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Report: NY Legislature Passed Fewer Bills In 2016 Than 2015

Report: NY Legislature Passed Fewer Bills In 2016 Than 2015
New York state lawmakers passed fewer bills during the 2016 session than in past year, continuing a trend in recent years. This year 618 pieces of legislation passed the full Legislature before lawmakers adjourned in June. In 2015 they passed 718 bills. The data comes from an analysis released Friday by the New York Public Interest Research Group, which examined the results of the legislative session following its adjournment. While the number of bills passed each year has varied widely in past decades, the number has trended ...

Airbnb Says It's Cleaning Up New York Listings While Governor Mulls New Law

Airbnb Says It's Cleaning Up New York Listings While Governor Mulls New LawNew York Gov. Andrew Cuomo must soon decide whether to authorize hefty fines for many people who offer to rent out their New York City apartments on Airbnb. Meanwhile, the online booking service said it's policing its website to remove commercial operators in the city, addressing a chief complaint of critics who say it promotes illegal hotels and effectively takes scarce apartments out of circulation. Airbnb, with 45,000 city listings and another 13,000 across the state, counters that it typically enables New Yorkers to make about $5,000 ...    Full Story »

NYC Health Dept. to Spray Pesticides for 7th Time in Summer to Fight Spread of Zika, West Nile Viruses

NYC Health Dept. to Spray Pesticides for 7th Time in Summer to Fight Spread of Zika, West Nile VirusesSpray trucks are scheduled to be out spraying pesticide in the city for the seventh time this summer to fight the spread of the Zika and West Nile viruses. The city health department plans to target parts of Staten Island and Queens, which have larger mosquito populations. The two boroughs also were found to have significant numbers of Aedes albopictus mosquitoes, which are potential transmitters of Zika, according to the city health department. The spraying is slated to take place between 10 p.m. Monday through 6 a.m. Tuesday ...    Full Story »

Indy Business Group Gives Senator Felder Highest Marks

Indy Business Group Gives Senator Felder Highest MarksThe National Federation of Independent Business recently released its legislative ratings for individual state lawmakers and the highest scoring lawmaker in the Senate was Brooklyn Senator Simcha Felder, “Small business in New York needs more than lip service from Albany,” said NFIB state director Mike Durant. “There needs to be a more concerted effort to not only promote Main Street, but to push for high impact legislative reforms to the cost drivers that already hamper job creators.” “I’m not surprised that Senator Felder ...    Full Story »

TSA Says More People Getting to LaGuardia Late Because of Construction, Asks Travelers to Give Themselves Extra Time

TSA Says More People Getting to LaGuardia Late Because of Construction, Asks Travelers to Give Themselves Extra TimeThe TSA says more people have been getting to LaGuardia Airport late because of construction. As a result, the agency is asking travelers to give themselves extra time to get through traffic, process bags and go through security. People are advised to arrive at least two- to two-and-a-half hours before their flight is scheduled to leave, and even earlier during holiday travel periods. The agency says it all stems from the airport's massive redevelopment project. For more information, head to laguardiaairport.com. (Source:     Full Story »

Hikind Visits with Homeowners to Address Notice of Violations for Damaged Sidewalks Caused by Trees (1 opinions)

Hikind Visits with Homeowners to Address Notice of Violations for Damaged Sidewalks Caused by TreesAssemblyman Dov Hikind (D-Brooklyn) visited with homeowners to address notice of violations distributed by the Department of Transportation for damaged sidewalks caused by tree roots. After visiting with homeowners who received DOT sidewalk violations, Assemblyman Hikind called on the NYC DOT to be more transparent and clearly state what damages the homeowner is responsible for. The motion comes just weeks after Hikind’s office received numerous calls from residents who received a notice of violation after their property had been ...    Full Story »

Greenfield Meets with Commissioner to Discuss Dangerous Boro Park Intersection (1 opinions)

Greenfield Meets with Commissioner to Discuss Dangerous Boro Park IntersectionCouncilman David G. Greenfield is urging the Department of Transportation to install a stoplight or a stop sign in the vicinity of 18th Avenue and 56th Street in Brooklyn, a pedestrian-heavy area that too often sees cars passing through at dangerously high rates of speed. "The area around 18th Avenue and 56th Street is the most significant safety hazard in my district," Greenfield said. "My office gets calls from worried parents about this issue nearly every week. Now that my $7.25 million in brand new renovations to the 18th Avenue Park ...    Full Story »

Qatari State Fund Buys Stake in NY's Empire State Building

Qatari State Fund Buys Stake in NY's Empire State BuildingQatar's sovereign wealth fund has made an iconic purchase in America — a stake in the company that owns New York's Empire State Building. The $622-million purchase by the Qatar Investment Authority comes as the Doha fund increases its investments in the U.S. as the small country on the Arabian Peninsula tries to cope with low global oil and gas prices. The Empire State Realty Trust Inc., which manages the 102-story, 1,454-foot (443-meter) -tall building, announced the Qatari purchase late Tuesday, saying the fund would gain a ...    Full Story »

New Ferry Ready for Service Between New Jersey and New York (1 opinions)

New Ferry Ready for Service Between New Jersey and New YorkA new ferry soon will be carrying commuters between New Jersey and New York City. New York Waterway's 400-passenger Betsy Ross is open for inspection Wednesday at the Port Imperial Ferry Terminal in Weehawken. The Betsy Ross will go into service next week. The 109-foot vessel has climate-controlled cabins and heated handrails. A marble bar serves coffee in the morning and cocktails in the afternoon. The ferry's sister ship, Molly Pitcher, began service last year carrying commuters from Middletown to Paulus Hook in Jersey City, the ...    Full Story »

Campaign's Rising Rent at Trump Tower Came as Space Expanded (3 opinions)

