Weed is Legal + Budget is Late

Local News

  • New York State finally legalized recreational marijuana use for adults, after multiple failed attempts in previous years. Gothamist provided a breakdown of the new legislation.
  • At the time of this newsletter’s completion, negotiations around the state budget remain incomplete and the budget is late. However, certain developments appear likely:
  • The budget will raise $5 billion in new taxes through sports betting and increasing taxes on the rich.
  • The state budget may repeal the Medicaid Global Cap, the arbitrary spending limit Governor Cuomo imposed on Medicaid spending in 2011.
  • Housing advocates say the $200 million Housing Access Voucher Program, which is designed to prevent homelessness, likely won’t make the State budget.
  • Statewide universal pre-K may be included in the budget.
  • The terms around a multi-billion dollar fund for workers ineligible for federal COVID relief funds remain in flux. Assembly Member......
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Cuomo’s mounting troubles, Zoom in the classroom + an end to qualified immunity

Local News

  • Governor Cuomo allegedly secured COVID-19 tests for his family in the early days of the pandemic when COVID-19 tests were not widely available—special treatment that appears to violate state law.
  • Alyssa McGrath, an aide to Governor Andrew Cuomo, has accused the governor of sexual harassment and corraborated the accusation of another Cuomo employee.
  • The attorney general’s investigation into Andrew Cuomo is shedding light on the governor’s practice of avoiding paper trails.
  • Some high school students returned to in-person classes this week and Mayor Bill de Blasio announced that the City will open another opportunity for parents to enroll students in in-person classes, a move prompted by the CDC’s revised guidelines now saying students can be three rather than six feet apart in classrooms. Some students have critiqued the return to brick-and-mortar schools as simply a commute to log onto Zoom from......
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NYPD Exceeds Overtime Cap + Who is Kathy Hochul?

Local News 

  • The NYPD has already exceeded the overtime cap that Mayor De Blasio imposed as part of last year’s supposed “cuts” to the police budget, and is on pace to go over budget by 60%, continuing a trend of ballooning overtime expenses since De Blasio was sworn in.
  • After an investigation of the NYPD’s widespread abuses during last June’s protests, only two officers will face serious discipline, according to Pro Publica.
  • Amid the latest fallout for Governor Cuomo, the New York Times released audio of him comparing a leader of the Working Families Party to a “child rapist” (a charge he’d previously denied). A majority of likely voters now say the Governor should resign, according to a recent poll, while Cuomo tries to rally support among the Black leadership in the state.
  • Andrew Yang is blaming teachers’ unions for delays in......
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Assembly Explores Impeachment + Unions Endorse Eric Adams

Local News 

  • The State Assembly opened an impeachment inquiry into Governor Andrew Cuomo, The inquiry does not begin formal impeachment proceedings, but signals that the Assembly and Speaker Carl Heastie may be increasingly willing to proceed with impeachment.
  • More than 50 Democratic state legislators have now formally called on Cuomo to resign.
  • New York Attorney General Tish James announced that Joon Kim, the former US Attorney for the Southern District of New York who led the successful prosecution against Joe Percoco, a top political adviser to Cuomo, and Anne Clark, a prominent employment discrimination attorney, would head up the investigation into allegations of sexual harassment against Cuomo.
  • Prior to the release of a statement signed by several women state legislators, Cuomo called many lawmakers to dissuade them from calling for his resignation. A Cuomo ally soon began circulating a letter insinuating that calls......
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Calls Grow For Cuomo’s Resignation + Politicians Eye 2022 Gov Race

Local News 

  • A fourth and fifth woman have alleged Governor Andrew Cuomo of sexually harassing them.
  • Cuomo spoke publicly about the sexual harassment allegations for the first time, issuing an uncharacteristic—though heavily qualified—apology. He stated that he will not resign.
  • The scandal is affecting Cuomo’s popularity; his approval ratings have dropped substantially.
  • Increasing numbers of Democratic legislators are calling on Cuomo to resign or calling for the legislature to begin impeachment proceedings. The six socialists in the state legislature issued a statement calling for impeachment proceedings to begin.
  • City Council Majority Leader Laurie Cumbo (District 35, Crown Heights) said she wants an independent investigation into Cuomo’s conduct to run its course, but that legislators shouldn’t rush to “cancel” the governor by asking for his resignation.
  • State Senate Majority Leader Andrea Stewart-Cousins (District 35, Yonkers) has called on Andrew Cuomo to resign.
  • ......
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