Fri October 5, 2012
Politics and Government

Onondaga County plans to privatize nursing home

On October 9, the Onondaga County Legislature will vote on its 2013 budget. The budget totals $1.24 billion, approximately two million dollars larger than last year. The controversy that surfaced at the budget’s public hearing Thursday evening was about ownership changes for Van Duyn Home and Hospital, the county’s nursing home.

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Mon September 17, 2012
Politics and Government

Onondaga County proposes budget that dips into fund balance

Onondaga County lawmakers begin going over County Executive Joanie Mahoney's proposed budget with a fine tooth comb Monday.  The final result will most likely look different from $1.25 billion plan Mahoney proposed last week.

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Fri September 14, 2012
Politics and Government

Counties face budget crunch in New York state

Fall means budget season in counties across New York State.  Onondaga County Executive Joanie Mahoney makes her budget pitch to lawmakers Friday.  Many governments are facing the same pressures.

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Mon September 10, 2012
Politics and Government

"Super control board" idea to help struggling municipalities still possible

New York State continues looking for ways to help local governments on the edge of fiscal collapse.  And, the idea of a "super control board" is still a possibility.

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Thu August 30, 2012
Politics and Government

Syracuse "nuns on the bus" oppose Republican budget proposal

Members from various faith communities travel through Syracuse by school bus in solidarity with the Nuns on the Bus movement.
Ellen Abbot WRVO

The Republican federal budget proposal is being targeted by a Washington-based movement called Nuns on the Bus. Earlier this month, a group of nuns and others from local faith communities traveled around Syracuse in a school bus to spread their message in solidarity with the movement.

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Tue August 7, 2012
Regional Coverage

Cuomo defends property tax cap

Governor Andrew Cuomo was at Fort Drum yesterday, touring a former coal plant that's being converted to a biomass facility.  He responded to questions from reporters about the statewide property tax cap.

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Wed July 18, 2012
Regional Coverage

Miner hosts meeting to discuss upstate cities' financial woes

Syracuse Mayor Stephanie Miner, left.
Ryan Delaney WRVO

Some of upstate New York's mayors are putting their brains together to deal with looming fiscal nightmares.

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Thu June 7, 2012
OCC Budget

OCC gets less money from county than it asked for

Onondaga County lawmakers approved the county's share of the Onondaga Community College's operating and capital  budgets yesterday.  But, the two- year school didn't get quite what it asked for.

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Mon May 7, 2012
Regional Coverage

More sales tax revenue could mean more investment in Syracuse

More  projected sales tax revenue for the City of Syracuse could mean some new programs, including seed money for a new downtown senior center.  Lawmakers say they want  the extra spending to be an investment in the city.

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Thu May 3, 2012
Regional Coverage

Young and old share opinions on Syracuse budget

The very young and the very old were the focus of the Syracuse City Budget public hearing Wednesday night. Citizens had the opportunity to tell lawmakers what they think of Mayor Stephanie Miner's proposed $662 million spending plan.

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Mon April 2, 2012
Politics and Government

John DeFrancisco on The Campbell Conversations

Grant Reeher speaking at the first Campbell Debate
Post Standard

State lawmakers have passed their second straight on time budget. Speaking with Grant Reeher just before the budget passed, Syracuse area State Senator John DeFrancisco describes the budget process and discusses whether or not it has improved in recent years.

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Fri March 30, 2012

The EPIC program returns just in time

When state lawmakers approved the budget this week, they restored a program that's vital to many senior citizens. Elderly Pharmaceutical Insurance Coverage, known as EPIC, helps low and moderate income seniors with co-pays for prescription drugs not covered by Medicare Part-D. When it was defunded last year, seniors were forced to pay 25% of the costs of prescriptions. This made necessary prescriptions unaffordable for some.

Pharmacists at drug stores like the Gifford and West Pharmacy in Syracuse ran into a lot of problems when EPIC stopped helping seniors pay for prescription drugs. Gifford pharmacist Jim McLaughlin encountered many patients who had high co-pays and were forced to pay.

"It ends up costing more. Patients go without their medications and their symptoms start to come back, or they end up being hospitalized," McLaughlin said.

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Fri November 11, 2011
Politics and Government

Governor Cuomo is late with the mid year financial report

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.

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Wed October 12, 2011
Regional Coverage

Onondaga County lawmakers pass budget, cut funding for Air One helicopter

They worked later into the evening Tuesday, but Onondaga County lawmakers passed a budget that cut more than $5 million from County Executive Joanie Mahoney's proposed budget.

Property taxes will go up in most county towns, but will go down in every village except Fabius. Residents in the towns of Clay and Salina will see the biggest tax increases. 

Republican Kevin Holmquist of Manlius says it took weeks of work to take the 3 villages he represents from a 10% tax increase to a 5% tax decrease.

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