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Need-to-Know News: May 17-21, 2010

May 21, 2010 Leave a comment

Updates from Us

DVD Screening, 5-18-10
  • LAC’s video collaboration with the Organization for Visual Progression, “Your Rights, Your Future: Preparing for Reentry,” had a crowd-rousing premier at the Discharge Planning Collaboration’s bi-annual retreat, left, held May 19  in Manhattan.
  • We’ve had an Internet revolution!
    1. You can now find us on Facebook and Twitter; and don’t forget about our RSS feed.)
    2. We’ve overhauled our homepage to help you find what you’re looking for.
    3. We’ve expanded and renamed our blog: “Of Substance and Justice,” will cover all our issues, in New York and nationally.
    4. We’ve started this newsletter, “Need-to-Know News,” to keep you in the loop. Note: If you’re getting this as an e-mail from our blog, please sign up again here, so you continue to receive our updates.

Read more…

Need-to-Know News: May 10 – 14, 2010

May 14, 2010 1 comment

Updates from Us

HIRE Network Director Roberta Peeples-Myers speaking at University of Pittsburgh
  • The H.I.R.E. Network announced its Fifth Annual New York State Policy Conference, happening June 17 September 15, 2010.
  • H.I.R.E. director Roberta Meyers-Peeples’s presentation at the University of Pittsburgh on April 22, left, received a great writeup in the University Times.
  • WDFH-FM (90.3), a community radio station in the Hudson River Valley, has interviewed LAC’s Tracie M. Gardner for its Recovery Talk show, dedicated to resilience in recovery. The show will air May 18 and 22.

Read more…

Latest New York State and City Policy Updates: Week of March 8, 2010

March 11, 2010 Leave a comment

Policy update from our colleagues at ASAP

New York State – Budget

  • Budget continues to refine the numbers for both this year and next. The Consensus Report last week dropped the revenue forecast for both years combined, by $750 million, and wrote that receipts could be even lower. The combined deficit now stands at $9 billion prior to the actions proposed in the Executive Budget. With the additional $750 million hole identified last week, additional actions will need to be proposed, unless spending estimates are reduced (the Legislature and Executive have not yet reached agreement on that side of the ledger).
  • Budget has announced that a plan is being developed to manage cash flow needs for the remainder of this fiscal year. The plan will undoubtedly hold all payments not deemed “critical”. For local assistance payments, any payment with held must eventually be paid unless an agreement with the Legislature is reached to eliminate or reduce the payment, as part of a budget agreement with accompanying language inserted in the budget. It would be prudent to prepare for a delay in any payment scheduled over the next month or two.
  • State Comptroller DiNapoli’s Statement on the Consensus Revenue Forecast

“The overall revenue consensus number looks reasonable. But there are still some questionable and risky revenue assumptions. The VLT revenues from Aqueduct and the Battery Park City Authority revenues are two very big ifs.

“I called last year’s budget a buy time budget, and we all saw what happened when time ran out. The consensus is a good start, but this year’s budget process must be better than last year’s. Everyone in Albany has to learn the lesson that New York families already know: the state has to align its spending with its revenue.

  • The Daily News is reporting that Lt. Governor Ravitch is considering long-term borrowing to manage the state’s budget deficit.

Gov. Richard Ravitch’s plan to rescue New York from deficit may include selling bonds to cover state expenses. New York would borrow its way out of its crippling money mess and add billions to the state’s debt, under a plan Lt. Gov. Richard Ravitch is piecing together. Albany would sell bonds to cover operating expenses under one controversial cure being floated by Ravitch, who is working on a four-year long-term plan to stabilize the state’s finances. So-called deficit borrowing is frowned on by watchdogs and could damage the state’s credit rating. Gov. Paterson has warned that to do so might make borrowing more costly. To avoid having to get voter approval for adding to the state’s already staggering $60.4 billion debt load, Ravitch’s plan would look to issue the bonds through a public authority. And to make the backdoor borrowing more palatable to the Legislature, particularly fiscally conservative Republicans, he would likely propose a host of budget reforms to balance out the borrowing bonanza.” For more information go to www.nydailynews.com

New York City

  • MAYOR BLOOMBERG ANNOUNCES APPOINTMENT OF CHARTER REVISION COMMISSION

Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg today announced the appointment of a Charter Revision Commission to review the entire City Charter and propose to City voters any possible amendments that would improve it. The Mayor charged the commission with examining the changes made by the 1988 and 1989 Charter Revision Commissions, and other subsequent changes, in light of the lessons learned over the past two decades and the new challenges and opportunities that have since arisen. The Mayor also charged the commission with conducting an extensive outreach campaign that solicits ideas and recommendations from a wide variety of civic and community leaders, and that encourages the public to participate in hearings that will take place in all five boroughs. The Mayor appointed Dr. Matthew Goldstein, Chancellor of the City University of New York, to chair the commission, and John Banks, former Chief of Staff at the New York City Council, to serve as Vice-Chair.

NYC – Budget

The NY City Council has begun to hold hearings on the Mayor’s Preliminary Budget.

The Week in Policy and Politics: January 25-29, 2010

January 29, 2010 Leave a comment

Call to Action

LAC put out a call asking for sign-ons for a letter to the Governor urging him to include a number of reentry-related bills in his Executive Budget.

Resources and Reports

The Schedule of Joint Legislative Public Hearings on the Governor’s 2010-2011 Executive Budget, as well as the Senate Session Calendar for 2010, were posted in order to help advocates plan legislative days.

We provided a summary of the State Department of Health and AIDS Institute Executive Budget Briefing, as well as a copy of the powerpoint they provided.

What We’re Reading

Housing Works’ summary of Mayor Michael Bloomberg’s budget and its HIV-related cuts.

NYNP debating whether the Governor Paterson’s Executive Budget was a, “bloodbath or a surgical strike?”

LAC’s Director of New York State Policy Tracie Gardner talking about the NY DOH’s HIV/AIDS Stakeholder Briefing.

Timesunion.com’s Rick Karlin reporting on the start of hearings about Governor Paterson’s budget plan.

Mayor Bloomberg making specific reference to the City’s capacity in the corrections arena.

The Week in Policy and Politics: January 18-22, 2010

January 22, 2010 Leave a comment

This week, the Legal Action Center launched our newest online resource, Policy and Politics. The blog will be updated regularly in order to provide timely updates and insight into this season’s budget process. In addition, it will cover New York and national policy developments in our primary issue areas: criminal justice, HIV/AIDS and addiction.

Be sure to visit us regularly to get the latest information and to sign up for regular email updates!


Here’s what we covered this week:

New York State

On Tuesday, January 19th, Governor Paterson gave his budget address, which is now available online.

Legal Action Center released our Preliminary Analysis of Governor Paterson’s Budget.

Our partners and colleagues responded to the budget:

FOR-NY announced a Call to Action: Recovery Legislative Day – February 2, 2010

New York City

New City Council Committee Assignments were announced, and the media reacted. (“Heads Up!”– Fall out from City Council Committee Assignments)