New York State Legislature | WAMC

New York State Legislature

New York State Senator Luis Sepúlveda
New York State Senator Luis Sepúlveda

A New York lawmaker in charge of the state senate's crime victims committee was arrested Tuesday for allegedly choking his wife, police said.

New York state Capitol
Jim Levulis / WAMC

The New York state legislature began the 2021 session Wednesday, with a strengthened Democratic base and intensifying challenges, including the pandemic and a growing budget deficit.

Blair Horner: The 2021 Legislative Session Begins

Jan 4, 2021

New York State lawmakers are scheduled to reconvene this week to start a new two-year legislative session.  The state Constitution is clear about the opening of the Legislature, that it must start meeting on the “first Wednesday after the first Monday in January.”

New York state Capitol
Jim Levulis / WAMC

Congress, in the COVID-19 relief package approved late Monday, did not include a financial bailout for states hit hard by the pandemic, leaving New York with a multibillion dollar budget deficit going into the New Year. The leader of the state Assembly says now is the time to push ahead with new taxes on the wealthiest, to start making up for the loss. 

New York state Capitol
Jim Levulis / WAMC

Democrats will have total control over the state Legislature in New York for another two years after a series of wins on election night — prompting questions about what next year’s legislative session will look like after the party’s command was affirmed by voters in November.

New York state Capitol
Jim Levulis / WAMC

Democrats have all but clinched a supermajority in the State Senate after declaring victory in another seat Friday, bringing the total number of seats controlled by the party in the chamber to at least 41 at the beginning of next year’s legislative session.

The New York State Capitol in Albany
Lucas Willard / WAMC

Advocates for Black and Brown communities in New York are urging Governor Andrew Cuomo to sign four pieces of legislation passed earlier this year.

New York state Capitol
Jim Levulis / WAMC

Now Election Day has passed, leaders of the New York State Legislature are facing pressure from a wide range of groups to reconvene and deal with pandemic-related economic problems. Legislative leaders say they are not ruling it out.

The state capitol in Albany
Dave Lucas / WAMC

Gov. Andrew Cuomo, members of the state Legislature, and judges in New York will not receive a pay raise next year due to the state’s $14 billion budget shortfall heading into 2021, according to a report issued Monday by a state panel tasked with evaluating those salaries.

New York State Republican Party Chair Nick Langworthy
Karen DeWitt

Election Day brought mixed results for Democrats and Republicans in New York’s congressional and legislative races. Republicans were quick to claim victory, but Democrats, who will remain in the majority no matter the outcomes of contested races, say the record number of absentee ballots need to be counted first and it might take weeks.

Legislative Session Winds Down In Albany

Jul 22, 2020
The state capitol in Albany
Dave Lucas / WAMC

The New York State legislature is wrapping up its business for 2020 at the state capitol this week, in a session that is perhaps defined more by what lawmakers are not doing, than what they have been doing.  

Blair Horner: Voting Protections Are Still Needed

Jul 20, 2020

In New York, making new laws and changing old ones is supposed to be a deliberative process.  Normally, lawmakers introduce bills, the bills get referred to a committee, committee legislators and staff review the provisions, and then – sometimes – the bill is put to a vote.  From there the bill can be sent to the relevant floor of either the Senate or Assembly for final consideration.  If approved by both houses, that bill then goes to the governor and his staff for review before action. 

New York state Capitol
Jim Levulis / WAMC

The New York State legislature is due back in Albany Monday for a session that is expected to last several days. A growing number of lawmakers want to see new taxes on the wealthy on the agenda, and they are getting some help from Queens Congresswoman Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez. 

New York State Capitol
Karen DeWitt

New York state lawmakers returned to session this week, with plans to vote on bills aimed at helping New Yorkers cope with the changes caused by the COVID-19 pandemic.

New York State Capitol
Karen DeWitt

While Governor Andrew Cuomo has held daily briefings on the coronavirus and issued more 250 executive orders, the New York state legislature has been absent from the Capitol for six weeks. Now, Assembly Speaker Carl Heastie and Senate Leader Andrea Stewart-Cousins say they plan to hold committee meetings on May 26, and convene in session in the following days to vote on legislation related to the COVID-19 pandemic. 

