New York State Legislature | WAMC

New York State Legislature

A photo of Lake George in New York
Jim Levulis / WAMC

Environmental groups say there were some wins in the recently concluded New York State legislative session, including a new constitutional amendment guaranteeing the right to clean air and water. But business groups say the provision could lead to all sorts of complications.  

A giant American flag at West Point
Ian Pickus / WAMC

Earlier this month, in the final days of the New York State legislative session, lawmakers passed a bill to establish a commission to prepare for America’s 250th birthday.

The New York State Capitol
Jackie Orchard / WAMC

The 2021 New York legislative session is in its final hours, with many items yet to be resolved. Criminal justice reforms continue to dominate at the end of the session, just as they have for the past two years.

New York state Capitol
Jim Levulis / WAMC

This week the New York State Senate approved a measure to allow adult survivors of sexual harassment and assault to bring their abusers to court. Advocates hailed the action, but say they are increasingly frustrated and “alarmed” over the failure of the state Assembly to act on the bill, and on other anti-sexual harassment measures.   

The New York State Capitol
Jackie Orchard / WAMC

As the New York State legislative session draws to a close, lawmakers are considering several criminal justice changes, including what’s known as clean slate legislation. It would expunge some criminal records for those who have already served their time in prison.

New York Senate Minority Leader Rob Ortt speaking June 1, 2021.
Karen DeWitt

Democrats who lead the New York State legislature are moving ahead with several criminal justice reforms in the remaining weeks of the 2021 session. But Republicans are pushing back, saying the measures go too far and will contribute to the rising crimes rate across New York. 

The New York State Capitol in Albany
Lucas Willard / WAMC

The New York state legislature is scheduled to end its session in mid-June. Lawmakers have a long list of priorities they hope to finish before then.

New York state Capitol
Jim Levulis / WAMC

Supporters say a bill in the New York State legislature for adult survivors of sexual abuse that’s modeled after New York’s Child Victims Act has a good chance of passing this year. The measure, if approved, might place Governor Andrew Cuomo, who is facing multiple sexual harassment allegations, in an awkward position.   

The COVID-19 vaccine moves from cold storage at the Department of Health to coolers and is transported to the TU Center for mass vaccination clinics.
Jackie Orchard / WAMC

Public health and social justice organizations are calling for pharmacists to be allowed to administer all CDC recommended vaccines.

New York state Capitol
Karen DeWitt

The state Senate held a hearing this week on a measure that would seal conviction records for up to 2 million New Yorkers who have committed serious crimes and served time in prison for them. Senators heard from New Yorkers who were formerly imprisoned or on probation, who say they face barriers to housing and employment because of their convictions, have led to a form of “perpetual punishment.”  

New York Governor Andrew Cuomo speaking at Binghamton University April 27, 2021.
WSKG/Vaughn Golden

Governor Andrew Cuomo has signed a measure passed by the New York State Legislature that extends a moratorium on evictions through August 31. Opponents say the measure doesn’t do enough to help landlords, and should end earlier. 

A bartender makes a drink at the Savoy Taproom in Albany, NY.
Karen DeWitt

The New York State Legislature for the first time on Wednesday rescinded some of Governor Andrew Cuomo’s restrictions put in place because of the COVID-19 pandemic, including a rule that prohibited bars and restaurants from serving alcohol unless the customer also ordered food. Lawmakers say with the infection rate going down and vaccinations increasing, they are no longer needed. Cuomo said he was planning to end the orders anyway. 

New York lawmakers return this week after a break following passage of the state budget in early April.  There are several big issues to tackle, all of which will be debated under the shadow cast by the Assembly’s impeachment inquiry and the Attorney General’s investigation of the governor’s actions.

The New York State Capitol
Jackie Orchard / WAMC

The New York State legislature is voting to end Governor Andrew Cuomo’s emergency powers granted to him during COVID-19, as the Democrat faces new developments on two controversies over sexual harassment allegations and his handling of nursing homes during the pandemic.

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.

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