John DeFrancisco

Ellen Abbott / WRVO News

State Assemblyman Brian Kolb (R-Canandaigua) dropped out of the race for the Republican nomination for governor last week. That leaves one fewer obstacle for gubernatorial hopeful John DeFrancisco, but he’s not ready to take on the mantle of front runner yet.

kolbfornewyork.com

ALBANY, N.Y. (AP) — Republican state lawmaker Brian Kolb has dropped out of the race for New York governor.

The assemblyman said Friday that he decided he doesn’t want to sacrifice time with his family in order to mount a long campaign. His decision leaves two Republicans in the race: state Sen. John DeFrancisco, of Syracuse, and former Erie County Executive Joel Giambra.

Kolb serves as the leader of the GOP minority in the Assembly. He is a resident of the city of Canandaigua in the Finger Lakes.

Rich Mitchell / Flickr

Republicans are seeking political advantage in the federal corruption trial of Democratic Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s former closest aide.

One of the governor’s opponents is pressuring Cuomo to answer some of the revelations in the trial about how state business was conducted, and whether a pay-to-play “atmosphere” was created.

Ellen Abbott / WRVO News File Photo

A Republican candidate for governor is calling for hearings on controversial tourism signs that the Cuomo administration set up on the New York State Thruway and other highways. The federal government said the signs are illegal and will withhold federal funds if they are not removed.

John DeFrancisco, a GOP candidate for governor and the deputy Senate leader, said he wants the state Legislature to hold hearings into the 514 tourism signs posted along numerous highways in the state.

Rich Mitchell / Flickr

The bribery trial of Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s former top aide, Joe Percoco, begins its third week in federal court Monday. Cuomo has not commented on the proceedings and has instead been busy focusing on other topics.

In the first two weeks of the trial, questions have been raised about Percoco’s use of his state offices while he was off the government payroll for most of 2014 and managing Cuomo’s reelection campaign.  

Ellen Abbott / WRVO News

A third Republican candidate has announced his intention to run for governor against Democrat Andrew Cuomo. Syracuse-area state Sen. John DeFrancisco said he thinks it’s time for a change.

Tom Magnarelli / WRVO News File Photo

ALBANY, N.Y. (AP) - A senior Republican state senator has filed the paperwork to run for governor of New York.

Senate Deputy Majority Leader John DeFrancisco of Syracuse plans to formally announce his candidacy on Tuesday.

On Monday he filed papers with the state's Board of Elections. DeFrancisco, an attorney, was first elected to the Senate in 1992 and has emerged as a leading critic of Democratic Gov. Andrew Cuomo's record on taxes, spending and economic development.

Tom Magnarelli / WRVO News

The $15 million taxpayer-funded Central New York Film Hub in DeWitt has gotten criticism for not being utilized enough by production companies over the years. But a new virtual CNY film office wants to bring more movie business to the hub and the region.

Elias Gwinn, president of CNY Film Professionals, said the group formed last year as a way for local filmmakers, actors and crew to network with each other.

kolbfornewyork.com

The 2018 election season is beginning, but state Republicans are still trying to settle on a strong candidate to challenge Democratic Gov. Andrew Cuomo, who has said he wants to seek a third term. 

Republican State Party Chair Ed Cox said the GOP will have a “good,” qualified and viable candidate.

SUNY Polytechnic Institute

NexGen, a Silicon Valley start up, will get an extra $15 million from New York as it replaces SORAA, the company that will inhabit a $90-million facility built by the state in DeWitt.

NexGen deals in semiconductors and power electronics according to Randy Wolken, incoming co-chair of the Central New York Regional Economic Development Council.

Jim Bowen / Flickr

With a projected multibillion-dollar deficit and looming federal changes that could cost the state billions more, the biggest obstacle in the upcoming 2018 legislative session will be balancing the state budget.

The second-highest-ranking Republican in the Senate, John DeFrancisco, said the budget will be “horrible” and the worst in at least seven years.

“I think it’s going to be very, very difficult,” DeFrancisco said. “Probably the most difficult budget year the governor has had since he’s been governor.” 

Tom Magnarelli / WRVO News File Photo

The deputy leader of the state Senate said 2018 will be a difficult year for balancing the state budget.

Sen. John DeFrancisco, R-Syracuse, predicted cutbacks in health care spending to help close a multibillion-dollar deficit.

DeFrancisco said the state’s $4.4 billion projected deficit, combined with potential effects of the federal tax overhaul on New York, will make the next state budget the most difficult one in at least seven years.

“It’s going to be a horrible budget,” DeFrancisco said.

State Sen. John DeFrancisco / Facebook

At an event that’s become increasingly rare in state politics, two politicians from opposing parties sat down together and had a civil discussion about issues facing New York.

Syracuse Mayor Stephanie Miner, a Democrat, and Republican state Sen. John DeFrancisco spoke in Albany during a forum about state issues and politics. 

“To have a vibrant civic dialogue is important,” said Miner. “The fact that it’s been missing, we’ve all suffered for it.”

DeFrancisco, who also is from Syracuse, agreed.

Tom Magnarelli / WRVO News

State Sen. John DeFrancisco (R-Syracuse) is criticizing Gov. Andrew Cuomo for vetoing bills that DeFrancisco said would help residents in the region. DeFrancisco has been pushing one bill in particular for the past three years.

A universal visitability tax credit would give some reimbursement for residents to retrofit their homes to be more accessible for the elderly and disabled, like adding wheelchair accessible entrances. Tania Anderson, the CEO of Arise, which provides disability services, said local residents are waiting 1-4 years for accessible housing.

