Karen DeWitt

New York State Senate Passes Medical Marijuana Bill

Jun 20, 2014
Karen DeWitt

After a lengthy debate of several hours, the medical marijuana bill was approved in the Senate, and now goes to the desk of Governor Andrew Cuomo, who has said he'll sign it.   

Karen DeWitt

New York Governor Andrew Cuomo and legislative leaders have agreed to a package of bills to combat heroin addiction, and say they are still discussing other issues, including medical marijuana, as the legislative session draws to a close. 

Governor Andrew Cuomo
Office of Gov. Andrew Cuomo

Governor Cuomo tried to change the subject with two economic development appearances, in the aftermath of a political endorsement that has shaken up the Capitol.

WAMC Photo by Dave Lucas

The Republican candidate for governor of New York, Rob Astorino, is pressing for term limits for state officials. He also spoke against another reform proposal percolating in the legislature, campaign finance reform, on Wednesday.

A Republican-led Senate task force has released a package of bills aimed at combating the growing heroin addiction in New York.

New York Republicans have chosen their candidate for Attorney General. John Cahill is a former top aide to Governor George Pataki . 

The Republican candidate for governor of New York, Rob Astorino, claims an aid to Governor Andrew Cuomo made him sit in the back during President Obama’s visit to the Tappan Zee Bridge Wednesday, a charge Cuomo’s spokesman denies.

New York State Republicans have picked their candidate for Comptroller, he’s the Onondaga County Comptroller Robert Antonacci. He’ll be the first statewide candidate in New York to rely on public financing to pay for his campaign.

GOP candidate for governor Rob Astorino says his choice for a Lieutenant Governor running mate will be the Chemung County Sheriff, Chris Moss, an avid opponent of Governor Andrew Cuomo’s gun control laws.

Office of Governor Andrew Cuomo

There’s around two months left in the New York legislative session and a number of issues left on the agenda. But it’s uncertain how many of them will actually become law. 

Governor Andrew Cuomo
Office of Governor Andrew Cuomo

A new poll finds that New York Governor Andrew Cuomo is still feeling the fallout from the demise of his Moreland Commission, a panel that was investigating corruption in the legislature. Cuomo disbanded the commission as part of the state budget deal.

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The New York State Gaming Commission is holding hearings on the issue of gambling addiction. It is part of a process that will allow the building of up to seven new casino gambling resorts in New York over the next several years.

Karen DeWitt

New York Governor Andrew Cuomo Tuesday hosted a second beer, wine, spirits — and now, cider —   summit to showcase one of the state’s few growth industries.

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There is a big change at New York State’s largest teachers union. Members of New York State United Teachers elected new leadership after months of unrest over the state’s flawed roll out of the new Common Core standards.

The New York State Comptroller says he won’t be participating in a new pilot public campaign finance program agreed to in the state budget, and government reform groups say, they don’t blame him.

Karen DeWitt

New York State Comptroller Tom DiNapoli says a test public campaign finance plan that would apply only to his office is “seriously flawed,” and might even be unworkable.

Budget Talks Take Place Behind Closed Doors, As Usual

Mar 27, 2014
Office of New York Governor Andrew Cuomo

When the budget deal is finally reached in Albany, average New Yorkers will have had little access to the details of the important items that Governor Andrew Cuomo and lawmakers are discussing. That’s because the long Albany tradition known as three men in a room continues.

Government reform activists took their smart phones into New York Assembly Committee meetings to live stream meetings that so far have not been available on line to the public.

Karen DeWitt

New York Assembly Democrats were passing a one house version of the DREAM Act on Tuesday, a bill to give college aid to the children of undocumented immigrants. They urged the Senate to follow suit.

Patients with serious health conditions, including children with a severe seizure disorder, came to the Capitol on the first formal day of the legislative session to urge passage of a bill to more fully allow access to medical marijuana in New York.

Calita Kabir/Flickr

Divisions are forming in the upcoming debate over tax cuts that’s likely to dominate the new legislative session. 

Office of Governor Andrew Cuomo

New York Governor Andrew Cuomo’s Tax Commission is recommending a $2 billion package that includes a temporary freeze on property taxes, and a cut in corporate taxes to a 40 year low. 

Karen DeWitt

Reform groups are focusing attention on New York Governor Andrew Cuomo’s anti-corruption commission’s recommendations to beef up the anemic State Board of Elections but say they have not given up hope of public campaign financing for state wide races.

Calita Kabir/Flickr

New York Governor Andrew Cuomo’s commission to study tax cuts appears likely to miss the Friday deadline to report its findings by December 6, after controversy over former Governor George Pataki’s desire to cut income taxes for all wage earners, including the wealthy. 

Karen DeWitt

One of the most controversial recommendations in New York Governor Andrew Cuomo’s anti-corruption commission report released this week is to enact public financing of campaigns for statewide elections.

Karen DeWitt

Advocates and lawmakers at the Capitol are reacting to New York Governor Andrew Cuomo’s anti-corruption commission report. It offers scathing criticism of what the commission says is a corrupt culture in Albany, and recommends numerous reforms.

Karen DeWitt

New York Governor Andrew Cuomo’s anti-corruption commission is meeting Monday for the final time and is expected to issue a report this week (as early as Tuesday).

Wikimedia Commons/Public Domain

Today is the American Cancer Society’s Great American Smokeout, an effort begun by anti-cancer groups nearly four decades ago to help people quit smoking. This year the Cancer Society in New York is using the day to call attention to a decline in state spending on anti-smoking programs.

New York State’s Education Commissioner, John King, faced a bi-partisan grilling by liberal and conservative Assemblymembers at a hearing on growing concerns over student privacy.

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Taxes and tax reform are likely to be a major topic in the next legislative session, which begins in seven weeks. New York Governor Andrew Cuomo is relying on two separate commissions for ideas about tax changes, while progressive groups and Republicans in the State Senate are also weighing in.

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