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One of the most polarizing issues in Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s budget is an education tax credit that would allow donors of up to $1 million to public and private schools to receive a tax benefit. Opponents say it benefits the rich, supporters say it helps poor children.  

Under the provisions of the education tax credit proposed by Cuomo, people and businesses can donate up to $1 million to a scholarship fund to send underprivileged children to private schools, or support enhanced programs at public schools. They would receive 75 percent of the money back in the form of a tax credit.

Ellen Abbott / WRVO News file photo

The new director of the Secret Service is facing questions from a House of Representatives committee today about recent scandals that have plagued the organization. New York’s senior senator is one of many lawmakers that feel there should be an extensive investigation into the Secret Service,

In Syracuse Monday, Sen. Charles Schumer (D-NY) says he believes that some of the Secret Service’s tough standards have slipped.

Ellen Abbott / WRVO News

The federal Department of Housing and Urban Development is getting blasted for pulling back promised funds for some infrastructure projects in Onondaga County. Last September, HUD promised about $500,000 in federal Community Development Block Grant funds to several municipalities in Onondaga County to help pay for various infrastructure projects. Two months later, the way HUD figured out which communities were eligible for the funds changed, and much of the funding was taken away.
 

Carlet Cleare / WXXI (file photo)

A Syracuse lawmaker has finally won over the support of his colleagues to toughen city laws on snow removal.

Common Councilor Bob Dougherty had a visible grin on his face when two ordinances he had sponsored were unanimously approved by the council.

"Knock me over with a feather," he said. Earlier bills never came close to passing and he didn’t think his third try would sail through.

Dougherty has made sidewalk snow removal the focal point of his time on the council. Previous attempts to fine property owners who didn’t shovel were shot down.

Ryan Delaney / WRVO

Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s Republican rival in last fall’s election is offering his take on political dynamics at the state Capitol. And it is not a positive viewpoint .

Westchester County Executive Rob Astorino was at the Capitol to lobby, along with the New York State Association of Counties, for items in the new state budget, including more mandate relief. The former unsuccessful Republican candidate for governor, says its Cuomo now who is losing political power and friends, calling the governor Cuomo a “bully.”

Karen DeWitt / WRVO News

 

State lawmakers are moving ahead with approving some portions of Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s Women’s Equality Act, now that  supporters are no longer demanding that all of the items, including an abortion rights provision, be tied together.

Cuomo campaigned last fall , along with his running mate, and now Lt. Gov. Kathy Hochul on passing all ten of the provisions in his Women’s Equality Act,  including a measure to codify into state law the rights included in the federal Roe v. Wade decision.

Julia Botero / WRVO

The Defense Department is taking another hard look at the size of the Army, including at Fort Drum. Defense cuts fueled by sequestration requires that the Army cut 20,000 troops every year for the next three years. Fort Drum could lose as many 16,000 soldier and civilian jobs in that time. Fort Drum is gearing up for what’s called a listening session this Friday with hopes it will save them from the full cuts.

The Throwaways is a documentary film featuring a formerly incarcerated homeless man, Ira McKinley, and his struggles to reintegrate into and also change his local community in Albany, New York.  He was joined on the film by local independent filmmaker Bhawin Suchak, the founder of YouthFX in Albany.  In this edition of the Campbell Conversations, host Grant Reeher discusses the film's making and purpose with the two collaborators. 

Ryan Delaney / WRVO

The lieutenant governor for New York says the state has money for infrastructure investment in sources other than the economic development competitions.

Lt. Gov. Kathy Hochul said during a recent visit to Syracuse she understands the need for infrastructure upgrades in upstate, but disagrees with some leaders, including Syracuse Mayor Stephanie Miner, who say fixing pipes and roads is necessary for economic development.

Ellen Abbott / WRVO News

Onondaga County is turning to technology to try and cut back the lines for people waiting for help in the Department of Social Services. The county is the first in the state to install kiosks to divert some of the need for visits to case workers.

Karen Dewitt / WRVO News

Legislative leaders say despite their differences with Gov. Andrew Cuomo, they intend to continue their streak of on time budgets by approving the spending plan on time for the fifth year in a row.

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Only four percent of people experience chronic migraines. But all migraine sufferers can have life-long recurrences, often beginning at puberty and affecting those between 35 and 45 years old.

This week on “Take Care,” Dr. Mark Green talks about what causes migraines and how to manage them. Green is the director of the Center for Headache and Pain Medicine and professor of neurology and anesthesiology at the Mount Sinai School of Medicine. 

Oliver Symens / Flickr

Keeping track of health information for children and the elderly has always been a complicated task. Care for these groups has slowly moved to the Internet to make their personal information easier to manage and access by their loved ones. But does that convenience endanger the privacy of their information at all?

This week on “Take Care,” hosts Lorraine Rapp and Linda Lowen talk to Jonathan Schwartz about the benefits of using a new website to manage loved ones’ health information. Schwartz is the co-founder and chief executive officer of CareZone, an online service that enables families to organize care of their relatives.

The basics of migraine, chronic or not

Mar 15, 2015

Migraines are painful, they come on suddenly and they're more common than you think. But there are ways to manage triggers and treat the condition effectively.

This week on “Take Care,” Dr. Mark Green talks about what causes migraines and how to manage them. Green is the director of the Center for Headache and Pain Medicine and professor of neurology and anesthesiology at the Mount Sinai School of Medicine.

Ellen Abbott / WRVO News

State Sen. Dave Valesky is optimistic that negotiators will come through with significant increases in public school spending when the state budget plan is finalized.  

The Oneida Democrat notes the both the Senate and the Assembly budgets include almost $2 billion increases in public education spending over last year.  

