New York State Government

State lawmakers said a few years ago that they would  no longer permit the controversial member item program to continue, but  critics say the old system, which gave taxpayer money to legislators’ pet projects, is being revived in a new form.

After a brief hiatus, Albany’s ethics are once again in the media.  Last week, two Assemblymembers were sentenced to prison for their ethics crimes and Governor Cuomo’s “Buffalo Billion” economic development program was reported to be under scrutiny by federal prosecutors.

When Senator Skelos was arrested for alleged corruption on May 4th, a clock started ticking.  In previous arrests, Governor Cuomo would weigh in with a raft of ethics changes within a couple of weeks.  When former Assembly Speaker Silver was arrested on January 22nd, the governor waited until the Assembly sorted itself out and then gave a major speech to advance ethics measures on February 2nd – ten days later.

Like many areas of the governor’s proposed $141 billion-plus state budget, his higher education plans include items that help and others that hurt.

(Airs 1/10) The Legislative Gazette is a weekly program about New York State Government and politics. On this week's Gazette: Governor Cuomo delivers an election year state of the state address, our political observer Alan Chartock will share his thoughts on the speech, and we’ll also take a look at the annual people’s state of the state address.

From the first days of Watergate, to pay-to-play in the Massachusetts state legislature, to the most recent allegations of sexual harassment and a subsequent secret settlement in New York, politicians just cannot seem to stay out of trouble.

On today’s edition of Vox Pop, we will try to answer the question of whether those electeds who end up in hot water would’ve found themselves in a similar situation had they not held public office.

New York Governor Andrew Cuomo has come under increasing scrutiny for practices that appear to contrast his campaign pledge of historic transparency.

Last week, it was reported that Cuomo does not use email for official correspondence, relying instead on proprietary blackberry pin-to-pin messages, which leave no paper trail.