Governor Cuomo has vetoed over half a million dollars of legislative member items, saying he’s following through on a promise to ban the funds, which have been used in the past to finance lawmakers’ pet projects.
Governor Andrew Cuomo stopped in Syracuse Wednesday, fresh off the passage of the second straight on time budget under his administration. Cuomo called the $132.6 billion budget part of a series of actions that will transform New York State.
New York lawmakers are very optimistic about getting a budget done on time again this year. They say 99% of the state’s spending plan has been closed down, and they will pass bills before the end of the week.
The New York Senate and Assembly have approved new district lines, as Governor Cuomo and legislative leaders announced agreement on a number of other unrelated issues, including expansion of the state’s DNA data base, pension reform, and an amendment to allow more gambling in New York.
Actress Debra Winger and Gasland filmmaker Josh Fox were among hundreds of anti fracking protesters who descended upon the State Capitol Monday, in one of the largest demonstrations against the natural gas drilling process so far.
As Governor Andrew Cuomo unveiled his 2012 budget proposal in Albany, he talked a lot about what he calls "entrepreneurial government" - a model in which the state sets the stage for private investment.
The question now is whether that private money will materialize:
Governor Cuomo, in his state of the state message, called for public financing of campaigns, based on a model currently in use in New York City. Proponents, including those who have studied the model as well as public finance systems in other states, believe it can work.
Governor Cuomo, by all accounts, had a successful first year in office accomplishing many of his top goals laid out last January. He implemented his fiscally conservative agenda, including closing a gaping $10 billion dollar budget deficit without imposing any new taxes at the time, and getting the spending plan done on time, a rarity in Albany. Cuomo also convinced skeptical lawmakers to agree to a 2% property tax cap.
One of the biggest and most controversial issues facing New York in the New Year is hydrofracking. Governor Andrew Cuomo’s environmental department is conducting a review process and is likely to begin issuing permits sometime in 2012.
Governor Cuomo and legislative leaders announced their appointments to the new Joint Commission on Public Ethics, or JCOPE early last week. It was the last possible day before the commission was, under law, required to begin its work.
The first meeting was held late Thursday. It was a private teleconference, and no public notice was given. The Associated Press first reported the existence of the meeting.
Talks are taking place behind the scenes on changes to New York’s tax code that could result in the wealthy paying higher taxes. Governor Cuomo, who is asking for the changes, is also proposing a gambling expansion and other initiatives which he is asking the state legislature to consider later this week.
The gaps in the New York State budget, for the current year and the new fiscal year, are widening. Governor Cuomo and state lawmakers are considering a number of options, including a special session, and revamping of the state’s tax code a means of generating more money for state coffers.
Governor Cuomo’s budget office is released some bad news Monday. The state’s budget gap is even bigger than expected, with a $350 million dollar shortfall for the current year and a $3.5 billion dollar gap next year.
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 Cuomo’s budget office has delayed releasing its mid-year budget report and future financial forecast, citing uncertainties over the European debt crisis and delays in collection of some business taxes, due to two hurricanes that hit the state in late summer.
State worker union members have ratified a contract that will prevent nearly 3500 lay offs , though members make several concessions, including a three year pay freeze. Cuomo says he’s “very happy”, and has rescinded the lay off notices that were to go out Friday.
The votes will be counted for the second time this fall on a contract offer between the state worker union, the Public Employees Federation, and Governor Andrew Cuomo after the first offer was rejected. This time, if the contract is rejected, the governor has vowed to follow through with 3500 lay offs.
The state’s Environmental Commissioner said last week that the process to permit hydrofracking on some private lands in New York State may take longer than expected, and DEC Commissioner Joe Martens even cast doubt on whether permits would be issued in 2012 at all. Governor Cuomo says he’s willing to wait, if it leads to a rational decision making process on what’s become a highly emotional issue.
Governor Andrew Cuomo is stating in no uncertain terms that he intends to veto the redistricting lines now being devised by a joint legislative commission, because they are not independent and non partisan.
Leaders of the state worker union, the Public Employees Federation, are waging a campaign style effort to try to convince members to vote yes this time on a new contract. Governor Cuomo says he will not give the union a third chance, and will issue lay offs in less than two weeks if the second contract is rejected.
Members of the state worker union the Public Employees Federation will be voting on a new contract proposal, now that the union’s executive board has signed off on a rejiggered proposal agreed to with Governor Cuomo to avoid 3500 lay offs.