- Governor Cuomo, the Independent Democratic Conference (IDC), and the Senate’s mainline Democrats announced a tentative deal to reunify Senate Democrats next spring. As part of the deal, the State Democratic party has threatened to assist primaries against IDC members if they do not commit to reunification. However, there are many serious concerns with the deal’s enforceability and timing, most specifically that it would protect Republican control of the Senate at least until state budget negotiations are completed.
- The City Council officially voted to approve the Bedford-Union Armory project in Brooklyn, although the Legal Aid Society filed a lawsuit in a last-ditch attempt to block the project.
- In the same hearing, Councilmembers voted to approve the rezoning of East Harlem to allow increased density, and, ironically, approved the downzoning of a portion of midtown due to vocal resident concerns about potential “megatowers” blocking their views and the potential loss of rent-stabilized housing.
- Attorneys with the Legal Aid Society staged a walkout at Brooklyn Criminal Court on Tuesday after agents with U.S. Immigrations & Customs Enforcement arrested Genaro Rojas-Hernandez, a Legal Aid client. Legal Aid attorneys are holding an emergency rally on December 7 to demand that the Office of Court Administration and Chief Judge Janet DiFiore implement a policy to bar ICE agents from entering NY Court property.
- City & State reports that congestion pricing will be a major issue in the 2018 New York State legislative agenda with one commentator suggesting that efforts should be focused on New York City’s Outer Boroughs rather than Manhattan. Governor Cuomo has assembled a state task force to develop a congestion pricing plan, which appears to have gained some support since Mayor Bloomberg failed to pass a plan in 2008.
- New York City’s Fair Workweek Law, intended to fight unfair and inconsistent scheduling practices for retail and fast food workers, went into effect this week.
- Steve McLaughlin, a Republican Assemblyman who is leaving the legislature to become the Rensselaer County executive, received ethics sanctions for sexual harassment.
- Seven large labor unions are backing Mark Levine (District 7, West Harlem), Donovan Richards (District 31, Rockaways), and Ritchie Torres (District 15, Central Bronx) as their three primary candidates for Council Speaker, and are hoping to push Council Member Corey Johnson (District 3, Chelsea) out of the race.
- Council Member Jumaane Williams (45th District, Flatbush) has drafted a bill to re-extend Council term limits to three terms, in an apparent attempt to gain support from his colleagues in the race for Council Speaker.
- City Hall staffer Jessica Ramos will mount a primary challenge next year against Independent Democratic Conference (IDC) State Senator Jose Peralta in the 13th District (Jackson Heights).
- In a reversal from previous statements, Syracuse Mayor Stephanie Miner indicated her interest in challenging Republican John Katko (NY-24) for his potentially flippable congressional seat next year. Miner has also expressed interest in challenging Governor Cuomo in next years gubernatorial primary.
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