State of the State

Local News:

  • Gov. Cuomo delivered his 2019 State of the State speech, where he outlined the major policy changes included in his executive budget. They include a plan for legalized marijuana, congestion pricing, a plastic bag ban, and eliminating carbon emissions by 2040. He also wants to make permanent the property tax cap he has kept in place since 2011, a plan supported by many suburban Democrats, and new State Senate leader Andrea Stewart-Cousins.

  • Amid seemingly endless confusion, Gov. Cuomo convened an emergency MTA board meeting on the L train shutdown cancellation, prompting Gothamist to summarize: Cuomo, Who Controls The MTA, Asks To Control The MTA While Unilaterally Setting Agenda For MTA. Gothamist compiled a Q&A on all things L-train after the meeting.

  • Meanwhile, Gov. Cuomo is threatening to hold up $7.3 billion in MTA funding to press state lawmakers into passing other policy in his executive budget.

  • The New York State Senate passed a number of voting reforms on it’s first day back in session. Including a measure to close the L.L.C. loophole and one which would schedule national and local primaries on the same day.

  • NY State Senate Democrats have elevated five sub-committees to full-fledged committees, including the renamed Women’s Issues Committee chaired by DSA-member Julia Salazar (District 18, Bushwick).

  • After the partial shutdown of the federal government led to the cancellation of family visits, prisoners in Manhattan launched a hunger strike.

  • Council Member and Public Advocate candidate Rafael Espinal (District 37, Bushwick) proposed a “right to disconnect” bill that would penalize employers for contacting workers after hours. Mayor de Blasio and business groups both oppose the legislation.

  • The NYPD has retained photos of Black Lives Matter activists for years, raising questions about whether they are violating their own rules for monitoring political activity.

  • The initial partial rollout of New York City’s Fare Fairs may render the program out of reach for recent immigrants.

  • According to new standards put out by the State, there are 124 City schools need either “targeted” or “comprehensive” support. About 40 of those schools were considered “in good standing” last year, under the old guidelines.

  • A City Limits article takes an in-depth look at what NY politicians pledge to support “innovation” to draw Amazon might mean from a policy perspective.
  • With Mayor De Blasio’s BQX streetcar proposal all but dead, its former “Czar” is taking a job in Saudi Arabia.

Elections:

  • The Queens District Attorney race is being framed as a battle between the entrenched Democratic machine of Joe Crowley vs. the upstart progressive wing represented by Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez.

  • Queens for DA Accountability, a coalition that includes NYC-DSA’s Queens branch, released a statement on what it is looking for in its new District Attorney.

  • New York 1 will host two live debates next month for the Public Advocate special election. So far 23 candidates have filed petitions to run.

  • City and State is maintaining a list of all endorsements made in the Public Advocate race.

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