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Pandemic clouds NY pandemic calendar

“Lawmakers can and must address the myriad policy issues and COVID-19 related legislation, including expanding absentee voting which is crucial to ensuring the success of our elections in June and November,” said Susan Lerner, executive director of Common Cause/NY, a government watchdog group.

Cuomo Calls New State Budget "Robust," Progressives Call It "Republican Austerity Warfare"

“It’s a totally opaque, not transparent, not sufficiently open and collaborative process to begin with, and it’s even more so now,” said Susan Lerner, the executive director of the good government group Common Cause New York. “In virtually every way possible, the individual representatives are cut out of this process, which is three leaders in a room, and now it’s even more locked down than usual.” Lerner said that lawmakers should continue voting on critical issues like election safety and security and rent after the budget is passed, and should work remotely like other sectors of the economy. The Senate and the Assembly have passed laws to allow them to work remotely, but Lerner said they were flawed. “The Assembly resolution is truly unusual in that it appears to require anyone who wants to vote in the negative to do so in the Assembly chamber in Albany,” Lerner said. “It also has a provision that if you don’t vote you’re assumed to vote yes.”

After the budget, then what? Good-government groups hope lawmakers can work remotely

Common Cause NY points out that other states like Pennsylvania, are holding public meetings, hearings, and voting remotely as of last week. “The Legislature is a co-equal branch of government that cannot cede its role to the Executive [Branch], which is correctly triaging the current state of emergency,” said Susan Lerner, the executive director of Common Cause NY. “While the governor is figuring out how to get 40,000 ventilators, and literally keep New York alive, lawmakers need to look beyond the rapidly evolving crisis, and help plan for recovery in addition to supporting their constituents,” Lerner said. “We have the technology, the Legislature should use it.”

‘Retaliation, a Culture of Fear’: Councilman Is Suspended for 30 Days

Susan Lerner, the executive director of Common Cause New York, a good-government group, said Mr. King’s conduct should be examined by criminal authorities. “I hope there would an independent investigation by criminal authorities to determine whether there was criminal activity or not,” Ms. Lerner said, adding that Mr. King’s conduct justified expulsion from the City Council. “The Council does not believe he has the ability to behave appropriately, so to ask the taxpayers to pay for a babysitter is inappropriate,” Ms. Lerner continued. “If I as a taxpayer would pay for anything, it’s a new election.”

A defiant Andy King plans lawsuit over ethics probe

Council Speaker Corey Johnson and Mayor Bill de Blasio have called on King to resign while Council Member Jimmy Van Bramer and Susan Lerner, head of good government group Common Cause, have called on the body to go further and expel King.

Keith Wright crushes motion to oust him, remains Democratic party leader

“For almost three years, Common Cause/NY has said Keith Wright can either be party chairman or a lobbyist but he can’t have it both ways,” Susan Lerner, executive director of the group said. “The opportunities to wield his political position for personal enrichment, or use his position to advance a client’s agenda present a clear conflict of interest.”

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