News in New York – Early Voting, NYC Legislation, and Congestion Pricing
August 15, 2022
August 15, 2022
Early Voting Begins for Congressional and State Senate Primaries
Early voting started over the weekend for the second of New York’s two primary elections this year, with voters casting their ballots for Congress and State Senate along party lines. As a result of redistricting, the election includes a high profile contest between long-time Congress Members Jerry Nadler and Carolyn Maloney in the newly redrawn 12th district, which now encompasses both the Upper East and Upper West sides of Manhattan. In addition, there are several notable candidates with paths to victory in the redrawn 10th district, which encompasses lower Manhattan and brownstone Brooklyn, including Council Member Carlina Rivera, Congress Member Mondaire Jones, Assembly Member Yuh-Line Niou, and Trump impeachment lawyer Daniel Goldman. Congress Member and DCCC Chair Sean Patrick Maloney faces a primary challenge from State Senator Alessandra Biaggi, although polls show Maloney with a sizeable lead. On the State Senate side, there are at least seven Democratic incumbents who are facing primary challenges, some from their left and others from more moderate candidates. In addition, candidates are vying for several open seats, either in newly drawn districts or instances in which incumbents are retiring. Early voting will continue until Sunday, with election day on Tuesday, August 23.
NYC Council Passes and Introduces Legislation
Last Thursday, the NYC Council convened a stated meeting, where they passed and introduced multiple pieces of legislation. The Council passed a package of bills addressing significant disparities in maternal health, mortality, and morbidity in NYC. The legislative package requires the City to establish a program to train doulas and provide doula services to residents of marginalized neighborhoods at no cost to the resident, educate residents on polycystic ovary syndrome and endometriosis, conduct research on sexual and reproductive health disparities within the city, and administer public education on New York’s standards for respectful care at birth. The Council introduced legislation which would require real property owners to disclose the utilization of biometric recognition technology on the premises. They also introduced legislation which amend the definition of “employee” in the Earned Safe and Sick Time Act to include independent contractors who meet certain conditions. In addition, the Council introduced a bill that would prohibit housing discrimination on the basis of arrest record or criminal history. You can find all of the bills that were passed and introduced here.
MTA Releases Environmental Assessment for Congestion Pricing Plan
Last Wednesday, the MTA released the environmental assessment for NYC’s congestion pricing program. The preliminary plan outlines several tolling scenarios for drivers entering Manhattan’s Central Business District, which is defined as the area south of 60th Street. The proposed toll rates range anywhere from $9 to $23 during peak periods and $5 to $12 during overnight hours, with the highest toll rates offering additional credits, caps and exemptions to certain vehicles. In addition, the plan offers little exemptions from the program, only including emergency vehicles and those carrying people with disabilities. The MTA will hold six virtual hearings to listen to feedback from the public between August 25-31, and members of the public can also submit comments online. After the public comment period, the Federal Highway Administration will either approve the program or request an Environmental Impact Statement which will require additional study. If approved, MTA officials have stated that they expect the plan to be implemented before the end of next year.
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