Revised numbers out today show Massachusetts added 55,200 jobs last year, almost all of them in the private sector. State officials say it is the largest number of new jobs in a December-to-December period since 2000. The Massachusetts unemployment rate dropped to 6.8 percent in January. The Secretary of Labor and Workforce Development, Rachel Kaprielian, said the job gains were varied.
A freshman state lawmaker says there is growing support for a bill that would strip the pension benefits from any elected official in New York, or state employee, who is convicted of a felony that’s a violation of their public duties. The bill is sponsored in the Assembly by White Plains Democrat David Buchwald.
Today is higher education day at the State Capitol in Albany. SUNY faculty and students are urging the legislature and the governor to boost funding for the system. WAMC’s Brian Shields spoke about the lobbying effort with SUNY professor Dr. Eileen Landy, Secretary of the Faculty Union, UUP, and SUNY student Rita Yelda.
The deadly violence continues in Ukraine with unconfirmed reports of up to 70 deaths today in Kiev as protestors clash with government forces. For a closer look at the reasons behind the events in the former Soviet Republic, WAMC spoke with Dr. Nadieszda Kizenko, associate professor in the University at Albany history department. Kizenko says despite media reports in the West, there is much more behind the revolt beside public opposition to closer ties with Russia rather than Europe.
Those health warnings on the side of a package or carton of cigarettes are well-established and have become more severe and graphic over the years. That warning from the Surgeon General was the result of a landmark 1964 report by the Surgeon General, establishing a link between cigarettes and heart disease and cancer. Fifty years later, the acting Surgeon General, Rear Admiral Boris Lushniak, says progress has been made, but smoking remains a serious health problem.
As the March 31 deadline approaches and the website problems have been ironed out, more and more New Yorkers are signing up for health insurance as part of the Affordable Care Act. The state health department reports 587,000 completed applications have been filed, and enrollment is up 43 percent since December 24. Heather Howard is the program director for the state network, which is funded by The Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, to encourage people to enroll. She recently spoke to WAMC’s Brian Shields.
Credit Hamilton CollegeHamilton president Joan Hinde-Stewart.Edit | Remove
The president of Hamilton College in Clinton, New York was among the leaders of higher education from across the nation who were at the White House yesterday for a conference hosted by the president and first lady on getting low-income students into college. Hamilton president Joan Hinde-Stewart says the discussion involved getting these students into college, helping them pay tuition, and giving them the help and guidance they need to graduate. She says it was a deeply personal issue for her.
In his recent State of the State Address, New York Governor Andrew Cuomo called for a zero percent corporate income tax for manufacturers tax that locate in upstate New York, but one state Senator from the Hudson Valley says part of his district is being left out. Democrat Terry Gipson of the 41st district says the zero tax should also be offered in the counties that must now pay the MTA payroll tax: Westchester, Putnam, Orange, Rockland and Dutchess.
An official with the Centers for Disease Control says so far the flu season has been spotty, with more cases reported in the South than in the Northeast. Dr. Alicia Fry, the team leader with the Prevention branch of the CDC’s Influenza Division, says the worst is still to come since the flu season usually peaks between January and March, and is urging everyone who has not been vaccinated to get a flu shot.