State Government Priorities

The challenges we now face as a City are historic. But as I have said, we will rise, if we rise together. The tinkering treadmill of incrementalism must give way to the transformational. We must make history – not deals – with bold leadership capable of making the tough decisions, informed by principles, people, and possibility.

I am running for Mayor because I am that leader – strong, collaborative, humble, and caring with a vision and the passion to pull us together and make it happen.

Achieving our goal of a City where everyone can live with dignity requires partnership with our colleagues in government—particularly in Albany.

My State agenda supports legislation that would raise critical revenue, enact important criminal justice reforms, expand access to the polls and opportunities for civic engagements, strike down educational policies that disserve many students of color, provide healthcare to New Yorkers, and protect our workers.

I look forward to advocating for these proposals and urge the State Legislature to pass, and the Governor to sign, them this session.

1. INVEST IN OUR NEW YORK

Our recovery will require all New Yorkers to pay their fair share. I endorse the principles of Invest in Our New York, and support consideration of some combination of the following additional revenue measures:

Progressive State Income Tax – Senate Bill 2622(Jackson):
Establishes higher average tax rates for incomes above $300,000, ranging from 7.01% to 13.81% at the high end for those making $100,000,000 per year.

Capital Gains Tax – Senate Bill 2522(Rivera)
Establishes a capital gains tax equal to the tax break that capital gains earners get from the federal government (ranges from 9-17%).

Heir’s Tax – Senate Bill 3462 (Brisport)
Establishes a tax on amounts above $250,000 inherited by those receiving the top 1% of inheritances. Tax amounts of income received by heirs of inheritances (rather than taxing the estate itself).

Billionaire’s Tax – Senate Bill 8277 (Ramos)
A mark to market approach, that essentially taxes the appreciation in asset value. New York would “mark” the value of assets that have appreciated to the “market” and tax the appreciation as income, placing a yearly income tax on the appreciated value of assets of New York’s 120 billionaires.

Wall Street Tax– Senate Bill S270 (Myrie)
Levies a small tax on Wall Street transactions (trades of stocks, bonds, and derivatives).

Corporate Tax – Senate Bill S2833 (Hoylman)
Uses state level corporate tax to offset recent federal tax cuts, on profitable businesses.

Vacancy Tax – Senate Bill 2005(Jackson)
Imposes a tax on commercial storefronts that remain vacant for a prolonged period of time.

2. HOUSING

We need to preserve, protect, and expand our affordable housing stock and help families stay in their homes. The pandemic, and looming eviction crisis, have only intensified the need for swift, bold action. To do this, I support:

Good Cause Eviction – Senate Bill S3082(Salazar)
Prohibits the eviction of residential tenants or the non-renewal of residential leases without good cause.

Limiting Major Capital Improvement Increases – Senate Bill S1255(Gianaris)
Eliminates rent increases based on major capital improvements. MCIs lead to unaffordable rent increases and force tenants to choose between safe living conditions and necessary building improvements. In other cases, MCIs are used as a mechanism to harass people out of their homes.

3. EDUCATION

Our public schools should provide excellent learning opportunities for all our kids, and should reflect the diversity of the City. It is time to move away from admissions models that don’t serve these goals.

Repealing Hecht-Calandra – Senate Bill S8847 (Salazar); Assembly Bill A10731 (Mosley)
Repeals the Hecht-Calandra Bill, which requires admission to NYC specialized high schools be based solely the SHSAT score

4. LOCAL HIRING

We need public spending to benefit people in our communities. This is a critical component of my New Deal New York capital spending and infrastructure proposal. To better accomplish this goal, I support:

Preference for Local Employees –Senate Bill S3415(Sanders, Jr.)
Requires that any entity that receives state funding gives preference in hiring to employees living within a ten-mile radius of the project if the anticipated cost for the project exceeds one million dollars.

5. CRIMINAL JUSTICE REFORM

We must radically change our approach to criminal justice and incarceration. To start, I support these proposals to make meaningful steps in the right direction:

Ending Solitary Confinement –Assembly Bill A2500 (Aubry)
Prohibits correctional officers from using solitary confinement to punish inmates in the context of disciplinary or other issues. The HALT Act emphasizes practices like treatment and rehabilitation as opposed to isolation.

Notably, the bill comprehensively defines “segregated confinement,” capturing all forms of confinement that exceeds 17 hours of isolation per day and protects people in a variety of contexts, including involuntary protective custody and voluntary protective custody.

Ending Parole Revocation for Technical Violations –Assembly Bill A5493 (Mosley); Senate Bill S1343(Benjamin)
Facilitates the positive reintegration into society of people who are subject to community supervision (parole, presumptive release, conditional release, and post-release supervision) and reduce the number of people held in jail and prison in New York

Allow Elderly Out of Jail After A Certain Amount of Time –Senate Bill S2144(Hoylman); Assembly Bill A9040 (De la Rosa)
Provides that if someone has served at least 15 years of a sentence and is 55 or older, the Parole Board is required to give them a parole hearing. If the Board determines they are unlikely to commit an additional crime, they should be released on parole even if they have not met the minimum sentence imposed by the judge who presided over their case.

