Andrew Cuomo

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New York state will add another $200 million toward the effort to end the AIDS epidemic.

These new funds are on top of $2.5 billion the state has already committed to the fight against AIDS by Gov. Andrew Cuomo's administration. And that has made a difference according to Micheal Crinnen, head of ACR Health in Syracuse. He said beyond the billboards and publicity, it’s huge having the health department pushing universal testing for HIV so doctors offer it routinely.

New York State Senate

 


Gov. Andrew Cuomo spoke publicly for the first time since the former leader of the Assembly was convicted on seven counts of corruption for abusing his powers to earn outside income. But, Cuomo said he does not think it’s the right time now for a special session on ethics reform.

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Gov. Andrew Cuomo is due to announce his choice for the state’s next chief judge on December 1.

The list of nominees that Cuomo will choose from to lead the state’s highest court includes potentially the first African American chief judge of the Court of Appeals, as well as a former U.S. Attorney who could be the state’s first Hispanic chief judge.

But, the favorite is the Westchester County District Attorney Janet DiFiore, who would be only the second  woman to lead the court.

Matt Ryan / New York Now File Photo

Sheldon Silver has been found guilty on all counts in a federal corruption trial. Silver was found guilty of operating several corrupt schemes in which he essentially monetized his powerful position as leader of the Assembly to illegally gain over $4 million. 

When Entergy announced earlier this month that it will close the Fitzpatrick Nuclear Power Plant, they cited potential economic losses. Yet some New York officials are suggesting that wasn't the whole story.

"Placing our families and students in the cross hairs in the Indian Point debate is unacceptable," said Sean Bruno, the Mexico School District superintendent. He said Fitzpatrick is being used as leverage.

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There was a deep sigh of relief in Massena Tuesday, if only a temporary one. After announcing massive layoffs three weeks ago, aluminum manufacturer Alcoa reversed course. The company said it will keep its smelter in Massena open and guarantee 600 jobs for 3 1/2 years. In exchange, New York state will give the aluminum giant almost $70 million in cheap power and cash for capital and operating expenses.

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During an appearance in Massena Tuesday, Gov. Andrew Cuomo announced that the Alcoa's smelting plant would stay open for at least the next 3 1/2 years. Alcoa had previously announced that it would end its smelting operation at the end of this year, resulting in a loss of more than 500 jobs.

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The state’s education commissioner said parents who are thinking of opting their children out of standardized tests again this school year should stick with the exams because they will be different than last year’s tests. But, the state’s teacher’s union and a parents group says the changes don’t go far enough.

Education Commissioner Mary Ellen Elia is hoping to contain a movement that led 20 percent of students to boycott the third-eighth grade standardized tests last spring.

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Gov. Andrew Cuomo and the leader of the Senate Republicans differ on whether New York State should accept Syrian refugees in light of the French terror attacks.

Thomas Favre-Bulle / via Flickr

The state’s latest teacher evaluation system, which was supposed to be in place November 15,  has essentially been put on hold, as 90 percent of school districts have been granted waivers to delay its implementation. It represents a reversal for a policy championed by Gov. Andrew Cuomo just last spring. 

The new rules for teacher evaluations were put in place last March, as part of the state budget.  

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Gov. Andrew Cuomo says he won’t allow a natural gas transfer station to be built off of the coast of Long Island, saying  there are too many concerns, including damage form future hurricanes, and potential terrorism.  

The Port Ambrose transfer station was to be built off of  the beaches of Long Island, and would have allowed tanker ships to load up with liquefied natural gas, then distribute the gas into pipelines on the main land.

Cuomo made the announcement to an enthusiastic crowd of Long Island officials and activists.

Karen DeWitt / WRVO

 


Gov. Andrew Cuomo announced he is raising the minimum wage for state workers to $15 an hour.  That did not stop advocates from protesting at the Dunkin' Donuts at the state Capitol, saying the governor’s recently phased in wage increase for fast food workers is too slow.

Karen Dewitt / WRVO News

The leaders of school districts, teachers unions, and parents are presenting a united front in calling for $2.2 billion more school aid next year.  They say a hard property tax cap with a zero percent increase is making it even more crucial that state lawmakers help them out.

Scott Reif

The state Senate’s newest member, Fred Akshar, known for his chain-saw wielding ad, says he intends to be independent, including from his predecessor Tom Libous, who resigned the seat after a felony conviction.

