. Kathy Hochul's desk after the measure gained full passage in the state Legislature on Thursday.

It was introduced in response to a 2020 study by the Conference on Jewish Material Claims Against Germany that found New Yorkers age 18 to 39 lacked knowledge of the Holocaust.

Continue Reading

NY elections official urges against combining primaries

BY Nick Reisman City of Albany

Combining New York's primary elections would be a costly and potentially confusing development for voters as elections officials are already planning two primaries in June and August, a top state elections official in a legal brief filed this week said.

The filing from State Board of Elections Co-Executive Director Kristen Zebrowski Stavisky was made in response to a League of Women Voters-backed lawsuit that seeks to combine New York's two primaries to a single, unified date on Aug. 23.

Continue Reading

New York considers extending liquor store hours on Sundays

BY Nick Reisman City of Albany

Liquor stores would be able to open as early as 10 a.m. on Sundays in New York state under a measure that could receive final passage in the coming days.

Lawmakers in the state Senate approved the measure on Wednesday, and it now heads to the state Assembly.

Continue Reading

State Police will conduct daily check-ins at New York schools

BY Nick Reisman City of Albany

State Police troopers will conduct daily check-ins at New York schools from now until the end of the year following the mass shooting at a Texas elementary school that left 19 children and 2 teachers dead, Gov. Kathy Hochul on Wednesday announced.

The check-ins with police were announced after Hochul held at an emergency meeting with State Police officials and after she met on Wednesday morning with an interstate gun violence task force.

Continue Reading

Hochul calls for new age limit to purchase AR-15 style guns in New York

BY Nick Reisman City of Albany

Gov. Kathy Hochul on Wednesday called for legislation that would raise the age of purchasing certain types of firearms from 18 to 21 in New York in the wake of mass shootings in Texas and Buffalo this month that have jolted the nation.

Hochul said “at minimum” she wants the law to limit the purchase of AR-15-style weapons for those under age 21.

Continue Reading

New York waterways could get bolstered protections

BY Nick Reisman City of Albany

More streams and waterways could receive added protections under a measure advanced this week by New York state lawmakers.

The measure is meant to ensure access for these waterways used for drinking, fishing and recreation be included in a regulatory protection program at the Department of Environmental Conservation.

Continue Reading

'A mountain of work' faces Hochul, lawmakers as session ends

BY Nick Reisman City of Albany

New York state lawmakers and Gov. Kathy Hochul in the coming days are set to approve several packages of measures meant to tighten gun control laws in the state as well as guarantee access to abortion services, taking on two polarizing issues that have captured national headlines in recent weeks and ahead of the start of the full-swing campaign season.

But Hochul, who is completing her first full legislative session since taking office last August, is also pushing for measures meant to make housing more affordable, as well as a multi-year extension of mayoral control, clashing with some fellow Democrats in the process.

Continue Reading

Biaggi's bid sets up intraparty fight with DCCC Chair Maloney

BY Kevin Frey Washington, D.C.

A New Yorker in charge of keeping House Democrats in power in this fall’s midterms now faces a challenger from within his own party.

Bronx-area progressive state Sen. Alessandra Biaggi announced Tuesday her bid to unseat Hudson Valley Rep. Sean Patrick Maloney, who chairs the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee.

Continue Reading

New York GOP gubernatorial hopeful Andrew Giuliani on Buffalo shooting, education

BY Susan Arbetter New York State

In response to the mass shooting in Buffalo, New York gubernatorial hopeful Andrew Giuliani told Capital Tonight that he wants to re-introduce the death penalty, ensure a mental health task force proposed by Republican Assembly convenes, and revisit the state’s Red Flag Law.

He is not, however, an advocate of strengthening the state’s gun control laws.

Continue Reading

Hochul vows independent review of early COVID-19 pandemic policy in New York

BY Nick Reisman City of Albany

New York is planning a wide-ranging and independent review of the state's policies during the early phase of the COVID-19 pandemic, Gov. Kathy Hochul on Tuesday said, with the goal of finding ways of what officials could and should have done better.

Hochul gave her most expansive public comments yet on the coming assessment of pandemic policies in New York, which she indicated would begin soon. She did not reveal which outside entity will be conducting it, or when the results would be completed and made public.

Continue Reading

New York lawmakers want to address monthly insulin costs

BY Nick Reisman City of Albany

New York lawmakers want to address the rising cost of prescription drugs as the state Senate on Tuesday approved a 12-bill package that takes aim at the price of insulin, the impact of high costs on older New Yorkers and co-payments.

