Politics and Government

Political news

Ellen Abbott / WRVO News

Rep. John Katko (R-Camillus) Friday joined local families and professionals who deal with the opioid epidemic to applaud passage of a sweeping piece of federal legislation meant to deal with that crisis.

Payne Horning / WRVO News

The city of Oswego has won the state's Downtown Revitalization Initiative award for the central New York region. The competition gives $10 million to 10 communities throughout New York.

In Oswego Thursday, Gov. Andrew Cuomo congratulated Oswego's leaders for developing what he called a smart plan that can help a city and region scarred by the loss of manufacturing.

Tom Magnarelli / WRVO News

Onondaga County District Attorney William Fitzpatrick announced that 11 people have been arrested for inciting a riot at the Father’s Day shooting in Syracuse, during which an officer fired her gun and one man was killed. The officer responded to a shootout that included 37 shots fired from multiple guns, turning a large block party into chaos.

Tom Magnarelli / WRVO News

The Syracuse Regional Airport Authority will be reimbursing the city three million dollars in a settlement with the Syracuse Police Benevolent Association for lost wages from 2012-2014. The airport authority did not have the power to hire a private security company when it did.

Ellen Abbott / WRVO News

The Onondaga County Legislature passed a resolution urging the state Assembly to take up a bill passed by the Senate that prohibits any new unfunded mandates. Legislator Casey Jordan took up the measure and said the Senate's bill would require funding of any state program or expenditure item that impacts lower levels of government, to be paid for by the state.

Karen DeWitt / WRVO News

Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s administration is facing greater scrutiny over handling of the Hoosick Falls water crisis. In recent days a Congressional committee opened an inquiry, and both the state Assembly and Senate will hold hearings into the water contamination of the Rennselear County village.

Tom Magnarelli / WRVO News

Gov. Andrew Cuomo has been traveling the state, promoting a new law that provides free breast cancer screenings. Cuomo made a stop in Syracuse last week with his partner Sandra Lee who was diagnosed with breast cancer last year. Lee is now cancer free. Cuomo credits that to early detection of the cancer. The new law is meant for more people to get screenings.

NY state officials tout increase in SNAP eligibility

Jul 8, 2016
Randy Gorbman / WXXI News

State and local officials went to Rochester's Public Market Thursday to tout the fact that more New Yorkers are now eligible for nutritional benefits under the SNAP program, what used to be called food stamps.

Ellen Abbott / WRVO News File Photo

State Sen. John DeFrancisco (R-Syracuse) said a report released late last Friday only deepens his skepticism about Start-Up NY, the Cuomo administration’s economic development program that offers tax breaks to companies that set up shop in certain educational zones. A report on the multi-million dollar program was released three months late and showed just over 400 jobs were created in two years. Defrancisco said a lack of transparency about the program is one of the problems.

Tom Magnarelli / WRVO News

It was Assemblywoman Pamela Hunter’s (D-Syracuse) first legislative session in Albany this year. The assemblywoman said while much was accomplished at the end of the session in June, many issues she is still pressing for many issues that were left on the table.

Paid family leave, increasing the minimum wage and requiring schools test for lead in the water are three big issues Hunter was happy to see passed in this year’s legislative session.

governorandrewcuomo / Flickr (File Photo)

One of the centerpieces of Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s economic development plans has created just a small number of jobs so far, but the governor is urging patience.

Wallyg / Flickr

Some homeless advocates are dismayed by what they say is Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s failure at the end of the legislative session to follow through with promises to fund five years of new supportive housing and other services for the homeless. Their complaints come as the state comptroller recently issued a scathing report on the state of homeless shelters across New York.

Ellen Abbott / WRVO News

Changes in the field of developmental disabilities are coming fast and furious, and they are affecting some mainstay programs offered by local agencies.

The last seismic shift in the world of developmental disabilities happened over 40 years ago, when hundreds of thousands of disabled New Yorkers were deinstitutionalized. A new state-supported system of programs and supports for families was born, with things like sheltered workshops, which are supervised workplaces, filling the gap.

Payne Horning / WRVO News

The National Park Service (NPS) has agreed to complete a reconnaissance study on Oswego's Fort Ontario and Safe Haven Holocaust Refugee Museum. Rep. John Katko (R-Camillus), who pushed for the study, said it is another positive development in the community's attempt to elevate the two historic sites to national park status. He has authored a bill that, if passed, could make that a reality.

