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WNYC News

Council Takes Aim at Outside Contracts to Save Jobs, Services

Monday, April 11, 2011

For the first time since the recession began, City budget makers are dealing with significant cuts in both State and Federal aid, only partially ameliorated by the improving tax revenue picture of a fragile recovery. Add to that a more than billion dollar increase in pension costs and spending priorities are being squeezed.

On Friday, the City Council released a detailed critique of the Mayor Michael Bloomberg's proposed budget, providing one boundary of the debate ahead. Early next month, it will be the Mayor's turn when he unveils his formal Executive budget.

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It's A Free Country ®

After State and Federal Cuts, City Council Readies Budget Counter Offer

Tuesday, April 05, 2011

This week, the City Council will offer a budget counter-proposal to Mayor Bloomberg. The proposal comes as the city faces cuts from both Albany and Washington. Between a possible $200 milllion dollar cut in Washington and a real $400 million dollar hit from Albany, the Mayor and Council have their work cut out for them.

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WNYC News

Council Targets Anti-Abortion Centers

Wednesday, March 02, 2011

A controversial bill supported by Mayor Michael Bloomberg to regulate anti-abortion pregnancy centers passed the City Council on Wednesday. Critics of the bill claim it is unconstitutional. 

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It's A Free Country ®

The Speaker's Speech

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

I fully recognize that Governor Cuomo has no choice but to make tough decisions and pass a budget that has cuts in it. All I ask is that New York City not be cut worse than anywhere else. As far as aid to municipalities, all other jurisdictions are getting their funding cut by two percent; we're getting our total allocation of $300 million zeroed out. We'll take our fair share and not complain about it, but we don't want to take more than our fair share.

—New York City Council Speaker Christine Quinn talks about some of the ideas in her State of the City address The Brian Lehrer Show

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The Brian Lehrer Show

The Speaker's Speech

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

New York City Council Speaker Christine Quinn talks about some of the ideas in her State of the City address, including plans for budgeting, jobs, and parking.

→Read a Recap and Join the Discussion at It's a Free Country

It's A Free Blog

Halloran's Abominable Snow Story

Friday, January 28, 2011

When New York City Council Member Dan Halloran announced that the city’s poor response to last month’s blizzard was the result of an intentional slow down by sanitation workers, we had a chance to see how right-wing media works. Based only on his unverified claims, the story appeared in The Post, then on its sibling Fox News. Other news agencies then followed Fox’s lead, and all the attention prompted three separate probes by the US Attorney, District Attorney and the City Department of Investigations.

Halloran had his 15 minutes of fame serving the anti-worker interests of the right-wing message machine, and the workers were dubbed  “Abominable Snowmen" by the ever-classy Post.

Now the story of these “Abominable Snowmen” is proving as questionable as the yeti itself.

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WNYC News

Queens Residents on December Blizzard: The City Failed Us

Friday, January 21, 2011

WNYC

New Yorkers' discontent with the city's inadequate response to the December blizzard continues. A City Council hearing at Queens Borough Hall Friday had residents lining up to describe how they were stranded in their homes for days, with unplowed streets, uncollected garbage, stranded busses and ambulances that did not reach the ailing in time to help. Here are some of their stories.

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WNYC News

Council Members Rip "Ridiculous" Blizzard Response

Friday, January 14, 2011

New York City Council members blasted transit officials during a Friday hearing on the city's response to last month's blizzard.

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Transportation Nation

TN Moving Stories: Boxer rends garments over House rules: Scott casts doubt on FL High Speed Rail; NY Subway Signal Fraud May Be Vast; But Hey, You Can Ride You

Friday, January 07, 2011

A downtown Manhattan parking meter--whose rates ARE rising (Kate Hinds)

New Florida Governor Rick Scott's Administration releases a report prepared by a Libertarian group that says Florida's High Speed Rail might be too costly. (WESH-TV, Orlando)  Scott said during the last debate that he wasn't necessarily against the Orlando-Tampa rail line, now funded with some $3 billion federal dollars -- but only if it didn't cost Florida taxpayers another penny.

