Assembly Speaker Carl Heastie

Senator George Amedore with Désirée Little
WAMC photo by Dave Lucas

Evolving attitudes about marijuana are resonating among some elected officials in New York.

New York State Capitol
Karen DeWitt

The New York legislative session is due to end in three weeks, and some state lawmakers believe they will accomplish so little in that time, that they are talking about leaving a week early. 

New York Assembly Speaker Carl Heastie
Karen DeWitt

A top lawmaker in New York says that if the state legalizes recreational marijuana it should also consider expunging marijuana-related criminal records that can make it harder for many people to find jobs or housing.

Speaker Carl Heastie
Carl Heastie/ Twitter

New York State Assembly Speaker Carl Heastie announced plans for an open interview process for the legislature to appoint a new state Attorney General, now that Eric Schneiderman has resigned over domestic violence allegations.  

New York Assembly Speaker Carl Heastie
Karen DeWitt

The state Legislature's most powerful Democrat is planning to take another tour across New York state.

NYS Assembly Speaker Carl Heastie speaks to reporters on Sheldon Silver's sentencing.
Karen Dewitt

Assembly Speaker Carl Heastie says the New York state Assembly will take up a bill Wednesday to decouple the results of standardized test scores from teacher evaluations.  There’s been growing support in the state legislature to reverse the controversial policy that would eventually have led to the test results being used to measure teacher performance.

WAMC photo by Dave Lucas

Advocates for DACA recipients, DREAMers, rallied in Albany today —  one day after the state Assembly passed "The DREAM Act" for the eighth year in a row.

Poor People’s Campaign

The national movement to revive the Poor People’s Campaign launched half a century ago by the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. came to the state capitol in Albany Monday. 

Wikipedia

Lawmakers in New York and Connecticut are pushing to ban the sale and possession of  “bump stocks,” devices that convert semiautomatic weapons into automatic firearms. 

Part two of a new Siena Research Institute poll released this week finds Governor Andrew Cuomo enjoying his best favorability rating in years. The poll also measured New Yorkers' feelings about the new tax law. 

Confederate memorial tombstone at Natchez City Cemetery in Natchez, Mississippi
wikipedia

Officials in several states are calling for the removal of statues and monuments along with the renaming of buildings and streets associated with the Confederate States of America. 

New York state Assembly Speaker Carl Heastie
Sam Kmack / New York Now

The often reticent New York state Assembly Speaker, Carl Heastie, showed a different side of himself when the lifelong Star Trek fan visited a museum in New York’s North Country that replicates the fictional Starship Enterprise.

NYS Assembly Speaker Carl Heastie speaks to reporters on Sheldon Silver's sentencing.
Karen Dewitt

The speaker of the New York state Assembly says a deal may be close that could resolve the ongoing state budget impasse.

New York Assembly Speaker Carl Heastie
Karen DeWitt

On Wednesday New York state lawmakers gathered in Albany to kick off the 2017 session.

NYS Assembly Speaker Carl Heastie speaks to reporters on Sheldon Silver's sentencing.
Karen Dewitt

The New York state Assembly Speaker confirms that federal investigators are looking into some of his actions while he was head of the Bronx Democratic Party, but he says he’s done nothing wrong.

Minimum wage supporters hold a vigil outside the governor's office as Cuomo and legislative leaders finalize budget details.
Karen Dewitt

Legislative leaders in Albany say they hope to have final agreements on the state budget by evening, and print bills Tuesday night, to begin voting on Thursday.

Senate Finance Committee Chair Cathy Young and Senate Leader John Flanagan present the Republicans' tax plan in Albany on Wednesday.
Karen Dewitt

Senate Republicans say their version of the state budget will include a 9 year phase of tax cuts that would eventually total a 25 percent reduction for middle class taxpayers.

