• News

    July 17, 2013

    Political Corruption Boils Over in Albany

    Machine pols and reformers alike are ensnared

  • Blogs

    June 3, 2013

    Here's How New York City's New Teacher Evaluation System Works

    There was the drama and the mayoral temper tantrum. There were numerous missed deadlines, negotiation room walk-outs, separate plans, fed-up union members and, in the end, threats of intervention on behalf of Governor Andrew Cuomo and state education chief John King. Now, months later, after sacrifi ... More >>

  • Blogs

    April 19, 2013

    State Lawmakers Propose A Ban On Using Campaign Money For Legal Fees

    Let's say you donate to a campaign. You really like said candidate and believe he or she will do a great job representing you and your interests in government. Eventually, your preferred politician gets elected and you're confident that your donation was well-spent. And then, a year later, he or s ... More >>

  • Blogs

    February 13, 2013

    State Ed Head John King Is Not Waiting Any Longer For A Teacher Evaluations Deal

    But can you really blame him? After the collapse in talks between the Mayor's Department of Education and the UFT last month, Albany went ahead and extended the deadline for yet another month for the City (and other areas - it's just not us!) to come to some sort of agreement on teacher evaluations ... More >>

  • Blogs

    September 9, 2012

    Gov. Cuomo's New Law Allows For More Wage Deductions By Employers

    In standard labor law, the employer can allow deduct from a worker's wage if it's authorized by the employee and has some sort of benefit for him or her. In New York, the same applies but there is an exception: deductions can be "made in accordance with the provisions of any law or any regulation is ... More >>

  • Blogs

    August 15, 2012

    Don't Count Your Cosmos Before They've Hatched: Queens MLS Franchise Still Faces Multiple Obstacles

    Ever since the Post's Albany columnist Fred Dicker reported on Monday -- based solely on two unnamed sources -- that a deal for an MLS stadium in Flushing Meadows-Corona Park is "close to being wrapped up" and that construction "could begin early next year," the story has bounced around the journove ... More >>

  • Blogs

    June 16, 2012

    Cuomo and Legislature Sign Off on Cyber-Bullying Bill

    Bullying, both on- and offline, has been hitting headlines lately. The trial conviction of Dharun Ravi, the Rutgers student who webcam-ed his homosexual roommate Tyler Clementi, has developed into a major story about the horrors of pressured teasing. The documentary Bully dug deep into the ... More >>

  • Blogs

    May 7, 2012

    GENDA: A Quick Update on Transgender Rights Legislation

    As the Empire State Pride Agenda starts to mobilize lobbying efforts in Albany, it has become clear that the group will once again focus on GENDA, the Gender Employment Non-Discrimination Act. This decision, however, has prompted questions about the general direction of the organization, which is ... More >>

  • Blogs

    April 10, 2012

    Mike Bloomberg, Albany Dispute Release of Teacher Ranking Data

    Will teacher rankings be made public? This is a complicated question, and will likely be decided soon by New York pols. But first, a bit of background. Remember that various media outlets published in February 18,000 New York City teacher ratings, after the United Federation of Teachers lost a len ... More >>

  • Blogs

    April 4, 2012

    Is New York's Minimum Wage Too Damn Low?

    If you've been following recent developments in the capital, you've probably heard that Dems in Albany have been pushing for a $1.25 minimum wage increase -- from $7.25 to $8.50. And most New Yorkers would be OK with this boost. This change would impact more than 600,000 New Yorkers who are someho ... More >>

  • Voice Choices

    February 15, 2012
  • Blogs

    January 17, 2012

    NY Redistricting: Untangling Boundaries and Adding a New Hispanic Majority District

    New Yorkers may want to ensure that they have fair representation in our fine democratic system, but sometimes it can be difficult to get jazzed up about the nitty-gritty of mapmaking. But new technology available this redistricting cycle is making it easier for advocates and academics to get involv ... More >>

  • Blogs

    December 22, 2011

    Occupy Albany, One of the Longest-Running Occupations, Is Being Evicted

    Dan RobinsProtesters have formed a human chain around Occupy Albany's info tent. ​Occupy Albany, one of the longest-lasting Occupy encampments -- and the only one to issue specific demands -- is currently being evicted, according to Capital Tonight's Twitter feed. The Albany occupiers recent ... More >>

