The U.S. Supreme Court decision McCutcheon v. FEC, striking down some campaign donation limits is expected to have an effect in New York. Reform advocates say Gov. Andrew Cuomo and lawmakers missed a key chance this week to counter act the ruling.
The recently enacted state budget also marks the end of a commission that was investigating corruption in the legislature. Gov. Andrew Cuomo agreed to dismantle the Moreland Act panel as part of a deal on ethics reform.
Gov. Andrew Cuomo and legislative leaders are touting the virtues of the newly enacted state budget, but the spending plan has its share of critics.
Cuomo says one of the most important accomplishments achieved by him and the legislative leaders is that the budget was passed on time, for the fourth year in a row. And he used a baseball metaphor, complete with baseballs and bats for props, to describe the feat.
“This is the grand slam budget,” Cuomo said. “I’m pleased and proud.”
Gov. Andrew Cuomo says parents and students can exhale knowing that the second round of Common Core aligned test scores will not be included on student's permanent transcripts under the new budget deal.
The new standards in English and math designed to improve college and career readiness have been criticized by some parents who say that the roll-out was done too fast and from educators claiming that they weren't given sufficient material and guidance to teach the new standards.
Lawmakers hurried to complete work on the state budget before the midnight deadline, but the spending plan is not without some controversy.
Legislators held a marathon voting session on several budget bills, in an attempt to beat the April 1 deadline. Some of the legislation was not technically printed until the wee hours of Saturday morning, and Gov. Andrew Cuomo sent an emergency message to waive the three day waiting period required by law.
Now that the state budget is in place, lawmakers can turn their attention to more controversial end-of-session issues. That means a return to one of the more contentious items that failed at the end of last year’s session; the Women’s Equality Agenda.
The Women’s Equality Agenda is a ten-point plan that deals with several women’s issues, including a call for equal pay, the end of sexual harassment in workplaces and the strengthening of human sex trafficking laws.
When the budget deal is finally reached in Albany, average New Yorkers will have had little access to the details of the important items that Gov. Andrew Cuomo and lawmakers are discussing. That's because the longtime Albany tradition known as "Three Men in a Room" continues.
The only difference from the decades long tradition of three men in a room budget negotiations is now there are four men in a room. The Senate is led by a coalition of Republicans and breakaway Democrats, and so has two co-leaders.
Legislative leaders say they are working together and are close to a budget agreement, after last week's blow up that left the Senate and Assembly leaders negotiating separately with Gov. Andrew Cuomo.
The legislative leaders, following a two-hour, closed-door meeting with the governor, seemed in high spirits. Senate Republican Leader Dean Skelos gave his oftentimes rival Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver a hug.
“Look how much I love Shelly,” Skelos said with a laugh.
Gov. Andrew Cuomo stepped away from budget negotiations in Albany on Tuesday to stump for his plan to consolidate local governments and reduce property taxes, even though he admitted afterward he may not be able to push the plan through those budget talks.
Cuomo told a crowd at the DeWitt community room that after the property tax cap he pushed through earlier in his first term as governor, this was the next step in righting the state's fiscal ship.
Education funding advocates, including actress Cynthia Nixon, made a last-minute pitch for extra money for schools in the state budget. Meanwhile, a new poll finds many New Yorkers think the quality of education in the state is deteriorating.
"Sex and the City" star Cynthia Nixon has a child entering college as well as one in kindergarten. She says Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s education policies in New York have increased inequality and led to two separate school systems within public schools, one for the rich and one for the poor.
A new poll finds the majority of New Yorkers say they aren't better off now than they were four years ago, but these sentiments do not seem to be hurting Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s chances for reelection.
The Siena poll asked voters whether they felt things were better now under Cuomo than they were before he was governor. It found that in several key areas including business climate, taxes, corruption and public education, less than a quarter think the situation has improved.
The next several days will be crucial ones in Albany for negotiations on the state budget. Tensions ran high at a closed-door meeting between Gov. Andrew Cuomo and legislative leaders.
Senate Republican Leader Dean Skelos abruptly left the final leaders meeting before the weekend early, complaining there was too much emphasis on the needs of the New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio, at the expense of the rest of the state.
Gov. Andrew Cuomo enlisted the aid of some local government leaders to promote his tax freeze proposal, which has been losing ground in the New York state legislature.
Cuomo, surrounded by several county executives from across the state, promoted his plan, which is not supported in the state legislature. He says he’s signed up 150 local government leaders as supporters.
“It is a bold proposal, I understand that,” said Cuomo. He predicts the more people hear about it, the more they will support it.
The New York state Senate for the first time includes Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s plan for public campaign financing in its budget resolution. The sparsely worded proposal has left supporters and opponents trying to sort through the political tea leaves.
