This newsletter provides a breakdown of this year’s January – June 2105 legislative session. Unfortunately, the few legislative accomplishments of the session were completely overshadowed by the indictments of the legislative majority leaders of both the Senate and the Assembly. One would hope that these revelations of corruption would have helped build support for meaningful ethics and campaign finance reforms, but instead, this being Albany, they were used by the Governor and the new leaders as an excuse for inaction on many of the key issues facing our state. (more…)
The New York Times today published a satirical piece by Josh Gondelman that hits the Airbnb nail on the head. In this mock welcome from an Airbnb “host,” guests are informed, among other things, that neighbors might get a little “cranky” that strangers have access to their building, and the police may be called because “technically there’s this zoning thing in the city.”
Unfortunately, illegal hotels are no laughing matter in New York City, bringing with them a host of issues including loss of affordable housing, tenant harassment, and security concerns for neighbors and communities. But this clever piece is still worth a chuckle or two: (more…)
New York – Today, Lieutenant Governor Kathy Hochul was joined by members of the New York State Bipartisan Pro-Choice Legislative Caucus (BPCLC), including State Senators Krueger, Gianaris and Montgomery, and Assemblymembers Gottfried, Kaminsky, Lavine, Rosenthal, Seawright and Simotas, and activists from NARAL, NOW, NYCLU and others, at a rally to show support for Planned Parenthood Federation of America (PPFA), and oppose any efforts by Congress to cut off funding for PPFA. BPCLC also released a letter that was sent to members of the New York State Congressional delegation, urging them to oppose any funding cuts. The full text of the letter can be read below, and is also available here. (more…)
Today, the New York Daily News and other outlets including the New York Timesreported that a bipartisan group of current and former lawmakers, including Senator Krueger, joined the Brennan Center in filing suit against the State Board of Elections to close the infamous LLC Loophole. Since the Loophole was created by the BOE in 1996, contributors donating through LLCs have circumvented contribution limits and disclosure requirements that the Legislature created to protect the integrity of New York’s democratic process — and injected millions of secret dollars into state elections. In April the BOE, in a 2-2 vote, refused to rescind its earlier decision and thereby attempts at regulatory reform. This lawsuit presents a promising opportunity to close the Loophole once and for all. (more…)
New York – State Senator Liz Krueger and Assembly Assistant Speaker Felix W. Ortiz today announced the Fossil Fuel Divestment Act (S.5873/A.8011), which would require the State Comptroller to divest the Common Retirement Fund (CRF) from fossil fuel holdings by 2020. They were joined in this announcement by Bill McKibben, Peter Yarrow and other advocates. The bill also received the endorsement of several environmental, faith, and community organizations, including 350.org, Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC), Sierra Club Atlantic Chapter, Citizens Campaign for the Environment, Citizen Action, New York State Council of Churches, and Clearwater, among others. A number of supporters recorded short video messages explaining why they believe divestment is vital. All the videos can be viewed here.