New York Loses a Congressional Seat + Stringer’s Support Withers After Assault Allegations

Local News

  • The Census Bureau announced that New York will lose one congressional seat. The state fell 89 people short of the needed population count to keep all its current seats.
  • Boosted by an infusion of federal aid and a state budget that raised taxes on the wealthy, Mayor de Blasio proposed a $98.6 billion budget for fiscal year 2022, the largest in city history. The mayor’s Executive Budget will now be debated and amended by the City Council before it can be passed on July 1.
  • Mayor de Blasio’s proposed budget includes $377 million to make free preschool available for all 3-year-olds by 2023. It also includes half a billion dollars for testing and tutoring to help students catch up after a year of disruptions due to the pandemic.
  • Governor Cuomo’s effort to cover up nursing home deaths went on for longer than......
Read more

Cuomo Investigated Again + Mayoral Endorsements Continue

Local News 

  • State Attorney General Letitia James has opened an investigation into whether Governor Andrew Cuomo inappropriately used state resources, including staff time, to write and publish his book, American Crisis: Leadership Lessons from the Covid-19 Pandemic. Cuomo claims staff “volunteered” to work on the book, which may have netted the Governor $4 million.
  • An analysis by the state Comptroller found that Cuomo’s years-long effort to decrease fare evasion in the MTA system has done little. Fare evasion may have actually gone up in recent years, despite the MTA spending at least $24 million annually on policing to enforce the rules.
  • Despite calling for Governor Cuomo’s resignation a month ago, State Senators Andrea Stewart-Cousins (District 35, Westchester) and Todd Kaminsky (District 9, Nassau County) have both appeared with Governor Cuomo at press conferences.
  • Congressman Gregory Meeks (NY-5, Queens) has joined a group of moderate......
Read more

Covid Hospitalization Rates Fall + Mayoral Candidates Get Matching Funds

Local News 

  • The number of patients in New York State hospitalized with COVID-19 dropped below 4,000 for the first time since December 1.
  • The controversial Gowanus rezoning plan, which has been stalled since January, could go forward as soon as this week.
  • Mayor Bill De Blasio criticized the police officer in Minnesota who killed Daunte Wright at the same time the NYPD promoted as head of the Brooklyn North Detective Bureau a captain who had previously shot and killed a civilian, claimed it was an accident, and kept his job.
  • The recent law legalizing marijuana in New York is estimated to make 150,000 new people eligible for having their criminal records expunged.
  • Transportation advocates say the proposed bike lane for the Brooklyn Bridge is too narrow.
  • Jacobin covered NYC-DSA’s campaign to tax the rich and its effect on this year’s New York......
Read more

Budget Rundown + Mayoral Race Intensifies

NYS Budget News

  • Gotham Gazette outlines how the State budget will impact New York City specifically.
  • Governor Cuomo’s proposed cuts to Medicaid, which would have  hit hospitals most affected by Covid-19, were eliminated in the final budget.
  • The State budget includes an increase of $1.3 billion from last year’s funding for New York City schools, as well as a commitment to fully fund Foundation Aid,  a formula meant to provide funds to high-needs schools but which has been neglected for years.
  • Although federal and state funding kept NYCHA in the black for 2020 and 2021, the housing program projects a $300 million shortfall for 2022.
  • The budget included a $2.1 billion fund for mostly undocumented workers that have been excluded from federal COVID relief. However, there are gaps in the program.
  • The budget passed a $2.4 billion rent relief program that......
Read more

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......
Read more

Subscribe to The Thorn

The Thorn is a weekly update on what's happening in local New York politics from a socialist perspective. Please sign up with us to receive an email every Monday morning.