But, Gov. Andrew Cuomo says he won’t approve big spending increases for education unless lawmakers agree to his package of controversial education reforms. Valesky says lawmakers don’t want the two dependent upon each other.

Mixy Lorenzo / Flickr

Gov. Andrew Cuomo has reversed a policy that would have resulted in all emails by state officials and New York employees being deleted after 90 days.

Cuomo made the decision to end the newly enforced policy, after Attorney General Eric Schneiderman announced that he would end the 90-day deletion policy for his office. It was first put in place when in 2007 when Cuomo was attorney general and Eliot Spitzer was governor, and when it was technologically much more difficult to store vast numbers of emails.

Creating a Carezone of health information

Mar 13, 2015

  Managing personal information is a constant problem in the digital age. And managing health information for yourself or a loved one is especially hard because it can be sensitive. This week on “Take Care,” WRVO's health and wellness show, hosts Lorraine Rapp and Linda Lowen speak with the former CEO of Sun Microsystems Jonathan Schwartz. He founded the website CareZone, which provides a safe place to store medical history and share it with family members.

Lorraine  Rapp: Why is there a need to manage family care giving on line?

Karen DeWitt / WRVO News

Pressure is mounting to include Senate Democratic Leader Andrea Stewart-Cousins, the only female legislative leader, in  the closed-door budget meeting with Gov. Andrew Cuomo that now consist of four men in a room.

The Black, Hispanic and Asian Caucus issued a statement saying it’s unacceptable to leave the senator, who is African-American out, and Stewart-Cousins spoke up at a public summit meeting for all of the legislative leaders, known as the "mothership budget committee," saying the process is “greatly flawed.”

MGoBlog / via Flickr

  Top Syracuse University officials that work with student athletes say the culture that allowed for its top sports programs to violate NCAA rules over the span of a decade is no more.

The university says it took a number of steps to ensure better compliance with NCAA rules before the college sports governing body handed down the results of its investigation. That includes hiring Tony Powell to be assistant provost for student athlete development. He works closely with Rick Burton, who was named academic athletics representative last year.

governorandrewcuomo / Flickr

  Gov. Andrew  says he wants ethics reform as part of the budget or he will hold up the state’s spending plan, while legislators say they want to negotiate the issue separately. Government reform groups say the key issue is that the reforms be real.   

Cuomo is threatening to make the budget late over an ethics reform package that the governor is seeking.  He repeated his demand this week at a business lunch in Rochester.

“This year a top priority is having ethics reform done in Albany,” Cuomo said. “Because at one point, enough is enough.”

Julia Botero / WRVO

Thirty-three drug dealers have been indicted for operating drug rings that funneled heroin and cocaine into St. Lawrence County. Thursday in Watertown, New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman congratulated his organized crime task force and a team of state and local police for shutting down a major drug operation in the North Country. 

Ellen Abbott/WRVO

Dozens of Central New Yorkers concerned about potential service cuts from CENTRO turned out at a public hearing on the issue at the Oncenter in Syracuse, for the biggest in a series of hearings on the issue so far.

Ryan Delaney / WRVO

  The Onondaga Nation has turned down a recent federal housing grant, as it typically does.

"They do accept outside laws and they do not accept outside funding from either the state or federal government," Joe Heath, the Onondaga Nation's attorney, told WRVO.

New York Now

Assembly Speaker Carl Heastie gave his first broadcast interview to public radio and television. In it, he expressed his frustrations over Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s decision to link numerous unrelated items to the state budget.

MGoBlog / via Flickr

Syracuse University could make a decision on whether to appeal harsh sanctions against its athletic department from the NCAA as early as next week.

Syracuse University Chancellor Kent Syverud and other university officials plan to sit down Monday to discuss the penalties and fines handed down from the college athletics governing body. In a letter to university faculty, interim Vice Chancellor Liz Liddy detailed the meeting and timeline.

Four new members join NY Board Of Regents

Mar 11, 2015
New York City Department of Education/via Facebook

New York’s Board of Regents has four new members, after an election Tuesday by the state Assembly and Senate.

Beverly Ouderkirk, Catherine Collins, Judith Johnson and Judith Chin are joining the board, which oversees education policy at New York state public schools and colleges.

Six regents were up for reelection this year, but only three of them kept their seats. That’s unlike last year when all but one of the incumbents got reelected. This year there was also an empty seat on the board, so in all, there are four new members.

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Mar 11, 2015

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Karen DeWitt/WRVO News

In the latest step in the state budget dance, both houses have released their versions of a state spending plan. The Senate and Assembly each increase education well above Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s proposed level, and each leave key elements of the governor’s plan out.

Both the Assembly and the Senate significantly increase school aid spending from Cuomo’s budget, with the Assembly recommending a $1.8 billion increase, and the Senate proposing $1.9 billion more.

Ellen Abbott/WRVO

The three members of Congress that represent upstate New York From the North Country, through central New York, to the Southern Tier, are making a case for a regional defense symmetry. Reps. John Katko, Richard Hanna and Elise Stefanik toured upstate military facilities together Tuesday, to put the focus on potential federal budget cuts that could hurt bases in their districts.

Senate Democrats / Flickr

New York Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand is teaming up with an unlikely group of colleagues to push for more federal support of medical marijuana.

Gillibrand is one of three senators introducing a bill that would scale back federal enforcement of marijuana laws in states that have legalized medicinal or recreational pot.

She is co-sponsoring the bill with a fellow Democrat from New Jersey, Sen. Corey Booker, and Kentucky Republican Sen. Rand Paul. They introduced the legislation Tuesday at a press conference in Washington.

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