Category: Climate and Environment

Albany Just Blew it on Climate, Again
Albany Just Blew it on Climate, Again
Only big, strong, mean grassroots campaigns can turn this around ...

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Wage Theft Got Worse During Covid. A Stalled Bill Could Give Workers Leverage To Fight Back
Wage Theft Got Worse During Covid. A Stalled Bill Could Give Workers Leverage To Fight Back
Cuomo pledged to deal with rampant wage theft this year, then failed to deliver. Now, a bill to recover stolen wages is unlikely to pass the legislature....

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Inside New York’s Grueling Parole Application Process
Inside New York’s Grueling Parole Application Process
As legislators consider reforms to New York’s parole system, former prison officials and incarcerated people describe the barriers to parole release....

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Progressives Mobilize to Block Cuomo’s Tough-on-Crime Pick For Highest NY Court
Progressives Mobilize to Block Cuomo’s Tough-on-Crime Pick For Highest NY Court
Madeline Singas, a close Cuomo ally, has been a prominent opponent of criminal justice reforms and has taken a punitive approach as Nassau County DA, defenders say....

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How a Tenant Revolt Sank NYCHA’s Biggest Overhaul Plan in Years
How a Tenant Revolt Sank NYCHA’s Biggest Overhaul Plan in Years
With a week left in the legislative session, New York lawmakers shelved a plan that aimed to revamp 25,000 NYCHA apartments....

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Anticipating Pushback From Finance, Enviros Move to Regulate Energy-Intensive Crypto Mining
Anticipating Pushback From Finance, Enviros Move to Regulate Energy-Intensive Crypto Mining
Founded by a major Cuomo donor, Renaissance Technologies is set to become a stakeholder in upstate mining operation that touched off backlash against Bitcoin....

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How New York State Let Covid-19 Run Rampant in Prisons
How New York State Let Covid-19 Run Rampant in Prisons
First, the state failed to protect people in prison from the virus. Then, it obscured the full scope of the crisis, advocates charge....

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Inside the chemical lobby’s unusual campaign to protect the fire retardant business
Inside the chemical lobby’s unusual campaign to protect the fire retardant business
Chemical industry lobbyists are aggressively fighting a bill that would ban the use of toxic flame retardants—including by placing stories in local news outlets with quotes from a tenant organizer w...

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A Manhattan DA Candidate Touts Her Leadership of a Conviction Review Unit. Why Did It Exonerate So Few People?
A Manhattan DA Candidate Touts Her Leadership of a Conviction Review Unit. Why Did It Exonerate So Few People?
Under Tali Farhadian Weinstein’s leadership, Brooklyn’s unit exonerated just three people — a far lower rate than in previous years....

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Could Public Ownership Save the New York Power System?
Could Public Ownership Save the New York Power System?
New York’s profit-driven power system leads to higher costs, more blackouts, and more fossil fuels, activists say....

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The Domestic Violence Survivors Justice Act Gets A Slow Start
The Domestic Violence Survivors Justice Act Gets A Slow Start
Two years after New York enacted a high-profile law to reduce prison sentences for domestic violence survivors, few survivors have seen much benefit....

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Two years after passing a landmark climate law, New York has no plan to fund it
Two years after passing a landmark climate law, New York has no plan to fund it
Governor Cuomo just approved the largest budget in New York history — and it has virtually no new funding to help meet the goals in New York's landmark climate law....

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Why Is New York Still Taxing Unemployment Benefits?
Why Is New York Still Taxing Unemployment Benefits?
Unemployed New Yorkers are receiving surprise tax bills. Republican legislators joined with progressive Democrats to move to waive taxes on benefits, following the lead of most other states and the fe...

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Gas plant in Newburgh tests limits of NY’s landmark climate law
Gas plant in Newburgh tests limits of NY’s landmark climate law
Can New York meet its emissions goals if it green-lights more fossil fuel infrastructure? A proposal to rebuild a fracked-gas plant will set the precedent....

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Health Care Costs for Retired City Workers Could Dramatically Increase Under City Plan
Health Care Costs for Retired City Workers Could Dramatically Increase Under City Plan
A quarter million retired city workers could be left with bigger health insurance bills and fewer doctor choices under a city plan to change their health insurance....

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A New Threat to New York’s Clean Energy Goals: Bitcoin Mining
A New Threat to New York’s Clean Energy Goals: Bitcoin Mining
A Finger Lakes power plant plans to ramp up energy-intensive Bitcoin mining. If the state allows it to proceed, environmentalists warn dozens of fossil-fueled plants could follow....

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Thousands of New Yorkers are in Prison for Life. These D.A. Candidates Want to Change That
Thousands of New Yorkers are in Prison for Life. These D.A. Candidates Want to Change That
Manhattan D.A. candidates vow to reduce lengthy sentences—but sharp differences between their approaches remain...

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What Made It Into The Budget – And What Was Left Out
What Made It Into The Budget – And What Was Left Out
The major provisions of New York's 2021 budget....

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Homelessness Priorities Won’t Make the State Budget, Lawmakers and Advocates Say
Homelessness Priorities Won’t Make the State Budget, Lawmakers and Advocates Say
“A year from now, this money will still be in the hands of Governor Cuomo, unused - and that’s exactly what he wants.”...

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“A byzantine and high-bar system”: Governor pushes to saddle undocumented workers fund with documentation requirements
“A byzantine and high-bar system”: Governor pushes to saddle undocumented workers fund with documentation requirements
State lawmakers and workers' rights advocates warned that burdensome proof-of-employment requirements may mean the funds go unspent....

