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New York Labor Bills Are Stuck in Limbo
The Assembly Labor Committee has emerged as a bottleneck for unions’ top legislative priorities.
Maxwell Parrott   ·   May 31, 2022
This Bill Could Save 100 Lives a Year for $1 Million. Will The Assembly Pass It?
A bill to increase kidney donation rates is stuck in the “traffic jam” of the Assembly.
Sam Mellins   ·   May 26, 2022
Big Oil Wants New York’s Cow Manure
Biogas credits are incentivizing the expansion of factory farming in New York—and might end up increasing carbon emissions.
Tracy Tullis   ·   May 25, 2022
Exclusive: Here Are the New NYPD Gun Units’ Trainees. Many Have Histories of Excessive Force Complaints.
Adams promised they’d be different. But a roster compiled by New York Focus shows that officers who trained for the new teams allegedly beat, harassed, and illegally arrested people while previously working on plainclothes teams.
Chris Gelardi   ·   May 23, 2022
Why Starbucks Workers Had To Wait Six Months To Get Help From The US Labor Board
Buffalo workers were the first to unionize - but labor law went unenforced during their elections.
Maxwell Parrott   ·   May 17, 2022
New York Prisons Set to Ban Most Packages from Family and Friends
At the urging of the correction officers union, the prison agency is restricting packages to private vendors that charge steep markups and have limited selections.
Emily Brown and Rebecca McCray   ·   May 12, 2022
Corporate Campaign Donors Identify Themselves Following New York Focus Reporting
After New York Focus reported that the elections board wasn’t enforcing a landmark transparency law, it sent delinquent donors a letter requesting that they comply. Thousands did within weeks.
Sam Mellins   ·   May 11, 2022
Construction Industry “Flaggers” Report Pervasive Wage Theft
Black and Latino nonunion flaggers on public construction projects say they’re paid just a third of wages they’re legally entitled to.
Amir Khafagy   ·   May 11, 2022
Eric Adams Wants Weapons Detectors in the Subway. Would That Bring Safety or “Absolute Chaos”?
“Expect delays, expect secondary screening, expect frustration and expect to miss your train from time to time.”
Chris Gelardi   ·   May 10, 2022
Perspective: It’s Time to Take a Clearer Look at Bail Reform
In the raucous debate over bail reform, simple facts have fallen out of sight.
Bryce Covert   ·   May 9, 2022
Retired Judges and Advocates: Don’t Let Cops Interrogate Kids Without a Lawyer
A bill in the state legislature would prohibit police from interrogating minors before they consulted with a lawyer.
Chris Gelardi   ·   May 6, 2022
Workers Accuse Ultra-Fast Delivery Startup of Wage Theft
Before the Russian-funded delivery startup collapsed, Buyk sold itself as a way for workers to escape the gig economy. Former workers say it failed to deliver.
Amir Khafagy   ·   May 5, 2022
Bill to Stop Foreclosures Heads to Hochul, Under Heavy Pushback from Banks
The state legislature has passed a measure intended to counter a court ruling that made it easier for lenders to win cases against homeowners.
Sam Mellins   ·   May 3, 2022
Environmental Hazard or Economic Boon? Legislators Spar on Bitcoin Mining in New York
Legislators opposed to a bill enacting a temporary moratorium on proof-of-work cryptocurrency mining are warning that it could harm New Yorkers often excluded from traditional financial markets, sources say.
Sam Mellins   ·   April 27, 2022
An Upper East Side Assembly Candidate Accepted Over $10,000 in Illegal Corporate Cash
After New York Focus reported on illegal contributions to candidate Russell Squire, his campaign announced it would return the money.
Sam Mellins   ·   April 25, 2022
Zoning Laws Are Blocking the Conversion of Hotels into Affordable Housing
The state’s grand plan to convert unused hotels into affordable housing hasn’t gotten off the ground. Lawmakers just boosted funding — but developers and housing advocates say that won’t help without lifting onerous zoning restrictions.
Sam Mellins   ·   April 19, 2022
Prison Officials Block Most Requests from Terminally Ill New Yorkers for Medical Release
Officials routinely refuse to send requests for medical release to the state parole board, frustrating advocates and raising questions about the murky criteria for medical release.
Victoria Law   ·   April 14, 2022
Labor Experts Dismissed the Quixotic Amazon Union Drive on Staten Island. Then They Won.
“I told the workers beforehand that they would lose based on the ‘numbers.’ They said they knew the workers. They were right!”
Luis Feliz Leon   ·   April 13, 2022
What’s In New York’s $220 Billion State Budget?
A comprehensive tracker of the issues at stake in New York’s budget.
Sam Mellins   ·   April 11, 2022
How New York State Just Rolled Back Criminal Justice Reforms
The final budget made changes to bail law, discovery law, pre-arraignment detention, involuntary commitment and more.
