Karen Dewitt

NYS Capitol Correspondent

Ways To Connect

alh1/flickr

 A legislative session that featured the arrest of both of the top leaders of the legislature on corruption charges, saw no new ethics improvements included in the end of session agreements on a host of measures. One reform group is calling on the Governor and legislature to meet in a special session to address the state’s on going scandals.

Governor Cuomo/Flickr

Governor Andrew Cuomo has appointed the state attorney general as a temporary special prosecutor to over see cases where a civilian is killed by a police officer.

Cuomo, saying there is a “crisis of confidence” in the criminal justice system, signed an executive order to have the state’s attorney general take over from the local District Attorney any time an unarmed civilian is killed in an encounter with police, and there are questions about what happened.

Governor Andrew Cuomo signed into law a bill to crack down on sexual assaults on college campuses, saying he hopes other states will adopt similar protections.  

  There’s word that the commissioner of the state’s environmental agency is leaving, just two days after Joe Martens issued the final environmental impact statement banning hydrofracking in New York. The final report on fracking is a signal for others to move on as well. Anti-fracking groups say they are using New York’s stance to help convince other states, and even countries to ban the gas drilling process.

When Governor Cuomo and legislative leaders announced a new rebate check for property taxpayers, they touted it as a significant “real” benefit to average homeowners. But fiscal watchdog groups say the program is severely flawed, and the money could be better used on something else.

A wage board appointed by Governor Cuomo, speaking before a packed crowd of fast food workers, says it will authorize a “substantial” raise for fast food workers, but would not say when or even if the increase would be the $15 an hour that many groups are seeking.

A three-member board picked by Governor Cuomo to examine whether fast food workers need a raise say they are in agreement that the current wage of $8.75 an hour needs to be much higher.

Flickr/wadester16

  New York Governor Andrew Cuomo and leaders of the legislature say they’ve finally settled all of their differences and have voted on the final piece of legislation to end the session.

Karen DeWitt

The legislature continued negotiating and printing legislation Wednesday, one day after a framework deal was announced by legislative leaders and Governor Cuomo. The session limped to a close, after a year that’s seen the resignation of both leaders of the legislature over corruption scandals, and ongoing federal probes.

Governor Cuomo endured many personal obstacles. His father, the former Governor Mario Cuomo, passed away January 1st. His long- time partner, chef Sandra Lee, underwent a double mastectomy for breast cancer.

“This was a very difficult year,”  Cuomo admits.

  The fourth and final hearing was held by a board specially appointed Governor Andrew Cuomo to consider raising the minimum wage for fast food workers in New York.

Outside, supporters of raising the minimum wage to $15 an hour held a rally.

  It turns out the legislative session will not be ending as planned and will continue on for at least another week.

After a week of gridlock, Governor Andrew Cuomo and legislative leaders decided to take a break and adjourn for five days. Before they left, they renewed New York City’s expired rent laws, but only for five days, until Tuesday.

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