Anti-gambling activists took a sledgehammer to a slot machine in front of the New York State Capitol to demonstrate their opposition to a ballot amendment to legalize gambling casinos in New York state.
Wielding a sledgehammer, anti-gambling advocates took turns smashing up a Lucky 7 slot machine, at a park with the New York State Capitol in the background, as TV news cameras recorded the event.
David Blankenhorn, with the Institute for American Values, organized the event.
“It felt great,” Blankehorn said. “I’ve wanted to do this for a long time.”
The push for passage of a ballot amendment to allow up to seven new gambling casinos in New York has begun. A coalition of business leaders, labor unions, and local elected officials are holding press conferences across the state. They expect to run some TV ads, as well.
The name of the coalition says nothing about gambling casinos -- instead it’s called New York Jobs Now. Business Council President Heather Briccetti said the new resort-style casinos proposed will bring employment to economically depressed areas.
State senators listen to a farmer detail his frustrations with onerous government regulation at a forum Thursday in Watertown. From left are senators David Valesky, Patrick Gallivan, Patty Ritchie, and Kathleen Marchione.
Farmers and agricultural industry leaders in the North Country had the ears of state lawmakers yesterday in Watertown. The forum, hosted by State Senator Patty Ritchie, was one of 10 being held throughout the state on the topic of regulatory reform in a variety of industries.
As they await Gov. Andrew Cuomo's decision on whether fracking will go forward in New York, dueling pro- and anti-fracking filmmakers held screenings and promotions for their films in Albany. At one point in their visit, the two sides confronted each other in the halls of the Capitol.
Food pantries and soup kitchens say they are reluctantly becoming a permanent part of the nation’s safety net for the poor. In a new report on New York’s charitable food distribution system, the groups say it is government that needs to step in and lend a helping hand.
Anti-fracking advocates rallied in Albany Monday to try to convince Governor Andrew Cuomo to ban the natural gas drilling process in New York state. Meanwhile, a state Senator says he believes any final decision will be once again delayed.
The just concluded 2012 legislative session brought mixed results for Governor Andrew Cuomo, who is in his second year as governor. While Cuomo and lawmakers could claim credit for a calm and functional end to the session, the governor had to drop some of his original goals in order for that to happen.
Cuomo’s second legislative session was far less dramatic than his first legislative session in 2011, when he convinced the legislature to authorize same sex marriage, instate a two percent property tax cap, and close a massive $10 billion budget deficit.
In his second session, the governor’s record of achieving his stated goals was not as complete.
The legislative session that’s concluding in Albany seems to be more about what’s not getting done than what is getting accomplished. Agreements were not reached on several key issues.
Governor Andrew Cuomo at this time last year was intensely lobbying lawmakers to pass a bill to legalize gay marriage. This year, he has taken a more hands-off approach to the end of the current legislative session.
Governor Cuomo named Janet DiFiore, the District Attorney of Westchester County, to chair the commission. He also appointed Seymour Knox the IV, who is VP of Corporate Relations for the Buffalo Sabres, as well as the chair of a private equity firm, and Mitra Hormozi, who worked for Cuomo when he was Attorney General.
Senate Leader Dean Skelos picks include former Western New York State Senator Mary Lou Rath. Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver chose former state budget director Patrick Bulgaro.
Governor Cuomo, in his first day on the job back on January 1st of this year, laid out his position on raising taxes pretty clearly.
“I say no new taxes, period,” Cuomo said on January 1.
The governor was answering a question from reporters, in his first media availability as governor, on whether he would support continuing the current surcharge on New Yorkers making $200,000 and up, which includes millionaires and multi-millionaires, when it expires December 31st. Cuomo expanded on his view point during that session on January 1st.
The governor says he’s waiting for some uncertainties in the world markets to stabilize before updating the state’s financial picture, and has delayed releasing the state’s mid year budget report, which was due in late October.
Cuomo budget officials have said they are also waiting to count some tax collections delayed by the hurricanes. They’ve also post poned some scheduled budget hearings that have been part of an effort in recent years to jump start the budget process.
Governor Andrew Cuomo opened the door to avoiding the layoffs of 3500 state workers after a union contract was rejected, but he says it’s entirely up to the union leadership whether the job cut backs occur or not.
The Public Employees Federation is floating the idea of some so called tweaks to the tenets of the rejected labor contract, including, perhaps charging more for health care on a sliding scale based on the amount of a worker’s pay.
In an interview with public radio, Governor Cuomo says he’s “open” to talking about the proposals .