News in New York – New York’s Highest Court Rejects Congressional and State Senate Maps, NYC Council Passes and Introduces Legislation, Adams Releases FY23 Executive Budget
May 2, 2022
May 2, 2022
Last week, the New York State Court of Appeals rejected the new Congressional and State Senate district maps. The court ruled that the maps, which were drawn by the Democratic-controlled State Legislature, represented a partisan gerrymander that violated the state constitution. Further, the Appeals Court granted authority to draw new district maps to an expert, known as a special court master, rather than the Legislature. The court-ordered maps are supposed to be completed by May 20. Several days later, a New York Supreme Court judge ruled that the Congressional and State Senate primaries now be held on August 23. However, the Court of Appeals only rejected the Congressional and State Senate maps, and did not rule on the Assembly maps because they weren’t part of the original lawsuit. As a result, the Assembly primaries are still scheduled for June 28, unless the Legislature or state Supreme Court take action. With that being said, there was a new lawsuit filed at the end of last week to also reject the Assembly maps.
Last Thursday, the NYC Council convened a stated meeting, where they passed and introduced multiple pieces of legislation. The Council passed a bill that amends the law which requires employers to post minimum and maximum salary information for open positions. The amended bill adds explicit language applying salary transparency for hourly workers and pushes back the start date of the requirement by six months. The Council introduced legislation which would prohibit discrimination on the basis of a person’s height or weight for employment, housing, and access to public accommodations. They also introduced a bill that would require the City to create a program that allows community centers, schools, arts and cultural institutions, and religious institutions to use adjacent outdoor spaces for community programming. In addition, the Council introduced legislation that would require the City to create a historic and cultural marker program. You can find all of the bills that were introduced here.
Last Tuesday, NYC Mayor Eric Adams released the Executive Budget for Fiscal Year 2023 (FY23), which will begin on July 1, 2022. The Executive Budget totals $99.7 billion and is balanced thanks to better than anticipated tax revenues and additional savings from the program to eliminate the gap (PEG). The budget is a slight increase from the $98.5 billion Preliminary Budget, combining new investments with fiscally responsible measures, including budget reserves at an all-time high $6.3 billion.
In his address, which also showcased the accomplishments of his first 100 days, the Mayor highlighted new funding included in the Executive Budget and focused on four themes: creating a safer and more just city, promoting an equitable recovery, lifting up NYC’s youth, and investing in 21st century infrastructure. Adams stated that public safety is his #1 priority, and reiterated that his budget includes significant investments for public safety programs, including the Mayor’s Subway Safety Plan, Blueprint to End Gun Violence, and an expansion of the Behavioral Health Emergency Assistance Response Division (B-HEARD) initiative. The budget also calls for additional education funding that will expand summer school as well as apprenticeships and scholarships for NYC students, and includes a historic investment to fund new dyslexia screening sites and literacy programs. In addition, the budget contains funding to support the city’s open spaces and streetscapes, and advance the goals outlined in the “NYC Streets Plan”.
Over the next several weeks, the NYC Council will review the Mayor’s FY23 Executive Budget, holding public hearings on agency spending proposed by the Mayor. The Mayor and the Council will then engage in negotiations until the FY23 budget is adopted, likely in late June.
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