- Following the anti-Semitic attack on a Hanukkah gathering in Monsey, NY, Mayor de Blasio announced a plan to increase NYPD presence in neighborhoods with significant Jewish populations.
- After being arrested for drunk driving on New Year’s Eve, State Assembly Minority Leader Brian Kolb will not resign, but will step down as leader of the Assembly Republicans.
- Governor Cuomo signaled the he will revamp the push to end the ban on gestational surrogacy in the state during the 2020 legislative session.
- New York lost an estimated 76,790 residents in 2019, the most of any state. Depending on the outcome (and participation in) the 2020 Census, it is possible that New York could lose up to two Congressional seats.
- A federal judge has temporarily blocked implementation of a law to protect and empower farm workers by granting them the right to unionize, receive overtime, and take time off, among other things. An association of farm owners is seeking to block the law because they claim its labor classifications are confusing and incorrect.
- The state Health Department is cutting Medicaid payments by 1%, as the state seeks ways to reduce a ballooning budget gap projected to exceed $6 billion.
- Addiction recovery advocates are voicing concern after Governor Cuomo approved a bill that removes restrictions on addiction treatment drugs for privately insured New Yorkers, while vetoing a similar bill for Medicaid recipients.
- The NYPD is ramping up bag checks at subways and police presence at transit hubs and landmarks to prepare for a possible retaliation against the U.S for an American airstrike that killed prominent Iranian general Qassem Soleimani.
- The Queens County Democratic Party, led by Rep. Gregory Meeks, endorsed Council Member Donovan Richards (District 31, Far Rockaway) in the early 2020 Queens Borough President special election that will take pace on March 24th. The endorsement meeting illustrated the increasing battles between reformers and establishment figures in the Queens Democratic Party, highlighted by a botched attempt to endorse Joe Biden for president. Because of the City’s special elections law, Queens residents will vote for a Borough President five times in less than two years.
- NYC Public Advocate Jumaane Williams has endorsed Bernie Sanders for president. Williams was one of the few City politicians to endorse Sanders in 2016.
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