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?
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.
Governor Cuomo and New York State lawmakers missed the budget deadline. With the midnight deadline just over two hours away, they had so far failed to solidify deals on state spending and taxation, as well as some unrelated items like permitting ride hailing services outside of New York City.
Midnight Friday is not just the deadline for the New York state budget to be finished. It’s also the date for an $8 billion state bailout of some upstate nuclear power plants to begin. More than 80 local government leaders are making a last ditch effort to stop a plan that they say will cost electric utility ratepayers billions of dollars.
With lawmakers in Albany preoccupied with getting the budget done by week’s end, groups have to get creative to gain attention. Supporters of spending for public defense for the poor came up with one way- a wheel of fortune style game staged right in the middle of the action.
Several proposals in Washington right now including the changes to the Affordable Health Care Act, could mean multibillion dollar budget gaps for New York State. With the budget due in one week, Governor Andrew Cuomo and legislative leaders think that at the very least, they may have to come back later in the year to revise the spending plan.
Another sitting state legislator, Rob Ortt, has been indicted, along with the person who held the Western New York Senate seat before him, George Maziarz – on corruption charges. The indictments come as ethics reform proposals in the state budget are faltering.
Tensions between opposing groups of Democrats in the New York state Senate reached a flash point this week- over whose faction would be allowed to present their budget priorities for a floor debate, in an exchange that included some racially-charged name calling.
The smallest faction in the divided New York state Senate, the Independent Democratic Conference, has been permitted by the ruling party Republicans to issue their own alternate spending plan. That has angered the rest of the Democrats.
The New York state Senate and Assembly will release their one house budgets early next week, as the March 31 deadline for a new spending plan draws near. They’ve already given some hints of what the plans will include.
The New York state budget is due in three and a half weeks, but the biggest push at the capitol is for a change that is not a spending item. It’s a measure to treat 16 and 17 year-olds as children, not adults, when they are charged with serious crimes. And many leading legislators say for them, the issue is personal.
The New York State Assembly held a hearing Monday on Governor Andrew Cuomo’s plan to spend $8 billion in subsidies to keep three upstate nuclear power plants operating for the next twelve years. But no one from the Cuomo Administration showed up.
New York’s health care system is bracing for big changes in the Affordable Care Act. No one knows for certain how it will be altered, but it will almost certainly cost the state a significant amount of money.