  • Blogs

    December 9, 2010

    The Peggy Lipton Affair Takes Down Another Albany Big Shot

    ​We got yet another fascinating look inside the Albany favors factory yesterday when Andrew Cuomo released his latest revelation in the state pension fund scandal. Pat Lynch, the uber-lobbyist and close friend and ally of Sheldon Silver, was slapped with a half-million-dollar fine and banned f ... More >>

  • Blogs

    November 26, 2010

    Before Roe v. Wade: Fighting Over Abortion in Albany

    ​Clip Job: an excerpt every day from the Voice archives. March 25, 1971, Vol. XVI, No. 12 A holy war in Albany for the 'Right to Life' By Robin Reisig The New York State legislature is probably going to practice medicine again this spring. Abortion medicine. Catholics opposed to killing "th ... More >>

  • News

    November 10, 2010
  • Blogs

    April 29, 2010

    Governor Paterson Finally Gets One of Them "Weblogs"

    ​Governor Paterson has hopped on the blog train with Straight Talk, Straight Answers, which would be far more interesting if it were called Crooked Talk, Crooked Answers, but we suppose that sort of thing doesn't fly in Albany. The governor and senior administration officials say they will use ... More >>

  • Blogs

    April 1, 2010

    That's Carl Paladino, with one "L" -- and boy is he pissed!

    A reader gently notes that we gave Buffalo businessman and Republican gubernatorial candidate Carl Paladino too many L's in his name. So we went to double check. And boy, are we glad we did.

  • Blogs

    November 20, 2009

    Friends of Joe Bruno Not Much Help

    For a guy who was supposed to have been the most widely admired man in the Capitol Region, Joe Bruno so far hasn't gotten a lot of help from his friends. Yesterday's unhelpful testimony at the former state senate leader's fraud trial in federal court in Albany came from one of his former top aides ... More >>

  • Blogs

    November 19, 2009

    Albany Makes Kids Stay in Booster Seats Until Age 8; Runnin' Scared Says, "Enough!"

    ​It's a wonder modern children survive past their teens, overprotected as they are from dirt, walking, etc. Now we have the state demanding parents keep their kids in car booster seats until the age of eight. The old law let children out of the ass-cradles when they reached seven, but the new ... More >>

  • Blogs

    November 17, 2009

    Albany Special Sessions Grow Increasingly Less Special

    ​We know this stretches the definition of news, but the Albany special sessions haven't accomplished much in the way of deficit reduction. Sheldon Silver informs us the hard-working assembly has been churning out bills, including one inspired by the sad case of Leandra Rosado that will make it ... More >>

  • Blogs

    November 11, 2009

    Special Session 1 Isn't Much; Special Session 2 Next Week

    This week's special session of the legislature in Albany hasn't been too dramatic. Gay marriage was punted in the senate yesterday, and the bill probably won't be revisited until next month. Senators and assemblymembers are enjoying their Veterans Day holiday without having voted on the deficit red ... More >>

  • Blogs

    November 4, 2009

    We Pay More for Trains Even If We Take Cabs, But At Least They're Not on Fire

    ​You think your commute is bad: In Philly SEPTA is on strike, which has screwed up transit especially much for the poorer folks who live furthest from their workplaces. Such trains as there are, are overcrowded, and this morning one of them caught fire; passengers panicked and kicked out the w ... More >>

  • Blogs

    September 15, 2009

    Poll: Voters Hate Albany, But Are Less Inclined Toward Revolution Now

    Why's there a poll out on primary day? The new Marist Poll is not about present candidates, but about the state senate, and as was seen in other recent polls, the state's voters hate their elected representatives. 70 percent remain "angry" about this summer's Albany Coup, 68 percent want "major chan ... More >>

  • Blogs

    August 10, 2009

    MTA Latest City Workers to Get Fat Raises

    Ev'ybody gotta eat, right? So after the Albany Democrats gave fat raises to their staffers, and city council gave fat raises to their staffers (in emulation of the Mayor's similar largesse to his staffers), the boys and girls of the MTA hadda have their hands out, too. NY1 predicts raises of betwee ... More >>

  • Blogs

    August 6, 2009

    State Senate, Working on Mayoral Control, Gives Itself a New Committee

    As promised, the state senate is back in session and working on a revival of mayoral control of New York City schools, which was allowed to lapse during the Albany Coup, requiring the Mayor to set up a dummy Board of Ed. But in the run-up to that long-awaited act, they're added a select senate commi ... More >>

  • Blogs

    July 17, 2009

    $85 Million in Albany Member Items Disbursed for Parrot Adoption, Self-Esteem, Etc.

