Andrew Cuomo

Karen DeWitt / WRVO

Hundreds of school children, parents, union organizers and leaders came to the Capitol in Albany to rally for more money for New York’s schools. The event was part of what’s become known as the Moral Monday movement.

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Up to 1,000 people, including the president of New York’s NAACP, Hazel Dukes, will hold a rally at the Capitol today to try to convince state  lawmakers to fulfill a 2006 court order to spend billions more dollars on New York’s schools each year.

The groups say to fulfill the court order, schools need an addition $6 billion a year, with a greater share going to the poorest schools

Karen DeWitt/WRVO News File Photo

The New York State Senate and Assembly met in Albany to choose new leaders and begin outlining their plans for the 2015 session. The year begins with Republicans in full control of the state Senate, but with a group of breakaway Democrats still enjoying special status.

The State of the State has been delayed for two weeks, due to the funeral of former Gov. Mario Cuomo, the father of Gov. Andrew Cuomo. But under New York’s state’s constitution, the legislature is still required to convene.   

governorandrewcuomo / Flickr

Former Gov. Mario Cuomo was laid to rest in New York today after a funeral and wake that was attended by prominent politicians, including former President Bill Clinton and former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, and Vice President Joe Biden.

But the ceremony and the eulogy by his son, Gov. Andrew Cuomo, focused on the personal as well as the political. Cuomo called his father “the keynote speaker for our better angels.”

Governor Andrew Cuomo / Flickr

Education will be a big issue in 2015. Lines are already drawn between public school teachers, Gov. Andrew Cuomo, and the charter school movement.

Before the New Year even began, the state’s largest teachers union was already making its displeasure with Cuomo known, by protesting outside the governor’s mansion.

New York State United Teachers (NYSUT) President Karen Magee says teachers are angry over what they see as the governor's increasingly negative view of their union and the public education system in general.  

What is the mesonet?

Jan 6, 2015
Raymond D. Woods Jr. / Flickr

After snow buried Buffalo in November, Gov. Andrew Cuomo said the development of a state-wide weather detection system will lead to better forecasting. In the first of a four-part series, we examine what the system will and won’t deliver for New York residents.
 
The statewide network of weather monitoring stations is called the mesonet.
 

Typically, each station’s a 33-foot high tower in the middle of a clearing, equipped with all kinds of weather instrumentations like temperature gauges and wind vanes.

governorandrewcuomo / via Flickr

In addition to attending his father’s funeral, Gov. Andrew Cuomo will also be preparing for a State of the State address over the next several days.

The governor had scheduled to deliver the annual speech on Jan. 7, the day the legislature returns to session, as is traditional. But the governor and legislative leaders agreed to postpone the State of the State to Jan. 21 because of the extenuating circumstances of former Gov. Mario Cuomo's death.

Former New York Gov. Mario Cuomo died on New Year’s Day, just hours after his son, Gov. Andrew Cuomo, gave his inaugural address for his second term in office. Mario Cuomo was 82.

Mario Cuomo, born to immigrant parents who ran a grocery store in Queens, almost became a major league baseball player, before entering law school and turning to politics. He was lieutenant governor under Hugh Carey, and won a Democratic primary against then-New York City Mayor Ed Koch to become governor of New York in 1982.  

Office of Gov. Andrew Cuomo

Gov. Andrew Cuomo spent his inauguration day in New York City and Buffalo, where he spoke about fixing the criminal justice system and welcomed Western New York native and the new Lt. Gov. Kathy Hochul into his administration.

Cuomo, at the recently finished World Trade Center in lower Manhattan, gave his address in the midst of strife over the police killing of Eric Garner, an unarmed citizen in State Island who was selling illegal cigarettes, and the murder of two police officers.

Karen DeWitt/WRVO News

Gov. Andrew Cuomo is forgoing the traditional inaugural swearing-in ceremony at the state’s capitol, in favor of smaller events today in New York City and Buffalo, where he will give his inaugural speech.

