New York State Assembly

5:26am

Wed June 18, 2014
Politics and Government

Medical marijuana bill sponsors hold private meeting with Cuomo

Medical marijuana legislation sponsors Sen. Diane Savino and Assemblyman Richard Gottfried talk with reporters.
Karen Dewitt WRVO

Sponsors of a medical marijuana bill continued to negotiate with Gov. Andrew Cuomo over the governor’s objections to many of the measure’s provisions, but say they are hopeful that a deal can be reached in the next couple of days.

State Senate Co-leader Jeff Klein is optimistic about the chances for a medical marijuana law in New York.

“My prediction is we’re going to end this session on a high,” Klein quipped after a lengthy closed-door meeting with Cuomo and the Senate and Assembly sponsors of the bill.

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6:44am

Fri April 11, 2014
Politics

NY Legislature approves "National Popular Vote" bill

Credit National Popular Vote

New York lawmakers have approved a bill that would enter the state in the National Popular Vote Interstate Compact, an agreement to award electoral votes to the presidential candidate who receives the majority of the popular vote.

Proponents of the National Popular Vote initiative believe that the Electoral College, in place since the first days of the nation, is not the best way to elect a president.

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8:25am

Thu March 27, 2014
Politics and Government

FBI investigating alleged corruption in state Assembly, Senate

State lawmakers in the Assembly and the Senate are coming under scrutiny from the FBI. The state Capitol offices of an assemblyman were raided, and a state senator gave a tour of her home property in an attempt to debunk allegations from federal investigators that she engaged in an illegal land deal.

Assemblyman William Scarborough's offices were raided by the FBI, over allegations that he overcharged for travel, lodging and meal reimbursements paid to lawmakers when they gather in Albany for weekly sessions.

Scarborough says he's innocent.

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6:54am

Thu March 20, 2014
Politics and Government

Activists take to their smartphones to webcast Assembly meetings

-JvL- Flickr

Government reform activists took their smartphones into Assembly Committee meetings to live stream meetings that so far have not been available online to the public.

To mark what’s known as Sunshine Week, to promote a more open government, the activists took their smartphones into several Assembly Committee meetings. Using simple software, they pressed record and streamed the proceedings live on the Internet.

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8:10am

Mon March 10, 2014
Politics and Government

Fate of estate tax provision uncertain in state Assembly

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.

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7:27am

Mon March 10, 2014
Politics and Government

Assembly, Senate budget plans due

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.   

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7:59am

Mon February 24, 2014
Regional Coverage

Oswego County mother takes head shop owner to court

An Oswego County mother is taking a local head shop to court following her son's death after smoking synthetic marijuana he allegedly bought from the store.

Teresa Woolson, whose 19-year-old son, Victor, drowned in Lake Ontario after smoking a form of synthetic marijuana, wants the shop's owner, the drug manufacturer and the distributor held accountable.

In August 2012, Victor Woolson drowned in the lake soon after smoking "K-2 Avalanche," a form of synthetic marijuana he apparently bought from Xtreme Underground.

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4:49pm

Fri January 17, 2014
Politics

Russell leaving door open on Congressional run; for now, focused on Assembly work

State Assemblywoman Addie Russell at a press conference at her office Friday morning. She said she's not "closing the door" on a Congressional run, but for now, she's focusing on her Assembly work.
Credit Joanna Richards / WRVO

State Assemblywoman Addie Russell’s name surfaced as a possible Democratic contender for the 21st Congressional District seat, after Rep. Bill Owens announced he won’t run again. 

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7:56am

Thu January 16, 2014
Politics and Government

Growing number of vacancies in legislature likely to remain until 2015

A view of the New York state Assembly chambers.
-JvL- Flickr

The New York state legislature now has 11 unfilled seats, after one Assemblyman resigned over a sexual harassment scandal and another was expelled after being convicted of a felony. But it could be another year before those seats are filled.

