Karen Dewitt

NYS Capitol Correspondent

Ways to Connect

Governor Andrew Cuomo
Office of Governor Andrew Cuomo

Add Governor Andrew Cuomo’s name to the list of state politicians wary of holding a constitutional convention.  Voters get to decide this November whether New York should hold the event.

The Capitol
WAMC Photo by Dave Lucas

The New York state Legislature finally ended its 2017 legislative session, after the Assembly voted overnight on a privately negotiated omnibus bill, and the Senate finally finished on Thursday afternoon. The messy process drew condemnation from both sides of the aisle.

Karen DeWitt

Lawmakers came back to the state Capitol at the command of Governor Andrew Cuomo, who called an extraordinary session of the legislature at 1 p.m. Wednesday to deal with unfinished business. But, as the afternoon wore on, there were still no agreements on how to tackle the remaining items.

Dramatic testimony was given in the hearing on whether former New York gubernatorial candidate Carl Paladino should be ousted from the Buffalo School Board. Paladino took the stand Tuesday, and apologized for racist comments he made last December regarding President Obama and Mrs. Obama.

New York state Capitol
Karen DeWitt

One week after the New York state legislature declared the 2017 session over, Governor Andrew Cuomo is commanding that lawmakers return for a special session at 1 p.m. Wednesday to deal with some unfinished business. 

The New York State Education Department hearing on whether Carl Paladino should be removed from the Buffalo school board for leaking private information in the board's executive sessions could conclude as early as Tuesday. On day three of the proceedings,, the petitioners seeking Paladino's removal rested their case, and the Buffalo businessman and former gubernatorial candidate's defense began.

New York State Capitol
Karen DeWitt

When the legislative session ended on June 21, New York lawmakers left behind a lot of unfinished business, including a failure to act on ethics reform proposals in light of an economic development scandal in the Cuomo Administration.    

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

Governor Andrew Cuomo says the New York state Legislature fell down on the job by leaving town without passing an extension of mayoral control for the New York City schools, and he has not ruled out calling them back for a special session.

2010 Republican gubernatorial candidate and current Buffalo School Board member Carl Paladino will appear at hearing at the New York State Education Department in Albany on Thursday morning.  He’s accused of breaking the rules of an executive session of the board, and telling a local paper the details of confidential talks with the teachers union over a new contract.

New York State Capitol
Karen DeWitt

There was a flurry of activity at the New York state Capitol Monday, along with threats and ultimatums, but there are no agreements on major issues as the session draws to a scheduled close on Wednesday.

The state capitol in Albany
Dave Lucas / WAMC

A faction of breakaway Democrats in the New York State Senate, known as the Independent Democratic Conference, has been in the news lately for receiving stipend payments for chairing committees that the senators in fact did not chair. What is the history of this power brokering group of senators and what may be in store for its future?

New York State Capitol
Karen DeWitt

Legislative leaders are dug in on remaining issues in the 2017 session, and are accusing each other of unfairly linking unrelated items to renewal of mayoral control over New York City schools. As time is running out for scheduled meetings.

New York state Capitol
Karen DeWitt

The New York state legislative session is drawing to a close. Democrats and Republicans are digging in on the remaining issues of 2017 including a measure to extend the New York City mayor’s control of the public schools, which has now been linked to a number of diverse issues affecting people in the rest of the state.

Tax Credits, flickr

New York state’s budget has been in place for just under two months, and already there are signs that tax revenues may be significantly lower than expected. Anticipated federal tax reductions later this year may be one of the reasons.

Wiki Commons

With less than two weeks left in the legislative session, some New York lawmakers are pressing for reform of the state’s economic development contracting process, in light of a scandal that’s led to federal corruption charges against several former associates of Governor Andrew Cuomo.

Governor Andrew Cuomo
Office of Governor Andrew Cuomo

Governor Andrew Cuomo is getting involved in New York’s Congressional races. At a rally with House Democratic Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, he vowed to help defeat the state’s nine eight republican members of the House of Representatives when they are up for election next year.

WAMC

Supporters of a constitutional convention in New York say the amendment deserves prominent placement on the November ballot. Opponents say the entire idea is too risky, and that the state should skip it.

Indian Point Nuclear Power Plant
Wiki Commons

Democratic Governor Andrew Cuomo says he’ll sign an executive order committing New York state to meet the Paris Climate Accord standards, calling President Trump’s decision Thursday to withdraw from the agreement “reckless” and “irresponsible.” And the governor says he’s joining with the governors of the states of California and Washington to form a coalition of states that are committed to upholding the Paris Accord. ​ New York state has already begun a plan to get 50 percent of the state’s energy from renewable sources, like wind and solar, by 2030.

Governor Andrew Cuomo
Office of Governor Andrew Cuomo

A new poll finds Democratic New York Governor Andrew Cuomo is at his highest approval rating in three years.

According to the Siena College poll, 61% of voters now say they view him favorably overall, and just over half 51% say they like the job he’s doing in office. Siena polls spokesman Steve Greenberg says the numbers are part of trend of rising popularity for the governor in the weeks since President Trump’s inauguration on January 20th.

Single payer supporters at the New York State Capitol
Karen DeWitt

Faith leaders from around New York came to the Capitol Tuesday to gain support in the state senate to adopt a statewide single payer health care system. It would be an alternative to the national Affordable Care Act, also known as Obamacare, which Republicans in Congress and President Trump have been trying to dismantle.

The Capitol
WAMC Photo by Dave Lucas

After an embarrassing controversy over stipend payments, the beleaguered group of breakaway Democrats in the state Senate are trying to change the subject.

New York State Capitol
Karen DeWitt

There are reports that New York state Senators who received payments for chairing committees that they in fact did not lead are now under a probe by the State Attorney General and at least one U.S Attorney.

School districts across New York state are holding votes on their budgets Tuesday, May 16th.  The vast majority are keeping their spending requests within the mandatory tax cap, but schools wonder whether the tax cap, over the long term, is sustainable.

Gov. Andrew Cuomo
Matt Ryan

A new online ad featuring Governor Andrew Cuomo and promoting tolerance has once again fueled talk that the New York Democrat may be planning a presidential run. There are some questions, though, about the ad and its donors.

New York state Capitol
Karen DeWitt

One of the top remaining issues before the New York state legislature adjourns for the summer is fixing problems in the state’s economic development contracts. That’s after a scandal led to federal corruption charges against nine former associates of Governor Andrew Cuomo.

Members of the Divest New York coalition protest at the State Capitol Monday
Karen DeWitt

Some New York lawmakers are pressing the state’s Comptroller to divest the state’s pension fund from the fossil fuel industry. But Comptroller Tom DiNapoli says he believes he can be more effective in changing the company’s behavior by acting from the inside.

New York state Capitol
Karen DeWitt

Democrats in the New York state Senate remain hopeful that they will regain the numerical majority and control of the chamber after a special election is held later this month. But Governor Andrew Cuomo dampened those expectations, in remarks made in New York City today.

New York state’s education commissioner said Tuesday that new state-specific learning standards will offer several improvements over the controversial Common Core standards.

nrc.gov

Assembly Democrats grilled Governor Andrew Cuomo’s energy officials for more than four hours on a plan executed by the Public Service Commission and a major energy company that will keep three upstate nuclear power plants alive for the next twelve years. Utility rate payers, mostly from downstate, will pay for the deal through a surcharge on their bills.

401(K) 2012/Flickr

President Trump’s tax plan is so far just a one page outline, but it’s already raising some red flags for New York’s political leaders.

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