6. SUPPORTING SMALL BUSINESS

Resources for Small Businesses –Senate Bill S1596(Sanders, Jr.)
Establishes the New York State Small Business Protection Program. The bill would provide financial resources for small businesses, including certified minority and women-owned businesses (MWBEs).

PPE Assistance for SmallBusinesses – Senate Bill S3142(Gounardes)
Provides assistance to small businesses in the procurement and purchase of PPE for employees; direct bulk purchasing of PPE by the State for small business; and provide a tax credit for the cost of such PPE to small business employers.

Small Business Recovery Leases –Senate Bill S2140(Kavanagh)
Establishes a small business recovery lease program. The bill would authorize the City of New York to enact local legislation to offer property owners an abatement on their real property taxes if they enter into recovery leases with their commercial small business tenants.

Wiley also supports the development of proposals relating to commercial rent forgiveness due to hardship caused by the pandemic.

7. WORKER PROTECTION

Workers across the City deserve to be paid for their labor – but they sometimes fall victim to employers who steal their wages. We have to provide tools for employees to fight back and get what they’ve earned. We can start by supporting:

Securing Wages Earned Against Theft –Senate Bill S2762(Ramos)
Provides an important tool to protect employees from wage theft. The bill would allow employees to petition a court to place a lien on the assets of an employer accused of wage theft.

8. ELECTORAL REFORMS

Everyone should have the opportunity to participate in our democracy. We need to remove barriers to civic engagement and stop voter disenfranchisement. I support:

Speeding Up the Absentee Ballot Counting Process – Senate Bill S1027(Gianaris)
Allows for expedited review and canvassing of absentee ballots without compromising the integrity of elections.

Same-day Registration – Senate Bill S517 (Gianaris)
A Constitutional amendment allowing for same-day registration.

Preventing Disenfranchisement of Absentee Voters – Senate Bill S253 (Myrie)
Prohibits voiding absentee ballots on technicalities where intent of voters is clear and the law has been substantially complied with.

Permanently Authorizing Absentee Ballot Drop Boxes – Senate Bill S492 (Hoylman)
Authorizes the Board of Elections to establish absentee ballot drop-off locations or drop-boxes to provide voters with a convenient and secure option for delivering their absentee ballots.

Increasing Transparency and Information about Absentee Ballots through a Tracking System – Senate Bill S1028 (Comrie)
Ensures that all voters in the state have access to absentee ballot tracking.

Implementing Permanent Authorization for Applying for Absentee Ballots Online – Senate Bill S632 (Jackson)
Permanently allows voters to apply for absentee ballots online and allows absentee ballots postmarked through Election Day. Under current Election Law, applications may only be made by mail or fax.

Creating Accountability for Timely Receipt of Absentee Ballots – Senate Bill S516 (Gianaris)
Establishes a mandatory timeframes for processing of absentee ballot applications and ballots by Boards of Elections based on when the application was received.

Enabling Earlier Applications for Absentee Ballots – Senate Bill S631 (Salazar)
Permits Boards of Elections to receive absentee ballot applications earlier than thirty days before the applicable Election Day.

No-Excuse Absentee Voting Constitutional Amendment – Senate Bill S360 (Comrie)
Amends the State Constitution to allow for any voter to vote by absentee without an excuse.

Ensuring Voters Timely Receipt of Absentee Ballots – Senate Bill S264 (Myrie)
Sets deadline for absentee ballot applications sent by mail to 15 days before the election, up from 7 days, to better allow for voters timely receiving their absentee ballots.

9. CLIMATE

Climate and Community Investment Act – Senate Bill S7645(Parker)
Enacts the Climate and Community Investment Act. This act seeks to transition New York to 100% renewable energy, create hundreds of thousands of jobs, protect workers currently in the fossil fuel industry, and support the communities most impacted by climate change and pollution.

10. ADDITIONAL PRIORITIES

Economic Development:

Meaningful reform of subsidies like ICAP, REAP and Opportunity Zones to provide for greater transparency, limit tax breaks for the wealthy, and allow for thorough reviews for effectiveness.
Consistent with the Housing Justice for All platform: Assess and Re-imagine 421a and 485a. These tax incentives cost our state upwards of $2 billion per year and are highly inefficient ways to create affordable housing. These overly generous tax incentives should be re-assessed, with an eye towards meaningful reforms.

School Aid: Provide full funding for New York City’s public schools that doesn’t rely on one-shot federal stimulus dollars.

Transportation: Increased support for MTA, including service restoration and capital needs.

Homecare: Restore funding for Consumer Directed Personal Assistant Program, which provides vital assistance to those with disabilities, while reforming and improving the program.

Healthcare/COVID Response: Provide adequate funding for healthcare and mental health services for individuals, hospitals and other health facilities, and medical workers. Support universal health coverage for all New Yorkers. Support Safe Staffing to provide appropriate nurse to patient ratios.

Housing: Just implementation of the Housing Stability and Tenant Protection Act. Invest in tenant-centered enforcement in the State budget.

Higher Education: Increase investment, including the funding of certain CUNY programs by the State, including CUNY’s accelerated study in associate program (ASAP) and other CUNY priorities.