Category: Budget

Zoning Laws Are Blocking the Conversion of Hotels into Affordable Housing

Zoning Laws Are Blocking the Conversion of Hotels into Affordable Housing

The state’s grand plan to convert unused hotels into affordable housing hasn’t gotten off the ground. Lawmakers just boosted funding — but developers and housing advocates say that won’t help without lifting onerous zoning restrictions.

Eric Adams Wants Weapons Detectors in the Subway. Would That Bring Safety or “Absolute Chaos”?
Eric Adams Wants Weapons Detectors in the Subway. Would That Bring Safety or “Absolute Chaos”?
"Expect delays, expect secondary screening, expect frustration and expect to miss your train from time to time."

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Perspective: It’s Time to Take a Clearer Look at Bail Reform
Perspective: It’s Time to Take a Clearer Look at Bail Reform
In the raucous debate over bail reform, simple facts have fallen out of sight.

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Retired Judges and Advocates: Don’t Let Cops Interrogate Kids Without a Lawyer
Retired Judges and Advocates: Don’t Let Cops Interrogate Kids Without a Lawyer
A bill in the state legislature would prohibit police from interrogating minors before they consulted with a lawyer.

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Workers Accuse Ultra-Fast Delivery Startup of Wage Theft
Workers Accuse Ultra-Fast Delivery Startup of Wage Theft
Before the Russian-funded delivery startup collapsed, Buyk sold itself as a way for workers to escape the gig economy. Former workers say it failed to deliver.

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Bill to Stop Foreclosures Heads to Hochul, Under Heavy Pushback from Banks
Bill to Stop Foreclosures Heads to Hochul, Under Heavy Pushback from Banks
The state legislature has passed a measure intended to counter a court ruling that made it easier for lenders to win cases against homeowners.

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Environmental Hazard or Economic Boon? Legislators Spar on Bitcoin Mining in New York
Environmental Hazard or Economic Boon? Legislators Spar on Bitcoin Mining in New York
Legislators opposed to a bill enacting a temporary moratorium on proof-of-work cryptocurrency mining are warning that it could harm New Yorkers often excluded from traditional financial markets, sourc

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An Upper East Side Assembly Candidate Accepted Over $10,000 in Illegal Corporate Cash
An Upper East Side Assembly Candidate Accepted Over $10,000 in Illegal Corporate Cash
After New York Focus reported on illegal contributions to candidate Russell Squire, his campaign announced it would return the money.

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Zoning Laws Are Blocking the Conversion of Hotels into Affordable Housing
Zoning Laws Are Blocking the Conversion of Hotels into Affordable Housing
The state’s grand plan to convert unused hotels into affordable housing hasn’t gotten off the ground. Lawmakers just boosted funding — but developers and housing advocates say that won’t help

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Prison Officials Block Most Requests from Terminally Ill New Yorkers for Medical Release
Prison Officials Block Most Requests from Terminally Ill New Yorkers for Medical Release
Officials routinely refuse to send requests for medical release to the state parole board, frustrating advocates and raising questions about the murky criteria for medical release.

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Labor Experts Dismissed the Quixotic Amazon Union Drive on Staten Island. Then They Won.
Labor Experts Dismissed the Quixotic Amazon Union Drive on Staten Island. Then They Won.
“I told the workers beforehand that they would lose based on the ‘numbers.’ They said they knew the workers. They were right!”

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What’s In New York’s $220 Billion State Budget?
What’s In New York’s $220 Billion State Budget?
A comprehensive tracker of the issues at stake in New York's budget.

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How New York State Just Rolled Back Criminal Justice Reforms
How New York State Just Rolled Back Criminal Justice Reforms
The final budget made changes to bail law, discovery law, pre-arraignment detention, involuntary commitment and more.

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Hochul Opposes Rental Voucher Program On Basis of Inflated Cost Estimate, Sources Say
Hochul Opposes Rental Voucher Program On Basis of Inflated Cost Estimate, Sources Say
The legislature wants to spend $250 million to combat homelessness. Hochul says it’ll actually cost $6 billion.

