Plugged In @ Hinman Straub – February 22, 2019

What’s Inside

  • Governor Launches 2019 Women’s Justice Agenda
  • Governor Signs Bills to Lower Threshold for Petition Signatures
  • Bill to Ban Company Specific Subsidies Gains Momentum
  • Attorney General Joins Lawsuit to Stop President National Emergency Declaration
  • Board of Elections Enforcement Counsel Seeks Damages from Former IDC Members
  • New York City Admits to Defrauding FEMA in Aftermath of Superstorm Sandy
  • Census Commission Announces Hearing Schedule
  • Updates, Reminders, and Links
  • Coming Up

Governor Launches 2019 Women’s Justice Agenda

This week, the Governor unveiled his 2019 Women’s Justice Agenda with help from Secretary to the Governor Melissa DeRosa, the Lieutenant Governor Hochul, and actress Julianne Moore. The plan is focused on three main areas; reproductive justice, social justice, and economic justice.

Reproductive Justice

  • Enshrine the Reproductive Health Act in the state constitution
  • Improve Access to In-Vitro Fertilization and Fertility Preservation Coverage
  • Launch Healthy Relationships Education in Middle and High Schools
  • Reduce Maternal Mortality and Morbidity and Racial Disparities
  • Promote Rural Telehealth Services for Perinatal Care
  • Ensure Breastfeeding is Respected in the Workplace
  • Protect the Educational Rights of Pregnant and Parenting Students
  • Continue Know Your Rights, Get the Facts Campaign
  • Launch Uterine Fibroids and Endometriosis Research and Public Outreach Campaign
  • Launch Statewide Safe Sleep Campaign to Prevent Infant Deaths

Social Justice

  • Pass the Equal Rights Amendment
  • Pass the Domestic Violence Survivors Justice Act
  • Establish a New Model for Domestic Violence Prevention
  • Eliminate the Statute of Limitations for Rape
  • Outlaw Revenge Pornography
  • Extend Human Rights Law Protections to All Public School Students Statewide
  • Remove Gaps in Rape Shield Law
  • Increase Protections Against Harassment in the Workplace

Economic Justice

  • Modernize New York’s Pay Equity Law
  • Create the Task Force on Representation and Corporate Transparency to Shine Light on New York Values
  • Ensure State Boards Are Representative of New York State
  • Invest in New York’s Child Care Infrastructure
  • Launch Family Empowerment Community College Pilot Program
  • Expand Empire State After-School Program
  • Continue Investment in Computer Science Education Through Smart Start
  • Create the State’s First Ever Youth Council
  • If You Can See It, You Can Be It 2019—Girls in Government

Governor Cuomo said:

“No state has done more than New York to protect and advance the rights of women and girls, but with a federal administration intent on rolling back Roe v. Wade and other protections, we cannot rest on our laurels. Building on the historic progress we’ve made including securing the strongest sexual harassment laws in the nation and passing the Reproductive Health Act, our new women’s justice agenda will serve as a direct rebuke to Washington’s assault on women’s rights and ensure New York remains at the forefront of this critical fight.”

Governor Signs Bills to Lower Threshold for Petition Signatures

The Governor signed two bills aimed at reducing the number of petition signatures required to qualify for the ballot this week. The first bill reduces, temporarily, the required number of petition signatures by 25 percent for candidates in this election cycle. The need for this measure stems from the passage and signing of election reform bills earlier this year which consolidated the state and federal primaries, ultimately shortening the time frame for which signatures could be filed. The second bill permanently reduces the number of signatures needed for local ward, town, city, or county committees to 3 percent of party enrollment.

Governor Cuomo said:

“New York has made significant progress in modernizing our voting laws and ensuring fairness in our electoral system with the passage of key legislation this year. These changes further our progress by easing the burden for potential candidates who may not have had the chance to adjust to earlier petition dates this election, helping to ensure that candidates who want to run for office have the chance to do so.”