Lawmakers pointed to the more than 1.7 million residents in the state who need access to drugs like insulin as they live with and manage diabetes.

Continue Reading

Hochul says a review of New York's redistricting process is needed

BY Nick Reisman City of Albany

Acknowledging New York's process of redrawing legislative boundaries for the U.S. Congress and state Legislature was once again a "messy" one, Gov. Kathy Hochul on Tuesday signaled she wanted a review of how redistricting should potentially change once again in the state.

"The process played out the way the law was written," she said Tuesday. "Do we need to do this differently? Yes, we do. Every 10 years it's always a mess. I know quite a bit about redistricting. I lost my seat in Congress."

Continue Reading

Hochul signs Adult Survivors Act into law

BY Nick Reisman City of Albany

A bill that provides new legal avenues for the adult victims and survivors of sexual abuse was signed into law on Tuesday by Gov. Kathy Hochul.

The measure grants broader legal latitude for people to sue their abusers and, potentially, the institutions and organizations that may have shielded the abuser.

Continue Reading

New York history Regents canceled over possible trauma from Buffalo shooting

BY Luke Parsnow New York State

The New York state Department of Education announced Tuesday it would cancel this year’s new Regents exam for U.S. history and government over the concern of worsening student trauma the recent mass shooting in Buffalo that left 10 people dead and three injured.

In a letter released Tuesday, state Education Commissioner Betty Rosa wrote that officials “determined there is content on the new Regents Examination in United States History and Government (Framework) that has the potential to compound student trauma caused by the recent violence in Buffalo.”

Continue Reading

Non-profit nursing homes challenge staffing laws

BY Nick Reisman City of Albany

An organization that represents non-profit nursing homes in New York filed a legal challenge Monday to state laws that set minimum staffing requirements for the facilities, arguing the enforcement is arbitrary and worker shortage problems are making compliance too difficult.

The legal challenge to the staffing measures from the group LeadingAge New York require minimum nursing staffing levels in the homes as well as having 70% of revenue be spent on direct care.

Continue Reading

Land and water preservation bill heads to Hochul's desk

BY Nick Reisman City of Albany

New York lawmakers on Monday gave final approval to a proposal that would preserve 30% of New York's land and water by 2030.

The measure, backed by Assemblywoman Pat Fahy and state Sen. Todd Kaminsky, will next go to Gov. Kathy Hochul's desk for her consideration. If approved, New York would be the fifth state to set a similar goal.

Continue Reading

Commission will consider how to redevelop vacant prisons in New York

BY Nick Reisman City of Albany

A state commission, announced Monday by Gov. Kathy Hochul, will consider ways of developing the vacant prisons in New York that have closed over the last decade.

The effort comes after the latest slate of prison closures in March closed six facilities as the number of incarcerated people have declined across the system in New York to a population not seen since the mid-1980s.

Continue Reading

Push mounts to change New York state guardianship law, visitation protocol

BY Kate Lisa New York State

Christine Montanti has worked for years to free her mother, Karilyn, from her legal guardian's clutches.

Karilyn's Law, a bill proposed to change the state's guardianship law, would require a judge to hold a hearing within 10 days of an application filed challenging the court-appointed care of a person who is allegedly incapacitated.

Continue Reading

NY Assemblywoman Hunter: Good Cause Eviction bill isn't about non-payment of rent

BY Susan Arbetter New York State

Chanting "housing is a human right," advocates pushing for the “Good Cause Eviction” bill protested at the New York state capitol last week. The bill would prevent landlords from evicting tenants if the tenants have not violated their leases.

The bill, which was introduced in 2019, gives tenants a right to a lease renewal and would cap rent increases to 3% or 1.5% of the Consumer Price Index (CPI), whichever is higher.

Continue Reading

Utica University professor on New York's congressional redistricting changes

BY Susan Arbetter New York State

New York finally has new congressional lines after a multi-level lawsuit and re-drawing process, in which Democrats lost at every stage.

Under the current maps, Democrats control 19 seats. Under the newly-drawn maps released in the early hours of Saturday morning, according to the Cook Political Report, there will be 16 safe Democratic seats, five safe Republican seats and five swing seats.

Continue Reading

New York Adult Survivors Act goes to Hochul's desk for final approval

BY Nick Reisman City of Albany

New York lawmakers and advocates are cheering the final approval of a measure that is meant to make it easier for sexual abuse victims and survivors to file lawsuits — holding both their abusers and potentially the organizations that shielded them accountable.

