New York State Assembly

Lucas Willard / WAMC

The candidates for New York’s 49th Senate and 112th Assembly districts debated in Saratoga County last night. The two Democrats vying for the seats long held by Republican incumbents both focused their messages on the women’s equality agenda.

The ruling coalition in the New York state Senate has grown by one member. Senator Tony Avella, of Queens, has left the minority Democrats to join the governing coalition of Republicans and Independent Democrats.


"It's absurd to me that you can refinance a mortgage or a business loan, but you can't re-finance a college loan? I don't think the government should be making money off the backs of students." ~ Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand

NY Passes Mercury Thermostat Disposal Law

Jun 24, 2013

Environmental groups in New York say a new law requiring manufacturers to collect and safely dispose of thermostats will remove a major source of toxic mercury from the waste stream. 

The legislation, which awaits Gov. Andrew Cuomo's signature, was passed late Friday night by the Senate and Assembly. The New York Public Interest Research Group says it addresses one of the largest remaining sources of mercury pollution in New York — the hundreds of thousands of old thermostats discarded each year.

NY Assembly OKs Women's Rights, Abortion Bill

Jun 21, 2013
wikipedia commons

New York's Democrat-led Assembly has approved bills including an abortion rights provision that has roiled Albany.

But Senate Republicans refused to allow the abortion measure to the floor in that chamber.

The Senate plans to adopt the nine other women's rights initiatives in the 10-point package pushed by Gov. Andrew Cuomo.

The nine items combat discrimination against women in the workplace and strengthen human trafficking laws.

Those could be sent back to the Assembly today after Senate passage and voted into law.

AP Source: Cuomo, Leaders Agree On 4 Casinos

Jun 19, 2013
WAMC Photo by Dave Lucas

A senior Cuomo administration official says Gov. Andrew Cuomo and legislative leaders struck a late night deal to authorize four upstate casinos and to allow votes on 10 separate women's rights bills including an abortion proposal that appeared to have been blocked in the Senate.

The official spoke on the condition of anonymity because the deal was scheduled to be announced on Wednesday.

Legislative officials immediately disputed some elements of the agreement.

Anna Strumillo

ALBANY – The State Assembly has restored the $90 million that was cut from the budget of the state Office of People with Developmental Disabilities in a move supported for area legislators.  The money had been cut in the governor’s state budget this spring.

Assemblywoman Aileen Gunther (D-Forestburgh), who is chairwoman of the Mental Hygiene Committee, said the money is important to the many organizations that serve those in need.

New York’s Legislative Ethics Commission released a report Wednesday from the state’s Joint Commission on Public Ethics. The report focuses on sexual harassment allegations against Brooklyn Assemblyman Vito Lopez and details a number of charges.

Democrat Didi Barrett represents the 106th Assembly District, which includes portions of Columbia and Dutchess Counties.

Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver has renewed his call for Lopez to resign. Barrett, who has long advocated for women and girls, has other concerns.

The Legislative Ethics Commission released its report on the sexual harassment allegations against Assemblyman Vito Lopez.  It’s conclusions have New York’s  National Organization for Women calling for a vote of no confidence against the still serving Assemblyman, and the Republicans calling for Silver to resign.


The state legislature is almost finished voting on a $141.3b state budget. Final passage is occurring one week past lawmakers’ s self imposed deadline, but three days before  the spending plan was due to be finished.