In recent days, Assemblyman Eric Stevenson of the Bronx was automatically ousted from the Assembly when he was convicted on felony bribery charges. Assemblyman Dennis Gabryszak, of Cheektowaga, resigned under pressure after seven women accused him of sexual harassment.

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7:59am

Tue January 14, 2014
Politics and Government

Assemblyman convicted on bribery charges

An Assemblyman from the Bronx has been convicted of corruption charges, meanwhile an Assemblyman from the Buffalo area resigned over accusations of sexual harassment.

On the first formal day of the legislative session, Assemblyman Eric Stevenson was convicted of bribery by a federal jury after he took $20,000 from adult day care developers in exchange for promising favorable legislation. Under state law, Stevenson is automatically removed from office.

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8:00am

Mon November 25, 2013
Politics and Government

State lawmakers fight Cuomo commission subpoenas in court

Leaders of the New York state legislature are in court fighting a request from Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s ethics commission that they turn over details about their private law clients.

Assembly Democrats and Senate Republicans are asking a state Supreme Court Judge to quash subpoenas from Cuomo’s Moreland Act Commission, demanding they reveal details of private law clients who pay them more than $20,000 a year. Their attorneys are arguing that it’s unconstitutional for the governor to directly investigate the legislature and it violates the separation of powers.

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7:43am

Thu November 21, 2013
Education

Education commissioner faces bipartisan grilling by members of state Assembly

The state’s Education Commissioner John King faced a bi-partisan grilling by liberal and conservative  members of the Assembly at a hearing regarding growing concerns about student privacy.

As part of the conversion to the national Common Core standards, school districts in New York are required to place more student records, transcripts, and even behavioral information, like absences and suspensions, in online data bases. The data collection is in many cases run by a private vendor, not the local school or the state education department.  

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8:27am

Tue November 19, 2013
Education

Educators air concerns about Common Core standards in another forum

Teachers, superintendents and parents take part in Monday night's education forum.
Ellen Abbott WRVO

The state Assembly Minority Education Forum in Baldwinsville on Monday night brought out parents and educators who are concerned about the controversial new Common Core educational standards enforced in New York state classrooms. This was the fifth of a series of hearings by the Assembly lawmakers about what has become a hotly debated topic.

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6:42am

Fri August 2, 2013
Politics and Government

Assembly GOP Leader calls for special session

Office of Assembly Minority Leader Brain Kolb

The Republican leader of the state Assembly is calling for the legislature to return for a special session to wrap up some unfinished business.

The legislature adjourned at the end of June with no firm plans to meet again before next January, but Assembly Minority Leader Brian Kolb says there’s too much left to do to wait until next year.

“I definitely think we should go back,” Kolb said.  

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8:54am

Thu July 11, 2013
Politics and Government

Newly formed coalition takes aim at politicians who supported gun control

A coalition of gun rights advocates and others are forming a new political movement to get what they say are disaffected and disenfranchised New Yorkers to vote.

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9:15am

Wed July 10, 2013
Politics and Government

Gov. Cuomo's Moreland Act Commission follows in father's footsteps

Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s call for a Moreland Act Commission to investigate the legislature is not the first time a governor created a panel to probe state lawmakers. In fact, Cuomo’s own father did it a quarter century ago, with mixed results.

When Andrew Cuomo’s father, Mario Cuomo, was governor back in the 1980s, he also called on the powers in the now 100-year-old Moreland Act to appoint a commission to look into government corruption.

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9:55am

Mon July 1, 2013
Politics and Government

Gov. Cuomo celebrates legislative victories, says still more to do

Gov. Andrew Cuomo did not get all he wanted during the recently concluded legislative session, as abortion rights and campaign finance reform faltered in the final days of the session. But, Cuomo seems to be putting the best face on what he did achieve and is trying to move on with plans that include an investigation of the legislature.

Cuomo began the session in January with a hefty agenda, including an ambitious plan to make New York’s gun control laws the toughest in the nation; and be the first state to react to the Newtown, Connecticut shootings in December.

