A top environmental debate over the past six years has been whether New York state should allow a natural gas drilling method known as hydraulic fracturing – or fracking. During those six years, effectively New York State has had a moratorium on fracking.
Now that the 2014 legislative session is finished, the question is what got done? During this session, high profile bills got passed – such as a new law allowing, in select circumstances, the medicinal use of marijuana. Over the past four years, the budget was completed in time for the beginning of the new fiscal year, a streak unheard of in modern New York State history.
Government reform groups are beginning their push early to convince voters to reject an amendment on redistricting on the state’s November ballot. They say it’s a sham that does not offer the changes that it promises.
Now that the lackluster 2014 legislative session is in the books, New York’s elected officials turn their attention to November. The statewide offices of governor, comptroller, and attorney general are all up. All 213 legislative seats and 27 Congressional House of Representatives are up for a vote.
With two weeks to go until the scheduled end of the 2014 legislative session, how’s it looking? Despite the fact that the governor and state lawmakers will face the voters this November, increasingly the session looks like it will end with a whimper, not a bang.
There are even rumors that lawmakers will throw in the towel and just wrap things up this week instead of next week as scheduled.
Even though there has been a lot of public debate on important issues, it appears that lawmakers will hit the campaign trail without resolving them.
The nation’s success hinges on the skills and knowledge of its people. Over the past century, the United States had advanced to the world’s leading nation – in terms of technology, finance, and in the broad accessibility to education. But in order to maintain its advantages in entrepreneurship, technological prowess and civic engagement, the nation must continue to invest in its future generations.
As Albany begins its post-budget agenda, it is remarkable how little the governor and state lawmakers discuss environmental issues. There are the occasional news releases – lip service really – about green initiatives, but little about policies that seek to reduce the pollution.
The US Census published a report on voting in America last week that was the usual – the nation’s voters don’t go to the polls as often as they should and in some parts of the country, like New York, and for some age groups – mainly young voters – the turnout has been dreadful.