GOP Senator Sues Dems over LaSalle
State Senator Anthony Palumbo has sued state Democrats in order to compel a full Senate floor vote on Hector LaSalle, Governor Hochul’s nominee for Chief Judge. Sen. Palumbo is the ranking minority member of the Judiciary Committee. The lawsuit named each member of the Judiciary Committee who voted against LaSalle, along with Senate Majority Leader Andrea Stewart-Cousins. The suit states that the members of the Committee and Stewart-Cousins violated state constitution by failing to allow the entire Senate to vote on LaSalle’s nomination. At this time, it is not clear whether or not Governor Hochul participated in bringing the lawsuit forward.
Adams Lifts Vaccination Requirement for City Workers
Mayor Adams has lifted the vaccination requirement for current and prospective city workers. The vaccine mandate first went into effect in October 2021, and 96% of city workers, and 80% of New Yorkers overall, have now received their initial COVID-19 series. The vaccination requirement has been lifted effective last Friday, February 10. Approximately 1,700 employees were released from city service as a result of non-compliance with the requirement. While these employees will not be automatically reinstated, they are able to reapply to their former departments.
Gary Jenkins Resigns as Social Services Commissioner
NYC Social Services Commissioner Gary Jenkins has announced that he is resigning from the Adams administration. Jenkins, who oversees the Department of Homeless Services (DHS) and Human Resources Administration (HRA), served in the position for a little over a year, and had worked with the HRA for over 30 years. Jenkins’ resignation came in the wake of an investigation into claims that he tried to conceal the fact that families seeking asylum stayed overnight at a Bronx intake office in August, but Jenkins stated that this was a planned departure.
Council Members Leave Progressive Caucus over NYPD Funding Pledge
Fifteen City Council members have left the Progressive Caucus, after a contentious rewrite of its statement of principles. The Caucus’ new statement of principles includes the sentence: “We will do everything we can to reduce the size and scope of the NYPD and the Department of Correction, and prioritize and fund alternative safety infrastructure that truly invests in our communities.” All councilmembers are up for re-election this year, with many facing difficult primary or general challenges.