Phil Steck

WAMC Photo by Dave Lucas

New York State Department of Transportation officials say work is nearly completed on the replacement of two critical bridges on one of the busiest stretches of highway upstate.  The $22 million project in the town of Colonie is on track to be finished by the end of the month.

New York lawmakers have approved a bill that would enter the state in the National Popular Vote Interstate Compact, an agreement to award electoral votes to the presidential candidate who receives the majority of the popular vote.

Proponents of the National Popular Vote initiative believe that the Electoral College, in place since the first days of  the nation, is not the best way to elect a president.

The movement to put the brakes on the national education standards known as the Common Core is gaining momentum across New York State.

Some are calling for a one-year delay while others want a two-year hold on using Common Core-based tests to evaluate teachers and place students. And there are those on the fringe calling for more drastic measures including completely eliminating the tests or withdrawing New York entirely from the standards.

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.