Andrew Cuomo

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New York state legalized gay marriage four years ago. Today, state leaders reacted with enthusiasm to the Supreme Court ruling.

In honor of the court ruling guaranteeing the constitutional right to same sex marriage, Gov. Andrew Cuomo says the lights on the World Trade center tower will be lit in rainbow colors on Sunday night.  

Cuomo, who arm twisted state Senators to win the same sex marriage vote in 2011, said in a statement that the court “is on the right side of history."

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Gov. Andrew Cuomo and leaders of the legislature finally settled all of their differences to finalize the legislation to end the session.

The measure, colloquially known as “the big ugly," contains a four-year extension of the rent regulations, and a corresponding continuation of a property tax cap, as well as new rebate checks sent to homeowners just before Election Day 2016.

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The legislature ​hoped to pass final end of session bills Thursday, two days after a framework deal was announced by legislative leaders and Gov. Andrew Cuomo. The session is limping to a close, after a year that’s seen the resignation of both leaders of the legislature over corruption scandals, and ongoing federal probes.

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Nearly one week after the legislative session was supposed to end, Gov. Andrew Cuomo and legislative leaders have announced a deal on all major end of session issues, including renewal of New York City’s rent laws and a related property tax cap, as well as a new tax rebate program for property owners.

Karen DeWitt / WRVO News File Photo

The fourth and final hearing was held by a board specially appointed by Gov. Andrew Cuomo to consider raising the minimum wage for fast food workers in New York.

Outside, supporters of raising the minimum wage to $15 an hour held a rally.

Inside, dozens of fast food workers were among those who testified at the last hearing held by Cuomo’s wage board, which is examining whether to raise the state’s minimum wage beyond the current rate of increase to $9 an hour by the end of 2015.

NY Assembly Video (file)

Legislative leaders continued meeting behind closed doors with Gov. Andrew Cuomo, one day before lawmakers are scheduled to return to the Capitol. The legislature extended its session for another week after failing to reach agreement on how to renew New York City’s rent laws. The laws are temporarily renewed until Tuesday.

Assembly Speaker Carl Heastie, following talks with the governor, says it’s a hopeful sign that he, Cuomo and Senate Leader John Flanagan are still in communication.

“We’re still talking,” Heastie said. “Things are better, but we’re not close.”

Ellen Abbott / WRVO News

The Central New York Regional Economic Development Council is getting ready to put together a proposal for the latest competition for state economic development dollars.  

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​The legislative session is now likely to go into next week, as ​Gov. Andrew Cuomo and ​lawmakers ​have agreed to renew New York City’s rent laws for five days, ​​as they ​struggle to reach final deals on that and other remaining issues.  

The leader of the state Senate, John Flanagan, said he’d allow senators to go home for a few days, after they finish their business Thursday evening, even though there are no agreements with the Assembly or Cuomo on the New York City rent laws, a related tax break for real estate developers, and an education tax credit.

Karen DeWitt / WRVO News

The legislative session is expected to  continue for at least longer than scheduled, as Gov. Andrew Cuomo and legislative leaders remain gridlocked on extending New York City’s rent laws, and have not settled a host of other issues. The session was supposed to end Wednesday.

Assembly Speaker Carl Heastie, following a private meeting with Cuomo, says he expects the session to last at least another day, as they continue to struggle with renewing the now expired rent regulations.

Karen DeWitt / WRVO News

Twelve days after two convicted killers escaped from a state prison near Plattsburgh, some state lawmakers are considering new legislation and holding hearings to correct what they see as flaws in the state’s prisons system that  may have contributed to the break out.

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The New York state legislature is due to adjourn later this week, but there’s still no agreement by Assembly Democrats on an education tax credit sought by Gov. Andrew Cuomo that would allow donors a tax credit when they give up to a million dollars for private school scholarships and some public school programs.

Karen DeWitt / WRVO News

The final week of New York’s legislative session begins Monday, and so far, Gov. Andrew Cuomo and lawmakers have still not come to agreement on a number of major laws that expire.  

New York City’s rent laws, which impact over one million apartments, sunset at midnight. They are tied, through legislation, to a property tax cap important to suburbanites and upstaters. Also set to expire -- a tax break for large real estate developers who agree to set aside some of their projects for affordable housing, and mayoral control of the New York City schools.

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The search for two prisoners who escaped from the Clinton Correctional Facility in Dannemora, N.Y. is nearing a week. Thursday, hundreds of officers walked arms' length apart, searching in a grid pattern through an area two miles east of the prison near the town of Cadyville.The search took law enforcement through mixed terrain including muddy areas, woods and thick underbrush. Residents were ordered to stay in their homes while police went door to door.

Karen DeWitt / WRVO News

Lawmakers are struggling to reach end of session deals, as the corruption scandals and on going federal investigations seem to be hampering their progress.  

With just over one week left until the session is scheduled to end, lawmakers seem far apart on many key issues. New York City’s rent regulations expire next week, along with a property tax break for real estate developers who agree to set aside some of their project for affordable housing, known as 421a.  

Escaped prisoners 'could be anywhere'

Jun 8, 2015
New York State Police

Gov. Andrew Cuomo says two prisoners who escaped from the maximum-security Clinton Correctional Facility could be "anywhere in the country." In an interview on NBC's Today Show Monday morning, the governor called the two escapees "dangerous, desperate men."

