New York Governor Andrew Cuomo says he is creating a powerful investigative committee under New York's anti-corruption Moreland Act to investigate the entire state Legislature.
The Democrat says negotiations to create new public integrity laws failed, so he's creating the investigative panel instead. He says Wednesday he refused to "significantly compromise" his reform proposal.
The committee will have subpoena power and go after the influence of campaign contributions on politicians.
The issue was forced by corruption cases involving lawmakers this spring.
Deals have been reached between Governor Cuomo and legislative leaders on siting new casinos and creating tax free zones at college campuses. But a bill on abortion rights was struggling, and reform measures appear dead for the session.
The agreement on casinos would allow four resort style gambling centers; one in the Capital Region, one in the Southern Tier, and possibly two in the Catskills, if voters approve the change to the state’s constitution in the fall.
Nassau and Suffolk Counties would be allowed to open more slot machines, under the terms of the bill.
There were several arrests at the New York State Capitol Tuesday. Advocates took out their anger and frustration on Cuomo and leaders of the State Senate, after it became clear that a progressive agenda that includes abortion rights and public campaign financing are likely dead for the legislative session.
There are three days left in the New York State legislative session, and chances are dimming for a settlement on an abortion rights provision in a women’s equality act, and for reform of campaign financing and other anti-corruption measures. Meanwhile, a new poll finds the public increasingly dissatisfied. WAMC's Capitol Correspondent Karen DeWitt reports.
After the 2000 presidential election which saw Al Gore win the popular vote, but George Bush win the White House, there was an outcry by some to get rid of the Electoral College. A bill to change that system has just cleared the New York State Assembly.
The measure is being supported by Albany area Assemblywoman Patricia Fahy, a Democrat, who says the bill would have New York join an interstate compact in which states would give all of their Electoral College votes to the presidential candidate who wins the popular vote nationwide. Fahy spoke with WAMC’s Brian Shields.
It’s getting down to the wire for major pieces of legislation as the end of session approaches in Albany, including women’s rights and campaign finance reform. There are no agreements yet, but as Karen DeWitt reports, that’s not unusual in a government that operates on last minute deals.
Women’s groups are putting pressure on the State Senate’s ruling coalition to take up Governor Cuomo’s Women’s Equality Act, which includes an abortion rights provision.
Senator DeFrancisco, a Syracuse Republican and Chair of the Finance Committee, said in an interview with public radio and television that most New York women aren’t that interested in the proposal, “and would not even lose a night’s sleep about expanding abortion rights”.
Hundreds gathered at the State Capitol to rally for public financing of political campaigns. The measure remains in limbo in the State Senate and Governor Cuomo faces questions on whether he’s working hard enough for the proposal to pass.
They came in busses from all over New York to give state lawmakers their message- big money is corrupting politics. They say the state should adopt New York City’s public campaign finance system, which allows candidates to match every dollar they collect in small donations with seven dollars of government funds.
Faced with the possibility of being expelled from the state legislature as soon as next week, State Assemblyman Vito Lopez, a Democrat from Brooklyn, today said he would resign on June 20th at the end of the legislative session and run for a seat on the New York City Council.