Karen Dewitt

NYS Capitol Correspondent

Ways to Connect

Bret Jaspers, WSKG

The state Senate’s newest member, Fred Akshar, known for his chain saw wielding ad, says he intends to be independent, including from his predecessor Tom Libous, who resigned the seat after a felony conviction.

Karen DeWitt

As momentum for New York Governor Andrew Cuomo’s proposal to raise the state’s minimum wage to $15 an hour grows, opponents are trying to fight back. Small Business groups, farmers and others who employ low wage workers  are organizing, and a fiscally conservative group is out with a study showing potential job losses.

A new proposal by the state ethics commission that could restrict campaign donations is raising some questions.

There’s only one political race Tuesday that directly effects New York State government, and that’s a special election for a State Senate seat in the Southern Tier. Karen DeWitt reports on a race that has the Republican candidate far ahead.  


Three-quarters of school districts in the state have applied for waivers from the new teacher evaluation rules set out by Governor Cuomo and the legislature in March. The news comes amidst lots of changes, including  the leadership of the state Board of Regents.

State lawmakers said a few years ago that they would  no longer permit the controversial member item program to continue, but  critics say the old system, which gave taxpayer money to legislators’ pet projects, is being revived in a new form.

Times Union Website Crime Confidential Blog

Governor Cuomo, five years into his term in office, has reached a plateau with voters. About half still like and support him, the other half have reservations.

Mwanner/Wikipedia Commons

Political and private sector leaders from around the state are spending three days at the Capitol, making their best case to win a share of $1.5 billion dollars in economic development monies for their region. Critics have called the competition the “hunger games,” because, under the rules, three regions will win, but four others will lose out on the funds.



Governor Cuomo says he’s going to press for a statewide regulatory system that allows ride sharing services including Uber and Lyft to operate.


  The ride sharing service Uber, which already operates in New York City, is making a big push to move into upstate and Long Island. But that would require state lawmakers to take action.

Uber officials, armed with a study that says 13,000 new jobs could be created if Uber is allowed in all of New York, came to the State Capitol to make their case. They have started an online petition and ad campaign to help convince the state legislature to pass laws to allow the service to operate .