- Mayor de Blasio released his $88.7 billion budget proposal for 2018–2019 this week. It does not include funding for the Governor’s MTA bailout plan, as Cuomo wanted.
- The budget allocates $5.9 million to outfit all NYPD officers with body cameras by the end of 2018. Criminal justice reform groups have already reacted negatively, saying that cameras do nothing if officers are not held accountable for their actions.
- De Blasio also committed $200 million to upgrade NYCHA’s heating facilities, but the money will not be available until the start of the next fiscal year, in July. On Thursday, NYCHA tenants flooded the Mayor’s office with calls demanding he increase this funding to $2 billion, the amount NYCHA has said would be needed to fully make the repairs.
- Council Speaker Corey Johnson’s ascendance and subsequent committee chair selections highlight the re-establishment of county Democratic Committee power in the Council, and the loss of Progressive Caucus influence.
- Johnson’s pick for his deputy chief of staff, Jason Goldman, is vice president of one of the state’s largest lobbying firms, where he has directly represented some of NYC’s largest real estate developers as well as the Met Council on Jewish Poverty, a large and politically connected nonprofit.
- The New York City District Council of Carpenters, one of the few municipal unions that failed to reach a contract with the City during the Mayor’s first term, has sued the de Blasio administration for using strong arm tactics in contract negotiations.
- A new study from a transit advocacy nonprofit suggests that Cuomo’s congestion pricing plan will progressively tax wealthy drivers, and refutes some outer-borough politicians’ claims that the pricing scheme would unfairly target their working class constituents.
- While his Vision Zero program has been implemented with moderate success, many transportation and environmental advocates feel that de Blasio has pushed a autocentric agenda since taking office.
- During a joint public hearing on Public Protection, State Senator Gustavo Rivera suggested that acting DOCCS Commissioner Anthony Annucci spend 24 hours in solitary confinement, like Colorado DOC Commissioner Rick Raemisch did before deciding to end the practice statewide. The Commissioner responded, “It would be the best night’s sleep I’d have [sic] in a long time.”
- Cuomo will set April 24 as a date for a special election to fill nine State Assembly and two State Senate legislative vacancies in New York State. In NYC, three Assembly districts in the Bronx, Queens, and Manhattan as well as the one Senate district in the Bronx will almost certainly elect the handpicked nominees of county Democratic Committees. However, the special election will also include a competitive Senate seat in Westchester that might determine whether Democrats can gain control of the State Senate.
- Jasmine “Jasi” Robinson, a community activist from the North Shore of Staten Island, is considering challenging founding IDC member Diane Savino for the 23rd State Senate seat this fall. Currently, five of the eight IDC members have at least once announced challenger.
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