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The Cap-and-Trade Fight Comes to New York
While the state climate council weighs a “cap-and-invest” program, environmental justice groups are pressing for new taxes on the rich and the polluters.
Colin Kinniburgh   ·   December 5, 2022
To Implement a New Law, Prisons Likely Broke Another
Legislators told the prison department it was violating a solitary confinement reform law. So it ignored them.
Chris Gelardi   ·   December 2, 2022
Chief Judge Shortlist Excluded Court’s Sitting Liberals, DiFiore Opponents
Three current Court of Appeals judges applied for the lead position. They are all people of color — and the only judges who regularly dissented from former chief Janet DiFiore’s conservative rulings.
Sam Mellins   ·   December 1, 2022
The Private Equity ‘Black Box’ Pours New York Pensions Touting Divestment Into Fossil Fuels
Routing $500 million through a Blackstone fund, the New York State Common Retirement Fund is among the largest investors in a notorious Ohio coal plant.
Lilah Burke   ·   November 30, 2022
Chief Judge Shortlist Offers Hochul a Stark Choice
Former Chief Judge Janet DiFiore’s unexpected resignation gave the governor a chance to reshape the Court of Appeals. Her pick will affect New Yorkers’ rights for years to come.
Sam Mellins   ·   November 28, 2022
The State Police Want to Crack Your Phone
The Israeli firm Cellebrite offers tools that unlock data, trawl search histories, and perform facial recognition. The New York State Police are in the market.
Chris Gelardi   ·   November 23, 2022
To Meet Climate Mandate, New York Needs to Learn How to Build Clean Energy Again
After a decade of building virtually no large-scale renewables, New York is planning to build enough to power millions of homes over the next eight years. What will it take to pull it off?
Colin Kinniburgh   ·   November 21, 2022
Republicans Won Big on Long Island. So Did Affordable Housing.
Even as Long Island veers right, the Hamptons just voted to tax the wealthy to fund mid-range housing.
Sam Mellins   ·   November 17, 2022
Bomb Dogs, ‘Goon Squad,’ Subway Cops: Who’s Making a Killing in NYPD Overtime
Eric Adams pledged to cut police overtime in half. Instead, his initiatives helped it soar to the second-highest level on record.
Chris Gelardi   ·   November 16, 2022
Rats, Roaches, Leaks: Rent-Stabilized Building Owners Whose Bets Went Sour Delay Repairs
Crumbling conditions in two Bronx buildings show how tenants pay the price when real estate speculation doesn’t work out.
Olivia Bensimon   ·   November 11, 2022
The ‘Red Wave’ Hit Southern Brooklyn. Some Blame the County Democrats.
After the Brooklyn Democratic Party did almost nothing to mobilize voters, Republicans swept the borough’s southern points.
Sam Mellins   ·   November 9, 2022
What’s the Plan, Kathy?
New Yorkers picked Governor Kathy Hochul on Tuesday. New York Focus staff picked ten questions we’ll be watching for her tenure.
New York Focus   ·   November 9, 2022
Landfill Fight Illustrates New York’s Heaping Trash Problem
New York planned to slash its trash. Instead, we’re producing more garbage than ever.
Sam Mellins   ·   November 8, 2022
Anthony Annucci leaning on a desk
New York’s Prison Chief Ordered Guards to Illegally Shackle People to Desks
Anthony Annucci’s internal memo tells staff to restrain incarcerated people during any out-of-cell time, affecting at least 5,000.
Chris Gelardi   ·   November 7, 2022
New York’s Prison Chief Ordered Guards to Illegally Shackle People to Desks
Anthony Annucci’s internal memo tells staff to restrain incarcerated people during any out-of-cell time, affecting at least 5,000.
Chris Gelardi   ·   November 7, 2022
Meet the Moguls Fueling Lee Zeldin’s Super PAC Boost
New York Focus found six big spenders who have poured money into PACs backing Kathy Hochul’s Republican challenger.
Colin Kinniburgh   ·   November 4, 2022
Blind Spots: Sexual Assault Allegation Exposes Self-Policing Prison System
Robert Adams alleges that a guard sodomized him with a baton. A year-long investigation into his story uncovered a system plagued by retaliation and primed for abuse.
Victoria Law   ·   November 3, 2022
‘Voters Are Lethargic’: Poll Suggests A Missing Economic Message In Governor’s Race
A new poll suggests a missing economic message is contributing to an unexpectedly close governor’s race.
Lee Harris   ·   November 3, 2022
Has Anyone Told the Brooklyn Democratic Party There’s an Election Next Week?
Downstate turnout could decide the governor’s race. The Brooklyn Democratic Party is mounting almost no campaign effort.
Sam Mellins   ·   November 2, 2022
Mayor Issues Ultimatum on Retiree Health Care, Seeking End to Standoff
The City Council must enable budget-cutting new health insurance options for retirees, warns Eric Adams’s chief labor negotiator — or City Hall will eliminate existing insurance plans.
