Queens, NY, August 16, 2011 – NYS Senator Joseph P. Addabbo, Jr. (D-Queens), reports to his constituents that while the legislative session that ended in June was very successful, there is still work left to be done should the Senate get called back to Albany into session this fall.
Queens, NY – Senator Michael Gianaris applauded the passage of a new ethics reform law, the Public Integrity Act of 2011, which was signed into law by Governor Cuomo. Senator Gianaris voted in favor of the bill when it was brought to a vote in the Senate during this legislative session. The law increases transparency, establishes more stringent disclosure requirements, and creates a new, independent ethics panel to oversee elected officials.
I have long advocated for an ethics law that provides greater transparency, better enforcement and serious penalties for violators. I commend Governor Cuomo for his leadership in signing this legislation; it is a great step forward in changing the dysfunctional culture that has pervaded Albany.
After strong support from Senator Velmaentte Montgomery (D-Brooklyn) to pass legislation earlier this year, the Public Integrity Act of 2011 has been signed into law by Governor Andrew M. Cuomo. The ethics reforms will help bring integrity, accountability, transparency and public confidence back to State government.
Syracuse Post-Standard wrote about the joint-interview/debate Senator Gianaris and Senator DeFrancisco will participate in this afternoon on The Jim Reith Show.
Syracuse -- Two New York Senators are scheduled to talk about legislative redistricting Wednesday on The Jim Reith Show on WSYR radio.
Sen. John DeFrancisco, R-Syracuse, has been critical of Gov. Andrew Cuomo's proposal to create an independent commission to redraw state and congressional political boundaries, questioning whether such a commission could be independent of political influences.
Senator Gianaris has challenged Senator DeFrancisco to a debate on redistricting to take place live on WSYR's The Jim Reith Show. Senator Gianaris is hoping for an open, honest debate on the issue. Capitol Confidential wrote about the challenge:
This should be lively: it looks like Democratic Sen. Mike Gianaris of Queens and Syracuse Republican John DeFrancisco will debate redistricting with Syracuse talk show host Jim Reith on Newsradio 570 in the near future.
Here is the interchange of letters today, triggered by Gianaris’s interview last night on Reith’s radio show, which prompted DeFrancisco to call in.
Rochester Democrat & Chronicle editorialized the importance of creating an independent redistricting commisssion so that district lines will be redrawn in a nonpartisan fashion.
For what it's worth, the New York Legislature's traveling committee on redistricting was in Rochester this week to gather public input on redrawing boundary lines for state legislative and congressional districts.
Though the four-member panel is bipartisan, includes two citizens, and is said to be committed to transparency, it was hard to take seriously. Its members, after all, were doing work that should be done by a panel independent of the legislative process.
There is a cloud over the entire redistricting process. Albany Times Union wrote about LATFOR's continued use of prison-based gerrymandering, despite a 2010 law making it illegal.
ALBANY -- Good-government and civil rights groups charge New York's commission on legislative redistricting will break a 2010 law if it counts inmates where they are jailed.
The legislative commission, known as LATFOR, held its first meeting last week in Albany and announced it will for now ignore a 2010 law -- passed when Democrats controlled the Senate, Assembly and Executive Mansion -- that requires inmates be counted at their last known address.
The lifetime achievements of Brooklyn native Dorothy Burnham were recognized and lauded by NYS Senator Velmanette Montgomery (D-Brooklyn) during the reading of a Senate resolution, which was unanimously passed by the full Senate during the final days of the 2011 Legislative Session. The resolution paid tribute to Dorothy Burnham’s many notable contributions to our public education system, the advancement of civil rights, and to the promotion of racial and economic equality. Ms. Burnham was also honored for her designation as recipient of the Lifetime Achievement Award by the New York Friends of the People's World. “Dorothy Burnham is a Renaissance Woman,” said Senator Montgomery.
Queens Chronicle wrote about how census offices in several other states will be closed, making New York's office responsible for collecting and organizing even more data.
How many infants live in Puerto Rico? Workers at the New York regional office of the U.S. Census Bureau will soon be responsible for keeping tabs on the island and many more states, according to the bureau.
Politics on the Hudson wrote about the need for the Legislature to return to session to approve independent redistricting, in light of the first public meeting of the Legislative Task Force on Demographic Research and Reapportionment (LATFOR).
Remember independent redistricting?
After Gov. Andrew Cuomo scored legislative victories last month, there’s one glaring piece of unfinished piece: establishing an independent panel to draw district lines in 2012. Cuomo wants it done, but Senate Republicans balked and they left town without considering it.
But the issue will take center stage today when the Legislative Task Force on Demographic Research and Reapportionment (LATFOR) holds its first public meeting this morning in Albany.