Andrew Cuomo

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Gov. Andrew Cuomo is putting $7 million into his 30-day budget amendments to fund poll sites for early voting in New York by the 2020 presidential race.

The funds would be used to set up at least one polling site in every county 12 days before Election Day so that voters can have several weekdays and two full weekends before elections to cast their ballot early.

Cuomo’s budget director, Robert Mujica, made the announcement on Monday.

Karen DeWitt / WRVO News File Photo

On Thursday, Gov. Andrew Cuomo will detail his proposals to help New Yorkers affected by changes to the federal tax law. But Republicans who rule the state Senate are cool to the ideas, including one that creates a payroll tax instead of a state income tax.

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Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s budget director said 30-day amendments to the governor’s spending plan, which is due out later this week, will include an overhaul of the state’s tax code. It will include plans to ease the effects of the loss of the state and local tax deductions in the new federal tax overhaul.

Robert Mujica said the governor will propose a payroll tax credit program that businesses could use instead of the state and local income tax system.

Ellen Abbott / WRVO News

State Assemblyman Brian Kolb (R-Canandaigua) dropped out of the race for the Republican nomination for governor last week. That leaves one fewer obstacle for gubernatorial hopeful John DeFrancisco, but he’s not ready to take on the mantle of front runner yet.

kolbfornewyork.com

ALBANY, N.Y. (AP) — Republican state lawmaker Brian Kolb has dropped out of the race for New York governor.

The assemblyman said Friday that he decided he doesn’t want to sacrifice time with his family in order to mount a long campaign. His decision leaves two Republicans in the race: state Sen. John DeFrancisco, of Syracuse, and former Erie County Executive Joel Giambra.

Kolb serves as the leader of the GOP minority in the Assembly. He is a resident of the city of Canandaigua in the Finger Lakes.

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Republicans are seeking political advantage in the federal corruption trial of Democratic Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s former closest aide.

One of the governor’s opponents is pressuring Cuomo to answer some of the revelations in the trial about how state business was conducted, and whether a pay-to-play “atmosphere” was created.

Karen DeWitt / WRVO News (file photo)

Testimony at the trial of Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s former top aide, Joe Percoco, has highlighted some practices inside the governor’s office that government reform groups say is at the very least questionable, and possibly even illegal.

Percoco, often described as Cuomo’s right-hand man and a “brother,” is accused of engaging in two separate bribery schemes with companies doing business with the state.

Ellen Abbott / WRVO News File Photo

A Republican candidate for governor is calling for hearings on controversial tourism signs that the Cuomo administration set up on the New York State Thruway and other highways. The federal government said the signs are illegal and will withhold federal funds if they are not removed.

John DeFrancisco, a GOP candidate for governor and the deputy Senate leader, said he wants the state Legislature to hold hearings into the 514 tourism signs posted along numerous highways in the state.

Rich Mitchell / Flickr

The bribery trial of Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s former top aide, Joe Percoco, begins its third week in federal court Monday. Cuomo has not commented on the proceedings and has instead been busy focusing on other topics.

In the first two weeks of the trial, questions have been raised about Percoco’s use of his state offices while he was off the government payroll for most of 2014 and managing Cuomo’s reelection campaign.  

Ellen Abbott / WRVO News

A third Republican candidate has announced his intention to run for governor against Democrat Andrew Cuomo. Syracuse-area state Sen. John DeFrancisco said he thinks it’s time for a change.

Tom Magnarelli / WRVO News File Photo

ALBANY, N.Y. (AP) - A senior Republican state senator has filed the paperwork to run for governor of New York.

Senate Deputy Majority Leader John DeFrancisco of Syracuse plans to formally announce his candidacy on Tuesday.

On Monday he filed papers with the state's Board of Elections. DeFrancisco, an attorney, was first elected to the Senate in 1992 and has emerged as a leading critic of Democratic Gov. Andrew Cuomo's record on taxes, spending and economic development.

Karen DeWitt / WRVO News

The head of Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s economic development programs said he doesn’t think federal corruption trials now taking place will have any effect on the projects.

Cuomo’s former top aide, Joe Percoco, is on trial in federal district court in Manhattan, charged with engineering two bribery schemes. One of the companies accused of participating in the crimes received funding through the state’s economic development programs. The two top leaders of COR Development are co-defendants in the trial.

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New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo and the governors of New Jersey and Connecticut said they intend to soon file a multi-state lawsuit against the federal tax overhaul law over the partial loss of the deduction of state and local taxes.

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ALBANY, N.Y. (AP) — Gov. Andrew Cuomo has taken steps to make it easier for New Yorkers to get the influenza vaccine as the flu epidemic continues to spread across the state.

The Democrat signed an executive order Thursday that allows pharmacists to administer flu vaccines to people ages two to 18. The order suspends a state law that limits the authority of pharmacists to administer vaccines to anyone under age 18.

Rich Mitchell / Flickr

Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s chief of staff was one of the first witnesses to testify at the corruption trial of Cuomo’s former top aide, Joe Percoco. Linda Lacewell described Percoco as a trusted loyal and very senior aide to the governor.

