New York State Legislature

Fines for littering would double if a bill approved by the New York State Senate passes the Assembly. The idea is to crack down on the people who dump trash on the side of roads.

It poses driving hazards and costs a lot to remove. And Syracuse-area Sen. John DeFrancisco says litter that lines the highways just looks bad.

The steady drumbeat of scandal after scandal in the New York State Legislature has led many to wonder whether lawmakers can focus on passing any major bills by the end of the session, which is fast approaching.

The legislature returns Wednesday and has just four work weeks to act on items ranging from campaign finance reform to abortion rights, to economic development plans.

Gov. Andrew Cuomo, before the legislature even returned from its Memorial Day break, gathered local government leaders from across the state to ask for help in passing a plan to create tax free zones for new businesses at college campuses.

Lawmakers in Albany tried to continue business as usual in the wake of one of the worst scandals in recent decades, that has overshadowed most other news coming out of the Capitol. Much of this week’s legislative session has been canceled, but politicians who were in town insisted that their agendas are not being derailed.

A hearing by state Senate Republicans on New York City’s public campaign financing system was overshadowed by protests, as government reform groups and other members of the public were denied entry, and noisy protests ensued.

File photo/Karen DeWitt/WRVO

Former Senate Democratic Leader John Sampson turned himself in to federal authorities Monday, after being accused in a nine-count indictment of embezzling nearly half a million dollars from mortgage foreclosure accounts, and then trying to cover it up.

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A key component of Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s 2013 agenda appears in jeopardy, as the governor concedes he does not currently have enough votes in the State Senate to bring an abortion rights bill he has championed to the floor.

Anti-corruption is the dominant topic at the New York state legislature for the second week in a row, following bribery charges against two state lawmakers, including a former Senate leader. A new poll finds 81 percent of voters expect more Senators and Assembly members will be arrested.

Anti-corruption is the dominant topic at the New York State Legislature for the second week in a row, following bribery charges against two state lawmakers, including a former Senate leader. A new poll finds 81 percent of voters expect more senators and Assembly members will be arrested.

Anti-corruption proposals are proliferating in Albany, following two high-profile bribery scandals. Some of them focus on the long-neglected New York State Board of Elections, which hasn’t even had an investigator on staff in over a year.

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Small businesses from around the state took their concerns to legislators in Albany Wednesday. The message from leaders in the agricultural industry particularly highlighted the need for reforms to support small farms, and boost local economies upstate.

A poll finds New Yorkers are upset about recent corruption scandals in Albany, and think that Gov. Andrew Cuomo should take the lead to clean things up.

New York state lawmakers returned to work after a two-week spring break. It’s their first meeting since two lawmakers have been charged with bribery in separate corruption scandals.

Government reform groups say they are pleased that Gov. Andrew Cuomo has now proposed step one in his plan to clean up corruption in state government, following two high profile arrests of state lawmakers.

Gov. Andrew Cuomo and the state’s district attorneys are pushing for laws to make it easier to prosecute bribery and public corruption cases, in the wake of recent scandals in Albany.

Two days after a state senator was arrested for trying to bribe his way onto the New York City mayoral ballot, a state assemblyman has been accused of accepting payments to sponsor legislation that would benefit developers of an adult day care center in the Bronx.

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Gov. Andrew Cuomo laid out an ambitious agenda around economic growth, innovation and clean energy in his proposed 2013-2014 Executive Budget.

The state legislature is finished voting on a $141.3 billion state budget, with the Assembly completing it's work shortly before midnight on Thursday. The final passage occurred one week past lawmakers’ s self-imposed deadline, but three days before the spending plan was actually due to be finished. 

The New York State Senate held a rare Sunday session at the Capitol, in an attempt to get the state budget finished on time in the midst of major religious holidays.

The speaker of the New York State Assembly says a portion of New York’s gun control laws, scheduled to take effect April 15, may be postponed while talks continue on how to amend the provision.

New York state lawmakers are close to agreeing on a new spending plan that would include a deal to raise taxes on the wealthy and raise the minimum wage.  They failed to seal a pact Monday night, but say they will be back Tuesday morning to try again.

One of the areas of disagreement in the state budget centers on funding for services for New York’s developmentally disabled people. 

The New York State Senate has included raising the state’s minimum wage in its one-house budget resolution. But that’s not necessarily a signal that a wage increase is moving forward in the state spending plan.

The hearings are over; the New York State Assembly and Senate have put together their respective spending plans. Now this week, lawmakers in Albany get down to the details of hammering out a state budget that both chambers can agree on. Senate Finance Committee Chairman John DeFrancisco of Syracuse believes it can be done before the April 1 deadline.

Karen DeWitt/WRVO

A push to ban the fitness supplement DMAA brought a sports hero and parents who say they lost their son to the substance to the state Capitol.

With just three weeks and one day to go before a state budget deadline, Gov. Andrew Cuomo and legislative leaders met to assess how far they have to go to reach a deal.

Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver is one of the sponsors of a bill to ban fracking in New York state at least until May of next year.

A group pressing for public campaign financing has compiled a list of large corporations who gave hundreds of thousands of dollars to some New York lawmakers. They charge that the donations are preventing the legislature from closing what they say are corporate tax loopholes.

This week the State legislature passed and the governor signed into law a far-reaching set of prohibitions, restrictions, and tracking mechanisms regarding guns, making New York the first state to change its policies in reaction to the Sandy Hook school shootings.

In this edition of the Campbell Conversations, Onondaga County District Attorney Bill Fitzpatrick discusses how effective some of the provisions could be, some possible problems with their implementation, and which ones might be overturned through subsequent court challenge.

Karen DeWitt/WRVO

Gov. Andrew Cuomo swiftly signed New York’s new sweeping anti-gun measures into law, just minutes after the Assembly finished an over four-hour long debate and voted for the bills.  

New details are emerging on gun control legislation that lawmakers say could be passed as early as today.

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