New York Capital Brief:

NYS Gubernatorial Candidates Seek to Boost Voter Turnout 

With less than a week until election day, Democratic Governor Kathy Hochul and Republican challenger Rep. Lee Zeldin are focused on motivating their respective bases to “get out the vote.”

Allies to the Governor have poured funding into late-stage ads and get-out-the-vote efforts. Former President Barack Obama has appeared in new radio ads on her behalf, and Vice President Harris and Hillary Clinton attended a “Get Out The Vote” rally in Manhattan yesterday. Hochul said she wants to ensure as many of the Democratic party’s faithful come out to vote.

On Wednesday, Lee Zeldin and his running mate, Alison Esposito, brought their “Save Our State” bus to the South Shore for the Staten Island Republican Party’s annual “Get Out the Vote” rally. He is also slated to appear at a campaign rally with Florida Governor Ron DeSantis on Long Island this weekend. Zeldin is hoping for a big turnout from Republicans who are significantly outnumbered by Democrats in New York.

In recent weeks, polls have shown that this race is more competitive than previously expected.


New York’s Congressional Battlegrounds 

Though New York is widely viewed as one of the nation’s most blue States, a protracted and chaotic congressional redistricting process, combined with voter concerns around inflation and public safety, have narrowed the gap in many Congressional races. Nine of New York’s 26 House districts are considered competitive in the upcoming midterm elections.

In the Hudson Valley, Republicans are vying to undo years of Democratic gains and potentially flip three seats, NY-17: Sean Patrick Maloney (D) v. Michael Lawler (R), NY-19: Josh Riley (D) v. Marc Molinaro (R) and NY-18: Pat Ryan (D) v. Colin Schmitt (R).

In Central New York, Democrats hope they can flip the Syracuse-area NY-22 seat represented by Republican John Katko, who will be retiring. In the race is Francis Conole (D) v. Brandon Williams (R).

Due to redistricting, Democrats are defending five of the most competitive Congressional districts across parts of Nassau, Westchester Counties, and, and the Hudson Valley. Republicans are now in a more favorable position, only having to defend the Syracuse area seat, Nassau County’s NY-1 and NY-2 seats, and the Staten Island/Southwestern Brooklyn NY-11 seat.

All 435 House seats across the country are up for election this November; 31 races are reported as toss-ups, and of that number, 22 are held by Democrats and nine by Republicans. A shift of only five seats would transfer control of the House to Republicans.


NYS Opioid Settlement Advisory Board Releases First Report

The New York State Opioid Settlement Fund Advisory Board finalized its first report this week, outlining their recommendations for how New York State should spend upwards of $128M to combat the ongoing opioid crisis.  As the result of numerous lawsuits lead by the NYS Attorney General against select pharmaceutical companies, wholesalers, and distributors for their role in the opioid crisis, New York will receive almost $1.5B over the next 18 years.

To guide their recommendations, the Board identified ten topic areas for funding and voted on what percentage of funding should be allocated to each.  The topics are as follows: harm reduction (22%), treatment (12%), investments across service continuum (16%), priority populations (15%), housing (10%), recovery (10%), prevention (7%), transportation (5%), public awareness (2%), and research (1%).

The Legislature and Governor will now consider these recommendations as they develop their 2023-2024 Budget.

Full report here.