"It's absurd to me that you can refinance a mortgage or a business loan, but you can't re-finance a college loan? I don't think the government should be making money off the backs of students." ~ Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand
Environmental groups in New York say a new law requiring manufacturers to collect and safely dispose of thermostats will remove a major source of toxic mercury from the waste stream.
The legislation, which awaits Gov. Andrew Cuomo's signature, was passed late Friday night by the Senate and Assembly. The New York Public Interest Research Group says it addresses one of the largest remaining sources of mercury pollution in New York — the hundreds of thousands of old thermostats discarded each year.
A senior Cuomo administration official says Gov. Andrew Cuomo and legislative leaders struck a late night deal to authorize four upstate casinos and to allow votes on 10 separate women's rights bills including an abortion proposal that appeared to have been blocked in the Senate.
The official spoke on the condition of anonymity because the deal was scheduled to be announced on Wednesday.
Legislative officials immediately disputed some elements of the agreement.
ALBANY – The State Assembly has restored the $90 million that was cut from the budget of the state Office of People with Developmental Disabilities in a move supported for area legislators. The money had been cut in the governor’s state budget this spring.
Assemblywoman Aileen Gunther (D-Forestburgh), who is chairwoman of the Mental Hygiene Committee, said the money is important to the many organizations that serve those in need.
New York’s Legislative Ethics Commission released a report Wednesday from the state’s Joint Commission on Public Ethics. The report focuses on sexual harassment allegations against Brooklyn Assemblyman Vito Lopez and details a number of charges.
Democrat Didi Barrett represents the 106th Assembly District, which includes portions of Columbia and Dutchess Counties.
Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver has renewed his call for Lopez to resign. Barrett, who has long advocated for women and girls, has other concerns.
The Legislative Ethics Commission released its report on the sexual harassment allegations against Assemblyman Vito Lopez. It’s conclusions have New York’s National Organization for Women calling for a vote of no confidence against the still serving Assemblyman, and the Republicans calling for Silver to resign.
The state legislature is almost finished voting on a $141.3b state budget. Final passage is occurring one week past lawmakers’ s self imposed deadline, but three days before the spending plan was due to be finished.
The New York state Assembly is set to begin final legislative approval of the $135 billion state budget.
The Assembly plans an early start Thursday and could finish voting by evening, although a late session and Friday session are still possible.
The Senate gave its approval to budget bills in an overnight session that ended at 4 a.m. Wednesday.
The budget includes extending an income tax on millionaires that was to expire next year, an election year. It also continues for three years a big business tax on energy costs that had been set to expire this year.
Last week the New York State Assembly voted to impose a statewide moratorium on the controversial natural gas extraction process known as hydrofracking, following reports that Governor Andrew Cuomo was considering lifting the current ban on the practice now in place.
WAMC’s Patrick Donges spoke recently with New York State Assemblyman Phil Steck, Democrat of the 110th district, which includes Colonie, Niskayuna and part of Schenectady. Steck voted for the fracking moratorium, despite his district not being targeted for natural gas development.