"A spate of recent allegations and arrests involving downstate elected officials have given every New Yorker pause and reason to question the integrity of their elected representative government in Albany. Elected officials are empowered by the people and entrusted to honestly advocate on their behalf. This is a central compact that allows democratic government to function and flourish."
The NYS Department of Financial Services (DFS) is setting new rules to speed the processing of insurance claims in areas affected by Storm Sandy. The new regulation reduces the amount of time an insurer can delay its decision on a claim, and requires insurers to report to the Department on how many claims it is delaying and the reasons for the delays.
Governor Andrew M. Cuomo unveiled the proposed 2013-14Executive Budget and Management Plan that builds on two years of balanced, fiscally responsible budgeting and invests in economic development, education reform, rebuilding after Superstorm Sandy, provides support to local governments and school districts, and includes no new taxes or fees.
Highlights of the Executive Budget:
· Eliminates $1.3 billion budget gap with no new taxes or fees. The expected gap for 2013-14 was projected to be $17.4 billion prior to the last two responsible budgets.
· Holds spending increases below 2 percent for third consecutive year.
Due to the redistribution of voting polls, Assemblymember Aravella Simotas and state Senator Michael Gianaris, are raising their concerns over the efficiency of this initiative.
Continuing their work to promote voters’ rights as this fall’s elections approach, Assemblymember Aravella Simotas and state Senator Michael Gianaris are calling on the New York City Board of Elections to review the redistribution of polling sites, which have changed as a result of redistricting this year. Many residents, some of whom have been voting at the same location for decades, will now have to travel significant distances to unfamiliar polling sites in order to vote.
New York State Attorney General Eric T. Schneiderman today announced an Election Day Hotline to help ensure that minority-language voters, people with disabilities and others are able to cast an effective ballot during the November 6th general election. The Attorney General urged voters to call the Office’s Hotline at 800-771-7755 or email email@example.com at any time between 6 a.m. and 9 p.m. to report problems at the polls.
As GOP Convenes in Tampa, Squadron Petition Urges State Legislators and Candidates to Take Pledge to Disclose Involvement of ALEC
Squadron: Undisclosed Lobbying By Any Other Name Still Stinks
NEW YORK – As Republican state legislators descend on Tampa for the Republican National Convention, State Senator Daniel Squadron is urging legislators to pledge to disclose whether the American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC) helps shape the bills they introduce.
ALEC's activities seem to qualify as lobbying, but it is not registered as a lobby in New York and many other states, and doesn't file the required disclosures. Squadron’s petition urges state legislators and candidates for state legislature around the country to pledge to do the disclosing for ALEC and make clear whether the group is involved with the drafting of their bills.
An article by the Queens Gazette talks about the introduction of the Voter Empowerment Act, which aims to optimize the voter registration process in New York.
State Senator Michael Gianaris, Assemblymember Brian Kavanagh and the Brennan Center for Justice at NYU School of Law joined with good government and advocacy groups on June 7 to announce the introduction of the Voter Empowerment Act of New York, a nonpartisan initiative to increase voter participation as the 2012 election season commences. This legislation would amend the election law to update, streamline and make more efficient the voter registration process in New York.
The Queens Chronicle wrote an article about the Voter Empowerment Act of New York bill, which Senator Gianaris introduced along with Assemblyman Brian Kavanagh and the Brennan Center for Justice. Senator Gianaris believes this proposal could save the state and its counties hundreds of thousands of dollars per election.
State Sen. Mike Gianaris (D-Astoria), Assemblyman Brian Kavanagh (D-Manhattan) and the Brennan Center for Justice at NYU School of Law introduced the Voter Empowerment Act of New York bill on June 7.
The New York Daily News talks about the lawsuit challenging the Senate Republicans' proposal to add a 63rd state Senate seat and describes how the addition of a seat is flagrantly biased. Although a Manhattan Supreme Court Justice called the Senate Republicans' proposal "disturbing," he declared there was not enough evidence to prove that the scheme was illegal. Senator Gianaris says that State Democrats maintain the proposal is unconstitutional, which is why they have appealed the judges ruling.
Congratulations to Manhattan Supreme Court Justice Richard Braun for boiling everything that’s wrong with New York’s poisonous politics down to the essence.
The New York Daily News discusses flawed reporting by the U.S. Census Bureau, which came to light after recent population statistics for Queens showed a much larger population increase than the numbers reported by the Census.
Recent Queens population statistics show the borough is growing despite a lackluster showing in the 2010 Census.
Officials say the new numbers boost their claim the Census count was flawed.
From April 2010 to July 2011, the population of Queens grew by 17,126, according to data released last week but the U.S. Census Bureau.
The new figures place the population of Queens at 2,247,848.
Budget Comes Early, Controls Spending and Holds The Line On Taxes
Senator Patrick M. Gallivan hailed the 2012 state budget today as lawmakers approved the spending plan ahead of the April 1st deadline, marking the second consecutive year New York State will enact an on-time budget.
“Passing a second on-time budget in as many years is indicative of the larger progress we’ve seen lately in Albany. Just as late budgets were once a symbol of dysfunction, on-time budgets are symbolic of continued progress,” the Senator said. “Even more important than passing an on-time budget, is that we passed a fiscally responsible budget that respects New York’s taxpayers and keeps the State moving forward.”
The Queens Campaigner reports on the lawsuit filed by citizens and state Senator Martin Dilan, which disputes the addition of a 63rd state Senate seat. Senator Gianaris is optimisitc that the lawsuit will succeed and that we will have one more chance at fair and transparent district lines.
Queens politicians expect a lawsuit challenging the creation of a 63rd state Senate seat to be decided next month, and state Sen. Toby Stavisky (D-Whitestone) will then decide in which district she will run.
The suit was filed in January by a group of citizens and state Sen. Martin Dilan (D-Brooklyn), and if State Supreme Court Judge Richard Braun rules next month that creating an extra seat violates the state Constitution, then the lines might have to be redrawn.
Governor Cuomo released the following announcement on March 27, 2012:
The Budget continues the Governor’s commitment to fiscal responsibility while creating jobs and strengthening communities across the state. It closes a multi-billion dollar deficit with no new taxes, fees or gimmicks, limits spending growth to two percent or below for the second year in a row, and launches the New York Works Task Force to invest billions of dollars to rebuild the state's roads, bridges, parks, and other infrastructure and create tens of thousands of jobs.