Cuomo did hold an open house at the governor’s mansion in Albany on New Year’s Eve, where he chatted with members of the public who were drawn by a lottery to attend. He says he wanted to shake things up a bit by holding inaugural events in other places.

Karen DeWitt

Teachers union members and pro-charter school advocates demonstrated outside the governor’s mansion on New Year’s Eve, as inside, Gov. Andrew Cuomo and his partner Sandra Lee greeted guests who won a lottery attend an annual open house, one day before the governor is to begin his second term.

governorandrewcuomo / Flickr

Gov. Andrew Cuomo has vetoed a measure he introduced to protect teachers with poor evaluations.

The bill would have given a temporary reprieve to teachers who are evaluated as “ineffective” or “developing” because of their student's low standardized test scores.

Ryan Delaney / WRVO/file photo

The state is losing its education commissioner, as John King takes a job with the Obama administration. King was in charge of school policies during a tumultuous time, and he admits there are things he could have done better.

King is leaving after five and a half years to become assistant U.S. education secretary under Arne Duncan. In an interview with public radio and TV, King says he hopes his legacy in New York will be his intense focus on getting the Common Core learning standards push started in the state.

Wallyg / via Flickr

A new poll finds New Yorkers don’t want legislators to gain a pay raise if they agree to ethics reforms by the end of the year.

The Siena College poll finds that 63 percent of New Yorkers oppose a pay raise for state lawmakers, who earn a base salary of nearly $80,000 a year for what is technically a part-time job. 

Siena spokesman Steve Greenberg says voters also say, even though they would like to see reform measures as well as other issue resolved, they still don’t think legislators should be allowed to trade agreements on these items for more pay.

Brett Levin / Flickr

Cuomo administration officials who are devising regulations for medical marijuana in New York say it’s unlikely any patients in the state will get the drug before 2016.  They say they are working through the details of how to implement the program, but there are still many unanswered questions.

Aides to Cuomo say they’ve made some progress on figuring out how to manage a medical marijuana system that is still technically illegal in the United States.

The preliminary rules on how to carry out New York’s medical marijuana program are due by the end of the year.

governorandrewcuomo / via Flickr

Gov. Andrew Cuomo has written a letter to state education officials, saying he wants answers on why 99 percent of teachers scored highly on the most recent evaluations, while other data shows two-thirds of school children performing below acceptable levels in math and English.

Ellen Abbott / WRVO

Environmentalists are celebrating after Gov. Andrew Cuomo said there will be no hydrofracking in New York for now, citing inconclusive scientific evidence on the health effects of the gas drilling process.

Marie Cusick / Innovation Trail

Gov. Andrew Cuomo's administration will prohibit hydrofracking in New York state, citing unresolved health issues and dubious economic benefits of the widely used gas-drilling technique.

Environmental Commissioner Joe Martens said at a cabinet meeting this morning that he was recommending a ban. Cuomo had repeatedly said he would defer to Martens and acting health commissioner Dr. Howard Zucker in making the decision.

Karen Dewitt / WRVO

A reform group studied votes taken by local governments across the state on whether to allow hydrofracking, and found numerous potential conflicts of interest that they say could have tainted the outcome of the votes.

The New York Public Interest Research Group studied 59 municipalities that voted to permit hydrofracking in the past few years, if New York state eventually approves the process. They found numerous questionable activities, including locally elected officials holding gas leases and town attorneys who also represented oil and gas companies.

Matt Richmond / WSKG

A temporary ban on the controversial gas extraction method hydrofracking has dragged on for years. Even as the governor says a long-awaited study is nearing completion, a large group of local officials want the ban to continue.

Elected Officials to Protect New York, made up of more than 850 local-level elected officials, says Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s administration still has not properly studied fracking enough.

