Karen Dewitt

NYS Capitol Correspondent

Ways to Connect

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.

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  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
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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.

New York Governor Andrew 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. 

New York Governor Andrew Cuomo
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.

Assembly Speaker Carl Heastie.
Karen DeWitt

The Speaker of the New York state Assembly says he wants to say a proposal to raise the minimum wage to $15 an hour included in the state budget.

New Yorkers will soon get a chance to decide whether to hold a constitutional convention in New York- but some government reform groups say there needs to be some major changes made first- including banning double dipping by state lawmakers who might become delegates. 

  

A bill to make it legal for terminally ill patients to end their lives is being debated in the New York legislature. While many have compelling personal cases for allowing the practice, others, including the Catholic Church, remain opposed.  

nynow.org

Home health care agencies are the latest group to come out against Governor Cuomo’s plan to raise the minimum wage to $15 an hour.

New York Governor Andrew Cuomo’s been spending more time on the road than at the State Capitol in recent weeks, on an election style campaign to promote his ideas, including a $15 minimum wage.

New York Governor Andrew Cuomo
WAMC Photo by Dave Lucas

Governor Cuomo has been spending more time on the road than at the State Capitol in recent weeks, on an election style campaign to promote his ideas, including a $15 minimum wage. 

  Mental health groups say they are being left out of a massive reshuffling of the state’s Medicaid program, and that people with mental illness transitioning back to their communities will suffer.

The New York State Comptroller has issued an audit finding that Governor Cuomo’s administration has dropped the ball on some aspects of policing nursing homes.

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The state’s leading business group is warning that Governor Cuomo’s paid family leave proposal will be costly for employers and difficult for them to manage.

Anna Wysocki
Karen DeWitt

High schoolers in Hoosick Falls say they are tired of the slow response by the adults in the community, and government, to the toxic substance PFOA which has infiltrated the village water system and made it unsafe to drink. They took matters into their own hands, holding a press conference and  calling on Governor Cuomo personally to act.

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  Cheap gas prices are making consumers happy at the pump, but not everyone is benefiting from the lower prices. New York’s counties, who impose a sales tax on gasoline, have lost over $200 million dollars in revenues.

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