Karen Dewitt

NYS Capitol Correspondent

Ways to Connect

2010 Republican gubernatorial candidate and current Buffalo School Board member Carl Paladino will appear at hearing at the New York State Education Department in Albany on Thursday morning.  He’s accused of breaking the rules of an executive session of the board, and telling a local paper the details of confidential talks with the teachers union over a new contract.

New York State Capitol
Karen DeWitt

There was a flurry of activity at the New York state Capitol Monday, along with threats and ultimatums, but there are no agreements on major issues as the session draws to a scheduled close on Wednesday.

The state capitol in Albany.
WAMC Photo by Dave Lucas

A faction of breakaway Democrats in the New York State Senate, known as the Independent Democratic Conference, has been in the news lately for receiving stipend payments for chairing committees that the senators in fact did not chair. What is the history of this power brokering group of senators and what may be in store for its future?

New York State Capitol
Karen DeWitt

Legislative leaders are dug in on remaining issues in the 2017 session, and are accusing each other of unfairly linking unrelated items to renewal of mayoral control over New York City schools. As time is running out for scheduled meetings.

New York state Capitol
Karen DeWitt

The New York state legislative session is drawing to a close. Democrats and Republicans are digging in on the remaining issues of 2017 including a measure to extend the New York City mayor’s control of the public schools, which has now been linked to a number of diverse issues affecting people in the rest of the state.

Tax Credits, flickr

New York state’s budget has been in place for just under two months, and already there are signs that tax revenues may be significantly lower than expected. Anticipated federal tax reductions later this year may be one of the reasons.

Wiki Commons

With less than two weeks left in the legislative session, some New York lawmakers are pressing for reform of the state’s economic development contracting process, in light of a scandal that’s led to federal corruption charges against several former associates of Governor Andrew Cuomo.

Governor Andrew Cuomo
Office of Governor Andrew Cuomo

Governor Andrew Cuomo is getting involved in New York’s Congressional races. At a rally with House Democratic Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, he vowed to help defeat the state’s nine eight republican members of the House of Representatives when they are up for election next year.

WAMC

Supporters of a constitutional convention in New York say the amendment deserves prominent placement on the November ballot. Opponents say the entire idea is too risky, and that the state should skip it.

Indian Point Nuclear Power Plant
Wiki Commons

Democratic Governor Andrew Cuomo says he’ll sign an executive order committing New York state to meet the Paris Climate Accord standards, calling President Trump’s decision Thursday to withdraw from the agreement “reckless” and “irresponsible.” And the governor says he’s joining with the governors of the states of California and Washington to form a coalition of states that are committed to upholding the Paris Accord. ​ New York state has already begun a plan to get 50 percent of the state’s energy from renewable sources, like wind and solar, by 2030.

Governor Andrew Cuomo
Office of Governor Andrew Cuomo

A new poll finds Democratic New York Governor Andrew Cuomo is at his highest approval rating in three years.

According to the Siena College poll, 61% of voters now say they view him favorably overall, and just over half 51% say they like the job he’s doing in office. Siena polls spokesman Steve Greenberg says the numbers are part of trend of rising popularity for the governor in the weeks since President Trump’s inauguration on January 20th.

Single payer supporters at the New York State Capitol
Karen DeWitt

Faith leaders from around New York came to the Capitol Tuesday to gain support in the state senate to adopt a statewide single payer health care system. It would be an alternative to the national Affordable Care Act, also known as Obamacare, which Republicans in Congress and President Trump have been trying to dismantle.

The Capitol
WAMC Photo by Dave Lucas

After an embarrassing controversy over stipend payments, the beleaguered group of breakaway Democrats in the state Senate are trying to change the subject.

New York State Capitol
Karen DeWitt

There are reports that New York state Senators who received payments for chairing committees that they in fact did not lead are now under a probe by the State Attorney General and at least one U.S Attorney.

School districts across New York state are holding votes on their budgets Tuesday, May 16th.  The vast majority are keeping their spending requests within the mandatory tax cap, but schools wonder whether the tax cap, over the long term, is sustainable.

Gov. Andrew Cuomo
Matt Ryan

A new online ad featuring Governor Andrew Cuomo and promoting tolerance has once again fueled talk that the New York Democrat may be planning a presidential run. There are some questions, though, about the ad and its donors.

New York state Capitol
Karen DeWitt

One of the top remaining issues before the New York state legislature adjourns for the summer is fixing problems in the state’s economic development contracts. That’s after a scandal led to federal corruption charges against nine former associates of Governor Andrew Cuomo.

Members of the Divest New York coalition protest at the State Capitol Monday
Karen DeWitt

Some New York lawmakers are pressing the state’s Comptroller to divest the state’s pension fund from the fossil fuel industry. But Comptroller Tom DiNapoli says he believes he can be more effective in changing the company’s behavior by acting from the inside.

New York state Capitol
Karen DeWitt

Democrats in the New York state Senate remain hopeful that they will regain the numerical majority and control of the chamber after a special election is held later this month. But Governor Andrew Cuomo dampened those expectations, in remarks made in New York City today.

New York state’s education commissioner said Tuesday that new state-specific learning standards will offer several improvements over the controversial Common Core standards.

nrc.gov

Assembly Democrats grilled Governor Andrew Cuomo’s energy officials for more than four hours on a plan executed by the Public Service Commission and a major energy company that will keep three upstate nuclear power plants alive for the next twelve years. Utility rate payers, mostly from downstate, will pay for the deal through a surcharge on their bills.

401(K) 2012/Flickr

President Trump’s tax plan is so far just a one page outline, but it’s already raising some red flags for New York’s political leaders.

Flickr/wadester16

A bill that could address corruption in Albany is  progressing in the state legislature, but it might not be the measure that Governor Cuomo wants to become law.

Several former associates of Governor Cuomo, including a former top aide, face federal corruption trials on charges of  bribery and bid rigging in connection with the contracts for some of the Governor’s signature economic development projects, including the Buffalo Billion.

Donald Trump speaking at a rally in Fountain Hills, Arizona.
By Gage Skidmore, CC BY-SA 3.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=47943348

Several New York state lawmakers are sponsoring a bill that they say would force President Donald Trump to make public some of his tax returns.

New York state lawmakers and lobby groups say Governor Andrew Cuomo was in error when he said that there was no political will to enact reforms in 2017.

wikipedia commons

A fiscal watchdog group is questioning New York state’s century-old prevailing wage law for construction workers, saying it unnecessarily costs taxpayers billions of dollars a year in added expenses for big road, bridge, and other projects.

State lawmakers are due back at the Capitol Monday, following a two week break after they passed a budget that contained numerous other items, like free public college tuition for some middle class students and an expansion of ride hailing services. But what, if anything, do lawmakers still need to do before adjourning in June?

NYPIRG's Blair Horner and Toxic Targeting's Walter Hang present documents on unfinished oil spill clean ups in New York.
Karen DeWitt

Environmental advocates say that New York state officials could do a better job of cleaning up pollution sites caused by the fossil fuels industry that they say in some cases, have dragged on for decades. Governor Andrew Cuomo’s environmental aides are defending their record.

New York Governor Andrew Cuomo’s budget director is among those defending the state’s new free public college tuition program for some middle class students, after a week of criticism from the left and the right of the political spectrum.

Did passage of the New York state budget signal the end of Albany’s legislative session for 2017, or will other matters, including ethics reform, get done before the lawmakers adjourn in June?

Pages