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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 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
Mayor Eric Adams standing with his back to the camera, facing a poster reading "Rikers Island NYCD".
Rikers Programs Suffer After Cuts, Despite Mayor’s Promises

The Adams administration said the city would replace discontinued Rikers courses. “I can say for certain that that’s not true,” one worker told New York Focus.

Sam Mellins   ·   September 28, 2023
Keith Wright at a parade
Manhattan Democratic Party Boss Has a Target on His Back — Again

A group of Manhattan Democrats wants to force County Leader Keith Wright to choose between working for the party and working for a lobbying firm.

Chris Gelardi   ·   September 21, 2023
The Secret Memos New York Courts Refuse to Give Up

New York Focus revealed routine secret instructions used to guide judges’ decisions. Civil rights lawyers are suing to make them public.

Sam Mellins   ·   September 5, 2023
Corner view of Fusion Recovery building shot from the parking lot.
As Overdose Deaths Climb in Albany County, Towns Rail Against Opioid Treatment Clinics

The addiction epidemic is getting worse in the Capital Region. Through local zoning laws, residents fight to keep the state’s solutions out of their backyards.

Spencer Norris   ·   August 21, 2023
A Hands-Off Labor Department Retreats From Wage Theft Enforcement

Under Roberta Reardon, the agency has recovered less and less of workers’ stolen wages. Meanwhile, staff resign, and replacements lag.

Maxwell Parrott   ·   August 16, 2023
Inside the Chaos Brewing in the Manhattan Democratic Party

A raucous emergency meeting featured escalating alarm, bewilderment, a hot mic, dueling accusations of conflicts of interest, and a dramatic vote with two surprise twists.

Chris Gelardi and Arabella Saunders   ·   August 10, 2023
A picture of Emily Gallagher in floor debate
Human Rights Watchdog Investigates Landlords, Teachers, and Dentists — But Not Cops or Prison Guards

The state Division of Human Rights considers prisons, jails, and police departments exempt from human rights law.

Nathan Porceng   ·   August 10, 2023
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