This Election Day voters will have an opportunity to amend the New York State constitution. When you get to the polling place, in addition to voting for candidates, you will have the opportunity to vote on six proposed changes to the state constitution. If you want to get the text of the actual amendments, you can access the language by going to the state Board of Elections website at www.elections.ny.gov.
Good government alarm bells are ringing in Albany. Numerous news reports have accused the governor’s aides of interfering in the activities of the state commission investigating corruption in government.
The big news of the past week has been the shutdown of the federal government. The rationale for the gridlock has been well reported: The House Republican Congressional leadership has decided to block funding of the federal government as its leverage to defund, cripple or delay implementation of the health care reform law, the Affordable Care Act.
A referendum on the November ballot to consider approving seven casinos in New York is raising some eyebrows among good-government advocates for wording that promises to lower taxes, provide more money for schools and create more jobs.
One political scientist says the language is pushing voters for a "yes" vote sought by Albany politicians.
The unusually optimistic theme makes no mention that the claims are disputed by some researchers and doesn't note the decline of some casinos in the Northeast or the rise in problem gambling that can shatter families and increase crime.
Earlier this summer, two states – Texas and Florida – ran radio commercials touting those states’ business climates in an effort to convince New York companies to move their operations. The focus of the ads was that those states were more business friendly with lower taxes and less regulation. Thus, the ads argued, Texas and Florida were the places to do business.
The debate over health care reform has been remarkable. The Obama Administration offers a plan based on the program in Massachusetts, which was developed as the result of a bipartisan agreement. The Congress approves it and the US Supreme Court rules it to be legal.
It’s early August. We’re past summer’s midpoint and the barrage of back-to-school ads have begun. While those ads may offer parents a light at the end of the tunnel, thinking about schoolchildren also raises an important policy issue: the growing problem of childhood obesity.
Last week some of the economic benefits of the federal health care reform law became evident. The Cuomo Administration released its estimates on the costs of health insurance for those who must pay for coverage – people who don’t get health insurance from the government or their employer. Virtually all New Yorkers will have to have health coverage by January 1, 2014.
In a few short months, Americans who need health insurance will be able to obtain it. They will either get it from the government – through programs like Medicare or Medicaid, from their employers, or purchase it themselves from health marketplaces, known as health benefit exchanges.
Early last month a report graded each of the 50 states’ policies on how well they controlled patients’ pain. The report showed that much progress had been made over the last decade in implementing balanced policies that increase access to effective pain medications and establish a system to mitigate drug abuse. However, much more needs to be done.