Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s commission to study tax cuts has missed its December 6 deadline to report it’s findings, after facing controversy over former Gov. George Pataki’s desire to cut income taxes for all wage earners, including the wealthy.
Although the tax commission has now bogged down over co-chairman George Pataki’s push to lower income tax rates, its original charge was to look at ways to lower New York’s highest in the nation property taxes, as well as find ways to reduce business taxes.
One of the most controversial recommendations in Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s anti-corruption commission report released this week is to enact public financing of campaigns for statewide elections.
The majority of the 25 Moreland Act commissioners say a public campaign finance system modeled on New York City’s matching donor system is the only way to curb the undue influence of big money donors in state government.
Advocates and lawmakers at the New York Capitol are reacting to Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s anti-corruption commission report. It offers scathing criticism of what the commission says is a corrupt culture in Albany, and recommends numerous reforms.
The Moreland Act Commissioners offer withering criticism of what they say is a pervasive culture of illegal corruption and what they call legalized bribery ingrained in a campaign finance system where large donors hold sway over which legislation gets approved, and which bills are suppressed.
The commission that’s been delving into public corruption in New York state will release a preliminary report to Gov. Andrew Cuomo this weekend. The Moreland Commission, appointed by Cuomo, has held several hearings on the issue, and has been investigating the connection between private money and public officials, with an eye towards making policy proposals. One high ranking New York state senator has concerns though whether the commission’s work will be tangled in a question of separation of powers.
Gov. Andrew Cuomo has some harsh words for state lawmakers who are fighting his commission in court regarding subpoenas that would force legislators to reveal their outside business with private legal clients.
Cuomo says state lawmakers fighting the subpoenas are acting like they are concealing something.
“Those that have nothing to hide, disclose,” Cuomo said. “Those that don’t, have an issue.”
Is Gov. Andrew Cuomo backing away from his support for the new Common Core curriculum in schools? In recent days, Cuomo seems to have cooled from his initial endorsement of the rapid transition to the adoption of the national education standards.
Everywhere Cuomo goes these days, he’s dogged by questions from reporters about what’s widely perceived as a rocky start up for New York state’s adoption of the new national Common Core standards for school children.
Cuomo was asked essentially the same question in recent days in stops from Buffalo to Lake Placid.
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.
Taxes and tax reform are likely to be a major topic in the next legislative session, which begins in seven weeks. Gov. Andrew Cuomo is relying on two separate commissions for ideas about tax changes, while progressive groups and Republicans in the State Senate are also weighing in.
Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s approval rating is the lowest it’s been since taking office, according to a new poll. The Siena College survey also finds many New Yorkers are split regarding the implementation of the new Common Core standards in schools.
The Siena College poll finds only 44% of voters like the job that Cuomo is doing as governor. A small majority, 56 percent, say he’s doing a fair or poor job. Siena’s Steve Greenberg says it’s the first time the governor’s approval rating has dipped below 50 percent.
Sen. Charles Schumer says he is glad President Barack Obama is keeping his promise to Americans by allowing them to keep insurance plans that would have been canceled for an extra year. The president announced yesterday that even if insurances plans do not comply with the Affordable Care Act, policyholders are now able to keep those plans through 2014.
A coalition of unions and government reform groups are calling for a ban on standardized testing for New York’s school children in second grade and younger.
In a teleconference, United Federation of Teachers President Michael Mulgrew said it’s absurd that the groups are even in the position of calling for a ban on standardized testing for children in pre-kindergarten through the second grade. Mulgrew and others say the tests are inappropriate for four to seven year olds, and should never have been implemented in the first place.
New York state’s Teacher of the Year testified at a state Senate hearing that even she could not receive high marks in her teacher evaluation process, due to what she and others say is the dysfunctional implementation of the new Common Core standards.
Advocacy groups are encouraged by recent statements made by the co-chairman of Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s anti-corruption commission, who says he now favors public financing of political campaigns.
Syracuse-area Onondaga County District Attorney William Fitzpatrick is the co-chairman of Cuomo’s Moreland Act Commission, and says he has become a convert to using public funds to finance political campaigns.
NPR political analyst Cokie Roberts is also an author of historical non-fiction books. And she will be speaking in central New York Thursday evening at the Seward House in Auburn. WRVO's Catherine Loper spoke with Roberts from her home in the Washington, D.C. area about the role of women in American history and in politics today.
Now that this year’s elections are over, the political world is gearing up for the 2014 contests. Gov. Andrew Cuomo is expected to seek another term, and so far no one has officially said they will run against him.
Cuomo sounded like he was in campaign mode the day after Election Day, when he celebrated the passage of a casino gambling amendment that he pushed.
“Are we fired up?” Cuomo asked a cheering crowd.
Cuomo focused on an important issue for any candidate - economic development - which he says the new casinos will bring.
Now that the elections are over, state budget deadlines are rapidly approaching. Comptroller Thomas DiNapoli has released a largely positive budget outlook for the new year, though he warns of some uncertainties.
Under reforms adopted a few years ago, state officials including the comptroller, are required to start the budget process, which ends in late March, even earlier.
DiNapoli is out with his report, and he says the state budget is largely in balance.
Onondaga County DA and Moreland Commission Co-chair Bill Fitzpatrick (left) speaking with Campbell Conversations host Grant Reeher.
The Moreland Commission to Investigate Public Corruption is already making waves in Albany, as the media and the public react to what's coming out at its public hearings. In this edition of the Campbell Conversations, Grant Reeher talks with the Commission's Co-chair, Onondaga County District Attorney Bill Fitzpatrick, about the Commission's work and its possible impact on the state's politics. He also addresses the charge that the Governor Andrew Cuomo is meddling in the Commission's affairs.
Gov. Andrew Cuomo did not lose any time in publicizing a win on a gambling expansion amendment in Tuesday’s voting. The governor made two public appearances in regions that are now authorized to build resort style casinos.
In what amounted to a post election victory lap, Cuomo celebrated the passage of the casino gambling amendment in the Catskills with a crowd of business, labor and local government officials. He called it a huge win.
“This is a game changer,” Cuomo said. “It means jobs. It means business. It means getting the economy running.”
Syracuse and Onondaga County's local political landscape remains pretty much intact after yesterday's election. Republicans rule the suburbs and County government; while democrats maintain a stranglehold over Syracuse city hall. Mayor Stephanie Miner won re-election easily with 68 percent of the vote against two third-party challengers, and got a surprise congratulations call from Washington.
Two of the six amendments on Tuesday’s ballot deal with land swaps in New York’s Adirondack Park. One of the proposals has split environmental groups.
Proposition 4 would clear up some land disputes for property owners on Raquette Lake, in Hamilton County. It would allow the state to give clear titles to around 200 homes along the lake. In exchange, the landowners would contribute to a fund to buy alternative land for the Adirondack forest preserve. There is no organized opposition to that land swap.
Credit License Some rights reserved by Håkan Dahlström / Creative Commons License
There are six amendments on Tuesday’s ballot, ranging from whether New York should allow seven resort-style gambling casinos, to whether judges should be allowed to serve on the bench until the age of 80. Here’s a rundown:
Proposition 1 has received the most attention. It would amend the state’s constitution to change the prohibition on gambling casinos, allowing up to seven resort style gambling centers to be built. A coalition of business and labor groups has been mailing brochures out to voters, and running ads.