Karen Dewitt

NYS Capitol Correspondent

Ways to Connect

The state legislature ends its session for the year on June 16, and expectations are low for any major pieces of legislation to be resolved before the adjournment, as Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s administration faces increasing scrutiny from the U.S. attorney over economic development projects.

SUNY Poly’s Zero Energy Nano (ZEN) Building.
SUNY Polytechnic Institute

Probes into alleged corruption by former members  and associates of the Cuomo Administration deepened, as the Attorney General’s office conducted a raid at SUNY Polytechnic offices in Albany Thursday afternoon.

Governor Andrew Cuomo
Office of Governor Andrew Cuomo

A board controlled by Gov. Andrew Cuomo and the legislative leaders voted Wednesday to approve more than $485 million for the Buffalo Billion project. But there were some questions from board members about details of a program that is now under federal investigation.

Good government groups gather in Albany
Karen DeWitt

  It’s just over three weeks until the legislative session is scheduled to end, and hopes for reform are fading, during an unprecedented level of corruption in state government.

Andrew Cuomo
Matt Ryan

  With his former top aide facing a federal probe for potential conflicts of interest for consulting work, Gov. Andrew Cuomo has said twice now that he did not know what the former close associate of the Cuomo family was up to. Percoco left state service earlier this year for a job at Madison Square Garden.

alh1/flickr

Every day for the past two weeks, news reports have focused on a federal probe of Governor Cuomo’s Administration. It comes as both former leaders of the legislature are being sentenced to prison for corruption. Despite that Cuomo and legislative leaders say they are trying to achieve some agenda items in the closing weeks of the legislative session.

Farm workers in Albany.
Karen DeWitt

    

Advocates for farm workers are trying a new route to gain the right to form a union and be allowed benefits afforded to other laborers in New York. They are suing the state government. Governor Andrew Cuomo says he agrees with the farmworkers and won’t be defending the law in court.

Opponents of a planned fracked gas power plant in the Hudson Valley say they are hoping the US Attorney will investigate decisions made in the permitting process for the plan, now that it’s been revealed that the wife of a former top aide to Cuomo took payments from the lead engineering firm in the project, and that her husband is the subject of a federal probe.

A spokesman for New York State Governor Andrew Cuomo says the governor still plans to pursue an ethics reform package during the remainder of the legislative session, after news of a federal probe into actions by Cuomo’s former top aide and the governor’s ongoing economic development programs.

New York Governor Andrew Cuomo’s explanation of some of the circumstances of a U.S. Attorney’s probe into his administration has left some answered questions.

A new poll finds that voters want corruption in state government addressed before lawmakers adjourn the 2016 session.

Gov. Cuomo
WAMC Photo by Dave Lucas

New York Governor Andrew Cuomo, spoke for the first time since news broke that his former close associate is under federal investigation for possibly taking illegal payments from developers working on state economic development projects.

The New York State legislature has been on a three week break. In their absences, federal investigations into aides close to Governor Andrew Cuomo and New York City Mayor  Bill de Blasio have intensified, spurring even more calls for reform.

Over the weekend, news broke that top aides to Governor Andrew Cuomo are being probed by the U.S. Attorney in connection with the Buffalo Billion economic development project. Here's a look at who’s been accused and what they are suspected of doing.

The legislature returns next Tuesday for the final push in a session that ends in late June. Government reformers say with a burgeoning scandal involving potential violations of campaign limits in Democratic Senate races in 2014, and the scheduled sentencing of the two former leaders of the legislature in early May, it’s time to focus on ethics fixes.

NYS Assembly
Wikipedia

The legislature returns next Tuesday for the final push in a session that ends in late June. Government reformers say with a burgeoning scandal involving potential violations of campaign limits in Democratic Senate races in 2014, and the scheduled sentencing of the two former leaders of the legislature in early May, it’s time to focus on ethics fixes.

Government reform groups say you can add one more item to the long list of reforms that they believe are needed in Albany. They say limits are needed on campaign contributions to county political committees. The committees collection and distribution of money factor into a growing criminal case against  New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio’s administration, and upstate Senate races in 2014.

ballot box
en.wikipedia.org

New York’s restrictive voter access rules came under scrutiny during Tuesday’s Presidential primary. And some are saying there’s a need for changes.

Two special elections were also held Tuesday, to fill the seats vacated by the two former legislative leaders, who were both convicted of felony corruption and had to resign. The Assembly race was won by a Democrat, in the Senate, Republicans are asking for a hand count of paper ballots , while the Democrat has declared victory.

Senate Leader John Flanagan speaks at candidate Chris McGrath's headquarters on Long Island, where they asked for a recount.
Charles Lane/WSHU

Two special elections were held Tuesday in New York to fill the seats vacated by the two former legislative leaders, who were both convicted of felony corruption and had to resign.

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

All three republican Presidential candidates spoke at the state GOP dinner Thursday night.

A new poll finds that Bernie Sanders has narrowed the gap with Hillary Clinton in the New York Presidential primary race, but Clinton leads in key voting regions.

Karen DeWitt

Proponents of New York’s new medical marijuana law say so far, it’s barely functioning, and they say major revisions are necessary to allow more than just a tiny number of patients to benefit.

Republican Presidential candidate Donald Trump spoke at a packed arena in Albany Monday night, where he was interrupted by protesters numerous times.

A quirk in the newly enacted minimum wage increase could mean that in upstate New York by the early 2020s,   fast food workers could  be paid significantly more than other low wage jobs, like being a home healthcare worker or a cashier in a grocery store.

Governor Andrew Cuomo
Office of Governor Andrew Cuomo

The new state budget has been in place for nearly a week, but little attention has been paid to many of the items that are in it. A government reform group says that’s by design.

Robert Kennedy Jr, addressing gas pipeline opponents at a rally at the State Capitol on Tuesday.
Karen Dewitt

Fracktivists, as anti hydrofracking activists are called, hope to play a role in New York’s presidential primary. They are asking Democrats Hillary Clinton and Bernie Sanders, as well as Republican candidates, to take a stand against the Constitution pipeline and other natural gas pipelines that if approved could criss- cross the state.

Hillary Clinton in Cohoes
Jenna Flanagan/WMHT

Hillary Clinton talked a lot about the economy when she spoke at a rally in Cohoes Monday night.

Prior to holding a rally at the Cohoes high school, Democratic Presidential candidate Hillary Clinton held an event in New York City with Governor Cuomo and top state Democratic lawmakers, to celebrate the state’s passage of an increase to the state’s minimum wage.

The newly approved New York state budget includes a minimum wage increase that is the result of several compromises.

Pages