New York Note – Council Charter Meeting, Start of State Session, Adams Sues Charter Bus Companies

January 8, 2024

NYC Council Charter Meeting

Last Wednesday, the NYC Council held their charter meeting to begin the 2024-2025 session. Adrienne Adams was unanimously reelected as Speaker. Deputy Speaker Diana Ayala, Majority Whip Selvena Brooks-Powers, Minority Leader Joe Borelli, and Minority Whip Inna Vernikov were all reappointed to their leadership positions. The new Majority Leader is Amanda Farias, who replaces Keith Powers. In her remarks, Adams thanked Powers for his leadership, which has been integral to the Council. Adams also noted that Farias’ appointment “places another member that is not in their final term in the Council on the leadership team to prepare the institution for its next generation and expand representation. It also marks the first time the top leadership positions of the New York City Council will all be women, and all are women of color.” Committee assignments and Chairs will be voted on at the next Council Stated meeting on Thursday, January 18.

Albany Session Begins

The state legislative session kicked off on Wednesday for the first day of the 2024 session. Both Speaker Carl Heastie and Majority Leader Andrea Stewart-Cousins highlighted successes from past years and focused on the priorities of their chambers in the year ahead, particularly the importance of finding solutions to the housing crisis. On Thursday, Assemblywoman Latoya Joyner announced that she is resigning from office, effective today, January 8. Joyner previously chaired the influential Assembly Labor Committee, which will now need a new leader.

Adams Brings Lawsuit Against Charter Bus Companies Transporting Migrants

Mayor Adams announced a $708M lawsuit against 17 charter bus and transportation companies bringing migrants to the City. The lawsuit alleges violations of state law in the transportation of tens of thousands of migrants over the past two years. The City alleges that the 17 Texas-based bus companies have violated Section 149 of the New York State Social Services Law, noting that anyone bringing individuals from out of state to New York to become a “public charge” is responsible for the costs of their care. Mayor Adams stated that the City is unable to pay for Texas Gov. Abbott’s “reckless political ploys.”

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