Karen DeWitt

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More school districts will be seeking to override the state's tax cap during Tuesday's school budget and board votes. 

alh1/flickr

Every day for the past two weeks, news reports have focused on a federal probe of Governor Cuomo’s Administration. It comes as both former leaders of the legislature are being sentenced to prison for corruption. Despite that Cuomo and legislative leaders say they are trying to achieve some agenda items in the closing weeks of the legislative session.

A new poll finds that voters want corruption in state government addressed before lawmakers adjourn the 2016 session.

Over the weekend, news broke that top aides to Governor Andrew Cuomo are being probed by the U.S. Attorney in connection with the Buffalo Billion economic development project. Here's a look at who’s been accused and what they are suspected of doing.

Senate Leader John Flanagan speaks at candidate Chris McGrath's headquarters on Long Island, where they asked for a recount.
Charles Lane/WSHU

Two special elections were held Tuesday in New York to fill the seats vacated by the two former legislative leaders, who were both convicted of felony corruption and had to resign.

A new poll finds that Bernie Sanders has narrowed the gap with Hillary Clinton in the New York Presidential primary race, but Clinton leads in key voting regions.

Robert Kennedy Jr, addressing gas pipeline opponents at a rally at the State Capitol on Tuesday.
Karen Dewitt

Fracktivists, as anti hydrofracking activists are called, hope to play a role in New York’s presidential primary. They are asking Democrats Hillary Clinton and Bernie Sanders, as well as Republican candidates, to take a stand against the Constitution pipeline and other natural gas pipelines that if approved could criss- cross the state.

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. 

 

  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.

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.

Gov. 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.

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.

The state capitol in Albany.
WAMC Photo by Dave Lucas

The issue of whether to tax the wealthiest New Yorkers at a higher rate is once again a topic at the State Capitol. Assembly Democrats are out with a tax plan that would redistribute some tax revenue from the richest to the poorest New Yorkers.

Governor Andrew Cuomo
Office of Governor Andrew Cuomo

 

A poll finds that voters overwhelmingly support a number of Governor Cuomo’s priorities for 2016, but New Yorkers still hold mixed views about the governor himself.

Mary Ellen Elia
Karen DeWitt

New York State’s education commissioner Mary Ellen Elia spent nearly four hours before the legislative budget committees. Though there is a moment of calm as the state pulls back from some of the more controversial parts of the Common Core standards, her testimony revealed potential trouble later in the school year if the test boycott movement continues.

Karen DeWitt

As the fourth anniversary of the devastating storms, Irene and Lee, approaches, the Cuomo administration says it’s more ready than ever for hurricanes, floods and other adverse weather events.

Times Union Website Crime Confidential Blog

A fiscal watchdog group says it’s uncovered what it calls a “secret slush fund,” used by New York Governor Andrew Cuomo and state legislators to fund pet projects around the state, but the governor’s budget office says the grants are subject to oversight.  

Counties across New York are concerned over reports that sales tax collections are plummeting and they are asking Governor Cuomo’s tax department for an explanation.

Karen DeWitt

    

The state’s new education commissioner, in her first address since beginning the job just over one week ago, told the rural schools association, meeting in Cooperstown, that she intends to be more inclusive to teachers in New York.

Flickr/wadester16

  New York Governor Andrew Cuomo and leaders of the legislature say they’ve finally settled all of their differences and have voted on the final piece of legislation to end the session.

Flickr/wadester16

The legislative session is expected to  continue for another day, as New York Governor Andrew Cuomo and legislative leaders remain gridlocked on extending New York City’s rent laws, and have not settled a host of other issues.

Karen DeWitt

More than 10 days after two convicted killers escaped from a state prison near Plattsburgh, some state lawmakers are considering new legislation and holding hearings to correct what they see as flaws in the state’s prisons system that  may have contributed to the break out.

One of the ethics reforms agreed to in the state budget has still not been passed by State Assembly Democrats, and minority party Republicans say they are worried that the bill will be delayed, or watered down.

Governor Andrew Cuomo
Office of Gov. Andrew Cuomo

Senate Republicans are trying to modify New York Governor Andrew Cuomo’s proposal to require full disclosure of law clients in legislators’ outside business.

Senate GOP Leader Dean Skelos, who works part time at a private law firm, says he expects to agree on a “robust” new disclosure law, but concedes that it may only apply to new law clients, not existing business arrangements.

Skelos blamed any hold up on Assembly Democrats, saying they are dragging their feet on a new teacher evaluation plan.

Office of New York Governor Andrew Cuomo

Once the President’s week break is finished, New York Governor Andrew Cuomo and the legislature will have to start discussing the 2015 budget.  But the traditional style of budget making in New York, known as "three men in a room," is coming under criticism, by among others, the U.S. Attorney currently investigating corruption at the Capitol.  Some are wondering whether it’s time to end the secretive practice.

http://assembly.state.ny.us/mem/Joseph-D-Morelle/photos/

Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver will end his long reign as the head of the Assembly on Monday, say the Democratic members of the Assembly who announced they’ll hold a new election for Speaker on February 10th.

Assembly Democrats are planning to huddle behind closed doors again in Albany today, trying to decide their next move after they decided Monday that they no longer have confidence in their in their present Speaker Sheldon Silver.

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