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Will New York’s Rent Relief Program Address The Problems that Hobbled The Last One?
Will New York’s Rent Relief Program Address The Problems that Hobbled The Last One?
Governor Andrew Cuomo is pushing to impose stringent requirements, according to lawmakers and tenant advocates, that could delay and decrease aid....

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Where are the Safe Injection Facilities Cuomo Promised for New York?
Where are the Safe Injection Facilities Cuomo Promised for New York?
He committed three years ago to supporting safe injection sites for drug users — then reversed course, activists say. Now, they see a new chance to pressure the embattled governor....

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Legislature Seeks to End “Arbitrary Limit” on Medicaid Spending
Legislature Seeks to End “Arbitrary Limit” on Medicaid Spending
A 2011 rule prevents New York from adequately funding Medicaid, advocates say. This year’s budget could see it repealed. ...

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Will Rental Vouchers to Prevent Homelessness Make the State Budget?
Will Rental Vouchers to Prevent Homelessness Make the State Budget?
The legislature is pushing for a statewide rental assistance program that advocates say would be one the largest efforts to combat homelessness in recent memory....

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New York’s biggest climate problem—and opportunity
New York’s biggest climate problem—and opportunity
Buildings may be New York’s top source of emissions. The state should follow the city’s lead in cleaning them up....

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In an Upstate Jail, Incarcerated People Struggle to Access Promised Addiction Treatment
In an Upstate Jail, Incarcerated People Struggle to Access Promised Addiction Treatment
In 2019, Broome County promised an addiction treatment program in its jail. Two years later, the program is a “farce,” one advocate said. ...

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Records Reveal New York’s Growing Mountain of Water Debt
Records Reveal New York’s Growing Mountain of Water Debt
Advocates are pushing the legislature to extend and strengthen a moratorium on water shutoffs set to expire at the end of the month....

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Legislative Leadership to Propose $7 Billion in New Taxes, Sources Say
Legislative Leadership to Propose $7 Billion in New Taxes, Sources Say
Tax-the-rich advocates critiqued the figure as too low, and also said the Assembly is significantly behind the Senate on key progressive spending priorities....

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Queens Public Defenders Win Unionization Vote
Queens Public Defenders Win Unionization Vote
After months of conflict involving alleged intimidation and potentially illegal firings, workers at Queens Defenders voted overwhelmingly to unionize....

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“It Damages Democracy:” Watchdogs, Reporters, Slam “Non-Functional” Board of Elections Campaign Finance Website
“It Damages Democracy:” Watchdogs, Reporters, Slam “Non-Functional” Board of Elections Campaign Finance Website
Flaws in an updated website make it extremely difficult to track who is funding campaigns, journalists and watchdogs say, but the BOE insists that “the site is fully functioning.” ...

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Will New York allow incarcerated people to access treatment for drug addiction?
Will New York allow incarcerated people to access treatment for drug addiction?
"People in prison deserve healthcare, and this is healthcare.” Legislators push to offer treatment for drug addiction in jails and prisons...

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“Mired in Incrementalism”: Climate Action Council Proceedings Alarm Climate Advocates
“Mired in Incrementalism”: Climate Action Council Proceedings Alarm Climate Advocates
Under New York's climate law, the Climate Action Council is tasked with devising a plan to zero out emissions. Environmentalists on the Council say it's not on track....

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In Manhattan D.A. Race, Momentum Builds to Decriminalize Sex Work
In Manhattan D.A. Race, Momentum Builds to Decriminalize Sex Work
In a striking sign of activists' success, most candidates running in the June election for DA say they would not prosecute cases involving consensual sex work....

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“We Need to Hold Him Accountable”: After Sexual Harassment Allegations, Legislators Search for Ways to Respond
“We Need to Hold Him Accountable”: After Sexual Harassment Allegations, Legislators Search for Ways to Respond
With the state ethics commission widely seen as controlled by the governor, legislators are looking for other ways to investigate the allegations....

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Top state lawmakers oppose Cuomo’s push to override NYC’s landmark climate law
Top state lawmakers oppose Cuomo’s push to override NYC’s landmark climate law
A new analysis finds that the governor’s proposal would “completely undermine” New York City’s climate law, setting the stage for a clash with the newly emboldened legislature....

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As State Support Dwindles, New York’s Overdose Crisis is Only Getting Worse
As State Support Dwindles, New York’s Overdose Crisis is Only Getting Worse
State withholds have left harm reduction providers undersupplied, and informal overdose prevention networks are struggling to fill the gap....

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Queens Defenders Fires Two Pro-Union Employees
Queens Defenders Fires Two Pro-Union Employees
Amid an ongoing union election at the Queens indigent defense law firm, two outspoken union supporters were fired without warning....

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“It’s a life or death situation out here”: a brutal winter for unsheltered New Yorkers
“It’s a life or death situation out here”: a brutal winter for unsheltered New Yorkers
“We sleep together like chickens”: Street homeless New Yorkers describe the struggle to endure the pandemic-era winter....

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Will Manhattan’s Next D.A. Break Ranks With Tough-on-Crime Colleagues?
Will Manhattan’s Next D.A. Break Ranks With Tough-on-Crime Colleagues?
Three candidates in the June election say they would not join the association of state DAs, which has fought measures such as bail reform....

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“What am I to do?” An oral history of mothering children in online school
“What am I to do?” An oral history of mothering children in online school
“I’m the security guard, a mother, a father, a teacher, I’m everything." Parents and children reflect on a year of remote learning and its impact on their finances, mental health, and family....

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