Karen Dewitt

NYS Capitol Correspondent

Ways to Connect

  Fixing the state’s troubled ethics commission will be the subject of two hearings in Albany on October 7th and in New York City on October 17th. Reform groups say they are ready with suggestions.

The panel, created by Governor Cuomo in May, is tasked with looking at ways to improve the Joint Commission on Public Ethics, or JCOPE, which has been widely criticized as secretive and ineffective. It was created by Governor Cuomo and the legislature during the governor’s first months in office back in 2011.

A new poll finds that, for the first time, Hillary Clinton is viewed negatively by a slim majority of New Yorkers.

Lucelia Ribeiro/Flickr

The state’s education commissioner says she’s open to granting waivers to delay new teacher evaluation for an additional year, saying the new systems should not be hastily pushed through because of an arbitrary date.

Lucelia Ribeiro/Flickr

  School administrators are closely watching a letter campaign that’s taking place in the days before school starts that could lead to even more children opting out of state standardized tests.

The campaign, taking place on Facebook and other social media, aims to send children to class on the first day of the school year with a letter signed by their parents saying they will not be taking the standardized tests this year.


  State Education Commissioner Mary Ellen Elia says she won’t prevent parents who want their children to skip the state’s standardized tests from doing so. The commissioner detailed her views on the controversial Opt Out movement in an interview with public radio and television.

Twenty percent of children this year boycotted the third through eight grade math and English tests associated with the Common Core learning standards.

Governor Cuomo’s labor commissioner is likely in the next few days to finalize a phased in hike in the minimum wage to $15 an hour for fast food workers. That action  dismays some business groups, who say it will have some unintended consequences.

A New York state Board of Elections investigator appointed by Governor Andrew Cuomo may have found a back door way into breaking some of the secrecy surrounding a major campaign contribution loophole in New York.

  The state education commissioner’s plans to quell the testing opt out movement is getting some back lash from some Republicans in the legislature, including a former teacher. 

  The controversial state ethics commission is in the midst of a review by a panel appointed by Governor Cuomo and the legislature. Government reform groups say they’ve already been asked to give their opinions on how to fix some of the commission’s problems.

There’s been an unusual focus on upstate New York among top state politicians from the downstate area in recent weeks.