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It’s the second to the last week of the legislative session, and Gov. Andrew Cuomo and state lawmakers still have a long way to go before they can agree on key issues.

Rent regulations and the mayor’s control of public schools in New York City expire in June 15, as well as a tax break for real estate developers who set aside a portion of their project for affordable housing. The rent laws are tied, through legislation, to an issue important to suburban and upstate residents, the continuation of a property tax cap.

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New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo wants to extend the state’s property tax cap. The law limits annual tax increases, and it’s set to expire next year. Cuomo released a report last week that said the cap has saved more than $800 for the typical New Yorker over the past three years. He calls that success.

But Dryden town supervisor Mary Ann Sumner wants Cuomo to look back a few more years. She says in 2008 when the recession hit, Dryden cut taxes to give people a break. The town leaned on money it had in reserve instead.

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A third poll in as many weeks shows Gov. Andrew Cuomo losing popularity with voters. This time it’s by Quinnipiac University, which puts the governor’s rating at it’s lowest ever.

Karen DeWitt / WRVO News

About two dozen tenants rights activists, as well as several Democratic state lawmakers were arrested at a protest on the lack of action so far on reforming New York City’s rent laws. The law is scheduled to expire June 15, and protestors want it to not only be renewed, but include more protections for tenants.

Karen Dewitt / WRVO News

One day after Gov. Andrew Cuomo arranged a meeting  with some state lawmakers and Catholic Church leaders to promote the education tax credit, the measure seems to be losing support among Assembly Democrats, with some Democrats saying they are angered by tactics used by backers, which has included picketing their offices.

Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Boston / Flickr

Catholic bishops met at the governor’s mansion with some state lawmakers Monday for a meeting arranged by Gov. Andrew Cuomo on the earned income tax credit.

New York Cardinal Timothy Dolan, speaking after the lunch with assemblymembers and senators, says it was a positive discussion, and there may be hopes of compromise. The bill includes tax credits for donors who give money for scholarships for children at private and parochial schools.

“There seemed to be a conciliatory atmosphere,” Dolan said. “I just found it very helpful.”

Matt Ryan / New York Now

Despite the arrest of the leaders of both houses of the legislature on corruption charges, Gov. Andrew Cuomo and state lawmakers say they have no plans to pass any additional ethics reforms this session.
 
It appears likely that a legislative session in which the speaker of the Assembly and president of the Senate have both been indicted will  not end with any significant new reforms.

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Gov. Andrew Cuomo visited a state prison Thursday to announce he’s hiring  more  guards, and to push for a change in how 16- and 17-year-olds are treated in the state prison system.

Cuomo has been pressing the issue known as Raise the Age since his State of the State message in January. It would no longer treat 16- and 17-year-olds accused of violent crimes as adults, and instead house them in special detention centers separate from the adult state prison system. 

Karen DeWitt / WRVO News

In the final weeks of the legislative session, groups are lobbying for some of the major remaining issues still on the table, including the mayor of New York City, and groups who want a property tax break for homeowners struggling to hold on to their houses. And both accuse Gov. Andrew Cuomo of not taking an active enough role.

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A new poll finds Gov. Andrew Cuomo with the lowest approval ratings since he took office, in a year where corruption scandals have dominated news at the Capitol.  

The Siena College survey is the second in a month that shows the governor’s support eroding.  Only 41 percent think Cuomo is doing a good job in office, though he’s still viewed favorably overall by 53 percent of voters.  The Democrat governor fared the worst with New York City and Republican voters.

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Gov. Andrew Cuomo has been steering clear of public events at the state Capitol recently, after a second major party legislative leader, the head of the Senate was forced to resign over corruption charges.  But the governor is still finding ways to press for his legislative agenda in the last weeks of the session.

Ellen Abbott / WRVO News

Syracuse-area Assemblyman Sam Roberts may soon be giving up his seat to be commissioner of the New York State Office of Temporary and Disability Assistance, the state agency that handles welfare and disability cases.  

Roberts, a Democrat, was nominated by Gov. Andrew Cuomo for the job Wednesday. He needs to be confirmed by the New York State Senate, and then it’s up to the governor to call a special election.  

Assemblyman Bill Magnarelli, a fellow Democrat from Syraucuse, hopes that could take place during the regular November election.

Karen DeWitt / WRVO News

Assembly Democrats are approving a one-house bill to strengthen New York City’s rent regulations in favor of tenants. The rent law renewal and many other issues, including an education tax credit and the Dream Act, are in flux as the final weeks of deal making approaches.  

Tom Magnarelli / WRVO News

Public meetings began in Utica this week discussing whether residents are comfortable with a local farm applying to grow and dispense medical marijuana in New York.

Twelve-year-old Mackensie Kulawy was diagnosed with intractable epilepsy or Doose Syndrome when she was four and has been living with persistent seizures. Julie Kulawy, of New York Mills, is her mother.

David Shankbone / Flickr

Gov. Andrew Cuomo is coping with the breast cancer diagnosis and impending double mastectomy surgery of his long time partner, and cooking show celebrity Sandra Lee. In a statement, Cuomo said he expects to take some personal time off to support her through her treatment.

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