The inclusion of public campaign financing would seem to signal an abrupt change of policy for Republicans, who co-lead the Senate. The GOP has long maintained that a matching small donor plan using public funds is a waste of the taxpayers’ money, and would only lead to more annoying robo-calls.
The Oswego County Legislature is joining several other counties across New York to oppose Gov. Andrew Cuomo's proposed property tax freeze plan. They voted to support another option proposed by the New York State Association of Counties, to eliminate the cost of state funded mandates instead. The final vote was 16 to 8, with 1 absentee.
Both houses of the legislature are making changes to Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s tax freeze plan in their budget proposals. And now small business groups are speaking out, saying the proposal favors some homeowners at their expense.
The state Assembly’s budget replaces Cuomo’s plan to distribute widespread rebate checks to homeowners with an alternative to benefit New Yorkers who can least afford to pay their property taxes. The Senate is also making changes, even though Republicans in the majority say they still want to reduce property taxes.
In the words of the infamous Donald Trump, upstate New York has been "abandoned," the state's gun control laws were a "catastrophe" and its pro-business television campaign is "egregious."
Those were some of the colorful adjectives Trump, a real estate tycoon and reality TV star, used at a Republican Party fundraiser Tuesday night in Syracuse.
Trump has flirted with a run for governor of New York for a few months, but his speech in front of more than 300 people was to raise money for the party, not announce a bid for governor. He did say that decision is coming soon.
State Senate Republicans say they will break a long-standing tradition of boycotting the election of new Regents. They now say they will attend a joint legislative session, and that many will vote “no” over dissatisfaction with the Common Core.
It’s uncertain whether all four of the incumbent Regents members will be re-elected.
Senate Education Chairman John Flanagan says Republican Senators will be attending a joint session of the legislature Tuesday to appoint members to the New York State Board of Regents to new terms. But he says many GOP members plan to vote no.
Originally published on Tue March 11, 2014 10:28 am
By Brian Mann
America used to have a robust college education system for prison inmates. It was seen as a way to rehabilitate men and women behind bars by helping them go straight when they got out.
Those taxpayer-funded college classes were defunded in the 1990s. But New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo would like to bring them back in the state, prompting a fierce new debate over higher education in state prisons.
People who are finding it difficult to pay for a health insurance policy offered through New York sate’s health care exchanges, may find a more affordable plan, if a proposal in Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s budget goes through.
The governor’s proposed spending plan would allow New York to offer what’s called a "basic health care plan," according to Mary Clark, regional director of Citizen Action League of New York.
“That would really opens the doors to provide coverage at extremely low cost to families at 200 percent of poverty,” she said.
On Wednesday, both houses of the legislature are due to release their one-house budget proposals, which they will then use to negotiate a final spending plan with Gov. Andrew Cuomo. Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver, in an interview with PBS's New York Now and public radio stations, says Assembly Democrats are not yet on board with part of Cuomo’s plan to cut the estate tax.
Budget negotiations are expected to get serious at the state Capitol this week, with the spending plan due at the end of the month.
The Senate and Assembly are due to put out their one house budget resolutions Wednesday, the first step toward reaching a final deal with Gov. Andrew Cuomo.
There are a number of unresolved issues, including how to pay for and structure a plan to provide universal pre-kindergarten to New York’s four-year-olds, and a multi-step plan proposed by Cuomo to freeze property taxes has faced skepticism.
Two days after becoming the first Republican to announce a campaign to run for governor, Westchester County Executive Rob Astorino spent Friday crisscrossing upstate New York from Rochester and Syracuse to Albany, and his message was the same in each city. He believes he can beat a popular Democrat in an election where Democrats hold an overwhelming voter registration advantage.
Astorino says he did it in Westchester County, where he has twice won the office of county executive.
There’s growing unease over Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s tax freeze plan.
One hundred local government officials have signed a letter opposing the plan, including Syracuse Mayor and state Democratic Party Co-Chairwoman Stephanie Miner, and there are signs that the legislature may modify what critics have called an overly complex proposal when the Senate and Assembly release their one house state budgets.
Lobby groups for the state’s counties, cities, and school boards are voicing numerous concerns. Tim Kremer, with the New York State School Boards Association, is one of them.
Westchester County Executive Rob Astorino announced on YouTube his candidacy to run as a Republican against Gov. Andrew Cuomo.
Astorino, a Republican who has won the county executive seat twice in the Democratically dominated Westchester County, painted a grim picture of New York under Cuomo, saying the state is “dying” from the highest taxes in the nation and is one of the poorest business climates in the country.
“Is New York winning? Or are we losing?” Astorino asks.
The movie business is coming to central New York. With the help of some state tax incentives, the nation’s first nano film school, along with a film production company, will set up shop in suburban Syracuse.
"Now who would have ever figured? Hollywood has come to Onondaga. Right, you would have never guessed, but it has..."