Bill to Ban Company Specific Subsidies Gains Momentum

Legislators are calling for a measure that would ban economic development deals that grant company specific subsidies or incentives, similar to the Amazon deal that was scuttled last week. Lawmakers like Senator Gianaris and Senator Salazar characterize such arrangements as corporate welfare and have introduced a bill to end such practices. The bill would create an interstate compact which would ban participating states from utilizing company specific incentives to attempt to lure businesses to their state. The compact will take effect at such time as two or more states pass a substantially similar resolution agreeing to the terms of the compact. The Governor of each participating state would appoint a member to the board. Lawmakers in 11 other states have recently signaled interest in similar proposals, including Connecticut and Massachusetts. Such a measure is not likely to have support from Governor Cuomo who was instrumental in developing a plan to bring Amazon to Queens.

Attorney General Joins Lawsuit to Stop President National Emergency Declaration

New York joined a coalition of 16 states to file a federal lawsuit to prevent President Trump from building a border wall, bypassing congressional funding, through the declaration of a national emergency. The suit was filed in California’s Northern District, based in San Francisco, which has previously ruled against the President. The suit argues that the President has violated the separation of powers outlined in the constitution by diverting funds congress has designated for other purposes.

Attorney General James said:

“Declaring a National Emergency when one does not exist is immoral and illegal. Diverting necessary funds from real emergencies, crime-fighting activities, and military construction projects usurps Congressional power and will hurt Americans across the country. We will not stand for this abuse of power and will fight using every tool at our disposal.”

Board of Elections Enforcement Counsel Seeks Damages from Former IDC Members

CThe State Board of Elections Enforcement Counsel, Risa Sugarman, is seeking $8.6 million in penalties and fines from senators, campaign staff, and party officials of the NYS Senate former Independent Democratic Conference (IDC) and the Independence Party in connection with the entities joint campaign finance practices. The partnership between the two entities allowed the IDC to maintain and operate a separate party committee account within the Independence Party organization, availing the IDC to the same contribution limits and candidate expenditures afforded to party committees. A State Supreme Court, however, deemed this agreement invalid in June of 2018. In light of the court’s ruling, the enforcement counsel is seeking to recover significant money from former IDC members and other individuals involved. The Independence Party and former IDC members believed the transactions to be lawful and brought themselves into compliance once a court ruled the arrangement invalid.

New York City Admits to Defrauding FEMA in Aftermath of Superstorm Sandy

A settlement was reached this week between New York City and the U.S. Attorney for the Southern District over fraudulent damage claims in the wake of Superstorm Sandy. According to the filing, NYC Department of Transportation claimed pre-existing damage to the city fleet as having occurred during the storm and sought and received federal funds for replacement of vehicles that had already been marked for scrap prior to landfall of the storm. The City will reimburse the federal government over $5 million for the false claims.

Census Commission Announces Hearing Schedule

The New York State Complete Count Commission has scheduled six public hearings to begin the process of readying the state for the upcoming census. The commission has been maligned by advocates who bemoaned the late start. The commission’s final report was supposed to have been released on January 10th, but, Governor Cuomo did not appoint his members until January 18th. The hearings will take place in different locations throughout the state beginning in March and concluding in May.

Updates and Reminders

City & State NY’s weekly Winners & Losers here.

Cuomo attacks Senate Dems, calling the Amazon debacle as “the greatest tragedy I have seen since I have been in government” – Listen here.

Times Union reviews Cuomo’s backseat seatbelt proposal.

Replacement for Joe Crowley as Queens Democrat Chair named.

Reports surface that James Dolan is taking offers to sell the Knicks.

Jim Boeheim involved in tragic accident resulting in pedestrian death.

Election for NYC Public Advocate is Tuesday 2/26/19.

City & State NY fact check the second debate.

Who is trending in the race?

Republican Eric Ulrich secures endorsement from the Daily News.

Jumaane Williams gets the nod from the New York Times.

Coming Up

JCOPE will meet Tuesday, February 29th.

Sen. Metzger to hold a public hearing on the Climate & Community Protection Act on March 1st at 2pm. Hearing will be held at the New Paltz Village Hall.

The Board of Regents will hold its next meeting March 11-12.

PSC will hold its next meeting on March 14th.