Capital Region News

Governor Cuomo’s popularity with New York voters continues- in the latest poll he has the highest ratings of any New York governor since the dark days after September 11th.  Capitol Correspondent Karen DeWitt reports…

Mickey Carroll, with Quinnipiac University, says Cuomo’s favorability numbers are the highest for a governor since the days after September 11th, 2001, when then Governor George Pataki received an 81% approval rating. Cuomo’s numbers stand at 71%, the highest yet for the consistently popular governor, says Carroll.

A federal judge has set February 4 to start the retrial of former New York Senate Majority Leader Joseph Bruno on fraud charges and imposed a gag order on the lawyers. More from WAMC’s Dave Lucas…

U.S. District Judge Gary Sharpe says Tuesday the case will be tried in court, not the press, while acknowledging he imposed the same rule at the 2009 trial, where Bruno himself held daily press conferences on the courthouse steps to say he was innocent while his lawyers stood quietly by.

WAMC's David Guistina gets the morning headlines from Mike Spain, associate editor of the Albany Times-Union.

Governor Andrew Cuomo gave a rousing speech at a meeting of the State Democratic Party, but stopped short of endorsing a democratic take over of the State Senate. At the meeting, the new co chairs of the party, chosen by Cuomo, were introduced.  Capitol Correspondent Karen DeWitt reports...

The State’s second most powerful Democrat, Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver, was among the warm up acts for Governor Cuomo’s address before a meeting of the State Democratic Party.

New York State Comptroller Tom DiNapoli says the state’s pension fund has “successfully weathered” another economic storm. He reports returns are the highest since global market meltdown of 2008.  Capitol Correspondent Karen DeWitt reports…

Comptroller Tom DiNapoli says despite another volatile year in the markets, the pension fund for the hundreds of thousands of state worker retirees performed at a rate of 5.96%. The total fund is valued at $150.3 billion dollars, the highest since before the Great Recession.

Drug overdoses are a significant problem across New York State with data from New York City showing more than 900 fatalities caused by accidental overdoses in 2003, nearly 70 percent of which involved the use of opioids like heroin.

In 2006, state law went into effect to allow non-medical personnel to administer Naloxone   (na-LOX-own), also known as “Narcan,” a nasal spray which can reverse the symptoms of opioid overdose. While the state has made progress by training lay-people, many areas of the states still do not have trained overdose responders.

Governor Cuomo has taken the reigns of the troubled New York Racing Association Board, saying he needs to “restore the public trust” in a rapidly changing gaming industry.  Capitol Correspondent Karen DeWitt reports… 

Governor Cuomo announced Thursday that he’s rescinding a state regulation that requires food stamp recipients be fingerprinted, saying the poor and hungry are not criminals.  Capitol Correspondent Karen DeWitt reports… 

Governor Cuomo, speaking by phone to a gathering of advocates for the poor, says he’s rescinded a 14-year-old state regulation that required food stamp recipients be subject to fingerprinting before receiving benefits. 

“Poverty and hunger are not crimes,” said Cuomo. “So we shouldn’t treat the poor or the hungry as criminals.”

Governor Cuomo is pleased with the outcome of Tuesday’s state wide school budget vote, but teachers and school board leaders see some disturbing trends.

This year’s school budget vote was the first to take place after Governor Andrew Cuomo convinced the legislature to adopt the property tax cap. The governor says the tax cap imposed “fiscal discipline.” He says he’s pleased that few schools attempted to override the cap, and that most schools kept tax increases to a minimum, and were approved by voters. He says tax payers, as well as state government, are tapped out.

WAMC's David Guistina speaks with Judy Patrick, managing editor of the Daily Gazette, about NYRA's turmoil and the school budget vote.

A new Siena College poll finds that New Yorkers are starting to feel more positive about the state legislature- but they still don’t want to see Senators and Assembly members receive a pay raise.   Capitol Correspondent Karen DeWitt reports…

For the first time in many years, New Yorkers actually view the State Senate favorably, by a 46% to 43% margin,  and the State Assembly is close to evenly split, with 42% viewing them positively, and 44% negatively.

NYS Ethics Commission Pursues Complaint against Libous

May 15, 2012

On the heels of former New York State Senate leader Pedro Espada’s conviction, the state’s ethics commission is pursuing a complaint against one of Albany’s most prominent lawmakers.  WAMC's Tristan O'Neill reports...  

The Albany-Times Union reports (http://www.timesunion.com/local/article/Libous-the-target-of-ethics-inquiry-3558178.php) that the recently-created Joint Commission on Public Ethics has sent a letter to Deputy Senate Majority Leader Thomas Libous.   

A teacher who exercised her First Amendment Rights to stand up for her beliefs at rallies and actions held by Occupy Albany could be facing repercussions for her actions. Hudson Valley Bureau Chief Dave Lucas reports

 

What led to the sudden change in President Obama’s itinerary last week in the Albany area? The president came to the University at Albany’s College of Nanoscale science and Engineering, even though the original choice was GlobalFoundries’ plant in Malta in Saratoga County. At the time, the reason given for the change was “logistics,” but James Odato of the Albany Times Union is reporting today it was the Cuomo administration that lobbied for the venue change, he spoke with WAMC’s Brian Shields.

