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Three men in suits, including former acting prison commissioner Anthony Annucci and acting prison commissioner Daniel Martuscello III, stand at a memorial ceremony in Albany.
Hochul Quietly Nominates a Permanent Prison Chief

The Senate will consider Daniel Martuscello III’s bid to run New York’s prison and parole agency. His supporters point to his decades of experience. His opponents say that’s the problem.

Chris Gelardi   ·   May 22, 2024
Joe Biden talking with reporters in 1994
After Weinstein Decision, Democrats Push Sexual Assault Measure Biden and Schumer Once Fought

After New York’s top court overturned Harvey Weinstein’s conviction, state lawmakers want to let prosecutors bring evidence from past uncharged sexual assaults.

Julia Rock   ·   May 18, 2024
Sarahana Shrestha holding a sign that says "Public Power Now"
Public Power Push Spreads to the Hudson Valley

State lawmakers are set to introduce a sweeping proposal for a public takeover of Central Hudson, the region’s scandal-plagued gas and electric utility.

Colin Kinniburgh   ·   May 16, 2024
An illustration of a McDonalds sign above the New York State Capitol
McDonald’s Franchise Owners Fight Wage Theft Crackdown

New Yorkers for Local Businesses has spent half a million dollars trying to kill a bill to help workers recover stolen wages. Almost all its backers appear to own McDonald’s franchises.

Julia Rock   ·   May 9, 2024
The New York State Department of Labor office in Brooklyn, New York.
New York’s Labor Department Wants Your Unemployment Benefits Back

In New York, unemployment recipients can be found guilty of fraud even if they thought their information was true. The state demands repayment at the highest rate in the country.

Maxwell Parrott   ·   May 9, 2024
New York Assembly Speaker Carl Heastie speaking at a press conference in 2021
Assembly Speaker Carl Heastie Has Been Dating a Legislative Lobbyist

While Heastie privately pledged to avoid meetings with relevant interests, lobbyist Rebecca Lamorte has sought to keep representing them before the Assembly, according to her employer’s attorney.

Chris Bragg   ·   March 14, 2024
A New York City subway on the left, and highway traffic on the right.
Flush With Biden’s Infrastructure Cash, New York Is Choosing Highways Over Public Transit

The Bipartisan Infrastructure Law directed billions toward public transit in New York, but the state is choosing to spend billions more on highways.

Sam Mellins   ·   February 5, 2024
A group of people before the judges of the Court of Appeals
It’s Hard to Get a Criminal Case Heard in New York’s Top Court. The New Chief Judge May Change That.

Some Court of Appeals judges are far more likely to grant requests to hear appeals than others, a New York Focus analysis found.

Sam Mellins   ·   January 25, 2024
A collage of book covers, including Richard Wright's Native Son
What You Can’t Read Behind Bars in New York

As book banning sparks outrage in schools and libraries, the censorship of classics like Native Son persists in New York prisons.

Rebecca McCray   ·   January 24, 2024
Governor Hochul in a hard hat
Hochul Is Ready to Start Weaning New York Off Gas

The governor and the Senate have aligned on large swathes of the NY HEAT Act. The Assembly might be ready to move on it, too.

Colin Kinniburgh   ·   January 22, 2024
The back of an open prison transport van
He Was Sick, So They Sent Him to Prison

New York jails can transfer people with mental illnesses to maximum security prisons, even while they’re legally innocent.

Chris Gelardi   ·   December 21, 2023
Park Slope Neighbors Seek to Block New Apartment Buildings on Industrial Site

A laundry company wants to turn its factory into 13-story apartment buildings, sparking the latest in a series of fierce zoning fights.

Sam Mellins   ·   December 20, 2023
Gray poster-style houses over a sepia landscape.
Industrial Development Agencies Look to Dish Out Housing Tax Breaks

As the governor urges more housing, IDAs are looking to pitch in. Critics say it goes beyond their legal role.

Arabella Saunders and J. Dale Shoemaker   ·   December 20, 2023
A line of unemployment seekers waits in a San Francisco benefits office during the Great Depression in a black-and-white image. Color clipart of a chatbot is overlayed on the left side
Unemployed New Yorkers Can’t Reach Human Agents at the Labor Department

A Rochester man lost his job while his daughter went through cancer treatment. He’s struggled to communicate with the DOL for months.

Maxwell Parrott   ·   December 5, 2023
A Sysco truck against a background of logging
As Hochul Weighs Deforestation Bill, Sysco Steps in to Lobby

While Hochul considers a bill to pressure state contractors to stop deforestation, the massive food supplier is voicing concerns to her administration.

Julia Rock   ·   November 27, 2023
A group of people with signed saying "no rate hikes"
Amid Billing Fiasco, Hudson Valley Utility Pushes for Steep Gas and Electric Rate Hike

Hudson Valley legislators and advocates are urging the state to reject the double-digit hike, arguing it could illegally stick customers with the bill for the company’s own mess.

Julia Rock   ·   November 14, 2023
How Unelected Local Officials Dole Out Wind and Solar Tax Breaks

County and municipal economic development agencies play a key role in New York’s wind and solar buildout — but some say it’s not their job.

Julia Rock   ·   November 7, 2023
Sign reads:
Grow your business here! 
Town of Riverhead Empire Zone 
631-208-0570
www.riverheadzone.com
As School Funding Runs Dry, Riverhead Residents Call to Shut Down Economic Development Org

A growing local faction is demanding that the IDA be dissolved.

Arabella Saunders   ·   October 11, 2023
Combative Bronx Judge Faces Calls for Removal

Acting Supreme Court Justice Ralph Fabrizio has faced formal complaints for berating and threatening lawyers in more than a dozen incidents.

Sam Mellins and George Joseph   ·   October 6, 2023
Mayor Eric Adams with three correction officers
The Rikers Debate Program Is Slowly Collapsing

A seemingly minor change in access to city jails has made it much harder for a lauded debate course to recruit volunteers.

Sam Mellins   ·   September 29, 2023
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