Albany pols approve criminal justice and Cuomo impeachment fund bills

ALBANY — State lawmakers, eager on wrapping up the legislative session, handed a slew of measures together with one that might convert vacant motels and workplace buildings into reasonably priced housing and had been busy tweaking criminal justice reforms late Thursday.

Democrats authorized the laws late Wednesday allowing nonprofits to dip right into a $100 million fund to buy financially distressed motels and business house for reasonably priced housing items.

It comes on the heels of a proposal superior by Gov. Andrew Cuomo in January to transform empty workplace buildings and motels decimated by the coronavirus pandemic’s hit on tourism and enterprise leases into different house.

Leaders within the state Senate and Assembly had been caught negotiating final minute fixes to a invoice that might seal most conviction data for criminals, following a drafting error holding up its passage.

The “clean slate” invoice would seal data for people with misdemeanors after three years, and after seven years for these with felony data.

Registered intercourse offenders, people with pending criminal prices within the state, these probation or beneath parole supervision could be ineligible.

Bill sponsor, Assemblywoman Catalina Cruz (D-Queens) argues the change is required as a second likelihood, as people face discrimination when making use of for jobs or housing.

“New Yorkers and their families have had housing, employment and educational opportunities hindered because of old criminal records. They have paid their debt to society, they have done their time. It’s time we let them reenter society,” she instructed The Post.

Assemblywoman Catalina Cruz advocates for the “clean slate” bill for former convicts during a rally at the State Capitol in Albany, NY on June 8, 2021.
Assemblywoman Catalina Cruz advocates for the “clean slate” invoice for former convicts throughout a rally on the State Capitol in Albany, NY on June 8, 2021.
Hans Pennink

But Republicans argued the bid to assist ex-convicts re-enter society is a foul transfer throughout a time when many New Yorkers are worried in regards to the crime wave that has swept cities throughout the state.

“The governor himself said [the] biggest three issues facing New York City: crime, crime and crime. One hundred and thirty four people have been killed or wounded in the city of Buffalo as the result of violent crime,” seethed state Sen. Minority Leader Rob Ortt throughout a press convention in Albany Thursday.

“The issues that people really care about — their safety — that’s a backseat. In fact, we are pushing legislation that I believe continues to undermine that very safety. So the biggest challenge facing New York is crime…we’re doing nothing to turn that around. The policies we continue to push have exacerbated that issue.”

Cuomo can be backing a final minute deal that might break up up the MTA’s Board Chair and CEO positions into two posts.

He’s pushing for a proposal that might nominate Sarah Feinberg, presently the interim president of the New York City Transit Authority, because the MTA’s first MTA Chairwoman, and identify Janno Lieber, the MTA’s chief improvement officer, the authority’s CEO.

Gov. Andrew Cuomo tapped Sarah Feinberg to be the MTA’s first female Chairwoman.
Gov. Andrew Cuomo tapped Sarah Feinberg to be the MTA’s first feminine Chairwoman.
Dennis A. Clark

The invoice that might have cemented the change was reportedly useless Wednesday, however sources stated the proposal is again on the desk. The state Senate will return to Albany on the finish of June to vote on confirmations, sources stated.

Meanwhile, a invoice that might authorize the Legislature to make use of state funds to pay for the sprawling impeachment investigation into Cuomo together with a number of allegations of sexual harassment, the withholding of COVID-19 nursing house death data and the alleged misuse of state assets to write his pandemic memoir ‘American Crisis,’ was on monitor to clear each homes.

“We voted in favor because you know what, now there’s no excuses for Senate and Assembly Democrats, you want to impeach him: You can, you have the funding, you certainly have all the evidence,” Ortt stated.

He additionally slammed Democrats for “normalizing” Cuomo inside latest months — together with state Sen. Majority Leader Andrea Stewart Cousins (D-Westchester) — by appearing with the scandal-scarred governor, after beforehand calling for his resignation following scandals.

State Sen. Minority Leader Rob Ortt says the “clean slate” bill will further fuel crime rates amid New York City’s surge of violent shootings.
State Sen. Minority Leader Rob Ortt says the “clean slate” invoice will additional gas crime charges amid New York City’s surge of violent shootings.
Hans Pennink

The wind-down of the legislative session appeared anti-climatic, following April’s passage of the $212 billion funds together with far-reaching legal guidelines that elevated taxes on companies and the rich, legalized cell sports activities betting and authorized leisure marijuana.

Usually there’s a frenzy of exercise, however the state Capitol has been closed to the general public since final March because of the pandemic.

The sparsely attended hallways, usually teeming with lobbyists pining for a gathering with highly effective lawmakers, advocates armed with colourful indicators and chanting for his or her pet subject’s approval, had been nonexistent.

One longtime lobbyist instructed The Post Thursday morning he spent the week stalking politicians on the Empire State Plaza’s entrance on the Capitol’s floor stage, because it’s been troublesome to get lawmakers to name again.

Ortt argued the session can be remembered extra for “what wasn’t done, than what was done.”

Legislation that might have made everlasting the favored pandemic-era “cocktails-to-go” legislation did not cross each chambers in addition to a invoice requiring the state Education Department to review public faculties and how effectively they’re instructing in regards to the Holocaust.

State Sen. Minority Leader Rob Ortt accuses State Sen. Majority Leader Andrea Stewart-Cousins of being too lenient on Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s scandals.
State Sen. Minority Leader Rob Ortt accuses State Sen. Majority Leader Andrea Stewart-Cousins of being too lenient on Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s scandals.
Hans Pennink

The Adult Survivors Act, which might open a one-year window for sexual abuse victims to sue their abusers, did not clear the Assembly following earlier passage within the Senate.

The session is scheduled to wrap up by midnight on Thursday.

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