Issues: Agencies

Grading the Redistricting Amendment

Politicker wrote an editorial about Professor Gerry Benjamin, expert on the mechanisms of government, and the C- grade he gave to the new Redistricting Amendment.

Professor Gerry Benjamin, an expert on the mechanisms of government at State University of New York at New Paltz, was asked by Citizens’ Committee for an Effective Constitution to take a look at Governor Andrew Cuomo and the Legislature’s much-touted redistricting amendment and grade it point-by-point against what a truly independent amendment would look like.

 

Unsurprisingly, he found it wanting. He gave the amendment a ‘C-’ overall on an ‘A’ through ‘F’ scale.

 

March 19, 2012
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Gianaris Shove It

This video captures Senator Gianaris' closing remarks during Senate session, in which the agreed-upon redistricting maps were under dispute. 

Watch the video here

March 19, 2012
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'Shove it': Senate Dems grapple with a redistricting plan they can't do anything about

An editorial posted by Capital discusses the debate between Senate Republicans and Senate Democrates over the agreed-upon redistricting lines, which Senate Democrats have strongly criticized.

Governor Andrew Cuomo signed a redistricting deal that his fellow Democrats in the minority of the State Senate have been criticizing as "unfair," "unconstitutional" and the "worst" in the state's history.

 

But what led them to walk out of the Senate chambers last night, ostensibly, was a Republican move to change the agreed-upon time allowed to debate the bill from four hours to two.

 

Until the walkout, the debate had been substantive, if escalatingly hostile.

 

March 19, 2012
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Senator Gianaris Explains Vote Against S.2601

This video shows Senator Gianaris voting against a bill that does not allow residents from power plant-heavy areas, such as western Queens, to become trustees of the New York Power Authorities Board of Trustees.

Watch the video here.

March 19, 2012
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Senator Montgomery Speaks Out Against Privatizing Public Education

During a budget debate on the Senate floor, Senator Montgomery protests the Senate Republican's one-house budget proposal that would allow for-profit businesses and corporations to establish charter schools. The Senator said that "New York's public education system is not for sale."

March 14, 2012
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SENATE PASSES 2012-13 BUDGET RESOLUTION

Gallivan: “Senate Plan Cuts Taxes, Reforms Medicaid, Protects Seniors and Schools.”

The New York State Senate voted to approve its 2012-13 Senate Budget resolution, continuing its focus on state spending, job creation, and structural reform to government.

The Senate budget, at just under $132.5 billion, keeps the total state spending increase below two percent, and spends less than the Executive Budget. The budget closes a $2 billion budget deficit and builds on last year’s successes in putting the state’s fiscal house in order.

March 13, 2012
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Statement from Senator Valesky Regarding Syracuse Common Council Passage of Land Bank Legislation

I applaud the Common Council for moving legislation forward to create a city/county land bank. As the author of the state law, I am extremely encouraged that Onondaga County and the city of Syracuse will have the opportunity to be one of the first land banks in the state. Vacant and abandoned housing has been a problem in our communities for too long, and the application of this new strategy is a promising solution.

 

March 12, 2012
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Dear Governor Cuomo: We write today to ask you to include the New York State DREAM Act in your Executive Budget.

March 6, 2012 The Honorable Andrew M. CuomoGovernor of the State of New YorkExecutive ChamberNew York State Capitol BuildingAlbany, NY  12224            Re:       The New York State DREAM Act Dear Governor Cuomo:                      We write today to ask you to include the New York State DREAM Act in your Executive Budget.

File: 
Put NYS Dream Act in FY2012-13 Budget(FINAL)docx.pdf

March 12, 2012
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Gallivan Sees Opportunity To Build Off Last Year’s Successful Budget With More Reform in 2012

Senate Republican Budget Plan Will Include Expansive “New Jobs-NY” Plan

Senator Patrick M. Gallivan (R,C,I – 59th District) joined fellow Republican members of the Senate today to announce details of the 2012 NEW JOBS-NY Job Creation Plan. The plan puts forth policies critical to revitalizing Western New York, including; tax relief to encourage the creation of new jobs, measures to ensure fiscal responsibility and control state spending, as well as other reforms and incentives to make New York more economically competitive. The plan is part of the Senate budget resolution to be acted on next week.

March 7, 2012
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Details emerge on possible redistricting amendment

An editorial by The Empire talks about the discussed ammendment to the constitution that would bring about change to the redistricting process. Michael Gianaris and other critics, however, point out that the proposed ammendment would still allow legislatures to have final say, which defeats the purpose of redistricting reform.

The Times-Union’s Casey Seiler has a piece up today about the emerging details of a possible deal between Governor Andrew Cuomo and the state legislature for a constitutional amendment to change the state’s redistricting process.

 

March 2, 2012
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Senator DeFrancisco Discusses the Cost of Higher Education on Your Voice in Albany

During the Legislative Public Budget Hearing on Higher Education, I questioned SUNY Chancellor Nancy Zimpher about the staggering cost of remedial education, and I triggered discussion on finding a possible solution to the problem.  You can watch a clip from this exchange during the Albany-based television program, Your Voice.

