Editorial Roundup: New York

Dunkirk Evening Observer. April 9, 2024.

Editorial: ALBANY State needs to support Local Journalism Sustainability Act

A few short weeks ago, we told you about the newly formed Empire State Local News Coalition. The Post-Journal is proud to be a member of this fast-growing group of over 150 New York local news outlets that have joined forces to protect local journalism across the state.

The work of our coalition has raised awareness of the importance of local journalism as well as the challenges facing the local news industry. (New York has lost half of its newsrooms since 2004!) We are grateful to communities across the state who have united behind us.

In just the past month we rallied in Westchester, where locals were stunned by the abrupt closure of three community newspapers. We went directly to Albany to appeal to lawmakers and where we also rallied with elected officials from both the senate and assembly. Numerous localities have adopted resolutions expressing their support for legislation that would support local journalism, and more municipal resolutions are in the pipeline. Even unconventional allies like Microsoft have joined our calls to save local news.

Thanks to these collective efforts, the Local Journalism Sustainability Act – which would provide tax credits to local news organizations for retaining and creating newsroom jobs – was included in the State Senate’s recent budget proposal for fiscal year 2025. This is a key step for inclusion in the state’s final budget, which is currently being negotiated by the Senate, Assembly and Governor Hochul.

However, there is a lot of work to be done over the next few days, when the final budget will likely be announced, to ensure the bill is actually included in the state’s final budget. It is crucial that the Local Journalism Sustainability Act is included; otherwise, communities throughout the state risk thousands of newsroom jobs being lost and even more important stories going untold.

The Local Journalism Sustainability Act is sponsored by NYS Senator Brad Hoylman-Sigal with the bipartisan support of Assemblywoman Carrie Woerner and more than 70 co-sponsors that include state Sen. George Borrello. As newspapers shutter and layoffs roil the industry, the bill is a necessary measure for incentivizing job creation, returning reporters to many of the state’s emptying newsrooms. The bill is content-neutral and designed to ensure that truly local news outlets will receive this assistance. The leadership of the Legislature’s Black, Puerto Rican, Hispanic, and Asian Caucus has also endorsed our bill, which is a major testament to the fact that this bill will improve access to news for all communities.

New Yorkers are standing with local news, and now lawmakers must answer the people’s call to save community journalism. To get the Local Journalism Sustainability Act across the finish line, lawmakers must hear from you about why our newspaper matters and why this bill is meaningful to you and your family.

So, if keeping local news alive in our state is important to you, please reach out to Governor Hochul and your local representatives to let them know you stand with local news. Budget negotiations are wrapping up imminently – the time to act is now!


Contact Governor Kathy Hochul: 1 (518) 474-8390

Contact Sen. George Borrello at 518-455-3563

Contact Assemblymember Andrew Goodell at 518-455-4511

Our newspaper is a proud member of the Empire State Local News Coalition: support the coalition at SaveNYLocalNews.com.


New York Post. April 7, 2024.

Editorial: Letitia James’ nitpicking over Trump bond is more spiteful nonsense

Does state Attorney General Letitia James believe her only job is attacking Donald Trump?

Now she’s going after the ex-prez for posting the bond on the $454 million civil-fraud judgment she won against him in February, a step he must take in order to appeal.

Last week, Trump posted the $175 million bond, provided by Knight Specialty Insurance Co., to temporarily prevent James from snatching up Trump Tower and other assets (an outcome she’s been raring for since the judgment was passed down ) while he continued to fight the ruling in an appeals court.

Not good enough for Tish: On Thursday, the AG’s office filed paperwork demanding that Trump or the insurer prove within 10 days that they can make good on the bond, claiming the state took “exception to the sufficiency of the surety” provided by Trump.

This does nothing except gum up the appeals process, and make Trump jump through more legal hoops — all for a civil case with no victims.

Remember: This is about whether Trump overvalued assets to acquire loans that he paid back in full.

