Issues: Voter Protection

Governor Cuomo Outlines 2013-2014 Executive Budget to Maintain Fiscal Responsibility and Continue to Invest in Economic Growth

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.

January 23, 2013
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Simotas, Gianaris Fight For Voters’ Rights

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.

November 14, 2012
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Attorney General Announces Election Day Hotline to Help Ensure Access for Voters Across New York State

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 civil.rights@ag.ny.gov at any time between 6 a.m. and 9 p.m. to report problems at the polls.

November 5, 2012
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SQUADRON CALLS ON POLS TO DISCLOSE WHETHER ALEC WRITES THEIR BILLS

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. 

The petition and related pledge are available here.

August 28, 2012
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Voter Empowerment Act Introduced

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.

 

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June 25, 2012
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Law could simplify voter registration

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.

 

June 25, 2012
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Gianaris to Introduce New York’s Voter Modernization Bill This Week

New America Media did a Question & Answer with Senator Gianaris in advance of his press conference announcing the Voter Empowerment Act of New York.

NAM: What is your national overview of the increasingly heated debate over voter suppression and voting rights at this point in America’s history?

 

June 11, 2012
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Senator Gianaris speaks at press conference announcing the Voter Empowerment Act of New York

Senator Gianaris speaking at yesterday's press conference he held with Assemblymember Kavanagh and the Brennan Center announcing the Voter Empowerment Act of New York.

 

June 7, 2012
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Coalition forms to support Astoria energy plant’s bid to repower

The New York Daily News reports that community leaders and residents are pushing to have an Astoria power plant replace old polluting equipment with newer cleaner technology.

A coalition of community leaders and residents is pushing the state to support an Astoria power plant in its quest to replace its decades-old, dirty generators with newer, cleaner ones.

 

Smart Power NY was created to support NRG’s bid for a power purchasing contract, which will enable the company to fund its $1.5 billion repowering project.

 

NRG plans to submit a proposal to the state by May 30.

 

[...]

 

State Sen. Michael Gianaris (D-Astoria), who has bemoaned the high asthma rates in the area, said this is a “win-win.”

May 9, 2012
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Albany, land of legal scandals

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.

 

April 18, 2012
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New statistics show Queens’ population is growing rapidly

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.

 

April 11, 2012
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Governor Cuomo in Syracuse to Discuss Budget

I was pleased to join Governor Cuomo in discussing budget accomplishments for Central New York. Click the link for more details.

File: 
Gov Cuomo CNY Budget Presentation.pdf

April 5, 2012
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Senator Gallivan Addresses 2012 State Budget In Video Message

Senator Patrick M. Gallivan (R,C,I - 59th District) speaks to the taxpayers and families of Western New York concerning the just enacted 2012 State Budget.

April 4, 2012
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State Passes Fiscally Responsible Budget That Respects Taxpayers

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.”

April 3, 2012
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Judge set to hear suit on extra Senate seat

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.

March 30, 2012
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Astoria dissected by Albany redistricting: Gianaris

An article by Times Ledger discusses the new state Senate and congressional district lines, which have met criticism from lawmakers.

Astoria lawmakers said they were disappointed by the new congressional and state Senate district lines, which splits the neighborhood across two districts.

 

“The maps are horrible,” said Sen. Michael Gianaris (D-Astoria). “They divide communities that should not be divided, including Astoria.”

 

Both of the new maps slice off part of the north section of Astoria above Ditmars Boulevard.

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March 30, 2012
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Governor Cuomo and Legislative Leaders Announce Agreement on 2012-13 State Budget

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.

March 29, 2012
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Gianaris Bill Opposes Police Quotas

The Queens Gazette reports on a new bill proposed by Senator Gianaris, which opposes Police Department quota requirements.

Addressing a very sensitive area of police-public relations, state Senator Michael Gianaris has proposed a bill opposing Police Department quota requirements.

 

“The use of quotas puts undue pressure on our police force and results in too many unwarranted arrests and tickets,” Gianaris explained as he released the legislation.

 

“Raising the penalty for the imposition of quotas would deter the practice and ensure that police activity is conducted for public safety first and foremost,” the Astoria lawmaker added.

 

March 28, 2012
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Taking On Police Tactic, Critics Hit Racial Divide

An article by The New York Times talks about the stop-and-frisk police tactic, which has garnered significant criticism from minority lawmakers and citizens. Senator Gianaris introduced legislation with Assemblymember Camara that would make it illegal for police departments to impose quotas for a certain number of stops officers make.

ALBANY — Black and Latino lawmakers, fed up over the frequency with which New York City police officers are stopping and frisking minority men, are battling what they say is a racial divide as they push legislation to rein in the practice.

 

March 26, 2012
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3/18/12 Ch.7 Up Close with Diana Williams

This is a YouTube video of Senator Gianaris' interview with Assemblymember Jeffries on Up Close with Diana Williams, which aired on Sunday.

Watch the video here.

March 22, 2012
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