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Hochul, Plastics Industry and Green Groups Battle Over Recycling Proposal
Hochul, Plastics Industry and Green Groups Battle Over Recycling Proposal
Rather than try to improve Hochul’s proposal, some environmentalists want to scrap it and instead concentrate on a forthcoming bill from Assemblymember Steve Englebright.

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Bitcoin Mining Gets Three Month Reprieve From Hochul’s Regulators
Bitcoin Mining Gets Three Month Reprieve From Hochul’s Regulators
Green groups charged that Kathy Hochul is punting the issue until after the primary.

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Judge Rules New York’s District Maps Unconstitutional, Orders Legislature to Draw New Ones
Judge Rules New York’s District Maps Unconstitutional, Orders Legislature to Draw New Ones
Democrats immediately said they would appeal the decision.

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Read the Senate’s Draft Compromise on Bail Reform
Read the Senate’s Draft Compromise on Bail Reform
New York Focus obtained and analyzed a proposal presented by Senate leadership to the chamber’s Democratic caucus.

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Will New York Tackle its Largest Source of Emissions?
Will New York Tackle its Largest Source of Emissions?
Experts say the state needs to spend at least $1 billion a year to cut pollution from buildings. Legislators are trying to get the governor closer to that figure.

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As Albany Debates Health Coverage for Undocumented New Yorkers, Lawmakers Say Hochul is Inflating Costs
As Albany Debates Health Coverage for Undocumented New Yorkers, Lawmakers Say Hochul is Inflating Costs
The governor’s projected price tag is five times higher than estimates by the legislature and outside researchers—but she hasn’t said how she arrived at her figure.

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Kathy Hochul Is Ready to Spend Millions on New Police Surveillance
Kathy Hochul Is Ready to Spend Millions on New Police Surveillance
New York state legislators have just days to question phone hacking, forensics, and fusion centers before the budget passes.

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Striking Workers Say Brooklyn Oil Terminal Is ‘Playing Russian Roulette’ with Safety
Striking Workers Say Brooklyn Oil Terminal Is ‘Playing Russian Roulette’ with Safety
Striking employees of United Metro Energy say management replaced them with workers who weren’t certified to operate the Brooklyn oil terminal, increasing the risk of an oil spill.

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Hochul Wants to Save for a Rainy Day. Lawmakers Say It’s Already Pouring.
Hochul Wants to Save for a Rainy Day. Lawmakers Say It’s Already Pouring.
Budget negotiations center on one crucial question: should New York save or spend?

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Loopholes Hobble Hochul’s Proposal on Conviction-Based Housing Discrimination, Critics Charge
Loopholes Hobble Hochul’s Proposal on Conviction-Based Housing Discrimination, Critics Charge
Advocates organizing for similar laws say loopholes in Hochul’s proposal make it “virtually meaningless,” and are encouraging the governor to withdraw the measure.

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Here’s What You Need to Know About the 2022 State Budget
Here’s What You Need to Know About the 2022 State Budget
How the three budget proposals from the governor, Assembly and Senate stack up.

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Republicans Take Democrats to Court Over Allegedly Gerrymandered Map
Republicans Take Democrats to Court Over Allegedly Gerrymandered Map
A group of 14 citizens, organized by Republican politicians, argue that the new district maps approved by the state legislature and Gov. Hochul violate the state constitution.

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Delayed Treatment and Denied Services: Health Care In New York Prisons Is A “Joke”
Delayed Treatment and Denied Services: Health Care In New York Prisons Is A “Joke”
Cuomo vetoed a bill to expand oversight of the prison medical system. Will Hochul take a different tack?

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Power Industry Quietly Pushes New York to Endorse Non-Renewable Energy
Power Industry Quietly Pushes New York to Endorse Non-Renewable Energy
The power industry is pushing a pair of little-noticed proposals that could shift the course of the state's climate action.

