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Can Half a Billion Dollars Save New York Horse Racing? We Spoke With the Man Who Says Yes.
A conversation with consultant Shuprotim Bhaumik, whose firm wrote a study arguing that New York state can revitalize the failing horse racing industry by funding a $455 million track renovation.
Sam Mellins   ·   March 1, 2023
Meet the Top Private Earners Among New York Lawmakers
A handful of state legislators made far more from second jobs than they did representing their constituents, a New York Focus analysis found. Find your rep in our database.
Colin Kinniburgh   ·   March 1, 2023
Hochul Calls for Rail Safety Regulations — After Vetoing Keystone Rail Safety Bill
In December, the governor vetoed legislation requiring freight trains to be staffed with at least two crew members. Rail workers say it’s a bare minimum for safety.
Julia Rock   ·   February 28, 2023
Hochul’s Budget Pads Prosecution Funding Without Match for Public Defense
The governor proposed an outsized boost worth tens of millions for prosecutors — drawing comparisons to New York’s history of public defense neglect.
Chris Gelardi   ·   February 27, 2023
For Scandal-Plagued For-Profit Colleges, No State Is More Welcoming Than New York
As ASA College prepares to shut its doors after years of controversy, New York continues to shell out tuition subsidies to for-profit colleges — at rates higher than any other state.
Lilah Burke   ·   February 23, 2023
Hochul Projects Horse Racing Renaissance, Declines to Share Evidence
Hochul says it “goes without saying” that a taxpayer-funded track renovation will bring jobs and boost attendance. Her proof: an industry-commissioned study that she refuses to release.
Sam Mellins   ·   February 22, 2023
The Corporate Lawyer Moonlighting as a New York Assemblymember
Keith Brown makes $142,000 representing his Long Island district — and about half a million representing corporate real estate interests.
Colin Kinniburgh   ·   February 21, 2023
Hochul and Senate Clash on Public Power, With Utility Workers on Sidelines
The New York Power Authority manages resources built half a century ago. But a plan to make it the vanguard of clean energy could be hamstrung by labor-environmentalist divisions.
Lee Harris   ·   February 16, 2023
Hector LaSalle’s Chief Judge Shot Ends With Historic Rejection by State Senate
The surprise vote was a stinging rebuke to Governor Kathy Hochul, who pushed aggressively for LaSalle’s confirmation.
Sam Mellins   ·   February 15, 2023
Landfill Fight Tests New Yorkers’ Right to a Healthy Environment
A case challenging High Acres landfill leaves the fate of the so-called “green amendment” with New York’s courts.
Emily Pontecorvo   ·   February 15, 2023
Can Anyone Make New York Prisons Follow Solitary Confinement Law?
A recent hearing was legislators’ chance to have acting prison commissioner Anthony Annucci explain himself. They didn’t make him.
Chris Gelardi   ·   February 13, 2023
Hochul Ditched Promise of Health Insurance for Undocumented People. She Could Cost New York $500 Million.
The move will leave tens of thousands of undocumented New Yorkers uninsured.
Sam Mellins   ·   February 9, 2023
Kathy Hochul Bets Half a Billion on Horse Racing. Will the Industry Pay Her Back?
New York’s biggest racetracks have been declining for decades. They’ll likely need more state subsidies to cover their debts.
Sam Mellins   ·   February 7, 2023
How Hochul Plans to Build Hundreds of Thousands of Homes Near Train Stations
The governor’s proposal for “transit-oriented development” has so far gotten a mixed reception from suburban legislators, who killed a similar plan last year.
Sam Mellins   ·   February 2, 2023
Hochul’s New Bail Reform Plan Would Reverse Decades-Old Protections
Long before 2019, New York law mandated that judges setting bail consider only a person’s likelihood of returning to court. Hochul’s proposal would strip that limit.
Chris Gelardi   ·   February 1, 2023
What Kathy Hochul’s Budget Tells Us About New York’s Cap-and-Invest Plan
And what it doesn’t.
Colin Kinniburgh   ·   February 1, 2023
‘Hot Spot’ Cops Killed Tyre Nichols in Memphis. Hochul Wants More in New York.
The controversial units have been responsible for high-profile killings and civil rights abuses in cities nationwide. Hochul doubled their state grant funding in New York — and wants to double it again.
Chris Gelardi   ·   January 30, 2023
NYCHA’s Rehab Push Brought Jobs — Just Not for Its Residents
Under federal law, the public housing agency is required to hire low-income tenants. Records show it has often missed the mark.
Colin Kinniburgh   ·   January 25, 2023
Hochul Wants More Police Surveillance. Legislators Want Boundaries.
Legislators are taking aim at a host of police surveillance tools, from undercover social media accounts to facial recognition to aerial drones.
Chris Gelardi   ·   January 24, 2023
The Wall Street Bet Behind Ithaca’s Green New Deal
Big banks and venture capital firms have flirted with the residential energy market for years. Ithaca is giving these lenders a shot with theirs.
Lee Harris   ·   January 23, 2023
Hector LaSalle Faces Senate Judiciary Hearing: Live Updates
Governor Kathy Hochul’s embattled pick faces steep odds in the legislature — if Senate leaders choose to bring his nomination to a floor vote. Follow along for updates on his Judiciary Committee hearing.
