Cuomo and de Blasio Agree on Dire Budget Warnings & NYC-DSA Endorses Tiffany Cabán for Queens DA

Local News:

  • Weeks after revealing his budget, Gov. Cuomo announced that State tax receipts were $2.3 billion lower than anticipated, necessitating significant changes to the plan. Cuomo blamed the Trump tax cuts, which capped State and Local Tax deductions, encouraging wealthy people to change residency, for the shortfall. “God forbid the rich leave,” he said.
  • New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio introduced his preliminary 2020 budget also warning of potential shortfalls and a need for cutbacks.

  • State Senator Michael Gianaris, who has been a prominent critic of the Amazon deal, was named to the Public Authorities Control Board, which has oversight over development deals. Gov. Cuomo must approve of the appointment.

  • The controversial Brooklyn-Queens Connector (BQX), once thought to be dead, was seemingly given new life after the city awarded a $7.2M contract to conduct......

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Power restored at MDC after days without heat, lighting + Our 100th Issue!

Local News:

  • Electrical failures at the Metropolitan Detention Center in Sunset Park left inmates with little access to heat or hot water during the coldest week of the winter so far. As of 7 p.m. Sunday, the lights were back on and there was regular heat inside the building, but there was no hot water.

  • The City and the federal government reached a deal that will see HUD take more control of NYCHA while stopping short of a full federal takeover. The new agreement comes after a federal judge rejected an earlier deal in November as insufficient.

  • NYCHA’s Red Hook Houses remain dangerously vulnerable if another storm like Hurricane Sandy hits the City.

  • Senator Julia Salazar (District 18, North Brooklyn) proposed a bill that would require landlords in market-rate housing to provide justification to raise......

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RHA, CCCA, Boss Bill, DREAM Act passed + State Budget Process Overview

Local News:

  • Cuomo signed the Reproductive Health Act, which updates New York State’s abortion laws to protect and expand women’s reproductive rights. Additionally, the State legislature passed two other bills aimed at protecting those rights: the Comprehensive Contraception Coverage Act (State Senator Julia Salazar’s first bill), to protect access to contraception, and the Boss Bill, to prevent hiring discrimination based on reproductive health decisions.

  • The legislature also passed the NY DREAM Act this week, which offers undocumented students access to state financial aid and scholarships for higher education.

  • In anticipation of potential changes to New York’s housing laws, landlords are rushing to get MCI rent raises approved for their tenants.

  • Suburban municipalities, including Long Island, are considering whether they can opt out of any potential State legislation that legalizes marijuana.

  • State Senator Neil Breslin......

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State of the State

Local News:

  • Gov. Cuomo delivered his 2019 State of the State speech, where he outlined the major policy changes included in his executive budget. They include a plan for legalized marijuana, congestion pricing, a plastic bag ban, and eliminating carbon emissions by 2040. He also wants to make permanent the property tax cap he has kept in place since 2011, a plan supported by many suburban Democrats, and new State Senate leader Andrea Stewart-Cousins.

  • Amid seemingly endless confusion, Gov. Cuomo convened an emergency MTA board meeting on the L train shutdown cancellation, prompting Gothamist to summarize: Cuomo, Who Controls The MTA, Asks To Control The MTA While Unilaterally Setting Agenda For MTA. Gothamist compiled a Q&A on all things L-train after the meeting.

  • Meanwhile, Gov. Cuomo is threatening to hold up $7.3 billion in......

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Electoral Reform in Albany + The Queens DA Race

Local News:

  • With Democrats now in control of both the New York State Assembly and the State Senate, the Legislature is ready to pass a series of bills aimed at electoral reform. The bills would include early voting, mail in voting, closing the LLC loophole, pre-registration of 16 & 17 year olds, and a consolidated primary schedule. Not included in the package is any restoration of voting rights to people on parole, automatic voter registration, or more flexibility for voters to switch parties.
  • Although the number of marijuana arrests dropped significantly over the past year, the racial disparity in arrests remains high. Nearly 90% of people arrested for smoking marijuana in 2018 were black or hispanic.
  • Mayor De Blasio announced a flurry of new initiatives leading up to and during his State of the City speech on Thursday, including:
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