It’s looking less and less likely that state senators and Assembly members will get a pay raise as a holiday present this year, but Gov. Andrew Cuomo and lawmakers still have a number of issues they need to resolve before the year ends, ranging from the siting of gambling casinos to how to close a Thruway deficit and whether to go ahead with hydrofracking.

William Hartz / Flickr

A state panel is examining whether workers whose income is supplemented by tips should receive an increase in the minimum wage. The wage board, appointed by Gov. Andrew Cuomo, has held hearings and will make its decision early next year.

Wallyg / via Flickr

Gov. Andrew Cuomo tamped down hopes for a special session of the legislature before the year ends, saying legislative leaders have still not agreed to ethics reforms that the governor is seeking. Cuomo says he also wants more time to develop a comprehensive criminal justice reform package.

Karen Dewitt / WRVO

New York state Lt. Gov. Robert Duffy gave what was likely his last public address at an awards ceremony for the Regional Economic Development Councils, where he was praised by Gov. Andrew Cuomo and others.  

Ryan Delaney / WRVO

The Hotel Syracuse is receiving a multi-million dollar state grant through New York’s competitive economic development funding program. The project is part of $80.2 million in funding central New York won.

Central New York’s regional economic development has been named a "top performer" for the third time in four years in the state’s flashy economic development funding program. It competes against other regions of the state for aid. The state gave out $709 million in all.

Gov. Andrew Cuomo speaks about father Mario Cuomo's love of Fort Drum

Dec 9, 2014
Karen Dewitt / WRVO

After Gov. Andrew Cuomo participated in Monday's homecoming ceremony at Fort Drum, he was asked by a reporter about his father, former Gov. Mario Cuomo and the work he did with Fort Drum while he was in office.

Former Gov. Mario Cuomo has reportedly been hospitalized for several weeks because of a heart condition, and his son has not spoken much in public about his father's health.

The current governor said he and one of his daughters visited his father Sunday night and told him the 82 year-old he would be visiting Fort Drum the next day.

-JvL- / Flickr

The New York Times is reporting that federal investigators are probing outside income paid to the New York state Assembly speaker, among other lawmakers. A reform group says the article is one more reason Gov. Andrew Cuomo and the legislature should adopt long overdue ethical changes.

Susan Lerner, with Common Cause, says legislators are finding that if they don’t change their policies they are increasingly finding themselves in the crosshairs of federal prosecutors. She says her group hopes to convince them to do so.

Julia Botero / WRVO

Fort Drum held a ceremony Monday to commemorate the 10th Mountain Division's 13-year involvement in Afghanistan. Gov. Andrew Cuomo made a last minute appearance, joining Secretary of the Army John McHugh and other state and national leaders who were there.

The 10th Mountain Division was the first to be deployed to Afghanistan after September 11, 2001. Within the last year and a half, every brigade of the 10th Mountain Division has been deployed to the country.

Karen DeWitt/WRVO News

  Opponents of hydrofracking say they want Gov. Andrew Cuomo to declare a three- to five-year moratorium on fracking in New York state. The gas drilling process has been on hold for several years.

A coalition of groups, including the Natural Resources Defense Council, say Cuomo should immediately issue an executive order postponing any gas drilling. NRDC’s Kate Sinding  says that’s preferable to trying to get a bill passed through a divided state legislature, where the state Senate will be controlled by the Republicans in January.

wadester16 / Flickr

In January, the state’s highest court will have two fewer judges. Only five of the seven slots will be filled, due to a mandatory retirement and delays by Gov. Andrew Cuomo and the state Senate over confirmation hearings.

Judge Robert Smith, a well-respected jurist appointed by former Gov. George Pataki, will leave the Court of Appeals at the end of 2014 because he’s reached the mandatory retirement age of 70.

Gov. Cuomo has until mid-January to announce his choice for a replacement. Smith’s departure means that in the first month of 2015, the seven-member court will have just five judges on the panel. The state Senate has not yet confirmed a replacement for the previous vacancy, which occurred earlier this fall.

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