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NYS Ethics Commission Pursues Complaint against Libous

May 15, 2012

On the heels of former New York State Senate leader Pedro Espada’s conviction, the state’s ethics commission is pursuing a complaint against one of Albany’s most prominent lawmakers.  WAMC's Tristan O'Neill reports...  

The Albany-Times Union reports (http://www.timesunion.com/local/article/Libous-the-target-of-ethics-inquiry-3558178.php) that the recently-created Joint Commission on Public Ethics has sent a letter to Deputy Senate Majority Leader Thomas Libous.   

What led to the sudden change in President Obama’s itinerary last week in the Albany area? The president came to the University at Albany’s College of Nanoscale science and Engineering, even though the original choice was GlobalFoundries’ plant in Malta in Saratoga County. At the time, the reason given for the change was “logistics,” but James Odato of the Albany Times Union is reporting today it was the Cuomo administration that lobbied for the venue change, he spoke with WAMC’s Brian Shields.

Opponents of natural gas drilling using hydraulic fracturing are planning a big day of action in Albany, culminating with a star-studded concert at the Empire State Plaza.  WAMC's Ian Pickus reports...

New Yorkers Against Fracking, a new coalition of organizations calling for a fracking ban, plans a rally and multi-media concert Tuesday afternoon and evening. The event features actors Mark Ruffalo and Melissa Leo acting as hosts of the concert at the Egg Center for the Performing Arts. Tickets range from $40 to $150.

Governor Andrew Cuomo's tax cap is being put to the test as voters cast ballots on the first batch of school budgets drafted under the new taxing limits.

Most districts have proposed budgets that stay within the boundaries established under the cap adopted last year, so it will take a simple majority of votes Tuesday for them to pass.

About 50 districts, hoping to lessen staff and program cuts, are asking taxpayers for a bigger increase in the property tax levy than the cap allows. Those budgets will need a 60 percent "super majority" to pass.

Senator Kirsten Gillibrand is making the rounds of upstate New York college campuses to promote legislation to help veterans get education and training needed for civilian jobs.

Her schedule Monday includes stops at Syracuse University, Nazareth College in Rochester, and D'Youville College in Buffalo.

The American Cancer Society and other health groups are pressing for a law in New York State that would ban anyone under the age of 18 from using a tanning salon. They argue the growing risk of cancer to young people is too great a threat to ignore.  Capitol Correspondent Karen DeWitt reports…

Supporters of the law cite statistics that show all forms of skin cancer, and particularly melanoma, which can sometimes result in death, are on the rise among young people.

The New York Commission on Judicial Conduct has recommended a town justice from Rensselaer County be taken off the bench for her involvement in two ticket-fixing cases. WAMC's Dave Lucas has details…

According to the commission, East Greenbush Town Justice Diane Schilling improperly intervened in the disposition of a speeding ticket given to the wife of another town judge in 2009. Four years earlier, the commission said Thursday, she returned her own speeding ticket to a state trooper who said he would void it.

Governor Cuomo, who won national praise and attention for championing the passage of same sex marriage in New York, calls President Obama’s support of gay marriage a “major advancement for equal rights in this country.”  Capitol Correspondent Karen DeWitt reports…  

A coalition of upstate New York landowners seeking to lease land for natural gas drilling is pressing state officials to consider the rights of property owners as they make decisions on shale gas development. WAMC’s Dave Lucas has details…

The Joint Landowners Coalition of New York is at the Capitol Wednesday to present a "Declaration of Rights."

A third year of dredging for PCBs has begun on the upper Hudson River. The Environmental Protection Agency says dredging started for the season Wednesday. WAMC’s Dave Lucas has more…

General Electric Co. plans to start with a single dredge about 40 miles north of Albany and ramp up work over the next few weeks.  Three to four dredges will eventually be operating all day, six days a week along a two-mile stretch of river south of Fort Edward.

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