Issues: Legislature

New districts cannot divide immigrant neighborhoods in Queens, advocates say

The Daily News wrote about how redistricting could affect various immigrant groups in Queens.

State officials must draw new district lines that give growing Queens immigrant groups a stronger voice, advocates demanded this week during a nearly six-hour public hearing.

A joint Senate-Assembly body that oversees redistricting has held public sessions throughout New York since July - and the meeting Wednesday in Queens drew one of the largest crowds in the state.

September 9, 2011
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State Sen. Gianaris criticizes NY's redistricting system

Queens Times Ledger wrote about Senator Gianaris' fight for an independent redistricting process:

The state agency responsible for redrawing legislative district boundaries was set to hold a forum this week to solicit input from the public.

The boundaries for districts of the state Legislature and Congress will be redrawn in 2012 in response to the 2010 U.S. Census. The boundaries of the City Council will be redrawn in 2013.

Since the populations in each district have either risen or fallen, the boundaries need to be adjusted so each legislator represents a similar number of people.

September 8, 2011
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Queens Residents Fear Divided Neighborhoods Through Gerrymandering

NY1 reported on the redistricting public hearing that took place in Queens.

Every 10 years, a task force draws new district lines for state politicians based on census results, and at a Wednesday hearing today in Kew Gardens, Queens, critics alleged that lawmakers do it first and foremost with keeping their seat in mind.

Watch the video here.

September 8, 2011
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September 7, 2011
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NY Senate Web Presence Analytics August 2011

Monthly analytics for the New York State Senate’s web presence.

File: 
august11analytics.xls

September 7, 2011
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Prison count numbers show big shifts in upstate districts

Politics on the Hudson wrote about the data found by the Assembly study on how to count New York State prisoners. Senator Gianaris believes that the use of these numbers to redraw district lines would allow New Yorkers to be represented fairly.

With a court battle still pending, Assembly Democrats have released updated population figures for use during the redistricting process, counting prisoners at their last-known address rather than where they are incarcerated.

September 6, 2011
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Prisoner-adjusted Senate/Assembly districts (UPDATED)

Capitol Confidential wrote about the Assemly's study on counting prisoners. This data will help clear the air around the redistricting process.

I have an article in today’s paper about Assembly Democrats releasing new population figures for state legislative districts, showing which ones increased and decreased when inmates (per a 2010 law) are counted at their last known address — not in their jail cells.

As we all expected, the biggest losers are rural, upstate Republicans. Only one Senate Democrat — Suzi Oppenheimer of Westchester County — had a significant population loss as a result of the recounting. As Ken Lovett noted today, districts in New York City pick up the gains.

September 6, 2011
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Law counting prisoners towards population in home community could redraw districts in Dems favor

LATFOR should use the results of the Assembly's study as they continue the redistricting process. The Daily News wrote about the study on how to count prisoners for purposes of redistricting.

ALBANY - Prisoners in New York can't vote, but they may decide which party controls the state Senate next year.

A new law now requiring prisoners to be counted toward the population of their home community - rather than where they are serving time - could dramatically alter the political landscape of more than a dozen upstate districts.

That's because state officials will redraw legislative and congressional districts based on 2010 Census Bureau population figures in time for the 2012 elections.

September 6, 2011
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Big line shift likely

Prison-based gerrymandering is illegal and must not be used when redrawing district lines. The Times-Union wrote about a study conducted by the State Assembly which counts prisoners at there home address for purposes of redistricting.

ALBANY -- Several Senate districts in upstate New York would lose more than 5,000 constituents, according to newly analyzed data that may guide district lines.

The datasets, released Monday by Assembly Democrats, change Census figures normally used to draw districts for the Senate, Assembly and Congress so as to count prison inmates at their last known address -- not in their cells.

September 6, 2011
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Public Hearing Schedule: September 2011

This is the latest New York State Public Hearing Schedule for September 29, 2011. You can read the document in the embed below or download the file at the bottom of the page.

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Sept. 2 PHC

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Sept. 6 PHC

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Sept. 6 (2nd) PHC update

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Sept. 8 PHC

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Sept. 13th PHC

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Sept. 15th PHC

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Sept. 23rd PHC

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Sept. 29th PHC

September 2, 2011
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Dems Hopeful Court Ruling Will Favor Them During Redistricting

Senator Gianaris was on YNN’s Capital Tonight with Liz Benjamin to discuss Nassau County’s redistricted lines, which were recently overturned by the Court of Appeals.

September 2, 2011
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Payroll Report - End Date 8/31/2011

Period: 
08/18/2011 - 08/31/2011
Check Date: 
09/14/2011

Bi-Weekly report of monies disbursed to Senate employees. The report is issued by the Secretary of the Senate and is available as both a .csv file and it's original PDF format for download at the bottom of the page.

