New York State Assembly | WAMC

New York State Assembly

NY Assembly Minority Leader William Barclay
Karen DeWitt

The minority party Republicans in the New York state Assembly have a new leader. Will Barclay, from the Syracuse area, replaces Brian Kolb, who resigned after being charged with drunk driving on New Year’s Eve. 

New York state Capitol
Jim Levulis / WAMC

Joe Seeman, a progressive activist, says he is exploring a run to unseat Republican New State Assemblywoman Mary Beth Walsh in 2020. 

Picture of a marijuana plant
U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service/Wikimedia Commons Public Domain

Members of the New York state Assembly are heading to Long Island for a public hearing on proposals to legalize marijuana for recreational use by adults.

New York State Capitol
Karen DeWitt

It’s been 20 years since the governor and Legislature in New York received a pay raise. But that might be changing in January. 

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

With Democrats now set to control both houses of the New York State Legislature, Assembly Speaker Carl Heastie has laid out a framework for the term ahead.

New York state lawmakers want to review the current state of physical education, mental health and health instruction in the state's schools.

Thursday’s primary elections in New York feature a number of state senate and assembly races in the Hudson Valley.

Assemblyman Denny Farrell
Assemblyman Denny Farrell

Former New York State Assemblyman Herman “Denny” Farrell Jr. has died. He was 86.

A Democrat, Farrell represented parts of Manhattan from 1975 to 2017.

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New York Governor Andrew Cuomo has called for a special election to fill vacant seats in the legislature in April. WAMC’s Southern Adirondack Bureau Chief Lucas Willard reports on one local race.

Albany Assemblywoman Patricia Fahey presides over the Assembly on Wednesday, August 9
Karen DeWitt

The United States Senate plans to use procedural maneuvers to technically stay in session even when Senators eventually go home for the Labor Day recess. Their intent is to prevent President Trump from making any unwelcome recess appointments while they are away. In Albany, NY taking steps to keep the legislative chambers open is nothing new.

NYS Assembly
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The New York state Assembly Minority says its members will pursue lower taxes, tackle upstate unemployment and demand government oversight for the remainder of the state legislative session.

New York State Capitol
Karen DeWitt

It’s another day of negotiations at the New York State Capitol today as lawmakers were unable to reach a budget agreement with Governor Andrew Cuomo on Saturday.

New York Governor Andrew Cuomo
Office of Governor Andrew Cuomo

After lawmakers missed the state budget deadline, shortly after midnight Democratic Governor Andrew Cuomo said he would grant the legislature a grace period over the weekend.

New York State Capitol
Karen DeWitt

Governor Cuomo and New York State lawmakers missed the budget deadline. With the midnight deadline just over two hours away, they had so far failed to solidify deals on state spending and taxation, as well as some unrelated items like permitting ride hailing services outside of New York City.

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There is money in the New York State Assembly budget concerning a carbon farming initiative. The Assemblymember behind the effort says she hopes the Senate and governor share her enthusiasm.

  An Assemblywoman from Western New York has been sanctioned by the Assembly ethics committee on charges she sexually harassed a male staffer.

The state capitol in Albany
Dave Lucas / WAMC

On Thursday, Capital Region Republican Assemblyman Jim Tedisco, joined by fellow Republican Assemblymembers Steve McLaughlin and Pete Lopez, and  Queens Senator Tony Avella, a member of the Independent Democratic Caucus, advocated for the "Spirit of '76" bill.

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In the final push before the end of New York's legislative session, the state Assembly has passed a piece of gun control legislation named after a boy killed in Saratoga County.

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.  

The state Assembly has voted for legislation to codify in New York the abortion rights established by the U.S. Supreme Court, moving it separately this year from a group of bills intended to ensure other women's rights.

Family leave for New Yorkers, and possibly all American workers, is getting closer to becoming a reality. The idea is being embraced by state legislators and by one of New York's representatives in Congress.

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.

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Crews are busy wiring the desks of lawmakers in the state Assembly, three months after voters approved a constitutional amendment intended to bring the Legislature into the digital age.

Assembly Speaker Carl Heastie announced Friday the creation of a new bipartisan working group to oversee the change. Previously, the state constitution had required printed bills, which tended to pile up on lawmakers' desks.The switch to paperless legislating will save millions of dollars in printing costs.

The contest to succeed longtime New York Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver was supposed to give lawmakers two weeks to mull their options. Instead,  a decision between two candidates may be made before Silver's resignation from the post.

 Silver steps down effective Monday night. Waiting in the wings: Bronx Assemblyman Carl Heastie, who would become the first African-American speaker in New York, and Assemblywoman Catherine Nolan of Queens, who would be the first female speaker in state history. 

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Sheldon Silver, the longtime speaker of the New York state Assembly, has resigned following federal charges that he took nearly $4 million in kickbacks.

Silver spokesman Michael Whyland says Friday that Silver filed a letter saying his resignation as Assembly leader will take effect at 11:59 p.m. Monday.

The 70-year-old Manhattan Democrat had already announced that he would relinquish the position he held for 21 years after he was arrested last week on federal corruption charges. He denies the charges and intends to hold on to his seat in the Assembly.

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Some newer Assemblymembers are using the selection of a new Assembly Speaker to push for change, and have written a letter to the candidates vying to replace Sheldon Silver.

Assemblyman Angelo Santabarbara, along with more than 20 other more recently elected Democrats, are credited with helping push Speaker Silver out of his leadership post, when long time veteran members initially resisted.

Santabarbara says ideas include whether there should be limits on how long someone can be speaker. Silver held the post for 21 years before his arrest on corruption charges.

  New York Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver will vacate his post by next week. Assembly Majority Leader Joe Morelle will serve as interim speaker until an election for the post is held on February 10. So, who will be the next Speaker?

We discuss the contenders with Legislative Director of the New York Public Interest Research Group, Blair Horner.

Lucas Willard / WAMC

The candidates for New York’s 49th Senate and 112th Assembly districts debated in Saratoga County last night. The two Democrats vying for the seats long held by Republican incumbents both focused their messages on the women’s equality agenda.

The ruling coalition in the New York state Senate has grown by one member. Senator Tony Avella, of Queens, has left the minority Democrats to join the governing coalition of Republicans and Independent Democrats.

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"It's absurd to me that you can refinance a mortgage or a business loan, but you can't re-finance a college loan? I don't think the government should be making money off the backs of students." ~ Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand

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