Entergy/FitzPatrick Nuclear Power Plant

The future of the James A. FitzPatrick nuclear power plant is once again up for negotiation. That is a direct reversal from earlier this week when Entergy said it would close the plant and state officials objected -  vowing to fight the company. More than 600 jobs hang in the balance.

Karen DeWitt / WRVO News

As momentum for Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s proposal to raise the state’s minimum wage to $15 an hour grows, opponents are trying to fight back. Small Business groups, farmers and others who employ low wage workers  are organizing, and a fiscally conservative group is out with a study showing potential job losses.

Karen DeWitt / WRVO News

 

Republicans and Democrats in the New York state Senate both have victories to point to in last night’s election results.  

Following a landslide win, former Broome County Sheriff’s Deputy Fred Akshar became one of the two newest members of the State Senate.

Entergy

State officials are saying they were caught by surprise Monday when Entergy announced it plans to close the FitzPatrick Nuclear Plant in Oswego County. New York state had been in talks with Entergy, but the company said it didn't get the agreement it was looking for. But, state leaders are saying if the talks are not reopened, they will take matters into their own hands. 

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Gov. Andrew Cuomo came to central New York yesterday and announced that a company that produces LED lighting products and technology will relocate its global manufacturing and research operations from California to East Syracuse. The move is expected to create about 400 new jobs.

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Three-quarters of school districts in the state have applied for waivers from the new teacher evaluation rules set out by Gov.Andrew Cuomo and the legislature in March. The news comes amidst lots of changes, including the leadership of the state Board of Regents.

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State lawmakers said a few years ago they would no longer permit the controversial member item program to continue, but critics said the old system, which gave taxpayer money to legislators’ pet projects, is being revived in a new form.

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Gov. Andrew Cuomo, five years into his term in office, has reached a plateau with voters. About half still like and support him, the other half, have reservations, according to a new Siena College poll.

Ryan Delaney / WRVO News File Photo

New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman said he has made a decision to stay out of politics for now, due to a climate of corruption and ongoing investigations by his office.

Schneiderman said he will not be endorsing or appearing with any candidates any more, as statewide office holders sometimes do. Both former leaders of the legislature face federal corruption trials next month and the attorney general’s office has, along with the state comptroller, probed the actions of dozens of elected officials, some resulting in charges and convictions.

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Gov. Andrew Cuomo says he’s going to press for a statewide regulatory system that allows ride sharing services, including Uber and Lyft, to operate.

Karen DeWitt / WRVO News

 

Political and private sector leaders from around the state are spending three days at the Capitol, making their best case to win a share of $1.5 billion in economic development monies for their region. Critics have called the competition the “hunger games," because under the rules three regions will win, but four others will lose out on the funds.

Perhaps the most ambitious plan presented by the regions competing for the money may be returning the Olympics to New York.  

Karen DeWitt / WRVO News

The ride sharing service Uber, which already operates in New York City, is making a big push to move into upstate cities like Syracuse, and Long Island. But, that would require state lawmakers to take action.

Uber officials, armed with a study that says 13,000 new jobs could be created if Uber is allowed in all of New York, came to the state Capitol to make their case. They have started an online petition and ad campaign, to help convince the state legislature to pass laws to allow the service to operate.

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New York will soon have a new top judge now that the current chief judge of the Court of Appeals is approaching the mandatory retirement age of 70.  Westchester District Attorney and Cuomo ally Janet DiFiore is on the list as a potential replacement.    

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The New York State Joint Commission on Public Ethics released the top spending lobbyists in an effort to influence state government during the 2015 legislative session, finding that education and real estate groups were the biggest spenders.

The top spenders thus far in 2015 correlate with the top issues this year: fights over the future of public education and New York City’s rent regulations.

Jenna Flanagan / Innovation Trail/WMHT

The state’s  legislative leaders crossed paths literally this week, when both scheduled a stroll at the same time along a walkway over the Hudson River in Poughkeepsie. In addition to taking in the view, they had a lot to say about priority issues, including raising the minimum wage and funding public transit and road and bridge repairs.   

J. Stephen Conn / Flickr

A panel commissioned to review practices at New York’s troubled ethics commission held it’s one and only public hearing Wednesday, as its chairman says lack of staff and excess of paperwork may make it difficult to meet the group’s November 1 deadline.

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