Karen Dewitt

NYS Capitol Correspondent

Ways To Connect

Albany, NY

For the first time in months, the state’s highest court has all seven judges on the bench, now that the State Senate has confirmed Governor Andrew Cuomo’s two newest choices on the court.

The confirmation of Judges Eugene Fahey and Leslie Stein sailed through the State Senate, after Governor Cuomo put off announcing his choices, and the Senate delayed scheduling hearings, despite state laws requiring that vacancies on the court be filled promptly.

WAMC/Pat Bradley

  Supporters of Governor Andrew Cuomo’s education tax credit were at the Capitol to persuade lawmakers that the credit, which would benefit donors to private and charter schools, should be approved as part of the state budget.  

Karen DeWitt

  One day after Democrats in the Senate proposed sharply curtailing outside income earned by state lawmakers, the leader of another Senate faction says he’s quitting his private law practice.

Senate Independent Democratic Conference Leader Jeff Klein says he’s decided to give up his private law practice.

“While I enjoy and love the practice of law, I think now we’re in an ethical crisis,” said Klein, who says he wanted to “lead by example”.

Democrats in the New York State Senate are pushing for some reforms that directly address problems that led to the arrest and resignation of the Assembly Speaker. They want to virtually ban all outside income for lawmakers.

The proposals come two and a half weeks after the Democratic Assembly Speaker, Sheldon Silver was arrested on corruption charges, and one week after he resigned as speaker.

Silver is charged with subverting his employment at two private law firms to gain nearly $6 million dollars in kickbacks and bribes.

With less than two months before the state budget is due, New York Governor Andrew Cuomo and education groups remain at odds, with the state teachers union calling the fight a “war,” and Cuomo calling the teachers and their allies a bloated bureaucracy.

Office of Gov. Andrew Cuomo

New York Governor Andrew Cuomo is pushing his latest plan for ethics reform in appearances all around the state, following the arrest of the former Assembly Speaker on corruption charges. But questions remain whether will he have any more success this time than a deal last year that ended in the shuttering of a corruption commission.

Carl Heastie/ Twitter

Carl Heastie was elected unanimously by Democrats in the New York State Assembly to be the next Speaker on Tuesday, less than two weeks after former Speaker Sheldon Silver was arrested and charged with  running a massive multimillion dollar corruption scheme.

The State Assembly is poised to elect Bronx Assemblyman Carl Heastie as the next Speaker, as Sheldon Silver resigns in disgrace over serious corruption charges.  Meanwhile, Governor Andrew Cuomo is threatening to hold up the state budget if lawmakers don’t agree to a number of key reforms.

Assembly Majority Joe Morelle confirms that Democrats, meeting behind closed doors, have decided unanimously that Bronx Assemblyman Carl Heastie will be the next Speaker.





The race to replace the disgraced New York Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver seems all but over, with the Assembly’s Majority Leader Joe Morelle ending his bid for the job and throwing his support to Bronx power broker Carl Heastie on Friday.


The maneuvering for the next Speaker of the New York State Assembly is going on largely behind the scenes, and government reform groups say that’s the wrong way to begin a new era in what’s been called "the people’s house."  They’ve asked the announced candidates to commit to an open process, and want an answer before the weekend.