Campaign's Rising Rent at Trump Tower Came as Space ExpandedDonald Trump's campaign is taking up more space inside Trump Tower in New York -- and paying a lot more in rent. The Republican presidential nominee's campaign paid $35,457 per month for rent and utilities to Trump Tower Commercial LLC between last August and this April, Federal Election Commission reports show. The payment began increasing in May and hit $169,758 last month. The rent hike at the Manhattan skyscraper came as the Trump team expanded from using only the fifth floor to add two additional levels, according to a statement ...    Full Story »

NYC Launches Mosquito Information Website In Battle Against Zika

NYC Launches Mosquito Information Website In Battle Against ZikaNew York City’s health department has launched a new, interactive mosquito information website as part of its three-year, $21 million effort to keep the Zika virus from spreading. The new site includes information about mosquito surveillance and control activities across the city as well as recent mosquito control events by neighborhood. “Every day, members of our mosquito control team are collecting surveillance traps, investigating complaints of standing water, and using our tools to reduce the mosquito population,” Health ...    Full Story »

Ex-Aide to NY Gov. Cuomo Among 5 Killed in Long Island Crash

Ex-Aide to NY Gov. Cuomo Among 5 Killed in Long Island CrashA driver lost control and struck two other vehicles on a major Long Island roadway Sunday, and police said a former aide to New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo and four other people including a 10-year-old boy were killed and six others were injured. Among those killed was Scott Martella, 29, of Northport, a communications director for Suffolk County Executive Steve Bellone and a former aide to Cuomo. The accident happened around 9:30 a.m. Sunday on the Long Island Expressway, near Manorville. Police said the driver of an eastbound Subaru ...    Full Story »

NYC Remembers Dark Chapter of Crown Heights Race Riot (2 opinions)

NYC Remembers Dark Chapter of Crown Heights Race RiotTwenty-five years after race riots scarred a New York City neighborhood, residents of Crown Heights gathered Sunday to mark the quarter-century anniversary with a memorial service, march, and street festival that organizers said showed how far the community had come. Critics, however, condemned the events as insensitive. About three dozen people gathered for a series of commemorative events, held as part of "One Crown Heights," which organizers said was a way to bring children of different backgrounds together and acknowledge years of ...    Full Story »

Schumer Calls For 'Swift' Review Of Kennedy Airport Incident

Schumer Calls For 'Swift' Review Of Kennedy Airport IncidentSen. Charles Schumer says the recent scare at Kennedy Airport raises “disturbing” questions about the facility’s vulnerability to an actual attack. The New York Democrat says Sunday that he wants a “swift” review by federal agencies of the incident and the security response to it. Loud celebrations by passengers watching the Olympics have been offered as one possible explanation for the cause of the incident on Aug. 14. The reports of gunfire led to chaos and evacuations. Authorities later determined no shots were ...    Full Story »

NY Tax Collections Lower Than Last Year

NY Tax Collections Lower Than Last YearNew York's comptroller reports that state tax collections of $24.2 billion for the first four months of this fiscal year are down $1.1 billion from last year and more than $500 million below initial budget projections. In his July cash report, Comptroller Thomas DiNapoli says that's primarily from income tax collections that were lower than expected. The report shows total state receipts, including miscellaneous and federal receipts, have declined $1.5 billion from last year, with drops in both taxes and court settlement revenue while ...    Full Story »

Christie Faces Decision on Raising Minimum Wage

Christie Faces Decision on Raising Minimum WageGov. Chris Christie is facing a deadline to act on raising New Jersey's minimum wage to $10.10 an hour in the next year and to at least $15 over the next five. The Republican Christie has criticized the proposal, which the Democrat-led Legislature sent to him in June. When lawmakers return from an August break, likely after Labor Day, Christie will have to veto the law if he wants to block its enactment. Legislation may become law in New Jersey if the governor fails to take action after 45 legislative days. If it were enacted, New Jersey ...    Full Story »

New York City Eliminates English Test for Yellow Cab Drivers (4 opinions)

New York City Eliminates English Test for Yellow Cab DriversNew York City taxi drivers will no longer have to pass an English test under new rules designed to make it easier for immigrants to get behind the wheel of a yellow cab. The test for a taxi license will be available in several languages under regulations that went into effect Friday. The change was approved by the City Council in April and signed into law by Mayor Bill de Blasio. The New York Times reports that city officials sought parity with app-based ride services such as Uber, which don't require an English test. The city's ...    Full Story »

NY Governor Signs Felder-Simanowitz Unclaimed Bodies Bill Into Law (3 opinions)

NY Governor Signs Felder-Simanowitz Unclaimed Bodies Bill Into LawIt is no longer legal for unclaimed bodies to be released to medical schools without the consent of the deceased’s spouse or next of kin. Today, NY State Governor Andrew Cuomo signed the Unclaimed Bodies bill, which was sponsored by Senator Simcha Felder and Assemblyman Mike Simanowitz. “After numerous cases of unclaimed bodies being delivered to medical schools for uses that may have been in stark contrast with the religious or personal wishes of next of kin, this law now makes it illegal to show such disrespect to the deceased,” ...    Full Story »

Driver Killed, 19 Injured When 2 New Jersey Buses Crash (2 opinions)

Driver Killed, 19 Injured When 2 New Jersey Buses CrashTwo commuter buses collided in New Jersey's largest city Friday morning, pushing one of the vehicles onto its side, killing one of the drivers and critically injuring seven other people, authorities said. The person killed in the Newark crash was the driver of a New Jersey Transit bus that had no passengers when it slammed into the side of another NJ Transit bus that was carrying about 20 passengers around 6 a.m. Mayor Ras Baraka said 19 people were injured, including seven critically. "We're praying for all of those in the hospital," ...    Full Story »
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