Karen Dewitt

NYS Capitol Correspondent

Ways to Connect

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.

NYS Senator Rob Ortt
Facebook: Senator Rob Ortt

The leader of the State Senate says indicted GOP member Rob Ortt is staying on for now to help work on the upcoming state budget vote and other issues.

Reverend Emily McNeill of the Labor Religion Coalition and other religious leaders lobbied for extension and expansion of the state's millionaires tax in the budget
Karen DeWitt

The next two weeks at the New York state Capitol are going to be very busy as lawmakers face the deadline for a new budget as several issues remain unresolved.

U.S. Attorney Preet Bharara and WAMC's Alan Chartock speaking in Feb. 2016 at The Linda in Albany.
Joe Donahue

Now that Preet Bharara is no longer the U.S. Attorney for the southern district of New York, some in Albany wonder who will now be investigating potential corruption.

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.

SUNY administration in Albany
Patrick Garrett/WAMC

The legislature’s one house budgets make some changes to Governor Andrew Cuomo’s $163 million proposal to offer free tuition at public colleges in New York to some middle class students.

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.

Facebook: US National Weather Service Albany NY

New York Governor Andrew Cuomo has declared a statewide state of emergency for the duration of the major snow storm expected to hit the Northeast overnight.

The state capitol in Albany.
WAMC Photo by Dave Lucas

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.

Beth Finkel, AARP New York State Director , stands with 10,000 postcards the group delivered to lawmakers , urging support for a new retirement plan option for those without pensions or 401k's
Karen DeWitt

Members of a leading senior citizens lobby group are advocating for a retirement plan in New York that could benefit their children and grandchildren.

Senate Democratic Leader Andrea Stewart-Cousins and other Senate Democrats at a press conference to advocate for a single payer health care system for New York.
Karen DeWitt

A provision in the Obamacare replacement plan by Republicans in Congress sets up a potential clash with New York state over abortion coverage.

Senate Democratic Leader Andrea Stewart-Cousins addressing a "Raise the Age" rally at the state capitol.
Karen DeWitt

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.

Indian Point Nuclear Power Plant
Wiki Commons

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.

wikipedia commons

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.

Gov. Andrew Cuomo
Matt Ryan

Reform advocates are taking exception to remarks made by Governor Andrew Cuomo, who said there already is enough oversight of potentially corrupt activities in Albany.

The state capitol in Albany.
WAMC Photo by Dave Lucas

Just one month before the New York state budget is due, numerous interest groups are converging on the Capitol, asking that they be included in the budget.

New York Governor Andrew Cuomo
Office of New York Governor Andrew Cuomo

A new poll finds that in New York Governor Andrew Cuomo’s approval numbers are rising, while President Trump’s are sinking.

Protesters outside New York Governor Andrew Cuomo's office on January 31
Karen DeWitt

The New York state legislature is off this week, but the session so far has featured an unusual amount of protests and arrests, and more actions are expected when lawmakers return.

New York Assemblyman Sean Ryan D- Buffalo and other lawmakers call for state help to fund refugee resettlement centers, at the Capitol's Million Dollar Staircase in Albany on Wednesday.
Karen DeWitt

A group of upstate lawmakers are asking New York to step in and fund refugee resettlement programs, that they say have been caught up in President Trump’s travel ban and the resulting chaos.

New York State Assembly Speaker Carl Heastie.
Karen DeWitt

Assembly Speaker Carl Heastie is pushing for a measure to stop treating 16 and 17 year-olds as adults in New York's criminal justice system.

Climate activists disrupt a budget hearing on the environment at the New York state Capitol Monday .
Matt Ryan, New York Now

Environmental groups are pushing New York Governor Andrew Cuomo to codify into law some of the steps he’s taken to protect the environment and cut down on pollution related to climate change. At a budget hearing Monday, lawmakers were focused on a more immediate concern - clean drinking water.

Rowan Wilson testifying at the New York state Senate Judiciary Committee hearing Feb. 6.
Karen DeWitt

With the confirmation of Rowan Wilson to the New York Court of Appeals, Governor Andrew Cuomo has now picked all of the judges on the state’s highest court, the first governor to do so since his father, former Governor Mario Cuomo.

New York Governor Andrew Cuomo
WAMC Photo by Dave Lucas

Governor Andrew Cuomo and the leader of the State Senate are not as enthusiastic about making New York a sanctuary state as are Assembly Democrats, who passed a bill earlier this week.

New York State Seal
wikipedia commons

Governor Andrew Cuomo’s acting tax commissioner took heat from Democrats and Republicans in the New York Legislature over delays in the STAR rebate program. The hearing was interrupted by protesters who want higher taxes on millionaires.

NYS Assembly Speaker Carl Heastie
Karen DeWitt

The New York Assembly moved Monday to establish New York as a sanctuary state, but the measure faces an uncertain future in the State Senate.

Karen DeWitt and NY State Senator John Flanagan
Matt Ryan / New York Now

Governor Andrew Cuomo’s proposal to pass a constitutional amendment enshrining the U.S. Supreme Court’s 1973 abortion decision Roe versus Wade into New York’s constitution, is not gaining much traction in the State Senate.

New York State Senator John Flanagan
Karen DeWitt

New York State Senate Leader John Flanagan says he’s not running for governor right now, but, in an interview with public radio and TV he admits, he’s thought about it from time to time.

Howard Zemsky
Dave Lucas / WAMC

New York Governor Cuomo’s economic development chair was grilled by state lawmakers at a budget hearing Wednesday, as some of the programs are embroiled in a corruption scandal that’s led to charges against several former associates of the governor.

Protesters at the New York State Capitol Tuesday
Karen DeWitt

Eight protesters were arrested outside Governor Andrew Cuomo’s office Tuesday, as they demonstrated for more money for legal aid services for New York's poorest.

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