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Darkened courthouse in New York City
New York Drug Courts Are a Black Box

Mixed evidence was piling up about a signature New York drug policy experiment. Then the state stopped releasing the data.

Spencer Norris   ·   August 4, 2023
CCRB chair Nairobi Vives, Mayor Kathy Sheehan, and Police Chief Eric Hawkins against a police car
Albany Police Block Misconduct Investigations, Neutering Landmark Oversight Law

Albany empowered its community oversight board. But the police department and the city’s top attorney are stonewalling.

Chris Gelardi and Naina Purushothaman   ·   August 2, 2023
Governor Hochul speaking in front of Brooklyn Democratic Party digital screen
Is Brooklyn’s Democratic Party Doing Anything to Reverse Its Losing Streak?

New York’s top elected officials showered the Brooklyn party with praise, but is it doing anything to support its candidates?

Sam Mellins   ·   August 1, 2023
Ambulances in front of the NY State Capitol Building in Albany.
Patients Need Kidneys. A Law to Boost Donations Is Stuck in Limbo.

The health department has blown past deadlines to implement legislation encouraging lifesaving transplants — along with at least five other laws.

Sam Mellins and Ellie Gonzales   ·   July 28, 2023
A colorized building with an American flag and a sepia background
Long Island Town of Huntington Says No to More Apartments

At a heated town meeting, a resident warned “pedophiles or criminals” would move into new housing.

Sam Mellins   ·   July 27, 2023
A photo of an electric charging station with an "EVolve NY" banner
The Thruway Has Brand New Rest Stops. Where Are the EV Chargers?

They’re on their way, officials promise. But they’re years late.

Colin Kinniburgh   ·   July 26, 2023
A forest overlooking Long Pond in the St Regis Canoe Area of Adirondack Park with artificial flames superimposed in the sky.
Will a Fear of Fires Burn New York?

Prescribed burns are banned in New York’s largest tracts of forest, but some rangers say they need to torch the brush to save the trees.

Nathan Porceng   ·   July 25, 2023
Assemblymember Michaelle Solages at a rally in Albany's State Capitol for the Build Public Renewables Act, with other supporters behind her.
New Bill Would Block Utilities From Lobbying at Customers’ Expense

The legislation follows New York Focus reporting that showed a major gas utility may have been siphoning off customers’ bills to fund an anti-electrification campaign.

Colin Kinniburgh   ·   July 24, 2023
Purple background shows belongings out on the curb.
As New York Boosts Residential Treatment, Regulators Turn a Blind Eye to Conditions

In the state’s byzantine system for addiction services, some people don’t know they have tenants’ rights. Some don’t have them at all.

Spencer Norris   ·   July 18, 2023
Eric Adams seen through bars at Rikers Island
You Need One Form to Get Your Benefits Back After Jail. Rikers Doesn’t Just Hand It Over.

It was hard enough to get back on Social Security and Medicaid after incarceration. Then Eric Adams slashed reentry services.

Chris Gelardi   ·   July 12, 2023
Governor Kathy Hochul sits in a chair at a breakfast meeting and looks up.
Hochul Shelved Undisclosed Plans for Housing Tax Break After Union Outcry

Kathy Hochul proposed an executive order to extend the controversial 421-a tax break. Labor unions shot it down.

Sam Mellins   ·   July 7, 2023
Syracuse I-81 viaduct with the city in green behind it and a crack through the middle.
How a Superhighway Split Syracuse

In Syracuse, the I-81 viaduct has two groups at war. One wants to tear it down, one wants to leave it up — all in the name of environmental justice.

Nathan Porceng   ·   July 6, 2023
Hochul Admin Sought Input on Tenant Protections — From Real Estate Lobby

In emails to the governor’s office, the Real Estate Board of New York proposed scaled back tenant protections for the state budget.

Sam Mellins   ·   June 30, 2023
A headshot of acting prison commissioner Daniel Martuscello III overlayed on a group of corrections officers standing in a row.
New Prison Chief Is a Son of the System

For Daniel Martuscello III, New York prisons are a family business.

Chris Gelardi   ·   June 28, 2023
Rochester, NY residents dressed in red with the group Metro Justice wait at the city council in June.
Inside the Fight to Kick Out Rochester’s Power Company

In New York’s third-largest city, locals are sick of skyrocketing bills and dirty fuel sources. They’re fighting against long odds for the public to own the grid.

Colin Kinniburgh   ·   June 26, 2023
Dramatic photo of the Court of Appeals in Albany, New York
New York’s Top Court Just Wrapped Up a Chaotic Term. Here’s What We Learned.

Former Chief Judge Janet DiFiore’s resignation broke a conservative lock on the Court of Appeals.

Sam Mellins   ·   June 22, 2023
Two men in hard hats work on a utility pole from cherry picker buckets in Massena, New York.
How an Upstate Town Took Back Its Power

Massena residents fought the local utility to bring their electric grid under public control. Forty years later, they say it’s still paying off.

Colin Kinniburgh   ·   June 21, 2023
New York’s Chosen AI Keeps Users From Collecting Unemployment

ID.me’s facial recognition tool was supposed to help administer unemployment securely. Users say the tech has barred them from their accounts — and their paychecks.

Rebecca Heilweil   ·   June 16, 2023
The Gowanus Generating Station in Brooklyn seen through a chain-link fence
As New York Lags on Climate Goals, Some Dirty Plants May Stay Open Past Deadline

Air-polluting “peaker” plants were a top priority for closure in New York’s green transition. But the state isn’t building clean energy fast enough to replace them on time.

Colin Kinniburgh   ·   June 14, 2023
Landlord handing off the keys in front of the New York State Capitol
Did Landlord Legislators Doom New York’s Housing Hopes?