Jenna Flanagan, Innovation Trail

 The state’s  legislative leaders crossed paths literally this week, when both scheduled a stroll at the same time along the walkway over the Hudson River. In addition to taking in the view, they had a lot to say about priority issues, including raising the minimum wage and funding public transit and road and bridge repairs. 

The state’s Assembly Speaker Carl Heastie, a Bronx native, has spent a portion of the summer touring upstate New York. The Speaker replaced Sheldon Silver who was arrested on corruption charges earlier this year.

Heastie has been to Buffalo, Binghamton, Syracuse and Utica and surrounding areas as part of a listening tour to familiarize himself with issues that might not be front and center in New York City. 

“I’m used to cement,” said, Heastie who said says he’s “gained an appreciation” of the beauty of upstate regions.

Karen DeWitt

Nearly one week after the New York State legislative session was supposed to end, Governor Andrew Cuomo and legislative leaders have announced a deal on all major end of session issues, including renewal of New York City’s rent laws and a related property tax cap, as well as a new tax rebate program for property owners.

Talks between Governor Andrew Cuomo and legislative leaders continued Tuesday over the renewal of New York City’s rent laws, and other related issues, including the continuation of a property tax cap and sales tax increases for counties, as they faced another expiration deadline.  

The New York state legislature is due to adjourn later this week, but there’s still no agreement by Assembly Democrats on an education tax credit sought by Governor Andrew Cuomo that would allow donors a tax credit when they give up to a million dollars for private school scholarships and some public school programs.

The top three officials of New York state government gathered Wednesday behind closed doors for the first time since the Senate picked a new leader.

Republican Senate Leader John Flanagan says the meeting with Assembly Speaker Carl Heastie and Gov. Andrew Cuomo focused on priorities for lawmakers before their annual session ends next month.

The Senate picked Flanagan to be its new leader on Monday following the resignation of Long Island Republican Dean Skelos, who is keeping his Senate seat while he fights federal corruption charges.

Assembly Speaker Carl Heastie.
Karen DeWitt

The Speaker of the Assembly is defending himself against a newspaper report that he profited from his late mother’s embezzlement crimes.

New York Assembly Speaker Carl Heastie has assembled a small group of Democratic lawmakers to study ways to make state government more transparent. The Bronx Democrat announced the appointments to the 12-member panel Friday.

Heastie says the panel, led by  Assembly members J. Gary Pretlow of Mount Vernon and Brian Kavanagh of Manhattan, will recommend changes to encourage more openness and public participation in the legislative process, while looking for ways to better harness technology, including improvements to the Assembly's website.

Speaker Carl Heastie
Carl Heastie/ Twitter

The recently completed state budget was the first real test of the new New York State Assembly Speaker Carl Heastie’s leadership, who became the leader of that house in early February.  

Assembly Speaker Carl Heastie gave his first broadcast interview to public radio and television. In it, he expressed his frustrations over New York Governor Andrew Cuomo’s decision to link numerous unrelated items to the state budget.

Assembly Speaker Carl Heastie.
Karen DeWitt

  

  The next step in the state budget dance, both houses have released their versions of a state spending plan. The Senate and Assembly each increase education well above Governor Cuomo’s proposed level, and each leave key elements of the governor’s plan out.

Both the Assembly and the Senate significantly increase school aid spending from Governor Cuomo’s budget, with the Assembly recommending a $1.8 billion increase, and the Senate prosing $1.9 billion more.

Speaker Heastie Makes Dream Act Top Priority

Feb 26, 2015
Assembly Speaker Carl Heastie.
Karen DeWitt

Newly elected New York State Assembly Speaker Carl Heastie made clear one of his top priorities in his first news conference, where he called for passage of the Dream Act, which would offer college aid to children of undocumented immigrants.

..::WAMC Photo by Dave Lucas::..

  The top Democrat in the Senate says the state's $5 billion windfall from financial settlements should pay for housing, transportation and school upgrades and tax rebates for low-paid workers. Senate Minority Leader Andrea Stewart-Cousins announced the plan Thursday.