Also on this week's Your Voice, I address the Film Tax Credit, which could benefit Central New York.  Thank you for sharing your voice with me on the issues that matter most to you.

February 27, 2012
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New school to go up in Woodside, to open in 2015

Sunnyside Post wrote about the announcement for construction of a new public school in Woodside. The construction of the school intends to address issues of school overcrowding, which Senator Gianaris says is a chronic problem.

The city is building a 400 seat elementary school in Woodside, officials from the School Construction Authority and the Department of Education announced today.

The school, which will be located on 39th Ave (between 57th and 58th street), is schedule to open in the fall of 2015. Its construction comes at a time when PS11 in Woodside, located at 54-25 Skillman Ave., is at 120% capacity.

February 22, 2012
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Down to the Wire on Redistricting

An editorial by the The New York Times reports that judges are expected to decide this week on whether or not a special master will be appointed to fix the redistricting debacle. Senator Gianaris believes that court intervention is the best hope for having fairer district lines drawn.

It is crunch time for New York lawmakers, who are required to draw new maps for Congressional and legislative districts in time for the 2012 elections. The Congressional primaries are supposed to take place June 26, and as usual, the mapmakers are extremely late. It’s possible that they will release the Congressional maps, which have been drawn up in secret, this week since the Legislature is hoping to approve the new district lines by March 1.

February 22, 2012
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Judges must fix redistricting mess

The Queens Chronicle wrote an article that further delves into the problems of the Senate Republicans' redistricting proposal and how federal judges may need to step in.

Gov. Cuomo is reforming the state government in leaps and bounds, but many members of the Legislature haven’t gotten the memo yet. So the redrawing of lawmakers’ districts for the Assembly, Senate and U.S. Congress following the Census has been typical of the Albany of years past: behind schedule, nonsensical in many respects and, of course, utterly politicized.

February 22, 2012
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Griffo and Brindisi in Talks with Governor's Office Over Regional Concerns

Griffo and Brindisi Advance Talks With Administration Over Pressing Regional Development Concerns

February 16, 2012
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Redistricting Plan Gets Scornful Reception

The Queens Gazette reported on a redistricting hearing in Queens, where elected officials and community leaders were given the opportunity to voice their disapproval of the Senate Republicans' redistricting proposal. Senator Gianaris spoke at the hearing and gave several examples of how the new district lines are being used to break apart minority communities in order to control district representation.

February 15, 2012
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The geography 
of a sham

The Times Union wrote an editorial that talks about redistricting and how it has recently become even clearer that the Senate Republicans are attempting to exploit the redistricting process as a means to promote their partisan agenda.

Our opinion: Yet again, we’re shown how blatantly partisan the redistricting process is. It’s not to late for the Legislature to do the right thing, but if it doesn’t, we’ll look to Governor Cuomo to stand firm.

 

Yes, we are writing again about redistricting, a topic that New York lawmakers are undoubtedly counting on people to get so tired of that we’ll all just shut up and let them rig elections for the next 10 years.

 

February 15, 2012
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A reform Democrat welcomes the court-mandated outcome for redistricting, redraws a line for Cuomo

An editorial by Capital discusses Senator Gianaris' acceptance of court involvement in the redistricting process, stating that it would ensure New Yorkers get fair district lines drawn.

A Democratic state senator who has campaign for redistricting reforms and bitterly criticized the new congressional and legislative district lines produced by the legislature said he's glad a federal judge yesterday called for a court intervention.

 

"After Senate Republican broken promises and months of delay we have reached a point where the courts must take action," Senator Michael Gianaris said in a statement. "We agree with the Judge's request. The only way New Yorkers will have fair representation is if the courts not politicians draw the district lines."

February 14, 2012
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Albany Redistricting Needs Court Master, Judge Rules

An editorial written by the New York Times discusses the possibility of courts intervening in the redistricting process, as a result of the Senate Republicans' inability to draw lines that are fair.

A federal judge, citing lawmakers’ “current state of inaction” in redrawing New York’s political map, recommended on Monday that the state’s redistricting process be turned over to a court-appointed special master.

 

Noting that Congressional primaries are scheduled for June, the judge, Dora L. Irizarry of Federal District Court in Brooklyn, said it was time for the federal courts to take charge of ensuring that New York has an election process that complies with state and federal law.

 

February 14, 2012
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Republican Restricting Plan Angers Queens Neighborhoods

Greek News posted an article about the Senate Republicans' redistricting proposal and the harsh criticism it has received from minority groups for being partisan and for ignoring the needs of minority communities.

This time the Republicans have really done it! Their redistricting plan for redistricting has angered all ethnic groups living in New York City and suburbs and received tons of criticism as partisan and racist. On Tuesday more than 100 people gathered in a disproportionately small room at the Queens Borough Hall, for a town hall meeting to discuss LATFOR’s (Legislative Task Force on Demographic Research and Reapportionment) proposed redistricting lines.

 

February 14, 2012
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