News

New York State Environmental Scorecard for 2017.

2017
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An Insider's Guide to the Environmental Records of New York State Lawmakers

Each January, the state Legislature gathers for a six-month session to grapple with the pressing issues of the day and to advance public policy that will make our state a better place in which we live, work, and play. Over the years, New York has set the tone for enacting bold laws to protect the environment, to cut pollution, and to improve the health of our communities and people. In the late 1800s we enacted the forever-wild provision of the state Constitution; in the 1980s we adopted the nation’s first acid rain law and the bottle bill; and, we have the most comprehensive environmental quality review act in the nation.

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Earmarks Flow to Legislative Majorities and the IDC.

10/12/2017
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Jimmy Vielind

ALBANY — The Senate IDC’s partnership with Republicans has provided its members with more than $35 million in earmark funding that has been systematically denied to mainstream Democrats.

The money, which flowed through the State and Municipal Facilities program, was used for playgrounds and little league fields, a rescue boat, storm drains, a pedestrian plaza and a new roof for a police station. State Sen. Jeff Klein, the leader of the eight-member IDC from the Bronx, secured almost $17 million in earmarks — more than any other legislator.

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Democratic activists call for end of coalition keeping GOP in power in Albany

Sept. 14, 2017
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Zack Fink

NY1 VIDEO: The State Senate remains in Republican control — but only because some Democrats are helping them hold onto power. In the Trump era, some Democratic activists have been calling for that arrangement to end and for the party to unite. But as State House Reporter Zack Fink explains, it may not be that simple, particularly after Tuesday's primary results.

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Sen. Valesky Sticking with Independent Democratic Conference Despite Pressure

Aug. 15, 2017
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WAER-FM'S Scott Willis

It appears senator Dave Valesky will remain with the Independent Democratic Conference for the time being, despite continued pressure to reunite with democrats to form a majority. But some feel the IDC has outlived its usefulness.

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Independent Democratic Conference: Traitors in the NY State Senate

March 27, 2017
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Daily Kos's thecriticalpolitical

There is a group of eight Democratic senators that formed a group called the Independent Democratic Conference. This group aligns with Republicans and votes along Republican Party lines. On the surface, it may seem like a cross-party cooperative effort to break through partisan gridlock and actually pass legislation, but that would be a mischaracterization of the arrangement between these strange bedfellows.

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The Incumbent Advantage

May 18, 2017
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Three-part series by Chris Bragg

Details the extreme advantage New York State gives to incumbents.

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