Sam Mellins   ·   January 18, 2023
Senate Committee Rejects Hector LaSalle for Chief Judge
The judiciary committee voted Kathy Hochul’s nominee down 10 to nine. Senate Democrats say his candidacy is dead, but Hochul says the full Senate needs to vote.
Sam Mellins   ·   January 18, 2023
The State Police Are Watching Your Social Media
The New York State Police bought social media monitoring programs that have violated platforms’ policies and been used to surveil Black Lives Matter protesters.
Chris Gelardi   ·   January 13, 2023
Kathy Hochul Calls for ‘Cap and Invest’ to Slash Emissions
The idea is winning over skeptics. Will the harmony last when it’s time to hammer out the details?
Colin Kinniburgh   ·   January 11, 2023
As Hochul Makes New Promises in State of the State, Last Year’s Parole Pledge Is Still Waiting
This time last year, Hochul promised to fully staff the parole board. But vacancies have only grown — and went unmentioned in this year’s agenda.
Chris Gelardi and Sam Mellins   ·   January 10, 2023
‘Highly Unlikely’ Hector LaSalle Gets a Floor Vote, Say Senate Democrats
Governor Kathy Hochul maintains that her chief judge nominee will go through a Senate hearing and vote. The Senate Democrats’ spokesperson disagrees.
Sam Mellins   ·   January 6, 2023
Surprise Veto Upended Immigrant Rights Bill Sought Over a Decade
Legislators wanted to make judges warn defendants about deportation risks. They say Kathy Hochul’s veto left them blindsided.
Chris Gelardi   ·   January 6, 2023
Will Hector LaSalle Be the Next Janet DiFiore?
LaSalle’s supporters argue opponents are cherry-picking his record. But on eight out of nine recent cases, he agreed with the Court of Appeals’ conservative bloc.
Sam Mellins   ·   January 5, 2023
Thousands of New York City Nurses Are on Strike. Statewide, a New Law Drove Bitter Staffing Debates
The law was supposed to deliver safer staffing ratios. Instead, it raised tensions at one in four New York hospitals.
Maxwell Parrott   ·   January 5, 2023
Here’s Every Bill Hochul Vetoed in 2022
Governor Kathy Hochul signed a record number of bills last year — but rejected 165 others, wielding her veto pen with newfound vigor.
New York Focus   ·   January 3, 2023
Hochul Pushes Changes to Carpet Bill, Igniting Bitter Debate Over ‘Chemical Recycling’
Some environmentalists say the amendments would allow unacceptable pollution. Others argue they’re missing the point.
Colin Kinniburgh   ·   December 23, 2022
Big Buildings Get a Pass for Pollution if Eric Adams Doesn’t Close His New Corporate Loophole
By liberally allowing landlords to purchase renewable energy credits, the new Adams rule would defang Local Law 97.
Pete Sikora   ·   December 23, 2022
Hochul Picks Hector LaSalle for Chief Judge. Progressives Fear Return to Conservative Era.
LaSalle’s leadership could restore the conservative majority that dominated the court under Janet DiFiore.
Sam Mellins   ·   December 22, 2022
‘No B Officer’: How an Understaffed Rikers Island Allowed Another Suicide
New documents obtained by New York Focus offer a glimpse into the last hours of Kevin Bryan’s life. His was one of several recent deaths at Rikers in dorms with unstaffed posts.
Chris Gelardi   ·   December 22, 2022
New York Finally Has a Climate Plan. Now Comes the Hard Part.
More than three years after the state passed its sweeping climate bill, the ball is back in lawmakers’ court.
Colin Kinniburgh   ·   December 20, 2022
As Hochul’s Deadline Nears, Law Professors Urge Against ‘Activist Conservative’ for Chief Judge
Dozens of law professors are raising the alarm over Judge Hector LaSalle’s rulings on ‘crisis pregnancy centers’ and union protections. Hispanic and Latino lawyers’ groups say his appointment would be a win for diversity.
Sam Mellins   ·   December 19, 2022
New York City Has 25 Days to Settle Retirees’ Switch to Privatized Insurance, Arbitrator Rules
The ruling puts pressure on the city to finalize a Medicare Advantage plan for a quarter million retirees — and may lead to the elimination of Senior Care.
Sam Mellins   ·   December 15, 2022
Hochul Vetoed Water Protection Bill Because New York Lacks the Staff to Enforce It
Two years ago, Andrew Cuomo vetoed a clean water bill, citing staff cuts. Last Friday, Kathy Hochul used the same argument to turn it down again.
Colin Kinniburgh   ·   December 15, 2022
Here’s Every Bill Hochul Hasn’t Signed
The governor has three weeks and 265 potential laws to consider. New York Focus compiled them all.
New York Focus   ·   December 12, 2022
New York’s Chief Financial Regulator Promised Climate Action This Year. Where Is It?
Wall Street watchdog Adrienne Harris said her department would release climate change guidance for banks in 2022. She’s yet to publish a draft.
Sam Mellins   ·   December 7, 2022
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