It's a victory for supporters like state Sen. Brad Hoylman and Assemblywoman Linda Rosenthal. The measure is modeled after the Child Victims Act, which opened up similar legal avenues for people who were abused or assaulted as kids.

Continue Reading

Current director to lead new state Veterans Department in New York

BY Kate Lisa New York State

New York veterans will soon access their programs or earned benefits under one state agency with a familiar face at the helm.

The current state Division of Veterans' Services will be elevated to the Department of Veterans' Services on April 1, 2023, creating a one-stop shop for New York's service members.

Continue Reading

Lawmakers want to increase penalties for wage theft in New York

BY Nick Reisman City of Albany

New York lawmakers want to increase penalties for wage theft in the state by adding it to the definition of larceny in the state's penal code.

The measure, backed by state Assemblywoman Catalina Cruz, picked up the support of Democratic Assemblyman Angelo Santabarbara.

Continue Reading

Antonio Delgado will be sworn in as New York lieutenant governor on Wednesday

BY Nick Reisman City of Albany

Democrat Antonio Delgado will be sworn in on Wednesday as New York's lieutenant governor, a move that will trigger a special election for his Hudson Valley congressional seat later this summer.

Delgado will replace former Lt. Gov. Brian Benjamin, who resigned in April following his indictment on bribery and fraud charges. He has represented a Hudson Valley House seat since 2019.

Continue Reading

New York Assembly Speaker Heastie to host Illinois House speaker

BY Nick Reisman City of Albany

Illinois House Speaker Chris Welch will visit Albany on Tuesday and meet with his New York counterparts in the state Assembly, Speaker Carl Heastie's office said.

Welch's visit comes after Heastie previously traveled to Springfield to meet with Illinois state lawmakers. He will be joined by Illinois Reps. Marcus Evans and Kam Buckner.

Continue Reading

Audit: New York's workforce development needs improvement

BY Nick Reisman City of Albany

The bureaucracy of New York's workforce development programs needs to be better coordinated and unified, Comptroller Tom DiNapoli's office found in an audit released last week.

There are more than 500 development programs, but those are spread out over nearly two dozen different state agencies and public authorities, which lack a functioning governing body to aid with planning and ensure needs of New York residents are being met.

Continue Reading

Redistricting could change once again in New York

BY Nick Reisman City of Albany

As the ink dries on the court-appointed expert's new congressional and state Senate lines released late last week, some good-government organizations are already looking to the next round of redistricting in 2032.

They argue the process this year, done through a voter-approved constitutional amendment, is ultimately set up to fail and could lead to a court drawing the districts every decade. But making the change — and how the specifics of yet another redistricting process would work — are not yet clear.

Continue Reading

How the new House districts alter upstate politics

BY Nick Reisman City of Albany
UPDATED 8:42 AM ET May. 21, 2022

Finalized congressional districts by a court-appointed special master released shortly after midnight on Saturday will alter upstate New York politics for the next decade that could maintain competitive congressional races for years to come.

The maps released by Carnegie Mellon University expert Jonathan Cervas for New York's U.S. House and state Senate races come as the state's redistricting process this year has been upended by a court challenge that rejected the lawmaker-drawn districts earlier this year.

Continue Reading

New York Assemblyman Pat Burke fires 3 staffers, only Black staffer, following disagreement over Buffalo shooting response

BY Ryan Whalen Buffalo

BUFFALO, N.Y. -- Following Saturday's mass shooting at a Tops supermarket on Buffalo's East Side, New York state Assemblyman Pat Burke's now former staff members said he indicated he wanted to make a fiery speech on the Assembly floor denouncing white supremacy and the so-called Great Replacement Theory.

Community Relations Director Matthew Dearing and Communications Director Brendan Keany said the lawmaker on Sunday directed them to put together a background document. By Monday, they said Burke's attitude seemed to change.

Continue Reading

New York Assembly members urge state OMH, OASAS to treat people holistically

BY Susan Arbetter New York State

People with addiction issues frequently have co-occurring mental health issues, but critics argue the New York state agencies that deal with these issues don’t play well together.

OASAS, the Office of Alcoholism and Substance Abuse services, and OMH, the Office of Mental Health Services, are what state Assemblymembers Carrie Woerner and Phil Steck call siloed.

Continue Reading

New York lawmakers expected to take up abortion measures in coming weeks

BY Nick Reisman City of Albany

A package of measures meant to ensure access to abortion and related services for women both in New York, as well as those living in states where the procedure could be outlawed, are expected to be approved in the coming weeks.

