Politics and Government

Political news

Karen Dewitt / WRVO file photo

Senate Democrats are optimistic about their chances for winning a special election in April to replace convicted ex-Senate Leader Dean Skelos .

Senate Democratic Leader Andrea Stewart Cousins, in an interview with public radio and television,  predicts the Democratic candidate in the race for the Skelos seat, Assemblyman and former prosecutor  Todd Kaminsky, will do “quite well”, and represents “a break from the past”.

“Which frankly, voters out there deserve and need,” Stewart Cousins said.

Kaminsky faces Republican Attorney Chris McGrath.

This week on the Campbell Conversations two local political analysts engage in a lively exchange with host Grant Reeher about the Iowa caucuses, the upcoming New Hampshire primary, and the remainder of the nomination process.  They also look ahead to the general election, and discuss whether the fundamental dynamics of presidential politics are changing. Chris Faricy is a political science professor at the Maxwell School of Syracuse University, and has prior experience as a field director in a Democratic congressional race.  Michael Backus is the Clerk of Oswego County, a former staffer for

governorandrewcuomo / Flickr

A left leaning thank tank is out with its assessment of Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s budget. They say there’s a lot to like and dislike about it.

Ron Deutsch is with Fiscal Policy Institute, a progressive leaning think tank in part funded by the unions. He said Cuomo deserves credit for pushing a phase in for a $15 minimum wage for all low income earners in the state.

“It would be the first in the nation,” Deutsch said. “We think now is the time to get that done.”

Tom Magnarelli / WRVO News

Syracuse Truce is a collaboration between federal, state and local law enforcement to go after gun and gang violence in the city. Their most recent effort in the past three months resulted in 27 gang members being arrested on charges varying from murder to parole violation.

Ellen Abbott / WRVO News File Photo

Two Democratic candidates running for New York's 24th Congressional District seat earned a joint endorsement Wednesday night from the Democratic parties in Cayuga, Oswego and Wayne counties. 

The counties are supporting Syracuse lawyer Steve Williams and Colleen Deacon, a former staffer for U.S. Senator Kirsten Gillibrand. Syracuse University professor Eric Kingson, who is also running for the Democratic nomination, was not endorsed.

Payne Horning / WRVO News

In a tie vote, the Democratic parties in Oswego, Cayuga and Wayne counties decided to endorse two of the three Democratic candidates in the race for New York's 24th Congressional district. 

quinn.anya / via Flickr

The Syracuse Common Council will vote Monday on prohibiting people from booting vehicles parked on private property. First Deputy Chief Joe Cecile with the Syracuse Police Department said it is a public safety issue as they have received calls on arguments over the booting.

“There’s no doubt that eventually you will have a physical alteration over one of these bootings," Cecile said. "The second reason was, there were no regulations whatsoever as far as fines, they could charge anything they wanted.”

Karen DeWitt / WRVO News

The issue of whether to tax the wealthiest New Yorkers at a higher rate is once again a topic at the State Capitol. Assembly Democrats are out with a tax plan that would redistribute some tax revenue from the richest to the poorest New Yorkers.

Meesh / Flickr

It’s been a year since Onondaga County lawmakers approved the creation of a jail oversight committee, which would be an independent commission that would review serious incidents at the Justice Center and make recommendations if necessary. Now that committee members have been approved, the group can begin work in earnest.

Karen DeWitt / WRVO News

The New York State Assembly approved a one-house bill to establish partial paid family leave in New York as Gov. Andrew Cuomo signaled he will amend his proposal to provide more money to those who take the leave.

Advocates of paid family leave, who have been lobbying on the issue for years, say movement on the matter from the Assembly Democrats and Cuomo has given them new hope. Donna Dolan leads a coalition.

Ellen Abbott / WRVO News File Photo

If campaign fundraising totals are any indication of the status of the Democratic race for New York's 24th Congressional district, it's a dead heat.

Tom Magnarelli / WRVO News

There were more questions than answers at one of the first public hearings in Onondaga County on government consolidation since a report was released in January by Consensus CNY. Syracuse city residents spoke passionately and are concerned they will have less of a voice if city and county governments merge.

Ryan Delaney / WRVO News File Photo

Syracuse is on the leading edge of using technology to deal with ways to fix a crumbling infrastructure. It’s the work of the city’s so called I-team that is bringing new technology to central New York.
 

Ellen Abbott / WRVO News

Onondaga County lawmakers are trying to figure out the future of the historic Carnegie Library building next to Columbus Circle in downtown Syracuse.In the past, there's been talk about moving some county offices there, but there’s been no movement on that issue recently.  

So Legislature Chairman Ryan McMahon wants to find out what it’s worth on the open market. He’s asking the Onondaga County Legislature to approve a 90-day request for proposal to gauge private sector interest in the building.

Tug Hill Commission

Last week, the Tug Hill Commission hired its first female executive director.