Democratic lawmakers who rent their homes are far more likely to back tenant protections and new housing supply than those who own, a New York Focus analysis found.

Sam Mellins and Peter Tomao   ·   June 13, 2023
Chemical Industry Steps Up Lobbying as New York Weighs Major Waste Bill

Trade groups are spending big to fight legislation that would restrict single-use packaging and bar their preferred “chemical recycling” technologies.

Colin Kinniburgh   ·   June 8, 2023
A gray cement wall with black marker lines on it.
Prison Agency Rescinds Censorship Policy After New York Focus Reporting

The policy and its sudden reversal will be among Acting Commissioner Anthony Annucci’s last acts.

Chris Gelardi   ·   June 7, 2023
A picture of Joe Biden with a thumbs up
Feds Would Likely Foot The Bill For Undocumented Health Coverage. Albany Has Days to Act.

A new letter from the federal government is energizing a push to expand health insurance for undocumented New Yorkers, but time is running out.

Sam Mellins   ·   June 7, 2023
A New Prison Policy Blocks Incarcerated Journalists and Artists From Publishing Their Work

New York prisons may have effectively banned journalism behind bars.

Chris Gelardi   ·   June 6, 2023
Photo of benefit workers' protest outside their office building in Syracuse
Workers Blame Low Pay and Understaffing for New York’s Benefits Backlog

Some counties pay social services workers so little, the people who administer benefits end up applying themselves.

Alex Lubben   ·   June 5, 2023
Kathy Hochul, Robert Ortt, Hector LaSalle, and Anthony Palumbo superimposed over the New York Court of Appeals building.
Amid Democratic Outcry Over LaSalle, Hochul Turned to Republicans

The governor’s team coordinated meetings between her failed chief judge nominee and Senate Republicans in the days before a key committee vote, emails show.

Sam Mellins   ·   June 2, 2023
Empty chairs in a circle with the shadows of jail bars over it.
New York Mandates Peer Support in Jails, But Lets Sheriffs Keep Peers Out

Formerly incarcerated “peers” offer drug counseling to people in county jails — when they can get in.

Spencer Norris   ·   May 31, 2023
Attica Correctional Facility on a winter day in Attica, New York.
Will New York Stop Letting Prisons Police Themselves?

A new bill would subject the state prison system to independent oversight for sexual assault complaints. The Senate has two weeks to bring it to a floor vote.

Victoria Law   ·   May 25, 2023
Hydrogen diagram in front of a power plant
New York Begins Exploring Non-Renewable Energy to Meet Climate Target

Biofuels, hydrogen, carbon capture, and nuclear: These are some of the technologies that will be on the table as New York weighs how to clean up its grid over the next 17 years.

Colin Kinniburgh   ·   May 22, 2023
Governor Kathy Hochul speaks before a screen with a Shirley Chisolm quote, reading: "You don't make progress by standing on the sidelines... You make progress by implementing ideas."
Hochul Inches Toward Health Insurance for Undocumented Immigrants

While the governor awaits guidance from the federal government, thousands of undocumented New Yorkers can’t afford to go to the doctor.

Sam Mellins   ·   May 19, 2023
Collage of photos of Anthony Annucci
Prison Chief Anthony Annucci to Retire

Annucci has been characterized as an institutionalist loyal to the prison system above all else — even, at times, the law.

Maia Hibbett   ·   May 18, 2023
Photo of a shocked woman with paperwork
Are Your Gas Bills Paying for the Campaign Against Banning Gas?

National Fuel customers paid for a website directing New Yorkers to oppose electrification mandates, documents show.

Colin Kinniburgh   ·   May 17, 2023
Photograph of a green sign saying "Social Service Administration"
Need Food Stamps in New York? Come Back in a Few Months.

Counties across the state are blowing past legal deadlines to process SNAP applications, leaving families struggling to eat. The delays may be about to get even worse.

Alex Lubben   ·   May 15, 2023
An empty Belmont Park Winners Circle on May 4, 2023.
Half a Billion in the Bank — And Next to No One in the Stands

At Belmont Park’s opening day, local brass celebrated a windfall of state cash. Hardly any fans showed up.

Sam Mellins   ·   May 8, 2023
New York’s Minimum Wage Hike Has a Big Catch

New York tied its minimum wage to inflation — but exceptions in Governor Hochul’s plan will likely cancel wage increases in many years.

Sam Mellins   ·   May 5, 2023
Anthony Annucci’s Ten-Year Temp Job

Andrew Cuomo named Anthony Annucci acting commissioner of New York prisons back in 2013. Now, someone his agency incarcerates is trying to take him out.

Rebecca McCray   ·   May 4, 2023
Assembly Speaker Carl Heastie, Governor Kathy Hochul, and Senate Majority Leader Andrea Stewart-Cousins before three tall stacks of paper.
Your One-Stop Guide to the 2023 New York State Budget

It’s finally here. Late Tuesday night, lawmakers voted on the last of New York’s 10 budget bills. We broke down what’s in them.

New York Focus   ·   May 3, 2023
A bail bonds sign
Here’s What the Budget Would Do About Bail

Budget legislation released Monday night includes eight pages of bail law markups — significantly more than the governor announced last week. A vote is imminent.

Chris Gelardi   ·   May 2, 2023
Updates: New York ‘Conceptually’ Has a Budget

Kathy Hochul and the legislators are closing in on a final state budget. As they settle their differences, we’ll keep you up to date on the latest.

New York Focus   ·   April 25, 2023
Queens District Attorney Melinda Katz speaks at a holiday celebration in Queens on December 19, 2021.
Queens DA to Pursue NYPD-Enforced Curfew for Pretrial Defendants

Police will receive photos of defendants with curfews and report alleged violations to District Attorney Melinda Katz.

Chris Gelardi   ·   April 24, 2023
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