Chris Gelardi   ·   April 9, 2022
Hochul Opposes Rental Voucher Program On Basis of Inflated Cost Estimate, Sources Say
The legislature wants to spend $250 million to combat homelessness. Hochul says it’ll actually cost $6 billion.
Sam Mellins   ·   April 6, 2022
Hochul, Plastics Industry and Green Groups Battle Over Recycling Proposal
Rather than try to improve Hochul’s proposal, some environmentalists want to scrap it and instead concentrate on a forthcoming bill from Assemblymember Steve Englebright.
Tracy Tullis   ·   April 4, 2022
Bitcoin Mining Gets Three Month Reprieve From Hochul’s Regulators
Green groups charged that Kathy Hochul is punting the issue until after the primary.
Peter Mantius   ·   April 1, 2022
Judge Rules New York’s District Maps Unconstitutional, Orders Legislature to Draw New Ones
Democrats immediately said they would appeal the decision.
Vaughn Golden   ·   April 1, 2022
Read the Senate’s Draft Compromise on Bail Reform
New York Focus obtained and analyzed a proposal presented by Senate leadership to the chamber’s Democratic caucus.
Chris Gelardi, Sam Mellins and Akash Mehta   ·   March 30, 2022
Will New York Tackle its Largest Source of Emissions?
Experts say the state needs to spend at least $1 billion a year to cut pollution from buildings. Legislators are trying to get the governor closer to that figure.
Colin Kinniburgh   ·   March 30, 2022
Kathy Hochul Is Ready to Spend Millions on New Police Surveillance
New York state legislators have just days to question phone hacking, forensics, and fusion centers before the budget passes.
Chris Gelardi   ·   March 29, 2022
As Albany Debates Health Coverage for Undocumented New Yorkers, Lawmakers Say Hochul is Inflating Costs
The governor’s projected price tag is five times higher than estimates by the legislature and outside researchers—but she hasn’t said how she arrived at her figure.
Sam Mellins   ·   March 29, 2022
Striking Workers Say Brooklyn Oil Terminal Is ‘Playing Russian Roulette’ with Safety
Striking employees of United Metro Energy say management replaced them with workers who weren’t certified to operate the Brooklyn oil terminal, increasing the risk of an oil spill.
Inci Sayki   ·   March 28, 2022
Hochul Wants to Save for a Rainy Day. Lawmakers Say It’s Already Pouring.
Budget negotiations center on one crucial question: should New York save or spend?
Sam Mellins   ·   March 24, 2022
Loopholes Hobble Hochul’s Proposal on Conviction-Based Housing Discrimination, Critics Charge
Advocates organizing for similar laws say loopholes in Hochul’s proposal make it “virtually meaningless,” and are encouraging the governor to withdraw the measure.
Chris Gelardi   ·   March 22, 2022
Here’s What You Need to Know About the 2022 State Budget
How the three budget proposals from the governor, Assembly and Senate stack up.
Sam Mellins   ·   March 21, 2022
Republicans Take Democrats to Court Over Allegedly Gerrymandered Map
A group of 14 citizens, organized by Republican politicians, argue that the new district maps approved by the state legislature and Gov. Hochul violate the state constitution.
Vaughn Golden   ·   March 18, 2022
Delayed Treatment and Denied Services: Health Care In New York Prisons Is A “Joke”
Cuomo vetoed a bill to expand oversight of the prison medical system. Will Hochul take a different tack?
Victoria Law   ·   March 17, 2022
Power Industry Quietly Pushes New York to Endorse Non-Renewable Energy
The power industry is pushing a pair of little-noticed proposals that could shift the course of the state’s climate action.
Colin Kinniburgh   ·   March 15, 2022
Legislature Likely to Propose Health Coverage But Not Cash Relief for Undocumented New Yorkers, Sources Say
Both chambers are set to release budget proposals that will represent a mixed bag for New York’s undocumented population.
Sam Mellins   ·   March 11, 2022
State Board of Elections Begins Enforcing Campaign Finance Disclosure Laws
The move comes after New York Focus reported on widespread violations of campaign finance law and the Board’s lack of enforcement.
Sam Mellins   ·   March 11, 2022
Parole Reform Squabble Has Left Hundreds Sitting in New York Jails
New York’s prison agency is interpreting key provisions of a landmark parole reform law to keep more people locked up. A lead sponsor of the legislation calls it “appalling.”
Chris Gelardi   ·   March 10, 2022
Senate Holds First-Ever Hearing On Rape in Prison and Jails
Incarcerated survivors face a broken system for reporting abuse, frequent retaliation, and little accountability for staff perpetrators.
Victoria Law   ·   March 9, 2022
Eric Adams Is Bringing Back the NYPD’s Anti-Crime Unit. Do They Commit More Crimes Than They Solve?
“I don’t want the ‘jump-out boys’ back out on the street,” said retired NYPD commander Corey Pegues, who disagrees with the mayor’s plan to bring back the controversial NYPD units.
Tana Ganeva   ·   March 3, 2022
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