The Tug Hill is full of tiny isolated towns and villages spread out across the plateau. Supervisors of these towns are dealing with populations so small, they’re sometimes the only person on the job.  To handle anything from grant writing to balancing their town's budget, they sometimes reach out  to the Tug Hill Commission for advice. 

governorandrewcuomo

A poll finds that voters overwhelmingly support a number of Gov. andrew Cuomo’s priorities for 2016, but New Yorkers still hold mixed views about the governor himself.

The Stream: Iowa Caucuses Edition

Feb 1, 2016
Win McNamee / Getty Images

The Stream brings you all the latest in politics, this time from the Iowa caucus.

Consensus CNY

A series of public engagement meetings begins Monday regarding the Consensus commission's proposals to modernize government in Onondaga County.

One of those meetings will be at the Southwest Community Center. Executive Director Sharon Owens said this is the first of three meetings in February.

Mike Mozart / Flickr

Sales tax revenue is down for almost half of New York state’s 64 counties. Sales tax receipts were down across the state by 2.3 percent in the fourth quarter of 2015, compared to 2014.

Officials with the New York State Association of Counties say this is a troubling trend, because the fourth quarter includes holiday sales, which traditionally boost sales tax revenues. Officials don’t know exactly what’s causing the decline in spending. 

governorandrewcuomo / Flickr

Gov. Andrew Cuomo gathered together the same union coalition who has joined him to back the $15 an hour minimum wage effort in the campaign style rally for his newest cause.

“Now is the time to pass paid family leave,” Cuomo told the cheering crowd.

The governor once again invited Vice President Joe Biden, who said family leave only works if it’s subsidized.  

“The neighborhood I’m from, which is a middle class neighborhood, I don’t know anybody who can go three months without a paycheck,” Biden said.

Ed Uthman / Flickr

Some lobbyists, as well as government reform groups, say a new rule approved by the state’s ethics commission that would require them to report contact with the news media in some cases, violates First Amendment rights and would have chilling effect.

The proposal by the Joint Commission on Public Ethics (JCOPE) would require public relations consultants to file periodic reports with the commission detailing their calls to the news media if the purpose of the call is to promote an issue or point of view from a paid client.  

Ellen Abbott / WRVO News

Amid innovations that address crumbling infrastructure, creation of new low income housing and plans to synchronize traffic light timing, Syracuse Mayor Stephanie Miner, in her State of the City address Thursday night, announced plans for new fire and police classes this year.  

Courtesy Tom Dadey

Onondaga County Republican Chairman Tom Dadey is endorsing Donald Trump for president. Dadey and Trump go back a few years to 2014, when he was part of a group that met with Trump to discuss a run for governor. Trump at one point came to Syracuse for a GOP fundraiser, and Dadey has been a fan ever since.

"Our economy is sluggish, we’re not respected in the world and we need somebody who is going to be a good strong leader, and I believe that is Donald Trump," Dadey said.

He said he’s not the only one in central New York with that opinion.

Tom Magnarelli / WRVO News

Currently in New York state, sprinklers are required in apartment buildings and certain large homes. But the New York State Association of Fire Chiefs think more newly constructed homes should be built with sprinklers. For now, they are pushing for new townhouses to be included.

One minute, 38 seconds was the amount of time it took for a sprinkler to go off in a room during a controlled burn demonstration at the Baldwinsville Fire Department. In a second room without a sprinkler, flames engulfed everything within 3 minutes, 30 seconds.

Karen DeWitt / WRVO News

 

New York State Education Commissioner MaryEllen Elia spent nearly four hours before the legislative budget committees Wednesday. Though there is currently a moment of calm as the state pulls back from some of the more controversial parts of the Common Core standards, her testimony revealed potential trouble later in the school year if the test boycott movement continues.

Ryan Delaney / WRVO News File Photo

One topic that’s missing from the Consensus CNY Commission’s 80-page report on government modernization released earlier this week, are suggestions to modernize the way schools are run. 

Consensus has developed a list of over 50 proposals to modernize government in Onondaga County, including creation of a new county-wide metropolitan government that would merge the county with the city of Syracuse. 

Ellen Abbott / WRVO News

Change in the way government is organized could be on the way to Onondaga County. The first step towards a municipal government that includes both the city of Syracuse and Onondaga County has taken place with the release of the Consensus CNY commission’s preliminary report.

Payne Horning / WRVO News

Oswego officials are wrestling with how to handle street parking during winter months. An unsuccessful alternate side parking plan from 2015 prevented snowplows from effectively clearing city roads, leading Oswego's new mayor to implement an overnight parking ban this year. But, the city's residents are not satisfied with the move.  

governorandrewcuomo / Flickr

Tensions between upstate state senators and the mayor of New York City were highlighted during a budget hearing on aid to local governments in Albany when lawmakers questioned the mayor for more than five hours.

Karen DeWitt / WRVO News

It’s been more than 40 years since the Roe v. Wade decision legalizing a women’s right to choose an abortion, but advocates say New York lawmakers have yet to translate the provisions of the landmark Supreme Court decision into law in the state.

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