Democratic lawmakers and Gov. Kathy Hochul are expected to agree to the measures in the final days of the legislative session, which is scheduled to conclude on June 2, and ahead of a potential U.S. Supreme Court ruling that could overturn the Roe v. Wade decision.

Continue Reading

Pre-pandemic, New York's resident taxpayer growth slowed

BY Nick Reisman City of Albany

The number of resident taxpayers in New York state grew at a slower rate than the number of non-residents over a four-year period prior to the COVID-19 pandemic, a report released on Friday by Comptroller Tom DiNapoli's office found.

The report, which reviewed the period between 2015 and 2019, found resident taxpayers increased by 3.1% compared to non-resident filers increasing by 13.6%. The slower growth is attributed in part to the larger number of part-year filers moving out of New York than moving in.

Continue Reading

Oneida County executive passes on run for Congress

BY Luke Parsnow Oneida County

Oneida County Executive Anthony Picente will not pursue a bid for Congress and aims to stay in his current role, he announced Friday.

The Republican lawmaker said in the past few days, he was approrached by many about seeking what would likely be New York's 22nd Congressional District seat, given that the boundaries — drawn by a special master after the ones drawn by state lawmakers were thrown out — remain the same when finalized. The new district would include all of Oneida, Madison and Onondaga counties.

Continue Reading

Trump pays contempt of court fine, New York attorney general says

BY Nick Reisman City of Albany

Former President Donald Trump has paid a $110,000 contempt of court fine stemming from his failure to comply with a subpoena by New York Attorney General Letitia James' office, her office on Friday said.

Trump's payment of the fine on Thursday, however, does not satisfy the underlying contempt charge or "purge" it. Trump is yet to submit additional affidavits with more specifics about the document searches as well as destruction and retention policies.

Continue Reading

Immigration advocates eye additional revenue for excluded workers

BY Nick Reisman City of Albany

Advocates for undocumented immigrants living in New York on Friday urged state officials to use the additional revenue in the state's tax collections to replenish a fund meant to aid workers who did not receive federal pandemic relief and unemployment aid.

The push comes in the final days of the legislative session and after state lawmakers and Gov. Kathy Hochul agreed to a state budget that did not include new funding for the program, known as the excluded workers fund. The money was meant to benefit workers who were not eligible for federal pandemic payments, which included undocumented workers.

Continue Reading

CDC: 54 of New York's 62 counties have 'high' COVID-19 community levels

BY Luke Parsnow New York State

Residents in nearly all counties in New York state are being recommended to wear masks due to high case-counts of COVID-19, continuing a trend seen since mid-April, according to new data released Friday from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

As of Friday, 54 of the state's 62 counties, up from 45 a week ago, are now classified by the CDC as having "high" community levels of the coronavirus.

Continue Reading

De Blasio announces run for Congress

BY Spectrum News Staff New York City
UPDATED 10:14 AM ET May. 20, 2022

Former Mayor Bill de Blasio is running for Congress.

De Blasio plans to run in the proposed 10th congressional district, which includes Lower Manhattan and parts of Brooklyn, he announced Friday morning.

Continue Reading

Lawmakers call for insurance consumer advocate in New York

BY Nick Reisman New York State

State lawmakers in New York are pushing for the creation of an insurance consumer advocate that would review rate applications, recommend legislation and propose ways of easing cost burdens for customers.

The proposal, which was approved in the state Assembly earlier this week, has been years in the making.

Continue Reading

New York's unemployment rate fell to 4.5% in April

BY Nick Reisman City of Albany

New York's unemployment rate continued its modest downward trend, falling from 4.6% to 4.5% in April, the state Department of Labor announced Thursday.

The state's economy added 23,600 jobs in the private sector that month, a 0.3% increase to more than 7.9 million jobs. The U.S. private-sector job count also grew at a similar rate.

Continue Reading

Latest legal challenge to state Assembly map heads to court Monday

BY Kate Lisa City of Albany

A state Supreme Court justice will hear arguments in a bipartisan legal redistricting challenge to the state Assembly lines next week, days after the state Supreme Court is expected to adopt new Senate and congressional districts.

Manhattan Supreme Court Justice Laurence Love will preside over the hearing set to begin at 10 a.m. Monday, and hear arguments in the latest legal challenge to the Assembly boundaries.