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Legislature Likely to Propose Health Coverage But Not Cash Relief for Undocumented New Yorkers, Sources Say
Legislature Likely to Propose Health Coverage But Not Cash Relief for Undocumented New Yorkers, Sources Say
Both chambers are set to release budget proposals that will represent a mixed bag for New York's undocumented population.

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State Board of Elections Begins Enforcing Campaign Finance Disclosure Laws
State Board of Elections Begins Enforcing Campaign Finance Disclosure Laws
The move comes after New York Focus reported on widespread violations of campaign finance law and the Board's lack of enforcement.

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Parole Reform Squabble Has Left Hundreds Sitting in New York Jails
Parole Reform Squabble Has Left Hundreds Sitting in New York Jails
New York’s prison agency is interpreting key provisions of a landmark parole reform law to keep more people locked up. A lead sponsor of the legislation calls it “appalling.”

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Senate Holds First-Ever Hearing On Rape in Prison and Jails
Senate Holds First-Ever Hearing On Rape in Prison and Jails
Incarcerated survivors face a broken system for reporting abuse, frequent retaliation, and little accountability for staff perpetrators.

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Retired NYC Workers Celebrate Medicare Switch Court Win
Retired NYC Workers Celebrate Medicare Switch Court Win
The court ruled retirees who opt-out of the switch to Medicare Advantage plans can keep their current insurance free of charge. The Adams administration is appealing the ruling.

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Eric Adams Is Bringing Back the NYPD’s Anti-Crime Unit. Do They Commit More Crimes Than They Solve?
Eric Adams Is Bringing Back the NYPD’s Anti-Crime Unit. Do They Commit More Crimes Than They Solve?
“I don’t want the ‘jump-out boys’ back out on the street,” said retired NYPD commander Corey Pegues, who disagrees with the mayor’s plan to bring back the controversial NYPD units.

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Hochul Campaign Donors Blow Past Corporate Contribution Limits
Hochul Campaign Donors Blow Past Corporate Contribution Limits
Circumventing a law designed to close the so-called LLC loophole, donors to campaigns across the state are using multiple companies to give far over the $5,000 cap.

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Two Years Into Pandemic, Basic Critiques of Prison Covid Policies Remain Unaddressed
Two Years Into Pandemic, Basic Critiques of Prison Covid Policies Remain Unaddressed
The prison agency has done little to update policies on transparency, masks, social distancing, or vaccination.

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Perspective: Joe Biden, Eric Adams and the Myth of Policing Our Way to Safety
Perspective: Joe Biden, Eric Adams and the Myth of Policing Our Way to Safety
In 2016, the NYPD and federal prosecutors staged a massive "gang bust" that derailed the lives of dozens of young people — including me — while failing to improve public safety. Why is Eric Adams

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Rural Counties See Dramatic Declines in Family Lawyers, Costing Poor Parents their Kids
Rural Counties See Dramatic Declines in Family Lawyers, Costing Poor Parents their Kids
In six of eight rural counties, panels of children's attorneys have lost more than half their lawyers over the past decade.

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More Than Three Thousand Campaigns Violated Campaign Finance Law. The State Board of Elections Brought Enforcement Actions Against Zero.
More Than Three Thousand Campaigns Violated Campaign Finance Law. The State Board of Elections Brought Enforcement Actions Against Zero.
Since taking office last July, enforcement counsel Michael Johnson has not taken action against any campaigns that failed to file required campaign finance reports.

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Is There Anything New in Eric Adams’s Gun Violence Plan?
Is There Anything New in Eric Adams’s Gun Violence Plan?
Many have described the New York City mayor’s “blueprint” to address gun crime as occupying a novel middle ground. But it mostly copies the policies of his predecessor and relies heavily on toug

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Hochul Proposes Bringing Back Private Prison Labor
Hochul Proposes Bringing Back Private Prison Labor
Banned for a century, contract labor could return to New York’s prisons.

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