Loans from perfectly competent bankers, who knew perfectly well that they’d need to do their own due diligence before handing over a dime.

James insists she’s “very confident” Trump’s appeal will fail, but she sure seems worried that a competent appellate court will reveal her prosecution for what it was: a contrived attempt to “get Trump” by dragging lawfare into the gutter.

Tish has become the Wile E. Coyote to Trump’s Road Runner, setting up harebrained traps and decoys to sabotage the former president — and making New York’s legal system look like a joke in the process.

If this verdict stands, everyone thinking of doing business in the Empire State has to take into account the risk that the politicians can stretch the law to destroy them — a message sure to drive investment elsewhere.

Every New Yorker will pay for James’ headline-hunting ambition.


Albany Times-Union. April 5, 2024.

Editorial: Right idea, wrong approach

Raising the age of criminal responsibility in New York was a good step, but the follow-through has been sorely inadequate.

Seven years ago, New York was an outlier in handling young offenders. Besides North Carolina, this was the only state that routinely treated 16- and 17-year-old criminal offenders as adults.

That changed in 2017 with the passage of “Raise the Age” legislation. It was an enlightened act that recognized that people’s brains and decision-making capacity are still developing in their teens and even well into their 20s.

Raise the Age was about taking a smarter, age-appropriate approach to juvenile justice. Most cases involving 16- and 17-year-olds — felonies as well as less serious charges — were to be handled in Family Court, and offenders provided with mental health support, substance abuse treatment, education and training programs. Cases in many circumstances would be sealed so that poor judgment and impulsive acts of youth didn’t result in lifelong criminal records.

The idea – much like the changes to New York’s bail laws in 2019 – was sound and commendable. But as we saw with bail reform, the follow-through for Raise the Age has been deficient.

As an audit by state Comptroller Thomas DiNapoli’s office found, the number of youths in the nine detention centers run by the Office of Children and Family Services’ Division of Juvenile Justice and Opportunities for Youth has soared by 74 percent overall, and by 200 percent in the three secure facilities. There is absolutely no surprise there. These were predictable outcomes of a law that shifted more youth from jails and prisons to juvenile facilities.

What remains surprising, and deeply disturbing, is that the state didn’t devote the resources that were so obviously needed to accommodate the change.

The audit found staffing shortages – as high as 38 percent in secure facilities – and huge increases in overtime. In a high percentage of cases, youth coming into the facilities aren’t assessed and screened to determine their physical and mental health needs – the very things staff needed to know to provide appropriate services. Staff were not widely trained on critical things like restraining youth, crisis management and CPR.

The state blames pay rates for its thin ranks, and both the staffing shortage and the COVID-19 pandemic for its failure to keep up with training. Those are credible reasons, to be sure. But they no more let the state off the hook in its responsibility than Raise the Age gave teens a pass to commit crimes without consequences.

Yes, there is a cost to doing this right – such as raising pay to levels that attract sufficient numbers of job applicants – but there’s an arguably greater cost to getting it wrong. Putting young offenders in facilities that aren’t well-equipped to supervise them and that don’t have the capacity to assess their needs makes it likely they’ll be sent back home little better than when they went in – if not worse.

And it creates a potentially dangerous environment for everybody – the youth and the overworked, undersupported adults charged with running these facilities.

This audit, then, couldn’t have come at a better time, with the state budget still under development. Lawmakers and Gov. Kathy Hochul need to address at least the most fundamental problem here – the low staffing levels from which other problems stem.

Ms. Hochul and her fellow Democrats who fully control the Legislature have taken much heat from Republicans for their criminal justice policies, much of it fear-mongering based on flimsy evidence at best. But passing reforms and then not providing state institutions and employees with the funding and support needed to make those reforms work? That’s entirely on the Democrats.

And most importantly, it’s a recipe for recidivism rather than rehabilitation, an injustice to young people who were supposed to come out of this system with a better chance in life.