Karen Dewitt

NYS Capitol Correspondent

Ways to Connect

Times Union Website Crime Confidential Blog

  Governor Cuomo this week announced plans for mass pardons of young people who commit non violent crimes. It’s the latest in a string of actions Cuomo has taken in the past year in an attempt to get around opposition from some factions in the state legislature and to further some progressive issues.

Governor Andrew Cuomo
Office of Gov. Andrew Cuomo

Governor Cuomo continues to say that he will propose major reforms in the New Year, in the wake of the conviction of the two top legislative leaders on multiple corruption charges. But the governor, in a radio interview, says there’s only so far that he can go to reign in campaign donations.

An upstate business group is seeking tax cuts for small businesses in the New Year, and opposing Governor Cuomo’s plan to phase in a minimum wage hike to $15 an hour. Unshackle Upstate’s Greg Biryla says while portions of  the economy have improved somewhat, including the Albany and Buffalo regions, wide swaths of the Southern Tier, North Country, and Mohawk Valley continue to stagnate, and have lost jobs.

Pixabay/Public Domain

  Advocates for paid family leave in New York say they hope 2016 is the year that the state finally provides a program to allow workers to take time off to care for a child, or a sick elderly relative.

  A study by a reform group finds that if New York were to ban outside income for lawmakers, it would actually effect only a small number of legislators.

Office of New York Governor Andrew Cuomo

Now that the two leaders of the legislature have been convicted on multiple counts of corruption, government reform groups are looking to the remaining politicians at the Capitol for reform. And polls show that the public is with them.

wikipedia commons

The state’s education commissioner says no new laws are needed to reverse a proposal in this year’s state budget tying teacher performance reviews more closely to standardized tests. At the December Board of Regents meeting, members voted to postpone the effects of the tests on teacher evaluations until for at least four more years.

Karen Dewitt. WAMC

Governor Cuomo made anti sexual assault legislation on college campuses a key part of his agenda in 2015.  Six months after signing what’s called the “Enough is Enough” legislation, college officials say it’s helped accelerated a trend toward better awareness and reporting of incidents.

The latest Siena College poll finds that most people agree with the corruption conviction of the state’s former longtime Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver, who was found guilty on seven counts two weeks ago.

Regional Economic Development Council
Regional Economic Development Council website

  Three of seven regions in competition in upstate New York were awarded $500 million each in economic development money, in a contest by Governor Cuomo that critics have called the “Hunger Games.”

Pages