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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
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
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