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Monday’s Headlines: Albany’s Do-Nothing Conclusion Edition

The big story over the weekend was the state Assembly's failure to even take up a bill that would allow New York City to set its own speed limits. But there was other news, too.

Assembly Speaker Carl Heastie bid a hasty fairwell from Albany on Saturday.

To us, the big story over the weekend was the state Assembly's failure to even take up a bill that would allow New York City to set its own speed limits below the state's 25-mile-per-hour minimum.

As we reported on Saturday, Assembly Speaker Carl Heastie refused to allow the so-called "Sammy's Law" from coming to a vote, despite the support of Gov. Hochul, the state Senate, the City Council, Mayor Adams and advocates — two of whom staged an historic hunger strike in front of Heastie's office that lasted 99 hours.

Now the fight continues, as the Assembly is expected to return to Albany before the end of the month to work on all the bills it failed to get to. The Times said the legislative session "fizzled to the end," and the paper's roundup story did indeed cite Sammy's Law as one of the failures. Gothamist did, too. West Side Rag played it straight.

In a story that can't possibly be related, the Post reported that the state car assigned to Heastie has been nabbed by city speed- or red-light cameras 12 times since 2017 – four of them last year. Heastie or his driver aren't the only possessors of lead feet in Albany, with "city records showing at least 125 traffic violations, overwhelmingly for speeding, by vehicles with Assembly-affiliated license plates," according to the Post.

No wonder so many lawmakers have qualms about giving New York City the power to rein in — and punish — recklessly fast driving. Heastie couldn't even be persuaded after we reported that East Gun Hill Road — where his Bronx office is located – is one of the most-dangerous 25-mile-per-hour streets.

In other news:

  • The biggest story on Sunday was the mayor's announcement that the city was setting a new minimum wage for delivery workers that would reach $20 per hour by next year. Lots of outlets covered it:
    • Streetsblog pointed out some of the deal's shortcomings.
    • The Daily News highlighted the mayor's failure in getting this deal done on time.
    • Oddly, amNY called the $18-an-hour wage "fair." (Really? At $18 an hour, a full-time delivery worker will make $37,471 before taxes and his or her considerable equipment expenses and hazard to life and limb.)
    • Gothamist also pointed out that even the $20-an-hour rate is far lower than an original city proposal.
    • The City, like Streetsblog, pointed out that neither the apps nor Brad Lander is happy with the deal.
  • Our own investigative reporter Jesse Coburn was on the Motherboard podcast to talk about his latest soon-to-be-award-winning deep dive into the black market for fraudulently issued temporary license plates.
  • Paris Mayor Anne Hidalgo has once again given New Yorkers chief executive envy with her interview in the Financial Times: "A city’s creativity doesn’t depend on cars. That’s the 20th century."
  • Speaking of mayoral envy, Mara Gay definitely didn't like the way Mayor Adams handled the smokepocalypse last week. (NY Times)
  • Air quality wasn't so great on Sunday due to new wildfires and wind patterns, but the air looks like it will be better this week. (NYDN)
  • A woman was crushed by her own Mercedes in a crash. (NYDN)
  • Like Streetsblog, the Daily News covered that police chase in Brooklyn that nearly killed a moped rider.
  • Another police chase led to a crash in Brooklyn. (amNY)
  • Don't only believe us when it comes to the inevitably unfulfilled promises of electric cars. You can hear it from Yale University, too.

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