Karen Dewitt

NYS Capitol Correspondent

Ways to Connect

New York Governor Andrew Cuomo’s budget director is among those defending the state’s new free public college tuition program for some middle class students, after a week of criticism from the left and the right of the political spectrum.

Did passage of the New York state budget signal the end of Albany’s legislative session for 2017, or will other matters, including ethics reform, get done before the lawmakers adjourn in June?

Governor Cuomo and New York State lawmakers missed the budget deadline. With the midnight deadline just over two hours away, they had so far failed to solidify deals on state spending and taxation, as well as some unrelated items like permitting ride hailing services outside of New York City.

Carl Chipman, , supervisor of the town of Rochester in Ulster County
Karen DeWitt

Midnight Friday is not just the deadline for the New York state budget to be finished. It’s also the date for an $8 billion state bailout of some upstate nuclear power plants to begin. More than 80 local government leaders are making a last ditch effort to stop a plan that they say will cost electric utility ratepayers billions of dollars.

wikipedia commons

New York’s Democratic Congressional delegation is pressing a measure to prevent federal Medicaid funding cuts to the state. 

Assemblywoman Patricia Fahy D- Albany
Karen DeWitt

With lawmakers in Albany preoccupied with getting the budget done by week’s end, groups have to get creative to gain attention. Supporters of spending for public defense for the poor came up with one way- a wheel of fortune style game staged right in the middle of the action.

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

Governor Andrew Cuomo is warning that New York might not be able to add more money for schools this year because of uncertainties in Washington over federal funding.

NY Budget Due March 31

Mar 27, 2017
Karen DeWitt

Governor Andrew Cuomo and legislative leaders plan to meet all week, but no agreements are finalized yet on a state budget that’s due on Friday.

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
Dave Lucas / WAMC

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
Dave Lucas / WAMC

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.

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