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Housing Nixed in Latest Budget Talks

“It’s done. It’s not happening,” an Assembly source told New York Focus. Lawmakers are poised to reject measures to boost housing supply and protect renters.

Sam Mellins   ·   April 20, 2023
A New Liberal Era for New York’s Highest Court?

The confirmations of Rowan Wilson and Caitlin Halligan may reverse the Court of Appeals’ rightward trend.

Sam Mellins   ·   April 19, 2023
The State Assembly Is Foreclosing Hochul’s Housing Supply Plan

Democratic Assembly leaders refused to entertain the governor’s primary tactic to achieve housing growth and affordability.

Sam Mellins   ·   April 18, 2023
Why You’re Still Paying for Someone Else’s Gas Line

New York law requires utilities to build out gas infrastructure at customers’ expense. The Senate wants to close the spigot.

Colin Kinniburgh   ·   April 18, 2023
Hochul’s Top Court Pick Represented Chevron in Climate Case Against Steven Donziger

Private attorney Caitlin Halligan helped let Chevron off the hook for billions of dollars it owed Ecuadorians over the company’s pollution of the Amazon.

Colin Kinniburgh   ·   April 17, 2023
Inflation Is Putting Food Out of Reach in New York Prisons

The confluence of rising commissary prices, stagnant wages, and a package ban are making basic items inaccessible.

Freddy Medina   ·   April 11, 2023
Hochul Nominates Liberal Rowan Wilson for Chief Judge

As the governor negotiates the state budget with a legislature that rejected her last chief judge pick, she has selected a sitting liberal to lead the Court of Appeals.

Sam Mellins   ·   April 10, 2023
A Law Hasn’t Fixed Solitary Confinement in New York. Can a Lawsuit?

A new legal challenge takes aim at the New York prison department for locking hundreds of people up in solitary over offenses that should be exempt.

Chris Gelardi   ·   April 7, 2023
New York City Pensions to Divest Future Private Equity Holdings From Fossil Fuels

Comptroller Brad Lander is scrutinizing the climate impacts of private equity investments — an area his counterpart in Albany has yet to address.

Lilah Burke   ·   April 6, 2023
Judge Who Censored The New York Times on Behalf of Project Veritas Seeks New Term as a Democrat

As Westchester Democrats weigh whether to endorse the former Republican, the party chair calls his critics a “lynch mob.”

Sam Mellins   ·   April 5, 2023
Hochul Throws Climate ‘Grenade’ Into Budget Talks

Last-minute legislation would transform New York’s climate law, allowing significantly higher emissions over the next decade.

Colin Kinniburgh   ·   April 4, 2023
Hochul Has a New Bail Proposal. It’s a Lot Like Her Old One.

With budget talks at a stalemate, Hochul offered the legislature new draft language on bail. It would accomplish largely the same result as her previous plan: a dramatic expansion in judges’ ability to set bail.

Chris Gelardi   ·   March 31, 2023
Hochul Quietly Bets on Police to Battle Fentanyl

The governor buried policies in her budget proposal that would give police and prosecutors more leverage over people with opioid addictions.

Spencer Norris   ·   March 30, 2023
Whatever Happened to New York’s School Facial Recognition Ban?

In 2020, New York became the first state to ban biometric technology from schools. But administrators are still seeking “face analytics” tools and other gray-area tech — with scant guidance from the state.

Rebecca Heilweil   ·   March 28, 2023
Inside the Fossil Fuel Industry’s ‘Existential’ Battle Against New York’s Climate Plan

Deceptive Facebook ads, hundreds of thousands of mailers to customers, six-figure lobbying campaigns — here’s how fossil fuel companies are fighting to keep electrification at bay.

Colin Kinniburgh   ·   March 27, 2023
New Chief Judge Shortlist Features Previously Excluded Liberal Judges

Hochul has a month to nominate one of the seven candidates to be New York’s next chief judge, after the state Senate rejected her first pick last month.

Sam Mellins   ·   March 24, 2023
Albany to Suburbs: We’ll Pay You to Build Housing. Suburbs to Albany: No Thanks

Mayors said they aren’t interested in state grants to expand housing. “You can’t dig a hole in the ground for that kind of money,” one told New York Focus.

Sam Mellins   ·   March 23, 2023
Lawmakers Aren’t Sure Their Own Plan to Build More Housing Will Work

The legislature signed on to Hochul’s goal of 800,000 new homes. But they aren’t confident their plan can get there.

Sam Mellins   ·   March 20, 2023
Here’s Your Guide to the 2023 State Budget Fight

We added up the governor and the legislature’s joint priorities and broke down their major divisions. The splits will define the year’s big legislative battles.

New York Focus   ·   March 16, 2023
The New Belmont Park Could Become the Country’s Deadliest Track for Horses

Dozens of horses die at the Long Island track each year. Governor Hochul — and now the state legislature — want to give it a state-funded renovation.

Sam Mellins   ·   March 14, 2023
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