2012 was, by most accounts, a year of challenges for New York, not the least of which was the devastation of Hurricane Sandy as she tore up the Eastern seaboard.
In state politics, the assembly remains firmly Democratic, while this year will usher in a new era of governance in the senate by a controlling coalition of Republicans and the five-member Independent Democratic Conference, the effectiveness of which has yet to be seen.
ALBANY, N.Y. — The New York comptroller says the state government's debt has topped $63 billion, with New York on track to approach its borrowing limit in early 2014.
Comptroller Thomas DiNapoli says Monday the debt burden, averaging $3,253 per resident, is almost three times the national median. New York's debt is second only to California's $96.4 billion in state-funded debt and 80 percent higher than New Jersey, which is in third place.
As reported this morning by WAMC’s Capital Correspondent Karen DeWitt, an 8 page document drafted last year by New York State regulators which states that the potential health impacts of fracking for natural gas could be reduced or prevented with the right regulation from the state.
The state Department of Environmental Conservation today says the document is out-dated and doesn’t reflect the conclusions of the forthcoming final Supplemental Generic Environmental Impact Statement on fracking.
New York State will have some new laws that take effect January first. One is a multi-layered legislative package that provides new protections for domestic violence victims. New York Governor Andrew Cuomo signed the bill package October 25th. One piece of the legislation increases the penalty for repeat offenders to a felony by creating a Class E felony, Aggravated Family Offense. Manhattan District Attorney and President of the New York District Attorneys Association of the State of New York Cyrus Vance, Jr., said this addresses an underlying issue: the ability of offenders to abuse their victims again and again without serious consequences.
A congressional committee has been looking into why the federal government overpaid New York State by more than $10 billion for the care of developmentally disabled people in state developmental centers. Congress began its probe after reports in the Poughkeepsie Journal. Mary Beth Pfeiffer, projects writer with the journal, says even though the overpayments were first detected in 2007, they still continued. She spoke with WAMC’s Brian Shields.
Recently a woman was arrested in Ballston Spa in Saratoga County for driving while intoxicated, and even though this was the seventh time she was charged with D.W.I. , she still had a valid driver’s license. That would not be allowed under a bill from Republican Assemblyman James Tedisco of Schenectady and Saratoga counties who says repeat drunken and dangerous drivers should have their licenses taken away. He spoke with WAMC’s Brian Shields.
Political leaders and casino executives met late last week in Atlantic City for the 16th annual East Coast Gaming Congress and Hospitality Forum, where panelists said that individual states will likely begin approving internet gambling over the next two years because partisan gridlock in Congress.
Governor Cuomo gave up some items in the newly announced state budget deal, but so did the legislature. Capitol Correspondent Karen DeWitt takes a look at the winner and losers...
The budget that will be adopted by the legislature is largely unchanged from what the governor initially proposed. That's partly because some of the more controversial budget items, like pension reform, were settled separately earlier in the month.
Governor Cuomo, in a briefing to cabinet members, said "I think this is smart, intelligent document."