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2:29pm

Wed June 19, 2013
Agriculture

Assembly passes caps to lower taxes on farmers

The New York State Assembly passed a bill Tuesday that will cap agricultural land assessment increases at two percent a year.

Previously, agricultural property tax assessments were capped at 10 percent. But in just 15 years, property taxes doubled for family farms.

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9:09am

Fri May 17, 2013
Politics and Government

Cuomo says Lopez should be expelled, stops short of criticizing Speaker Silver

Gov. Andrew Cuomo is calling on Assemblyman Vito Lopez, the subject of a scathing ethics commission report on sexual harassment, to resign from office or be expelled.

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8:58am

Thu May 16, 2013
Politics and Government

Lopez report details disturbing allegations of sexual harassment

The Legislative Ethics Commission released its report on the sexual harassment allegations against Assemblyman Vito Lopez.  It’s conclusions have New York City’s National Organization for Women calling for a vote of no confidence against the still-serving assemblyman, and the Republicans calling for Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver to resign.

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9:10am

Mon May 6, 2013
Politics and Government

Senate leader says he won't repeat mistakes made when passing gun control laws

The leader of the New York State Senate Republicans says he regrets the way gun control legislation was rapidly approved earlier this year, and he hopes what he now says was a mistake won't be repeated at the end of the session.

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12:53pm

Mon January 14, 2013
Politics and Government

Assembly hearing on fracking paints a dark picture

Opponents of hydrofracking are pushing the state to delay the permitting process until a health impact study is performed.
Matt Richmond WSKG

Public commenting on the state’s revised hydrofracking regulations closed on Friday. Final regulations are due to be released at the end of February. The Democratic-controlled state assembly held a public hearing on Thursday that included some heated exchanges.

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9:00am

Mon December 3, 2012
Politics and Government

Should Thruway Authority merge with transportation department?

The leader of the New York state Assembly Republicans is proposing to do away with the state’s Thruway Authority and merge it into the state Department of Transportation, in an attempt to avoid excessive toll hikes.

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1:37am

Thu November 8, 2012

10:17am

Wed November 7, 2012
Politics

Stirpe reclaims Assembly seat from Miller

Democrat Al Stirpe is once again a New York State Assemblyman after defeating Republican Don Miller for a seat that was once Stirpe's.

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7:04am

Mon November 5, 2012
-Candidates in Depth

Al Stirpe & Don Miller compete for Assembly again

Everyone who votes on Tuesday in New York state will choose who will represent them in the state Assembly and Senate.  Very few of those races are truly competitive, with many incumbents running unopposed or against candidates who have no chance of winning.  The exception in central New York is the race for the newly created 127th Assembly district.. which is a rematch of a very close race two years ago.

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10:12am

Tue October 16, 2012
Regional Coverage

Patty Ritchie on cost of housing state parole violators in county jails

State Senator Patty Ritchie held a meeting Monday in Watertown with law enforcement and elected officials.
Joanna Richards/WRVO

Right now, county jails – and ultimately, local property taxpayers – are footing the bill for housing state parole violators while they wait for the state to pick them up. State Senator Patty Ritchie (R-Heuvelton) has proposed a solution to the problem. 

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2:41pm

Mon October 1, 2012
Politics and Government

Don Miller on the Campbell Conversations

In his first term in the State Assembly, Republican Don Miller has been an outspoken and sometimes controversial crusader against taxes and spending in Albany, to the point of voting against his own party leadership.

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9:01am

Thu September 6, 2012
Politics and Government

Assembly holds hearing on Thruway Toll Hike Plan

The first of two Assembly hearings on the New York State Thruway Authority’s proposed truck toll increase was held in Albany Wednesday.

Several Assembly Republicans, who are in the minority party in that house, held a hearing on the 45 percent toll increase for trucks proposed by the Cuomo administration’s Thruway Authority.

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9:14am

Wed August 22, 2012
Regional Coverage

Business Council says NY legislators more business friendly

The Business Council of New York released its annual report card of the state's legislators, and the group gave New York Senate Republicans high marks for approving a pro-business agenda.

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