State Lawmakers Near Budget Deal + Mayor Adams Continues Austerity Push
No. 320 | Monday, May 1, 2023
The NYC Thorn is a weekly roundup of local political news compiled by members of NYC-DSA.
Governor Kathy Hochul and the Democratic leaders of the New York State legislature came to a budget agreement nearly a month later than its original deadline. It will likely face a vote early this week and is expected to pass.
Included in the budget agreement are further rollbacks to the state’s bail reforms, which would eliminate the “least restrictive” standard adopted in 2019. This marks the third time in the four years since the reforms were first passed that state lawmakers have tried to undo them. Governor Hochul has specifically cited right-wing media campaigns against the bail reforms as her motive for rolling them back, angering many supporters of the original reforms.
Proposed changes to the discovery process advocated by New York City district attorneys who claim recent reforms have created too much work for them were ultimately left out of the budget agreement.
The budget deal includes plans to reopen 14 “zombie” charter schools in New York City.
The Metropolitan Transit Authority will get funding for a pilot program for free buses, as well as a lower fare increase than had been previously proposed.
New York’s downstate minimum wage, which covers the City as well as Long Island and Westchester, will increase to $17 per hour over the next three years.
While no major housing reforms were included in the budget, more funding was approved for New York State Housing Authority and Section 8 tenants who had applied for but not been granted pandemic-era rent relief.
One area still apparently being negotiated is what version of the Build Public Renewables plan will be included, as Governor Hochul and Assembly Speaker Carl Heastie look for a “subtler” version of the proposal.
Mayor Eric Adams released a revised City budget that still includes substantial cuts to City agencies, while removing some high-profile cuts like a proposal that would have forced library closures. These proposed cuts come the same month that Adams reached a deal for retroactive pay raises for the New York Police Department.
The Rent Guidelines Board heard from both tenants and landlords as they prepare to vote this week on a proposed 8.5% rent hike for millions of rent-stabilized tenants.
A relatively unknown political consultant working remotely from small-town Colorado wields significant influence within Governor Hochul's administration and has been blamed for some of Hochul's miscalculations since she took office.
State lawmakers have proposed a law that would allow State Attorney General Tish James to crack down on deed theft.
Workers at the flagship Barnes & Noble store in Union Square are unionizing.
The MTA is shutting down Twitter accounts that provide real-time service information after Elon Musk demanded they pay.
City & State wrote an extensive profile about Assembly Member Zohran Mamdani
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