Process Servers Feeling the Heat of City Crackdown

Written by Kristen Meriwether on . Posted in News

For 29 years Maureen Mintzer and her husband have owned a small process serving agency in New York City. This month she must renew her license, a ritual she has performed every two years for almost three decades. But this year there is a little hesitation. It is not that Mintzer has grown tired of a business where chasing down citizens to serve them court documents is a normal occurrence. The problem is that the paperwork has become a killer.… [More]

Study Says Eliminating Estate Tax Would Be Big Boost For New York

Written by Matthew Hamilton on . Posted in Budget/Taxes, Features, Heard Around Town, News

What would happen if New York joined the majority of states that don’t have estate taxes? An analysis from the Beacon Hill Institute included in a report on the tax from the Empire Center shows a complete phase-out of the tax would boost the state’s gross domestic product by billions. Gov. Andrew Cuomo has proposed raising the current threshold from $1 million to the federal benchmark of more than $5 million by 2019. Though the Empire Center says that would… [More]

Is Observer Piece Hitting Schneiderman Trump’s Revenge?

Written by Nick Powell on . Posted in Blog, Daily, Heard Around Town, Latest, News, Other News

Is Donald Trump about to make good on his threat to “get even” with Attorney General Eric Schneiderman? The New York Observer will publish a lengthy profile of Schneiderman tomorrow that sources say will serve as payback for the lawsuit the attorney general filed against Trump University. Trump’s son-in-law, Jared Kushner, is the publisher of the Observer. “It’s been clear for months that Donald Trump ordered up a hit piece in his son-in-law’s newspaper to retaliate against Schneiderman for bringing a… [More]

Council Member Item Reform Easier Said Than Done

Written by Kristen Meriwether on . Posted in Blog, Budget/Taxes, Daily, Features, Government Operations, Latest, News, Social Services

For years, Council members have cried foul at the discretionary funding process. They argued the funding was used as a reward by the Speaker, leaving those that disagree without adequate money for their district.   “When Council members are afraid to vote their conscience or advocate for their constituents because they fear the funding to their district will be cut, the rules in the Council are not working,” said Councilman Brad Lander at City Hall on Monday. With a new… [More]

Arbitration Could Throw A Wrench In City Labor Settlements

Written by Nick Powell on . Posted in Labor/Unions, Spotlight

Throughout his campaign and time in office Mayor Bill de Blasio has artfully dodged publicly negotiating New York City’s expired contracts with its municipal unions. All along the mayor has mostly stuck to the same talking point in discussing how he will approach settling the contracts—the first great test of his administration— referring to the billions of dollars that could wind up added to the city’s ledger for salary increases and back pay as “the great unknown.” Adding to this… [More]

Beating The Clock

Written by Jon Lentz on . Posted in Budget/Taxes, Latest, News

Gov. Andrew Cuomo has ushered in a new era of on-time budgets. Is that good for New York?    Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s perfect record of on-time budgets was already in jeopardy. The governor had been playing up the importance of timely budgets, praising the Legislature during his State of the State address for meeting the deadline in each of his first three years in office and—in a compliment that could double as a warning—for breaking the “gridlock that had plagued… [More]

City & State TV: Eric Adams Discusses LICH, Aqueduct Casino Bid and Shirley Huntley

Written by Michael Gareth Johnson on . Posted in Health Care, Video

Brooklyn Borough President Eric Adams discussed the agreement announced by Gov. Andrew Cuomo, SUNY Chairman Carl McCall and Mayor Bill de Blasio to open a bidding process that will encourage full-service healthcare at Long Island College Hospital, which is located only a few blocks away from Adams’ office at Borough Hall. Adams praised the deal that could keep the hospital running, characterizing the fight to keep LICH open as “an awesome battle,” but said that the conversation needs to move toward… [More]

Replacing Bullying and Bribery With Consensus

Written by Brad Lander on . Posted in Features, News, Opinion

images-1 Distrust and cynicism about government prevail these days—with partisan gridlock in Congress, NSA surveillance, New Jersey embroiled in Bridgegate, the New York State Senate denying New York City a vote on whether we can tax ourselves to pay for universal pre-K or raise our own minimum wage and Albany refusing meaningful campaign finance reform. At the New York City Council, we are pushing in the other direction. On Monday, Feb. 24, the Council’s Rules Committee will hold a public hearing… [More]

Astorino Fires Back At Website Questioning His Whereabouts

Written by Matthew Hamilton on . Posted in Campaigns/Elections, News

The Westchester County Democratic Committee is wondering where in the world County Executive Rob Astorino is. The Democrats launched a website, whereisrob.com, questioning the time he has spent outside of Westchester County and the state since his re-election and the start of his new term. When asked about the web site on Wednesday, Astorino quickly shifted the topic to the current governor’s whereabouts. “I’m waiting for the dropdown box on that website to show where Cuomo has gone for his $50,000-a-plate Hollywood fundraiser… [More]

De Blasio’s Budget: Progressive or Aggressive?

Written by Nick Powell on . Posted in Budget/Taxes, Economic Development, Education, Environment, Features, Government Operations, Housing, Labor/Unions, News

What does a “progressive” city budget look like? During his preliminary budget presentation last week, Mayor Bill de Blasio attached his favorite buzzword to a supposedly apolitical document. Through the explicit and implicit priorities laid out in his financial plan, the mayor—who mere months ago dubbed himself a “fiscal conservative”—threw caution to the wind, etching his major policy items into the budget with or without the necessary cooperation from Albany, and despite the element of unpredictability stemming  from the city’s… [More]