    The state senate laid out its new member items, and it's hilarious or grim reading depending on whether you read it as a student of human nature, or as a taxpayer. Jimmy Vielkind has the list. The $85 million feedbag of discretionary items for senators' constituents includes $2 million for Pedro Es ... More >>

  • Blogs

    July 8, 2009

    Paterson to Go on TV at 5 p.m.

    Governor Paterson is going on TV at 5 p.m. He will almost certainly address the Albany Coup, which is a month old today, but no one know what specific remedies he will offer. The Albany Times-Union thinks he may announce the appointment of a lieutenant governor, a move which attorney general Andrew ... More >>

  • Blogs

    July 7, 2009

    Coup in Review: Sampson Rebrands, Golisano Claims People in the Street Support the Coup

    Oh yeah, in case you're wondering, there's a lot of talking going on in Albany and no sign of advancement. There's another special session scheduled momentarily. Democratic sorta-leader John Sampson says he'll run through some bills, and attempts to rebrand what we had come to know and love as the ... More >>

  • Blogs

    July 6, 2009

    Coup in Review: Senators Work Grueling Three-Minute Days Through Holiday Weekend

    Thank God Paterson made them work through the holiiday! On Saturday and Sunday New York's state senators came in, gaveled, postured, and finished in about three minutes, achieving nothing. But at least they can say they worked, which is more than we bums who pay taxes can say. Casey Seiler of the Al ... More >>

  • Blogs

    July 2, 2009

    Coup in Review: State Senators Weekend in Albany! Diaz Walks Out, Yonkers "Running On Fumes"

    Hope you enjoy your holiday weekend while the Albany Coup keeps your state senators stuck in Albany -- hardly a vacation destination -- under orders by Governor Paterson. The respective party leaders are brassing it out, refusing to be pushed into a settlement, and Ruben Diaz Sr. says he's going to ... More >>

  • Columns

    July 1, 2009

    Senate Coup Plotters' Hidden Agenda

    Tabloids call it a circus, but the lobbyists' goal is to squelch reforms

  • Blogs

    July 1, 2009

    Coup In Review: Same Old Same Old

    They had that special session last night in Albany and guess what? Nothing happened, again. That's why New York is pretending to have a Board of Ed today. (On the upside, the stalled senate kept a new city sales tax from going into effect.) Today in Albany there was a "leadership meeting" scheduled ... More >>

  • Blogs

    July 1, 2009

    Board of Ed to Albany: Please Kill Me

    The new dummy Board of Ed, set up by city officials to comply with the old school charter that went back into effect because Albany failed to restore mayoral control, got down to the business of making Dennis Walcott its "president," putting Joel Klein back in charge, and formally asking Albany to p ... More >>

  • Blogs

    May 14, 2009

    Bid to Tax Video Games Incites Gamers; Might They Organize?

    Felix Ortiz is a pain in the ass. In 2007 the Brooklyn assemblyman tried to get beer advertising out of the subways. Earlier this year he wanted to add taxes on strip clubs and beer, wine, and liquor -- beer, wine, and liquor, Mandrake! He has also introduced a doozy before the legislature: an ... More >>

  • Blogs

    May 11, 2009

    MTA Approves Plan; Fare Up 25 Cents on June 17

    At long last, a practical effect to the months-long Albany-MTA wrangle: the MTA approved the Albany plan and officially voted in a fare hike from $2.00 to $2.25 (and from $81 for a monthly to $89, and so forth). The new higher fares kick in on June 17. Upstate Republicans continue to bitch about t ... More >>

  • Blogs

    May 7, 2009

    No One Really Likes the MTA Plan

    Governor Paterson greeted communters at the Bryant Park subway station this morning, in celebration of the MTA bailout plan that Albany passed last night, though no one seems in a celebratory mood -- not even the Governor. "The one thing that I learned through this process," Paterson said, "is that ... More >>

