Karen Dewitt

NYS Capitol Correspondent

Ways to Connect

Lucas Willard / WAMC

New Yorkers will now be able to order a drink, or two, with their brunch, or in some cases breakfast, at bars and restaurants on Sunday morning.  The current law forbids sale of alcohol before noon on Sunday. But starting when Governor Cuomo signs the bill into law, alcohol will be available starting two hours earlier.

The Capitol
WAMC Photo by Dave Lucas

The legislature was closing down on an end of session  deal that would strip convicted lawmakers of their pensions, extend mayoral control of New York City schools for one more year, and legalize Daily Fantasy sports gambling.

With hours left in the 2016 legislative session, lawmakers have agreed on some items like permitting drinking at Sunday brunch, while some others, like ethics reform, are still unresolved. 

Flickr/wadester16

Hoosick Falls residents came to the Capitol on Wednesday to demand hearings on the after crisis that has revealed high levels of a toxic chemical in many people’s bloodstreams. They did not get hearings but did get a private meeting with a top aide to Gov. Andrew Cuomo.

Taxi Drivers Protest Against Uber
Karen DeWitt

With the legislative session down to the wire, groups for and against bills including expansion of Uber ride services and ethics reform came to the Capitol to make their voices heard.

Senator Kathy Marchione promotes bill to extend the statute of limitations to sue for toxic contamination, with, right to left, Hoosick Falls resident Michele Baker, Assembly sponsor John McDonald, and Environmental Advocates' Liz Moran
Karen DeWitt

As part of the push to end the legislative session by Thursday, state lawmakers representing the PFOA contaminated village of Hoosick Falls want to extend the statute of limitations to bring lawsuits against polluters.

 Alain Kaloyeros and Governor Cuomo
www.nydailynews.com

Until recently, Dr. Alain Kaloyeros, director of the SUNY Polytechnic Institute, has been the darling of the Cuomo administration. But now, he’s one of the figures at the center of federal and state investigations into alleged pay-to-play schemes for economic development projects, and is increasingly on the outs with the Cuomo Administration. 

Carl Heastie/ Twitter

Expectations for major ethics reform in the state legislature are low, even though both former leaders of the legislature are facing prison time for corruption. With just over a week to go before the session ends, only one measure — to take back the pensions of lawmakers who are convicted felons — seems to be in play.

With just a few weeks left until the end of the legislative session, a new poll finds New York voters are still craving reform in state government, and they’d rather not see a new law to expand state gambling by legalizing daily fantasy sports.

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

Audio Pending...

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.

Gov. 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.

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