Sam Mellins   ·   October 31, 2022
‘They Lied to All of Us’: Ten Years After Hurricane Sandy, Construction Begins on Staten Island’s Promised Wetland
Staten Island residents who sold their homes to the state as part of one of the country’s first major “managed retreats” were promised the land would be returned to nature. Instead, part of it is being turned into a soccer complex.
[email protected]   ·   October 29, 2022
City Council Moves Forward With Gowanus Rezoning After Slashing Affordable Housing
A proposal to build dozens of units on a block near the Gowanus industrial zone was cut in half after locals lobbied Councilmember Shahana Hanif.
Sam Mellins and George Joseph   ·   October 27, 2022
Most of New York Gas Tax Holiday Savings Don’t Go to New Yorkers, Analysis Finds
Out of every dollar the gas tax suspension costs the state, less than 50 cents are going into New Yorkers’ pockets.
Colin Kinniburgh   ·   October 26, 2022
Some Suburbs Are Actually Trying to Solve the Housing Shortage
New York suburbs have long lagged their peers in building new housing. A few towns are eyeing a different approach.
Sam Mellins   ·   October 25, 2022
Lesser Infractions Aren’t Supposed to Land You in Solitary Confinement. They Do Anyway.
New York prisons have illegally sent at least 1,100 people to solitary confinement for infractions that aren’t eligible for the punishment, a New York Focus analysis has found.
Chris Gelardi   ·   October 24, 2022
New York May Drop JPay, The Scandal-Plagued Prison Banking Company
A one-year extension could be the prison contractor’s last, ending a 15-year run.
Eli Tan   ·   October 21, 2022
New York’s Crypto Moratorium Would Leave Most Mining Untouched. There’s Another Reason the Industry Is Up in Arms.
A much-debated moratorium wouldn’t affect any crypto mining projects under development, but an accompanying environmental study could bring unwelcome scrutiny.
Colin Kinniburgh   ·   October 20, 2022
Rikers Staff Tampered With Records, Hiding Intake Rule Violations, Documents Show
Rikers staff repeatedly altered records to extend the clock on a 24-hour time limit for holding people in notorious intake cells.
Chris Gelardi   ·   October 17, 2022
New York Courts Are Ghosting Disabled New Yorkers
When disabled litigants who can’t to come to court in person request virtual appearances, they often don’t hear back.
Sam Mellins   ·   October 13, 2022
New York Banned Plastic Bags Two Years Ago. Why Are They Still Everywhere?
Two years after the state banned plastic bags, many New York City businesses are still distributing them with little fear of consequences.
Colin Kinniburgh   ·   October 12, 2022
Adams Takes First Big Step on Climate Law, Yet Bigger Questions Loom
The city announced key proposed rules, making progress but also leaving a massive loophole unaddressed, our columnist writes.
Pete Sikora   ·   October 7, 2022
The Rent Is Too Damn High. Blame the Suburbs.
Long Island and Westchester build housing at some of the lowest rates of any suburban area in the country, fueling high rents and home prices across the region.
Sam Mellins   ·   October 6, 2022
Solitary by Another Name: How State Prisons Are Using ‘Therapeutic’ Units to Evade Reforms
A landmark solitary confinement reform law created a new, “rehabilitative” type of isolation unit. In practice, they’re often little different from the solitary units they were meant to replace.
Chris Gelardi   ·   October 5, 2022
Community Health Clinics Set to Lose Critical $100 Million Funding Stream
A little-known federal initiative, the 340B Drug Pricing Program, supports services that wouldn’t otherwise get reimbursed.
Aviva Stahl   ·   October 4, 2022
Understaffing Threatens to Slow New York Climate Plans
Renewable energy developers are hungry to build in New York, but staffing at the bodies charged with managing the process hasn’t kept up.
Colin Kinniburgh   ·   September 29, 2022
Home Care Workers Battle Their Own Union on 24-Hour Shifts
1199 SIEU says it wants to end 24-hour shifts - but it has opposed city and state bills that would do so, and some question the sincerity of its objections.
Maxwell Parrott   ·   September 28, 2022
Prisons Are Illegally Throwing People With Disabilities Into Solitary Confinement
Lawmakers banned solitary confinement for people with disabilities. But the state prison agency has crafted its own policies.
Chris Gelardi   ·   September 26, 2022
Judge Frees Man From Rikers in Exceptional Decision Citing Bail and Jail Conditions
The ruling, which isn’t binding on other judges but will surely be noted by them, was based on the 2019 bail reform law’s requirement that judges consider defendants’ ability to afford bail.
Sam Mellins   ·   September 21, 2022
Tiffany Cabán Approves Major Astoria Housing Development, Bucking Trend Among Progressives
The approval will create hundreds of units of both affordable and market rate housing and has sparked debate in progressive circles over how to approach private development.
Sam Mellins   ·   September 14, 2022
The Price of Private Equity’s New York Power Plant Grab
After a private equity firm purchased an upstate power plant, thousands of gallons of oil spilled into Lake Ontario. It’s part of a troubling pattern.
Leanna First-Arai   ·   September 13, 2022
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