Tom Magnarelli / WRVO News

The Republican candidate running for mayor of Syracuse says if elected, she would hire 50 additional police officers for the city. Laura Lavine blasted the city’s violent crime rate, calling it a bigger sign of Syracuse’s decline.

Standing in front of a bullet-ridden, Skiddy Park police substation, renovated after a deadly riot on Father’s Day last year, Lavine said the station is staffed so sporadically that shooters fire upon it with little fear of getting caught.

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State Sen. John DeFrancisco (R-Syracuse) has been publicly considering a challenge to Gov. Andrew Cuomo in 2018. Could an upstate Republican stand a chance against a downstate Democrat in a state with a 2-to-1 Democratic advantage? DeFransisco joins host Grant Reeher this week to consider how it could be done and what it could mean for New York.

Tom Magnarelli / WRVO News File Photo

Central New York Republican state Sen. John DeFrancisco has been traveling around upstate meeting with members of his party to discuss the possibility of him running for governor next year. DeFrancisco said there is discontent with Gov. Andrew Cuomo on both sides of the aisle.

New York State had a population loss last year and DeFrancisco said that is one of the main reasons why things need to change and why he is considering a run for governor.

David Stone / Flickr

Central New York state legislators have introduced a bill that would give the state Department of Environmental Conservation more flexibility with issuing deer control permits. This comes after DEC officials determined they were steering too far away from the current law. 

David Skeval of Cornell Coorperative Extension of Onondaga County said after an internal review at the DEC, officials realized their process of issuing deer culling permits is cumbersome, and also not following environmental law.

Ellen Abbott / WRVO News

The future of Interstate 81 through downtown Syracuse hinges on an independent investigation of the options, currently being overseen by the New York State Department of Transportation. In the meantime, champions of different options for the aging highway continue to butt heads.

Senator John A. DeFrancisco Facebook page

Update:

Ellen Abbott / WRVO News

The threat from tick-borne diseases like Lyme disease is at an all time high in New York state. At a recent forum sponsored by the New York State Department of Health and state Sen. John DeFrancisco (R-Syracuse), experts hope more information about prevention of the bacterial disease can reduce the number of people that are infected.

Tom Magnarelli / WRVO News File Photo

State Sen. John DeFrancisco (R-Syracuse) hopes putting the spotlight on Lyme disease can help prevent it. Experts and victims of the debilitating illness recently met at Ryder Park in DeWitt in an effort to put a personal face on the disease.

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The New York State Legislature finally ended its 2017 session, after the Assembly voted overnight on a privately negotiated omnibus bill, and the Senate finally finished on Thursday afternoon. The messy process drew condemnation from both sides of the aisle.

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The New York state legislative session is drawing to a close, and Democrats and Republicans are digging in on the remaining issues of 2017. Among them is a measure to extend the New York City mayor’s control of the public schools, which has now been linked to a number of diverse issues affecting people in the rest of the state.

Games of chicken are common at the Capitol whenever a deadline like the budget or the end of session draws near. This time, it was the state Senate’s turn to go first.

Karen DeWitt / WRVO News

With less than two weeks left in the legislative session, some New York lawmakers are pressing for reform of the state’s economic development contracting process in light of a scandal that’s led to federal corruption charges against several former associates of Gov. Andrew Cuomo.

Karen DeWitt / WRVO News

State legislators from central New York are sounding off on what they would like to see the Legislature accomplish before the legislative session ends in June. One item includes funding for damages incurred from flooding along Lake Ontario and other New York waterways.   

State Sen. John DeFrancisco (R-Syracuse) is sponsoring a companion piece to the Senate’s flood relief bill that would include expanding funding for properties damaged along Seneca Lake, Seneca River, Oswego River, Oneida River and Cross Lake.

DeFrancisco says state Senate stipends allowed by law

Jun 1, 2017
Tom Magnarelli / WRVO News File Photo

Republican state Sen. John DeFrancisco is weighing in on some big topics facing the Senate before its session ends in June. DeFrancisco said the question of stipends being paid to Democratic and Republican senators has become a huge issue.

Tom Magnarelli / WRVO News

Green Party candidates in Syracuse are pushing state Sen. John DeFrancisco (R-Syracuse) to support universal health care in New York. The bill could be close to getting a majority of senators to sign on.

Syracuse mayoral candidate Howie Hawkins said DeFrancisco is the only New York state legislator representing the city that is not in favor of a single-payer system.

“We want John to be a hero for Syracuse, because this bill would solve the city’s fiscal crisis,” Hawkins said.

Office of Gov. Andrew Cuomo / via Flickr

The future of the much maligned gondola proposed for the New York State Fair is in flux. It’s a matter of money.

Onondaga County Executive Joanie Mahoney said it all comes down to priorities. Building an Expo Center that would attract events, especially horse shows, is the most important project stemming from a task force deciding how to spend $70 million in state dollars earmarked for state fair renovations. And Mahoney said initial plans for an 80,000-square-foot facility, were apparently not big enough.

Onasill ~ Bill Badzo / Flickr

Gov. Andrew Cuomo said the recently enacted state budget included the majority of the priorities that he named in his January State of the State message, including raising the age for adult criminal responsibility from 16 to 18, providing free public college tuition for some middle-class families and allowing ride-hailing services to operate upstate.

Topics such as ethics reform were left out of the final budget package for a reason, the governor said.

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