Continue Reading

Draft NY congressional map sparks public feuding among Hudson Valley leaders

BY Kevin Frey Washington, D.C.

The infighting among New York Democrats on Capitol Hill is breaking out into public view, after a draft congressional map sent lawmakers scrambling, gearing up for potential election battles against each other.

Much of the drama surrounds the Hudson Valley, where Rep. Sean Patrick Maloney, who oversees this year’s re-election efforts by House Democrats, quickly announced he will run in the draft 17th District because it is where his home is.

Continue Reading

New York Assembly minority leader urges Domestic Terrorism Task Force to meet

BY Susan Arbetter New York State

New York has hundreds of task forces to deal with issues ranging from domestic violence to the opioid crisis, but if a task force doesn’t meet, there’s no chance it will accomplish anything substantive.

New York’s Domestic Terrorism Task Force, which was created in 2020, has never convened, even though the wording creating it states it’s required to meet four times a year.

Continue Reading

Gov. Hochul will perform 'rebuttal' at LCA Show this year

BY Susan Arbetter New York State

For 120 years, the Albany Correspondents’ gridiron show went on. Through World War I, World War II, Korea, Vietnam, the New York City garbage strike, Ford-to-City “Drop Dead” — even after the attack on the World Trade Center.

But after earning gold-plated status as the longest continuously running gridiron show in the history of the United States, the LCA Show, as it’s called, was halted in its tracks for two years by the COVID-19 pandemic.

Continue Reading

SUNY faculty union urges expansion of loan forgiveness

BY Nick Reisman City of Albany

The labor union that represents faculty at the state's public colleges and universities is calling for the approval of a bill meant to ease the student debt burden in New York.

Student loan forgiveness has remained a debated topic on the national level as President Joe Biden's administration considers the scope of a potential move meant to reduce or potentially erase the money owed.

Continue Reading

New York Assembly secures votes to pass Adult Survivors Act

BY Kate Lisa City of Albany

The New York state Assembly is expected to pass the Adult Survivors Act to allow survivors of sexual assault to have their day in court following three years of outcry.

The Adult Survivors Act, sponsored by Manhattan Democrats Sen. Brad Hoylman and Assemblymember Linda Rosenthal, would create a one-year lookback window for survivors of sexual assault to file a civil suit against an individual or institution for their past abuse that occurred after age 18. The bill has highlighted such abuse rampant within the modeling or athletics industry or medical field.

Continue Reading

Hochul's proposals to tackle violent extremism face challenges

BY Nick Reisman City of Albany

Finding ways of responding to the Buffalo mass shooting that left 10 people dead presents no easy solution, and for those tackling extremism online is a confluence of trends over the last several years.

The shooting has drawn in the rise and spread of violent hate speech over the internet and the access to guns despite stringent firearms laws in New York.

Continue Reading

Buffalo mass shooting victims' families looking at civil action

BY Ryan Whalen Buffalo

BUFFALO, N.Y. -- State court proceedings are now underway and federal prosecutors will also have the opportunity to seek justice for the 10 people murdered and three others injured during the racism-fueled mass shooting at a Buffalo supermarket over the weekend.

"They will take care of all of the punishment available under our law for the shooter," attorney Terry Connors said. "Our job is to look beyond that and to find out what was the root cause."

Continue Reading

New York's population was likely overcounted in 2020 Census

BY Nick Reisman City of Albany

Last August, officials at the U.S. Census announced New York's population had surpassed 20 million.

But the Post-Enumeration Survey based on a survey of households shows New York's population may be below the 20 million mark, reflecting a decade of little growth in state residents, according to an announcement Thursday by the U.S. Census.

Continue Reading

New York Democrats seek to mobilize Latino voters

BY Nick Reisman City of Albany

The New York state Democratic Committee on Thursday announced a new plan to draw in Latino voters ahead of the 2022 election, part of what party officials called a "bilingual empowerment program" meant to build coalitions, voter registration and mobilization.

The effort comes as Democrats increasingly worry Latino voters — a broad category of people from a diverse array of nationalities, backgrounds and communities — have not been engaged with the party politically in recent elections. At the same time, the party lacks a statewide candidate from any Latino community this year.

Continue Reading

League of Women Voters lawsuit seeks to unify primaries in New York

BY Nick Reisman City of Albany

A lawsuit announced Thursday by the League of Women Voters seeks to combine the state's primary elections scheduled weeks apart due to the upheaval surrounding the redistricting process this year.

