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New York state legalized gay marriage four years ago. Today, state leaders reacted with enthusiasm to the Supreme Court ruling.

In honor of the court ruling guaranteeing the constitutional right to same sex marriage, Gov. Andrew Cuomo says the lights on the World Trade center tower will be lit in rainbow colors on Sunday night.  

Cuomo, who arm twisted state Senators to win the same sex marriage vote in 2011, said in a statement that the court “is on the right side of history."

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Gov. Andrew Cuomo and leaders of the legislature finally settled all of their differences to finalize the legislation to end the session.

The measure, colloquially known as “the big ugly," contains a four-year extension of the rent regulations, and a corresponding continuation of a property tax cap, as well as new rebate checks sent to homeowners just before Election Day 2016.

Tom Magnarelli / WRVO News

 

Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand (D-NY) was in Syracuse this week promoting legislation that will give employers a $5,000 tax credit for training workers in an apprenticeship program in high-demand industries. Gillibrand said as the number of high-skilled jobs increase, employers are struggling to fill them.

 

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The legislature ​hoped to pass final end of session bills Thursday, two days after a framework deal was announced by legislative leaders and Gov. Andrew Cuomo. The session is limping to a close, after a year that’s seen the resignation of both leaders of the legislature over corruption scandals, and ongoing federal probes.

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Nearly one week after the legislative session was supposed to end, Gov. Andrew Cuomo and legislative leaders have announced a deal on all major end of session issues, including renewal of New York City’s rent laws and a related property tax cap, as well as a new tax rebate program for property owners.

Tom Magnarelli / WRVO News

Nikki Haley, the governor of South Carolina, and other Republican lawmakers in the state are calling for the confederate flag to be removed from the state capitol. The decision was made after the recent tragedy in Charleston where nine people were killed in an apparently race-motivated shooting in an historic black church.

Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand (D-NY), speaking in Syracuse Monday, said a national conversation about the inspiration of the attack and the meaning of the confederate flag is needed.

Karen DeWitt / WRVO

The fourth and final hearing was held by a board specially appointed by Gov. Andrew Cuomo to consider raising the minimum wage for fast food workers in New York.

Outside, supporters of raising the minimum wage to $15 an hour held a rally.

Inside, dozens of fast food workers were among those who testified at the last hearing held by Cuomo’s wage board, which is examining whether to raise the state’s minimum wage beyond the current rate of increase to $9 an hour by the end of 2015.

NY Assembly Video (file)

Legislative leaders continued meeting behind closed doors with Gov. Andrew Cuomo, one day before lawmakers are scheduled to return to the Capitol. The legislature extended its session for another week after failing to reach agreement on how to renew New York City’s rent laws. The laws are temporarily renewed until Tuesday.

Assembly Speaker Carl Heastie, following talks with the governor, says it’s a hopeful sign that he, Cuomo and Senate Leader John Flanagan are still in communication.

“We’re still talking,” Heastie said. “Things are better, but we’re not close.”

Ellen Abbott/WRVO file photo

With a Supreme Court ruling expected in the coming days, the future of the Affordable Care Act is in the hands of the justices. One local lawmaker expects there will be changes to the controversial health care law, one way or the other.

Rep. Richard Hanna (R-Barneveld) says he has no idea which way the court will come down on King v. Burwell. That’s the case that could cripple the law, especially in the 36 states that aren’t subsidizing health care on their own, but letting the federal government do it.  

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It turns out the legislative session will not be ending as planned and will continue on for at least another week.

After a week of gridlock, Gov. Andrew Cuomo and legislative leaders decided to take a break and adjourn for five days. Before they left, they renewed New York City’s expired rent laws, but only until Tuesday.

Baldomero Fernandez

  What has been the role, not of liberalism, but of the genuine Left, in recent American politics?  What is its agenda, and its future?  In this edition of the Campbell Conversations, host Grant Reeher talks with The Nation's editor, Katrina vanden Heuvel, on the magazine's 150th anniversary.  They cover domestic politics and policy, inequality, and America's role in the world.  They also look at the curre

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​The legislative session is now likely to go into next week, as ​Gov. Andrew Cuomo and ​lawmakers ​have agreed to renew New York City’s rent laws for five days, ​​as they ​struggle to reach final deals on that and other remaining issues.  

The leader of the state Senate, John Flanagan, said he’d allow senators to go home for a few days, after they finish their business Thursday evening, even though there are no agreements with the Assembly or Cuomo on the New York City rent laws, a related tax break for real estate developers, and an education tax credit.

Karen DeWitt / WRVO News

Leaders of all of the state’s local governments, as well as unions representing teachers and public workers, are warning state lawmakers not to simply renew the state’s property tax cap without some changes.

Karen DeWitt / WRVO News

The legislative session is expected to  continue for at least longer than scheduled, as Gov. Andrew Cuomo and legislative leaders remain gridlocked on extending New York City’s rent laws, and have not settled a host of other issues. The session was supposed to end Wednesday.

Assembly Speaker Carl Heastie, following a private meeting with Cuomo, says he expects the session to last at least another day, as they continue to struggle with renewing the now expired rent regulations.

Karen DeWitt / WRVO News

Twelve days after two convicted killers escaped from a state prison near Plattsburgh, some state lawmakers are considering new legislation and holding hearings to correct what they see as flaws in the state’s prisons system that  may have contributed to the break out.