  • Blogs

    May 4, 2009

    Flash! Albany Working on MTA Plan

    Albany lawmakers are behind closed doors, working on an MTA plan. A taxi surcharge and payroll taxes are among the remedies they're considering. Paterson's calling for "action." His new wrinkle is to offer constituents reimbursement of the payroll tax to their school districts -- a typical Albany Ru ... More >>

  • Blogs

    April 29, 2009

    MTA: Expect Even Worser Service, and Maybe No Trains at Night

    You know those MTA service cuts we were promised along with the new fare hikes as part of the Doomsday Fun-Pak? Well, the Authority's executive director just announced they'll be even worse and may include the end of all-night subway service. "I'm not sure the English language captures what goes be ... More >>

  • Blogs

    April 23, 2009

    Mayoral Control of Schools Lumbers to June Reckoning

    Albany has to decide in June whether to leave Mayor Bloomberg in charge of the school system, which privilege he attained in 2002. The Times mischievously profiles his Panel for Educational Policy, whose duties seem to involve holding meetings and being yelled at by parently at sparsely-attended hea ... More >>

  • Blogs

    April 16, 2009

    Tolls Coming Back to MTA Rescue?

    Back in February it looked like bridge tolls were going to save us from the MTA Doomsday budget. But in March the tolls were tabled, and the MTA started lining up a crappier subway with $2.50 fares. But hark! What do we hear from Albany? They're talking about tolls again. Some modifications are bei ... More >>

  • Blogs

    March 27, 2009

    More on Albany's Rockefeller Drug Law Reform

    In a rare moment of cooperation in Albany, Governor Paterson and the state legislature effectively ended the harshest provisions of the much-criticized Rockefeller Drug Laws today. The agreement ends mandatory jail time for first-time and non-violent felony offenders, something that advocates have f ... More >>

  • Blogs

    March 23, 2009

    MTA Committee Approves $2.50 Fare

    Albany's tripping over its dick on this one, so the MTA is going full speed ahead with the Doomsday Budget: its Finance Committee just voted to raise the fare to $2.50. If the full board goes along on Wednesday, a weekly pass will go from $25 to $31 and a monthly from $81 to $103. Well, at least th ... More >>

  • Blogs

    March 19, 2009

    Quick Hits

    We noticed; now here's the Craigslist freebie Twitter feed, Free_NewYork. There you can get a free four-person hot tub -- but "please take it only if you need it." Since Paterson's "hiring freeze," Albany's payroll gained more than 8,000 salaries, says the Buffalo News. BuffNews al ... More >>

  • Blogs

    March 10, 2009

    Aqueduct "Racino" Deal Falls Through

    The state's been counting on a proposed casino at Aqueduct Raceway -- or, as the board of horrible neologisms dubbed it, a "racino" -- but it appears the deal is off. Delaware North, the Buffalo company that Albany picked back in October to handle the project, now says it doesn't have the $370 milli ... More >>

  • Blogs

    January 5, 2009

    Skelos Gets Union Bigs to Meet with Dem Albany Rebels

    There is little news coming out of Albany, but the estimable Liz Benjamin notes an ominous sign for the state senate Democrats, whose hope to claim a majority in Wednesday's vote is clouded by a rebel faction of city senators: Republican leader Dean Skelos is arranging for representatives of 1199 SE ... More >>

  • Blogs

    December 30, 2008

    Albany! LL Cool J Endorses Smith, Diaz Fights "Homosexual Marriage"

    Say, aren't our elected representatives supposed to go to Albany and get sworn in on January 1? And isn't the fate of the elected Democratic majority -- the state's first since the Ice Age -- still unsettled? Would-be Majority Leader Malcolm Smith's biggest achievement recently was to pick up the en ... More >>

  • Columns

    November 5, 2008

    Governor Paterson Means Business

    Spitzer's successor disses his bad old radical self

  • News

    April 8, 2008

    Living the Political Life Fantastic

    Surf, turf, and doughnuts: A state senator dines out on his campaign war chest

  • Blogs

    April 7, 2008

    Wheezing Over Congestion Pricing

    The congestion pricing debate is coming to an end, and the plan looks doomed--just how doomed the plan is depends on which tabloid you're reading during your long commute. The Daily News calls it a "MAKE OR BREAK TIME FOR FEE IDEA" in their story about the deadlock in Albany, while the Post blames B ... More >>

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