The Report includes fields for the employee name, the employing office, city of employment, the employee title, the employee biweekly or hourly rate (whichever applies), the employee payroll type (see below), the pay period, the pay period's beginning and end date, the check date and the employing legislative entity.

Payroll Types:

Attachment: 
Attachment: 
August 31, 2011
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GOP gets slammed in LI redistricting

Capitol Confidential wrote about Nassau's overruled district lines, which exemplifies New York's need for a bipartisan redistricting process.

Senate Democrats are already hailing this as a precursor for the broader statewide redistricting battle. That remains to be seen, but today’s Court of Appeals ruling against the Republican-dominated plan for redistricting the Nassau County legislature is a defeat for the GOP.

Dems also note that this is quite a defeat for the GOP’s election lawyer, John Ciampoli.

More than a half million Nassau Co. residents would have been in new districts, they noted.

Senate Democratic spokesman Mike Murphy issued the following statement. Below that is the opinion.

August 30, 2011
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Court Of Appeals Rejects Nassau County Lines

State of Politics wrote about a Court of Appeals rejection of Nassau county district lines. Legislative district lines must not be drawn in a manipulated, partisan manner.

A Court of Appeals decision for Nassau County could have statewide implications for the redrawing of legislatively boundaries next year.

Or, at least that’s what Senate Democrats hope.

The Court of Appeals ruled 7-2 7-0, with two judges dissenting in part (whoops!), this morning rejected boundaries drawn by the Nassau County Legislature, which the judges claim ignored a three-step process as laid out in a county charter.

August 30, 2011
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Queens Gazette: GIANARIS PRAISES NEW ETHICS LAW

Queens Gazaette wrote about Senator Gianaris' support for the new ethics legislation that Governor Cuomo signed into law.

Governor Andrew Cuomo signed into law last week the new Public Integrity Act of 2011, drawing heavy praise from state Senator Michael Gianaris (D–Astoria), who was strongly in favor of the new ethics reform statute as it made its way toward passage in the senate during the regular senate session earlier this year.

The law increases transparency, Gianaris noted, establishes more stringent disclosure requirements, and creates a new independent ethics panel to oversee elected officials.

August 24, 2011
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Payroll Report - End Date 8/17/2011

Period: 
08/04/2011 - 08/17/2011
Check Date: 
08/31/2011

Bi-Weekly report of monies disbursed to Senate employees. The report is issued by the Secretary of the Senate and is available as both a .csv file and it's original PDF format for download at the bottom of the page.

The Report includes fields for the employee name, the employing office, city of employment, the employee title, the employee biweekly or hourly rate (whichever applies), the employee payroll type (see below), the pay period, the pay period's beginning and end date, the check date and the employing legislative entity.

Payroll Types:

Attachment: 
Attachment: 
August 17, 2011
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Senator Gianaris Heralds New Ethics Law

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.

August 16, 2011
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Senator Gianaris on Capital Tonight to discuss LATFOR meetings

Senator Gianaris was on YNN's Capital Tonight with Liz Benjamin to discuss redistricitng in light of the ongoing LATFOR meetings.

August 15, 2011
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Good-Government Group Measures Lawmakers' 2011 Productivity

Good-Government Group Measures Lawmakers' 2011 Productivity

By Dan Wiessner

A recent report looked at how many bills each state lawmaker passed, compared to how many were introduced. Lower Hudson Valley legislators were mostly in the middle of the pack.

   

Measuring the effectiveness of individual lawmakers can be tricky, not least because many of them do much of their work behind the scenes. Some choose to spread their energy across a number of initiatives while others have laser-like focus on a handful of specific areas.

One way to begin is to look at the number of bills they successfully pushed through each house of the legislature, and how many wound up being signed into law by the governor. The New York Public Interest Research Group (NYPIRG) did just that earlier this summer, releasing a detailed breakdown of the number of bills introduced and passed by all 212 lawmakers.

"Legislative 'productivity' is more complicated than simple numbers. It’s up to New Yorkers to assess their legislators’ effectiveness and impact," NYPIRG's Bill Mahoney said in the report.

The dozen lawmakers who represent the lower Hudson Valley generally settled in the middle of the pack this year. The most 'effective' legislators were mainly veteran Senate Republicans, two of whom pushed at least 30 bills through both houses.

Meanwhile, local Sen. Suzi Oppenheimer (D-Port Chester) was the most successful Senate Democrat with 13 bills passing her chamber. Those include measures that will allow the town and village of Ossining to consolidate their courts and allow local boards of health to levy steeper penalties to businesses that violate sanitary codes.

August 10, 2011
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NY Senate Web Presence Analytics July 2011

Monthly analytics for the New York State Senate’s web presence.

File: 
july2011analytics.xls

August 8, 2011
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