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The New York state legislature is due to adjourn later this week, but there’s still no agreement by Assembly Democrats on an education tax credit sought by Gov. Andrew Cuomo that would allow donors a tax credit when they give up to a million dollars for private school scholarships and some public school programs.

Ryan Delaney / WRVO file photo

Rep. John Katko (R-Camillus) has joined the movement in Congress to make the NCAA more accountable. 

Katko is among five House of Representatives members introducing a bill that would reform the way the NCAA oversees college sports. The legislation would require the NCAA to be more transparent in how it deals with disciplinary cases, which include investigations that sometimes go on years. There would also be some sort of legal avenue for schools or athletes accused of transgressions.  

Karen Dewitt / WRVO

The New York City rent laws expired Monday night as Gov. Andrew Cuomo and legislators continued to negotiate on the rent laws, a related pretty tax break for developers, and an education tax credit.   

Assembly Democrats approved a temporary 48-hour extension of the laws, which affect around one million apartments. But rather than pass a temporary extension, Senate Republicans approved an 8-year extension of the laws late Monday night.

Julia Botero / WRVO News

The race for mayor in Watertown is heating up. Three candidates have thrown their hat in the ring to run against incumbent Jeff Graham in November's election. 

Stephen Jennings, Joseph  Butler and Mayor Jeffrey Graham work together on a weekly basis. Both Jennings and Butler are city council members.  Both believe the city needs a new leader at the top.

“There is no vision to me. That is my great frustration and I feel that the things I envision are not going to be enacted in this current council. I think we need a change,” Jennings said.

Tom Magnarelli / WRVO News

Lyme disease has been spreading in upstate New York for the past few years. For example, there were 57 cases in Oswego County in 2014 compared to just five cases in 2009. Sen. Charles Schumer (D-NY) has introduced legislation that he says would help prevent the disease and educate the public.

Debi Collins found a bullseye rash on her arm, six weeks after she had been working outside one day. Her doctor told her they didn't have Lyme disease in Madison County.

Karen DeWitt / WRVO News

The final week of New York’s legislative session begins Monday, and so far, Gov. Andrew Cuomo and lawmakers have still not come to agreement on a number of major laws that expire.  

New York City’s rent laws, which impact over one million apartments, sunset at midnight. They are tied, through legislation, to a property tax cap important to suburbanites and upstaters. Also set to expire -- a tax break for large real estate developers who agree to set aside some of their projects for affordable housing, and mayoral control of the New York City schools.

Tom Magnarelli / WRVO News

The Oneida Indian Nation, which operates the Turning Stone Casino in Verona, opened the new Yellow Brick Road Casino in Chittenango earlier this month. Madison County is pushing to receive a percentage of the new revenue New York state is getting from the Oneidas.

Madison County Board Chairman John Becker admits they didn't see this coming.

governorandrewcuomo / Flickr

Gov. Andrew Cuomo is promising police and firefighters in New York City a better deal on their disability benefits, as a budget watch dog group warns against the proliferation of end of session bills that give union workers more benefits.

Cuomo made a rare appearance at a rally, held by firefighters and police union members from New York City, to support their push for better disability benefits.

governorandrewcuomo / Flickr

Gov. Andrew Cuomo acknowledges that the cloud of corruption over the Capitol is making it harder to achieve end of session deals. Cuomo says currently, there are no deals on any end of session issues, including renewal of New York City rent laws and a related property tax cap, or an education tax credit the governor is pushing.

The governor says the renewal of a tax break for real estate developers, known as 421a, has become problematic, because any changes to the law benefits “some political interest.”

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Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand (D-NY) said she has “serious concerns” with the way U.S. Border Patrol agents conduct roadside checkpoints in New York's North Country. The viral video of a St. Lawrence County woman being tased by agents last month drew her attention.

-JvL- / Flickr

One of the ethics reforms agreed to in the state budget has still not been passed by state Assembly Democrats, and minority party Republicans say they are worried that the bill will be delayed, or watered down.

When the state budget was approved in late March, Gov. Andrew Cuomo and legislative leaders announced some reform measures, including changing the state’s constitution to deny government pensions to lawmakers convicted of felonies.

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The chairwoman of the Assembly Education Committee says an education tax credit bill pressed by Gov. Andrew Cuomo is not appropriate for the state at this time.

Karen DeWitt / WRVO News

Lawmakers are struggling to reach end of session deals, as the corruption scandals and on going federal investigations seem to be hampering their progress.  

With just over one week left until the session is scheduled to end, lawmakers seem far apart on many key issues. New York City’s rent regulations expire next week, along with a property tax break for real estate developers who agree to set aside some of their project for affordable housing, known as 421a.  

stgermh / Flickr

It’s the second to the last week of the legislative session, and Gov. Andrew Cuomo and state lawmakers still have a long way to go before they can agree on key issues.

Rent regulations and the mayor’s control of public schools in New York City expire in June 15, as well as a tax break for real estate developers who set aside a portion of their project for affordable housing. The rent laws are tied, through legislation, to an issue important to suburban and upstate residents, the continuation of a property tax cap.

governorandrewcuomo / Flickr

New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo wants to extend the state’s property tax cap. The law limits annual tax increases, and it’s set to expire next year. Cuomo released a report last week that said the cap has saved more than $800 for the typical New Yorker over the past three years. He calls that success.

But Dryden town supervisor Mary Ann Sumner wants Cuomo to look back a few more years. She says in 2008 when the recession hit, Dryden cut taxes to give people a break. The town leaned on money it had in reserve instead.

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