Currently, primary voters are set to vote in two separate elections: State Assembly and statewide primaries will remain June 28; the primary elections for the state Senate and congressional races has been moved to Aug. 23.

Continue Reading

Progressive groups make tipped wage hike push

BY Nick Reisman City of Albany

A coalition of progressive organizations and labor groups like the Retail Wholesale and Department Store Union are launching a new effort to increase the tipped wage in New York amid a tight job market as the economy continues to feel the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic.

"Workers need a guaranteed high wages and stability to return to work in restaurants, and restaurants who have already met this benchmark deserve a level playing field," the organizations wrote in a letter to be released on Thursday to top legislative leaders and Gov. Kathy Hochul.

Continue Reading

As inflation rises, so does sales tax revenue in New York

BY Nick Reisman City of Albany

Sales tax revenue once again surged last month across New York, with local governments reporting a combined 15.7% increase over the same time period last year, according to Comptroller Tom DiNapoli's office.

But the increase in revenue, reaching $1.7 billion in April and a $232 million increase, has coincided with sharply rising inflation in nearly every sector of the economy.

Continue Reading

Buffalo community leader calls for unity after targeted attack

BY Tim Williams New York State

The residents of Buffalo are still reeling after the targeted attack on Black New Yorkers at a grocery store in the city on Saturday.

Darius Pridgen, the president of the Buffalo Common Council and senior pastor at True Bethel Baptist Church, told Capital Tonight that he is calling for unity in the wake of the attack, saying “let’s not tear apart our own community because of the actions of a murderous, evil person.”

Continue Reading

NYSSBA: Hopefully, 'single-agenda item' individuals on school boards will work collaboratively

BY Susan Arbetter New York State

Candidates affiliated with the so-called parents’ rights movement ran for school boards around the state on Tuesday. These are people who feel strongly that the societal impact of systemic racism shouldn’t be taught in schools, or that LGBTQ+ issues shouldn’t be raised in early grades.

The Albany Times Union reported Wednesday that these candidates did not do well in the Capital Region. However, Robert Schneider, executive director of the New York State School Boards Association (NYSSBA), told Capital Tonight that in other areas of the state, “they have made it to the school board.”

Continue Reading

GOP elections commissioner expects 'pathetically low' turnout for New York primaries

BY Susan Arbetter New York State

When the state Court of Appeals threw out New York’s congressional and state Senate maps a few weeks ago, they also threw a giant wrench into the state’s election calendar.

Not only will the state likely have two primary elections, one for statewide offices and Assembly seats in June, and one for congressional and state Senate seats in August, but because of some retirements and other moves by members of Congress, some districts will also have to hold special elections.

Continue Reading

Rep. Higgins says it's time to federally criminalize domestic terrorism

BY Ryan Whalen Buffalo

BUFFALO, N.Y. -- The person who allegedly killed 10 people during a mass shooting in Buffalo is facing life in prison without parole.

He's charged with first-degree murder but can't be charged federally with domestic terrorism because there's no statute on the books. U.S. Rep. Brian Higgins, D-Buffalo, said that should change.

Continue Reading

Hochul dismisses question about past NRA endorsement

BY Kate Lisa New York State

Gov. Kathy Hochul doubled down on state plans to reduce gun violence in the aftermath of Buffalo's mass shooting over the weekend, dismissing questions Wednesday about gubernatorial opponent U.S. Rep. Tom Suozzi's calls for Hochul to be held accountable for her high favorability rating with the National Rifle Association during her tenure in Congress in the early 2010s.

Suozzi and running mate Diana Reyna for lieutenant governor said Hochul is a hypocrite for criticizing Congress for failing to enact more strict gun laws after Saturday's shooting that killed 10 people and injured three others. The NRA endorsed Hochul in 2012 when she ran, and lost, the race for the 27th Congressional District seat to Republican Chris Collins. Hochul had an "A" rating with the NRA and for a House voting record to protect the Second Amendment and rights of gun owners, including voting in favor of a law to allow people with a valid permit to carry their concealed weapon in any U.S. state.

Continue Reading

Mental health advocates say societal factors should be considered in wake of Buffalo shooting

BY Nick Reisman City of Albany

New York officials are moving to address the mass shooting in Buffalo, which has raised a broad series of questions surrounding extremism online and the availability of firearms for people who have been radicalized.

But advocates for people with mental illnesses are concerned the public will view the rampage as a mental health issue, stigmatizing people who are living with illnesses as a result.