Opponents of natural gas drilling using hydraulic fracturing are planning a big day of action in Albany, culminating with a star-studded concert at the Empire State Plaza.  WAMC's Ian Pickus reports...

New Yorkers Against Fracking, a new coalition of organizations calling for a fracking ban, plans a rally and multi-media concert Tuesday afternoon and evening. The event features actors Mark Ruffalo and Melissa Leo acting as hosts of the concert at the Egg Center for the Performing Arts. Tickets range from $40 to $150.

The American Cancer Society and other health groups are pressing for a law in New York State that would ban anyone under the age of 18 from using a tanning salon. They argue the growing risk of cancer to young people is too great a threat to ignore.  Capitol Correspondent Karen DeWitt reports…

Supporters of the law cite statistics that show all forms of skin cancer, and particularly melanoma, which can sometimes result in death, are on the rise among young people.

Most parents and teachers would be skeptical to hear that young people should spend more time in front of video games to do better in school, but there are some who say that is the case. Clark Aldrich is a leading interface designer and one of the top educational simulator creators in the world. He will moderate a gaming summit tomorrow at Excelsior College in Albany on how serious video games can be used in higher education. Aldrich tells WAMC’s Brian Shields that parents and teachers should be open to serious video games as a good way to learn.

Governor Cuomo, who won national praise and attention for championing the passage of same sex marriage in New York, calls President Obama’s support of gay marriage a “major advancement for equal rights in this country.”  Capitol Correspondent Karen DeWitt reports…  

President Barack Obama is contrasting himself with congressional Republicans by saying they have blocked his job creation plans. He says now is not the time for inaction. WAMC’s Dave Lucas has more...

Obama was speaking at a college science complex in New York to draw attention to proposals he has been pushing before Congress since last September. His appeal comes as millions of Americans remain out of work and as thousands have given up looking for work.

WAMC's David Guistina talks about President Obama's visit to Albany today with Mike Spain, associate editor of the Albany Times-Union.

New York Governor Andrew Cuomo plans to propose creating a new agency to oversee care of the disabled.

The New York Times reports that Cuomo will announce the proposal this week in response to the state’s history of overlooking abuse of the disabled living in publicly financed housing, a group numbering nearly one million.

The paper says the new law enforcement and oversight agency will monitor the care of several types of at-risk patients. It would also be granted subpoena power.

WAMC

President Barack Obama is slated to visit Saratoga County next week to speak on jobs and emerging technology.

The president will visit the Global Foundries chip plant in Malta, his third visit to the Capital Region since taking office. He is expected to draw attention to ways in which the government and private companies can work together to spur new high-tech industries.

President Obama has previously visited General Electric in Schenectady and Hudson Valley Community College in Troy.

The Catholic Church as weighed in on raising the state’s minimum wage, but Governor Cuomo says the chances of an increase becoming law are “dubious."  Capitol Correspondent Karen DeWitt reports…

Governor Andrew Cuomo appointed his second blue ribbon panel of the week- this time to oversee infrastructure and capital projects including road and bridge repairs for the state.  Capitol Correspondent Karen DeWitt reports…

Governor Cuomo says the task force represents a break from the old way of divvying up money for capital projects like road and bridge repair and new buildings, where each state agency operated in its own little universe.  The governor says there’s a “lot of damage” that needs to be undone.

Anti fracking groups presented Governor Cuomo with 200,000 signatures asking for a ban on the gas drilling process in New York, and a State Senator predicts the opposition will have an effect on the governor.  Capitol Correspondent Karen DeWitt reports...

The coalition New Yorkers Against Fracking delivered boxes containing 200,000 signatures to Governor Cuomo’s offices that they say are from state residents who want the gas drilling process banned. An aide politely accepted them, but Governor Cuomo, whose public schedule listed him as being in Albany, did not appear.

WAMC's David Guistina gets the morning headlines from Judy Patrick, managing editor of the Daily Gazette.

Occupy Albany is back, this time with a specific platform to change New York government and politics.  WAMC’s Ian Pickus reports…

The group credited in part with pushing Governor Andrew Cuomo to accept a higher tax on millionaires plans opening ceremonies from noon to midnight Tuesday across from the Capitol, coinciding with international May Day protests.

The park is within shouting distance of the Democratic governor dubbed "Governor 1 Percent" because of some of his policies and because his biggest campaign contributors are top corporate executives.

WAMC's David Guistina gets the morning headlines from Mike Spain, associate editor of the Albany Times-Union.

Governor Cuomo cast further doubt on issues like campaign finance reform and increasing the states minimum wage to become law this year, and says he’s “shifting” to a new phase of governing instead.  Capitol Correspondent Karen DeWitt reports…

Governor Cuomo, in remarks to his cabinet, says he expects a “relatively quiet” end to the legislative session. He says campaign finance reform, including public campaign financing, are measures that he supports, but says that they are “controversial” and “polarizing” issues in the legislature.

U.S. Navy Rear Admiral David Titley is in the Albany area today, meeting with government, business and scientific leaders to discuss the changing role of the Navy in security and commerce. WAMC’s Brian Shields spoke with Rear Admiral Titley, who says the visit is part of the Navy’s fifty cities in fifty days initiative.

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