California Senator Barbara Boxer, Chair of the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee, says if House Republicans act on threats to raid transportation fund "all our plans to do more...are thrown aside." (Streetsblog)

New York rolls back parking meter hikes--but only outside of Manhattan. (WNYC)

Subway officials unsure of extent of signal fraud in NYC subways:  (NY1)

NJ Governor Christie proposes a five-year, $8 billion transportation infrastructure spending plan that relies on borrowing -- as well as repurposing ARC money.  (Wall Street Journal, New York Times)

An advisory panel says the Texas Department of Transportation needs new leadership, consolidated financial operations and better communication with the public. (AP via Houston Chronicle).

Colorado's New Gov, John Hickenlooper Tells NY Times "Rather than  going to health care first, I would have gone, I think, to transportation infrastructure." (NY Times)

The US proposes reopening roads to Mexican trucking companies. "We can't say the Mexican trucking dispute is over, but we can now say that, at last, the end appears to be in sight," says one stakeholder. (AP)

The Illinois legislature voted to give the state's top ethics official new watchdog power over Chicago's mass transit agencies. (Chicago Tribune)

Norfolk tests light rail (AP via Washington Examiner).

Tesla releases some engineering porn to a car-hungry public (via Wired/Autopia). Video: Tesla Vehicle Engineering - Part 1 from Tesla Motors on Vimeo.

A Wisconsin woman bikes to the hospital...while in labor. (Milwaukee Journal Sentinel)

Follow Transportation Nation on Twitter.


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WNYC News

City Reaches Deal to Avoid Overnight Fire Company Closures

Thursday, January 06, 2011

WNYC

The planned overnight closings of 20 fire companies in New York City have been spared, for now, thanks to a budget deal reached between Mayor Bloomberg and the City Council.

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WNYC News

Bag The Bugs or Pay The Price

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

WNYC

If you plan to discard a mattress this year, you'll need to encase it in a plastic bag or risk getting a hefty ticket.

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WNYC News

City Council To Take A Closer Look at Wal-Mart

Monday, November 29, 2010

While the nation's largest retailer Walmart considers opening a store in New York City, the city council has decided to take a closer look at the retailer.

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WNYC News

Sean Bell's Fiancé to Run for City Council

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Nicole Paultre Bell, the 26-year-old woman who was engaged to marry a man killed by police four years ago, will be on the November ballot for City Council. Paultre Bell is running to succeed Queens Democrat Thomas White, who died in office in August.

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WNYC News

Abortion Rights Groups Push to Regulate Crisis Pregnancy Centers

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Members of the City Council and abortion rights proponents are accusing so-called "crisis pregnancy centers" of providing false information to women in an effort to steer them away from abortions and contraception.

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WNYC News

Bloomberg Says Paid Sick Leave Could Hurt Economy

Friday, October 08, 2010

Paid sick leave could hurt the city's economic health. That's Mayor Michael Bloomberg's position, and he says he would veto a bill that would force businesses to provide sick days to employees.

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WNYC News

Board of Elections, City Council Tussle Over Primary Day Voting Problems

Monday, October 04, 2010

The New York City Board of Elections felt the heat from City Council at a hearing Monday over primary day voting problems. A representative of the  board said it would use what it learned to improve the voting experience for the November 2 election.

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The Brian Lehrer Show

Debating Paid Sick Leave

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

The city council is considering legislation requiring companies to offer their employees paid sick leave. Kathryn Wylde, president and CEO of the Partnership for New York City, and Dan MorrisDrum Major Institute communications director, debate the issue.

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The Brian Lehrer Show

Getting Vested in NYC

Friday, August 27, 2010

Charles Brecher, research director at the Citizens Budget Commission and professor of public administration at NYU, discusses the process of getting vested in New York City pension plans, and how that affects city council term limits.

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WNYC News

Owners of Empire State Building Oppose Proposed Tower Nearby

Thursday, August 19, 2010

The owners of the Empire State Building are objecting to a proposed 69-story skyscraper that would be built two blocks away. The new building, called 15 Penn Plaza, would go where the Hotel Pennsylvania is currently located, at 32nd Street and 7th Avenue, and would rise to about 1200 feet -- or just 25 feet lower than the top floor of the Empire State Building.

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WNYC News

Newly Elected Council Members: Margaret Chin

Wednesday, December 09, 2009

Next year the city will have 13 new City Council members. Brian Lehrer and WNYC are exploring who they are, where they come from, and what they hope to accomplish.

Today we meet City Councilwoman-Elect Margaret Chin (D-1), who will represent Chinatown, SoHo, TriBeCa, and parts of the ...

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