Continue Reading

What Hochul needs from New York lawmakers on gun control

BY Nick Reisman City of Albany

Gov. Kathy Hochul's response to the Buffalo mass shooting includes measures that she is enacting on her own, exercising her office's authority to direct the State Police to tighten a requirement under a law meant to keep guns out of the hands of people deemed to be a danger, and an effort to scrutinize potential acts of domestic terrorism.

She's also working with New York Attorney General Letitia James with an investigative referral of social media companies that hosted the live stream of the alleged gun man's massacre. But there are some measures Hochul will need legislative approval for in the coming weeks.

Continue Reading

New York health officials warn of seasonal flu rise amid COVID-19 surge

BY Nick Reisman City of Albany

Seasonal flu rates are increasing across New York amid a concurrent surge in COVID-19 cases over the last several weeks.

The increase in flu cases announced on Wednesday by the state Department of Health led to officials to urge New Yorkers to take similar precautions as they would with COVID-19: Staying home if experiencing symptoms, consulting a doctor and getting tested.

Continue Reading

Mayors of 5 Capital Region cities urge special master to keep them in same congressional district

BY Luke Parsnow Albany/Capital Region

The mayors of five Capital Region cities sent a letter Wednesday to the court-appointed special master tasked with drawing New York's new congressional districts, urging him to ensure all of them remain in the same district.

Albany Mayor Kathy Sheehan, Amsterdam Mayor Michael Cincquanti, Saratoga Springs Mayor Ron Kim, Schenectady Myor Gary McCarthy and Troy Mayor Patrick Madden — all Democrats — announced the letter at Albany City Hall on Wednesday.

Continue Reading

New York AG launches social media probe over ties to Buffalo shooting

BY Kate Lisa New York State

New York Attorney General Letitia James' office launched a probe Wednesday into various social media companies over their connection and oversight of discussions that led to the horrific shooting in Buffalo on Saturday that killed 10 people and injured three.

Gov. Kathy Hochul sent a referral to the attorney general to investigate how the 18-year-old shooter, Payton Gendron, used social media to spread white supremacist beliefs and exploit his fatal attack.

Continue Reading

New York Democrats blast Suozzi for tying Buffalo massacre to bail laws

BY Kate Lisa New York State

The leader of the New York state Democratic Party and other advocates are slamming gubernatorial candidate U.S. Rep. Tom Suozzi after he blamed Gov. Kathy Hochul and tied longterm effects of the state's cashless bail policy for Saturday's racially motivated shooting that claimed the life of 10 people at a Buffalo supermarket and injured three others.

Suozzi, a Long Island Democrat, said on Wednesday the Western New York massacre came on the heels of insufficient state leadership and changes to state criminal justice policies.

Continue Reading

Hochul proposes gun control, social media investigation after Buffalo shooting

BY Nick Reisman City of Albany

New York will investigate the social media platforms that hosted the live stream of the alleged Buffalo gunman's rampage at a Tops supermarket that killed 10 people, Gov. Kathy Hochul on Wednesday announced.

Hochul says social media platforms must be held responsible and accountable for the content they have hosted. She’s referring the live-streaming of the attack in Buffalo to the state AG’s office to be investigated

Continue Reading

After New York corruption cases, restoration of oversight powers considered

BY Nick Reisman City of Albany

Democrats in the state Senate on Wednesday moved to restore the oversight power of the state comptroller's office when it comes to reviewing major economic development spending in New York.

The bill was packaged with a collection of measures by Democratic lawmakers who want to provide more sunlight to the billions of dollars in spending used for economic development and programs meant to create jobs, but have been decried by good-government watchdogs across the political spectrum.

Continue Reading

New York Assembly GOP wants meeting of domestic terrorism task force

BY Nick Reisman City of Albany

Republicans in the New York state Assembly on Wednesday called for a meeting of the state's domestic terrorism task force for the first time following the mass shooting in Buffalo that left 10 people dead.

The task force was first created in the state budget in 2020 and is composed of the commissioner of the Division of Criminal Justice Services, the State Police superintendent and appointees of the governor and the Legislature.

Continue Reading

Merger of mental health, addiction services offices sought

BY Nick Reisman City of Albany

New York lawmakers are pushing for the merger of the Office of Addiction Services and Supports and the Office of Mental Health with the goal of better serving people who are facing both addiction and mental health crises.

The state Senate on Tuesday approved a bill that would merge both offices in state government, creating the new Office of Addiction and Mental Health Services.