New York state Capitol
Jim Levulis / WAMC

The group Common Cause is pushing the New York State legislature to resume its regular session remotely, as the COVID-19 outbreak has made convening at the capitol in Albany nearly impossible.

NY Senate Deputy Leader Mike Gianaris
Karen DeWitt

The New York state legislature has postponed its session until at least Wednesday, in order to figure out how to conduct its business safely under new regulation released by the CDC regarding human density in light of the spreading coronavirus. 

New York state Capitol
Jim Levulis / WAMC

Two Capital Region state lawmakers are beginning a bipartisan effort to examine New York’s population loss. Meanwhile, a push is on to ensure the upcoming federal census leaves no one behind.

Compassion & Choices logo
Compassion & Choices

With the legislative session in full swing at the New York state capitol, lobbying groups have been seeking to influence lawmakers on long-awaited policy changes.

Joe Seeman in costume protesting in Glens Falls in 2014
Lucas Willard / WAMC

A well-known progressive activist is running for a New York State Assembly seat in Schenectady and Saratoga counties.

NYS Assemblywoman Pat Fahy holds a copy of her newsletter.
WAMC photo by Dave Lucas

New York lawmakers are set to return to Albany Wednesday for the start of the new legislative session. 109th District Assemblywoman Pat Fahy sat down this morning with WAMC's Capital Region Bureau Chief Dave Lucas for a preview of what’s ahead. The Democrat says she anticipates "a lot of challenges on a host of issues."

Last week, state lawmakers wrapped up the 2019 legislative session and it represented a big change from what New Yorkers have seen in the recent past.  Sweeping changes to the state’s law regulating home rental apartments, an impressive expansion in the state’s voting laws, decriminalization of marijuana possession, and other important issues were approved. 

Cuomo, holding a nearly full glass of water Friday to illustrate what the session accomplished, most of the Democrat's goals.
Karen DeWitt

The 2019 New York legislative session was among the most productive in several years, with the passage of bills that ranged from strengthening abortion rights, to allowing undocumented immigrants to get driver’s licenses. If you’re a liberal Democrat, there’s a lot to like. But conservative Republicans are not as pleased. 

New York State Capitol
Karen DeWitt

Following the Assembly, the New York state Senate voted 33-29 to allow undocumented immigrants to receive standard driver’s licenses. Democratic Governor Andrew Cuomo raised some last-minute objections, saying he fears that some data that the state Department of Motor Vehicles collects on the immigrants might be accessed by the federal government and immigration officials — but he has since signed the bill. 

This week is the scheduled last week of the 2019 legislative session.  The session can be viewed as historic: Complete Democratic Party control of the state government has resulted in a slew of legislation passing, many of which had festered due to partisan gridlock – like narrowing the Limited Liability Company loophole that allowed real estate developers to make much bigger campaign contributions than other businesses –– and others that could dramatically alter state policies – like permanent extension of rent control.

File: Governor Andrew Cuomo at Norsk Titanium in Plattsburgh
Pat Bradley/WAMC

With the state legislative session set to end June 19, WAMC's News Director Ian Pickus spoke with New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo on The Roundtable Monday, June 16, 2019. 

School bus
Pat Bradley/WAMC

The State Senate acted Wednesday on measures that lawmakers say will improve safety on New York’s roads, including adding cameras to the stop arms of school buses.

In 1966, then-Speaker of the California Assembly Jesse “Big Daddy” Unruh aptly observed “Money is the mother’s milk of politics.”  If so, in Albany, our elected officials are extremely well-nourished.  New York law makes it easy to pull in donations from those with deep pockets; the state has the largest campaign contribution limits (of any state that has limits) in the nation.  Under state law, one can make a legal campaign contribution of over $115,000 to a political party and can donate nearly $70,000 to candidates for governor.

New York State Capitol
Karen DeWitt

A bill that would create a backdoor method to release President Donald Trump’s taxes is moving through the New York state Senate and could be voted on as early as next week.

Last week, the debate came to a head over whether New York should create a voluntary system of public financing of elections.  The state Senate, which appears to be a supporter, held a public hearing to gather testimony on the governor’s proposed plan. 

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