Percoco, along with three businessmen, is accused of engineering two bribery schemes. In one, he allegedly arranged for his wife to get a $90,000 a year teaching job with a power plant company where she did little work.

Karen DeWitt / WRVO News (file photo)

The prosecution and defense offered two very different versions of events in the trial of Gov. Andrew Cuomo‘s former top aide Joe Percoco and three business associates in Federal District Court in Manhattan Tuesday. Much of the prosecutor’s case will hinge on testimony of another former, associate Todd Howe who pleaded guilty to several felonies and will be the government’s star witness.

Ellen Abbott / WRVO News File Photo

Onondaga County filed a lawsuit in federal court Tuesday against pharmaceutical companies and others for their part in the continuing opioid crisis.

The county is accusing drug companies and distributors of painkillers made from opioids of downplaying the risks of those kinds of drugs that have fueled a nationwide epidemic of opioid addiction. Onondaga County in particular has been hit hard by the epidemic, with the number of opioid-related deaths tripling since 2012. 

County Executive Joanie Mahoney says the county bears a cost from this suffering on a couple of fronts.

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One of the new sources of revenue included in Gov. Andrew Cuomo's proposed executive budget is an opioid epidemic surcharge. The 2 cent tax per milligram of active opioid ingredient on pills would be levied on drug manufacturers.

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The first of a series of federal corruption trials begins Monday for several former associates of Gov. Andrew Cuomo. The proceedings in the federal courthouse in lower Manhattan will focus on bribery and other charges against Cuomo’s former closest aide, Joseph Percoco.

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Gov. Andrew Cuomo is proposing an increase in school aid of $769 million, a rise of about 3 percent over last year, but some say that’s not enough to meet school districts’ rising costs.

The hike is about half of the increase that schools ultimately received in last year’s budget. Cuomo, in his budget presentation to the state Legislature, said he anticipates some blowback.

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Gov. Andrew Cuomo has introduced legislation to end what’s known as the carried interest loophole, a measure long sought by the left of the governor’s Democratic Party.

Under Cuomo’s bill, carried interest — which is essentially income for partners of hedge funds and other private investment companies — would have to be taxed at the same rate as income. Currently, it is assessed at the lower rate of the capital gains tax.

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A report by Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s tax department lists ways that New Yorkers could get around the loss of some of their state and local tax deductions under the new law. But all of them come with complications.

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Gov. Andrew Cuomo unveiled a $168 billion budget plan that would close an over $4 billion gap by reducing some spending and imposing tax increases on health insurers, big businesses and prescription opioid users, among others. Cuomo said he also wants to look into legalizing marijuana in New York.

“This is going to be challenging, my friends,” Cuomo told lawmakers gathered at the state museum for the budget presentation.

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Gov. Andrew Cuomo, speaking at the annual Martin Luther King Day event at the Rev. Al Sharpton’s National Action Network, mocked Republican senators who said they can’t recall President Donald Trump uttering a vulgarity during a meeting at the White House on immigration.

Cuomo, who earlier called the president’s comments “ugly” and “repulsive,” condemned two GOP senators – David Perdue of Georgia and Tom Cotton of Arkansas – who say they either did not hear or do not recall Trump using a vulgar word to describe African countries.

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Gov. Andrew Cuomo delivers his budget Tuesday, and the news is not expected to be good.

The state faces an over $4.4 billion budget gap, as well as funding cuts and policy changes from Washington that could cost New York and some of its taxpayers billions of dollars.

The governor set the tone in his State of the State speech earlier this month, saying, “2018 may be the toughest year New York has faced in modern history.”

“We have unprecedented challenges ahead on every level,” Cuomo said. 

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Gov. Andrew Cuomo, in his first public comments since a key state Senate leader was accused of sexual harassment, says he wants investigations to play out before he makes any judgements.

kolbfornewyork.com

The 2018 election season is beginning, but state Republicans are still trying to settle on a strong candidate to challenge Democratic Gov. Andrew Cuomo, who has said he wants to seek a third term. 

Republican State Party Chair Ed Cox said the GOP will have a “good,” qualified and viable candidate.

New York State Senate

Republicans in the State Senate say that, despite the over  $4 billion structural deficit, taxes need to be cut further and a property tax cap must be made permanent.

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Gov. Andrew Cuomo, in his State of the State speech this week, floated the idea of converting the state income tax to a payroll tax to help reverse the new federal law that limits deductibility for state and local taxes. Many support the concept, but businesses say it’s not so easy to make the change – and it could bring unforeseen complications.

Karen DeWitt / WRVO News

2018 will be a year of criminal trials for former associates of Gov. Andrew Cuomo, as well as former leaders of the Legislature. Reform groups say they hope the lengthy court proceedings will spur lawmakers to enact some ethics reforms.

Six continuous months of corruption trials kick off on Jan. 22, when Cuomo’s former top aide Joe Percoco faces bribery charges for allegedly soliciting more than $300,000 from companies doing business with the state.

Blair Horner with the New York Public Interest Research Group said it will be a year unlike any other.

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