Continue Reading

New York lawmakers want PFAS chemical out of clothes

BY Nick Reisman City of Albany

Clothes that intentionally use the chemical PFAS would be prohibited in New York going forward under legislation approved Tuesday in the state Assembly.

The measure backed by Assemblywoman Pat Fahy and state Sen. Brad Hoylman is the latest effort by lawmakers in New York to address PFAS used in manufacturing.

Continue Reading

UAlbany professor on a thread that links conspiracy theories

BY Susan Arbetter New York State

Does the so-called "Great Replacement Theory" share any common ground with other contemporary conspiracy theories like Pizzagate or Q-Anon?

According to one UAlbany professor, the conspiracies may vary, but there is a link: A belief in a national or global conspiracy (led by, for example, Jews, Communists, Socialists, Muslims, take your pick) intended to erode individual sovereignty and take away natural rights.

Continue Reading

Top Republican leaders in New York seek death penalty return

BY Nick Reisman City of Albany

Top Republican lawmakers in the state Legislature are calling for a return to the death penalty in New York, reviving a debate over how to punish especially heinous crimes.

But in the years since the issue last resonated with voters in 1994, when Republican George Pataki swept into office when he ran on the issue that year, it's not clear if voters, or even if all Republicans would embrace the move.

Continue Reading

NY Assemblyman Jake Ashby launches state Senate campaign, other races take shape

BY Kate Lisa New York State

New York Assemblymember Jake Ashby will seek election to the state Senate, he announced Tuesday, adding to a multitude of congressional and state Senate hopefuls launching their campaigns after new district boundaries were released Monday.

Ashby, a Castleton native, is the first Republican to declare his candidacy for the reconfigured 43rd Senate District, which includes all of Rensselaer County, the northwestern piece of Albany County and all but the northern part of Washington County.

Continue Reading

New York Senate seeks changes at boards of elections

BY Nick Reisman City of Albany

Better training for elections workers, allowing the distribution of snacks for voters waiting in line and blocking elections commissioners from holding elected office are among the changes Democratic lawmakers in the state Senate are seeking to the administration of elections in New York state.

And key to the package of measures is a sweeping plan to overhaul the New York City Board of Elections by reducing its size and giving more power to an executive director chosen through a nationwide search.

Continue Reading

Lawmakers weigh how to handle wrongful convictions in New York

BY Nick Reisman City of Albany

State lawmakers on Tuesday advanced measures meant to aid people who have been wrongfully convicted in court as well as measures meant to aid immigrant New Yorkers in the legal system.

The measures are being pushed at the end of the legislative session as New York lawmakers consider a potential package of criminal justice law changes in the coming weeks.

Continue Reading

Hochul campaign gears up on abortion fight

BY Nick Reisman City of Albany

Gov. Kathy Hochul's campaign signaled a continued effort on Tuesday to raise abortion-rights access in her bid for a full term this year, releasing a TV ad that touts plans for a constitutional amendment to enshrine abortion rights in the state constitution.

Republicans, meanwhile, contend the abortion issue won't be a major concern for voters in New York, a state that already has some of the strongest abortion laws on the books in the nation.

Continue Reading

How 'ghost guns' dealers and manufacturers could be hit with civil suits

BY Nick Reisman City of Albany

New York lawmakers are considering a bill that would make it easier for people to bring civil actions against the sellers, makers and distributors of so-called "ghost guns" that can be tough for law enforcement to trace.

The bill from state Sen. Luis Sepulveda is another effort by state officials to address gun violence in New York amid a rise in violent crime in cities here and around the country.

Continue Reading

New York lawmakers consider transportation for people with addiction

BY Nick Reisman City of Albany

As overdose deaths rise across the country and in New York to historic levels, state lawmakers in Albany are considering ways of easing the path to addiction recovery.

The Democratic-led Assembly on Monday approved a bill meant to create new transportation services for people who are facing addiction and in need of treatment.

Continue Reading

How the draft redistricting maps shake up New York politics

BY Nick Reisman City of Albany

It was not long after the release of the draft maps by court appointed special master Jonathan Cervas on Monday that Democratic Rep. Sean Patrick Maloney announced his bid for a newly drawn House district in the Hudson Valley.

The only problem? It's likely the same district fellow Democratic Rep. Mondaire Jones will run this fall as well.

Continue Reading
SIGN UP FOR OUR E-BLASTS
Enter your email address below to subscribe to our "Morning Memo," breaking news alerts, and more!

LATEST MORNING MEMO

More Politics Headlines

BLOGROLL

You May Also Be Interested In