Karen Dewitt

NYS Capitol Correspondent

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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.

A new poll finds that Bernie Sanders has narrowed the gap with Hillary Clinton in the New York Presidential primary race, but Clinton leads in key voting regions.

Karen DeWitt

Proponents of New York’s new medical marijuana law say so far, it’s barely functioning, and they say major revisions are necessary to allow more than just a tiny number of patients to benefit.

Republican Presidential candidate Donald Trump spoke at a packed arena in Albany Monday night, where he was interrupted by protesters numerous times.

A quirk in the newly enacted minimum wage increase could mean that in upstate New York by the early 2020s,   fast food workers could  be paid significantly more than other low wage jobs, like being a home healthcare worker or a cashier in a grocery store.

Governor Andrew Cuomo
Office of Governor Andrew Cuomo

The new state budget has been in place for nearly a week, but little attention has been paid to many of the items that are in it. A government reform group says that’s by design.

Robert Kennedy Jr, addressing gas pipeline opponents at a rally at the State Capitol on Tuesday.
Karen Dewitt

Fracktivists, as anti hydrofracking activists are called, hope to play a role in New York’s presidential primary. They are asking Democrats Hillary Clinton and Bernie Sanders, as well as Republican candidates, to take a stand against the Constitution pipeline and other natural gas pipelines that if approved could criss- cross the state.

Hillary Clinton in Cohoes
Jenna Flanagan/WMHT

Hillary Clinton talked a lot about the economy when she spoke at a rally in Cohoes Monday night.

Prior to holding a rally at the Cohoes high school, Democratic Presidential candidate Hillary Clinton held an event in New York City with Governor Cuomo and top state Democratic lawmakers, to celebrate the state’s passage of an increase to the state’s minimum wage.

Governor Cuomo
Governor Cuomo

The newly approved New York state budget includes a minimum wage increase that is the result of several compromises.

The Capitol
WAMC Photo by Dave Lucas

State lawmakers in Albany went down to the wire on meeting the state budget deadline Thursday. A phased-in minimum wage hike and paid family leave are among the highlights of the $150 billion spending plan.

The state capitol in Albany.
WAMC Photo by Dave Lucas

New York Governor Andrew Cuomo says the minimum wage increase now under discussion with the legislature will include a pause after three years, to reassess the health of the state’s economy. 

Karen DeWitt

 Governor Cuomo and Legislative leaders said they hoped to have final agreements on the state budget by evening, and could possibly print bills Tuesday night, to begin voting on Thursday. But by late Tuesday afternoon they were still working on reaching final agreements.  

Minimum wage supporters hold a vigil outside the governor's office as Cuomo and legislative leaders finalize budget details.
Karen Dewitt

Legislative leaders in Albany say they hope to have final agreements on the state budget by evening, and print bills Tuesday night, to begin voting on Thursday.

Wikimedia Commons

  When the state budget is approved next week it will likely not include a discount for frequent users of the New York State Thruway. The legislature has rejected Governor Cuomo’s plan to use some of the state’s surplus to subsidize tolls. 

nynow.org

Supporters and opponents of a $15 minimum wage in New York are blasting reports that Governor Cuomo and state lawmakers have reached a compromise that could stretch out the phase in period, and exempt farmers from the higher pay requirements. 

classroom
en.wikipedia.org

The newly elected Chancellor to the Board of Regents, Betty Rosa, expressed grave doubts about the state’s use of standardized tests in the schools, saying if she were not on the Board of Regents, she would join the opt-out movement and not permit her children to take the tests.

New York Cardinal Timothy Dolan came to the Capitol with other Catholic Church leaders to meet with Governor Cuomo and some leaders of the legislature. 

Governor Cuomo
Governor Cuomo

 

  Governor Cuomo concedes that ethics reform is unlikely to be a part of the New York State budget, despite the conviction of the two legislative leaders on major corruption charges. Cuomo blames the legislature for lack of will to enact changes.

People with developmental disabilities and their caretakers held a rally at the New York State Capitol Wednesday to ask Governor Andrew Cuomo for financial help if he’s successful in pushing through a $15 minimum wage.

New York Governor Andrew Cuomo greets crowd of union workers after speech on raising  the minimum wage at a rally outside the State Capitol on Tuesday.
Karen Dewitt

Lobbying for and against the minimum wage is intensifying at the State Capitol, with just over two weeks to go until the budget deadline.

The Assembly and Senate have released budget positions that focus on taxes and spending policies, but very little on ethics reform, even though both former leaders of the legislature face prison sentences over corruption convictions.     

Three new Regents elected by the legislature this week are expected to help lead an on-going reversal in education policy in New York, to less emphasis on controversial standardized tests.

Senate Finance Committee Chair Cathy Young and Senate Leader John Flanagan present the Republicans' tax plan in Albany on Wednesday.
Karen Dewitt

Senate Republicans say their version of the state budget will include a 9 year phase of tax cuts that would eventually total a 25 percent reduction for middle class taxpayers.

  An Assemblywoman from Western New York has been sanctioned by the Assembly ethics committee on charges she sexually harassed a male staffer.

Gov. Cuomo
WAMC Photo by Dave Lucas

A call by government reform groups for an open leaders meeting on ethics reform tuned into a spat between New York Governor Andrew Cuomo and the groups themselves.

With just over a month to go before New York’s Presidential primary, Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton are leading their respective party voters in a new poll. 

Office of Governor Andrew Cuomo

  In less than a month, New York Governor Andrew Cuomo and state lawmakers will get the chance to make major ethics fixes as part of the state budget. So far there’s been little focus on responding to corruption scandals that led to the two legislative leaders facing long prison terms.

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