Three Stories Not About Same-Sex Marriage

Sarah Laskow | June 24th, 2011

Michael Bloomberg

Whether you’re hoping your two wonderful friends might be able to tie the knot, or just crossing your fingers that the same-sex wedding boom might get you a job, if you’re anything like us, you’ve probably been refreshing Albany political blogs madly — only to find that there is zero actual news about the same-sex marriage bill.

Other things have been going on in New York politics this week, though! Here are three stories that have nothing to do with people of the same gender in loving relationships gaining equal protection under the law.

The legislature did pass some actual bills
A law dealing with the location of power plants will fast track approvals for plants who are reducing the amount of pollution they emit. The law also lowers the threshold for the size of plants exempt from review: only plants generating 25 MW or less of energy can skip the approval process. Also, the legislature got on board with a deal that Governor Cuomo hashed out with the Civil Service Employees Association, a public employees union. Under the deal, CSEA members will dodge impending lay-offs.

Taxi cab and livery cab drivers now both annoyed at Bloomberg
Mayor Bloomberg tried to advance his proposal to have livery cab drivers legally pick up hails in outer boroughs fast-tracked through Albany, where lawmakers won’t have to listen to pissed-off taxi drivers every time it rains and they want to catch a cab home. The Assembly ok’d the idea, but the Senate was not as excited about it. Hordes of yellow cabs and their drivers were in Albany to protest the bill, which they say would deprive them of business. Livery cab drivers, who in theory will benefit from the bill, have so far only received a rash of tickets for taking the very action — picking up street hails — that the mayor wants to legalize.

Bike lane opponents need a month to read boring emails
Neighbors for Better Bike Lanes, the Park Slope group that opposes bike lanes, is trying to have the lane bordering Prospect Park removed through legal actions. This week, when the parties in the case met in court for the first time, NBBL asked for and received an additional month to search through Department of Transportation emails they obtained through a freedom of information request. As anyone who’s ever received a pile of government emails knows, most of them will likely be quite dull. But Transportation Nation has a few excerpts that might get bike conspiracists’ blood boiling.