The state legislature’s Black, Hispanic and Asian Caucus is reacting to events in Baltimore and is calling for swift action on a package of criminal justice reforms that have been stalled in the State Senate.
The caucus members say they’ve grown weary of incidents where African Americans die after encounters with police. Assemblyman Michaela Blake represents portions of the Bronx.
“Baltimore is happening in the Bronx, “ Blake said. “It can happen anywhere.”
Blake says the young people involved in the riots are not thugs or criminals.
New York State Attorney General Eric Schneiderman says Assemblyman William Scarborough’s expected decision to plead guilty to illegally claiming over $40,000 in travel expenses is “the right thing to do.”
Schneiderman’s office, along with the State Comptroller, originally launched the investigation that led to the charges by the U.S. Attorney for New York’s Northern district.
Less than a month after it was enacted, Governor Cuomo’s new teacher evaluation plan seems to be in jeopardy, with the Regents Chancellor calling for a year’s delay and a key Senator saying the legislature needs to revisit the issue.
When Cuomo convinced the legislature to approve a new teacher evaluation system that relies more on standardized tests, his administration said that the State Board of Regents would have very limited power to make any changes including compliance with a November deadline to come up with new performance reviews.
Earth Day 2015 is also the first day that the New York State Assembly is transitioning to a paperless system. Assemblymembers have been given I Pads to read bills electronically, and supporters say it will save millions of dollars, and trees.
Majority Leader Joe Morelle announced the change on the Assembly floor.
“Today we begin officially with tablets,” Morelle said.
Getting rid of the piles of paper that clutter members’ desks each day required a constitutional amendment, which voters approved last fall.
New York Governor Andrew Cuomo and the state legislature approved some significant changes to the state’s education system and how teachers are evaluated going forward. But, before all that can be implemented, the new system faces a big test, literally, later this month.