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Mayor Bill de Blasio previews Albany agenda

New York Mayor Bill de Blasio speaks during

New York Mayor Bill de Blasio speaks during a news conference announcing year-end crime statistics along with other topics Friday, Jan. 5, 2018. Left is Police Commissioner James P. O'Neill, and right is First Deputy Commissioner Benjamin Tucker. Credit: Craig Ruttle

Bill de Blasio said Friday he hopes “this is the year” that Albany passes long-stalled legislation to allow the public to know some information about cops who are disciplined.

Previewing his Albany agenda at an unrelated event at Police Headquarters, de Blasio said, “I will not be shocked if the thing that finally gets us there is a change in the state Senate” to Democratic hands from Republican control.

“There’s a lot of people in this state who think it’s the right thing to do to have that greater transparency,” he said.

Civil rights groups, including the Legal Aid Society and tghe New York Civil Liberties Union, have criticized de Blasio, a Democrat, for interpreting the state’s decades-old police-officer-secrecy law, known as 50-a of the Civil Rights Law, more strictly than any mayor in history.

The groups point to disciplinary bulletins from the NYPD that were removed from public view under de Blasio. Such records are available in many other states.

Among other state-agenda items listed by Blasio were:

  • Same-day and online voter registration.
  • Permission to install more speed cameras.
  • Ending the legally required practice, uncommon in other jurisdictions, of separating the designing and construction phases of public works projects in order to save money and time.
  • More money for city schools, ordered more than 15 years ago by the state’s highest court, in the Campaign for Fiscal Equity case.

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