Tom Magnarelli / WRVO News

Tuesday is primary day in New York State and central New York Republicans and Democrats can vote in two competitive congressional primaries. The two moderately leaning districts could see more far-left and far-right candidates in November.

governorandrewcuomo / Flickr

Gov. Andrew Cuomo is trying to focus on positive actions in his public events in recent days as a federal investigation into his administration’s economic development programs continues. 

Tom Magnarelli / WRVO News File Photo

New York State’s STAR Rebate Program has a new wrinkle. State lawmakers approved changes this year to the property tax discount program that affects new homeowners across the state, who will now get a rebate check instead of a credit on their tax bill. It applies to all people who have purchased property after March 1 in New York state.

Syracuse Common Councilor Nadar Maroun said the city assessor has sent out about 800 letters to new property owners who would be affected by the change. It will also be reflected in tax bills that are going out this week.

Payne Horning / WRVO News

The last time Sen. Bernie Sanders (D-VT) campaigned in Syracuse, he did so on behalf of his own presidential bid. Even though he has not yet conceded the race to Secretary Hillary Clinton, he spoke on Friday about his desire to shape the future of the party as an advocate rather than a candidate.

WRVO News File Photo

The race for New York’s 24th congressional district has been identified as one that could be quite competitive.  Three Democrats are vying to challenge Republican incumbent John Katko in Tuesday’s federal primary.  This week on the Campbell Conversations, host Grant Reeher follows up his earlier discussions with Colleen Deacon, Eric Kingson and Steve Williams, with a conversation with the incumbent they will be running against in November, Rep.

Gov. Andrew Cuomo expressed doubt about a proposed plan for New York state to take over the financially impaired FitzPatrick Nuclear Power Plant in Oswego County. State Sen. Patty Ritchie (R-Oswegathcie) and other state leaders have suggested that the plant could be saved if New York purchased or seized it using eminent domain.

That could potentially buy enough time for FitzPatrick to become profitable again if the New York Public Service Commission approves some nuclear plant subsidies this summer, called zero emission credits.

Ryan Delaney / WRVO News File Photo

Rep. John Katko (R-Camillus) still has not endorsed presumptive GOP presidential nominee Donald Trump, and says he won't unless Trump tones down his rhetoric and divisiveness. 

Previously, Katko had said that Trump would have to "earn my endorsement." Speaking with Grant Reeher on WRVO'S Campbell Conversations, Katko says Trump hasn't been doing a very good job of that.

"I'm very concerned about his tone and  his rhetoric and the divisiveness of his message and I think it's the wrong thing for the country," said Katko. 

Tom Magnarelli / WRVO News

Gov. Andrew Cuomo was in Onondaga County on yesterday to sign into law a bill that holds banks accountable for vacant or abandoned properties seized through foreclosures. These “zombie properties” as they are known, can bring down the value of other houses in the same neighborhood.

Standing in front of one of these “zombie properties” in the village of Solvay, with weeds creeping up on an unkempt lawn, Cuomo said it was just another example of banks avoiding their responsibilities.

Ellen Abbott / WRVO News (file photo)

Democratic congressional candidate Eric Kingson, one of three Democrats running in a primary Tuesday for the Democratic nomination in New York's 24th District, will get some high-profile help Friday. 

Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt) will appear at a rally in Syracuse for Kingson, who is competing in a primary against fellow Democrats Colleen Deacon and Steve Williams. Sanders endorsed Kingson's run for Congress earlier this month, and has appointed Kingson to a committee that will help write the platform for next month's Democratic National Convention. 

Ellen Abbott / WRVO News

The city of Syracuse is hoping to get more kids to the library this summer by forgiving overdue fines of cardholders 18 and younger who live in the city. Mayor Stephanie Miner said it’ll cost the city $7,000 this year.

Tom Magnarelli / WRVO News File Photo

Business leaders, particularly those in upstate New York, say the recently concluded 2016 legislative session was the worst for small businesses in quite some time.

-JvL- / Flickr

What began in January as an ambitious reform package to address a wave of corruption at the Capitol, proposed by Gov. Andrew Cuomo, dwindled to just two proposals by the time the session closed in the pre-dawn hours of Saturday morning. Cuomo had proposed a number of changes in January to react to a wave of corruption that led to the convictions of the two former leader of the legislature on felony corruption charges.

Payne Horning / WRVO News

The five Oswego County legislators who failed to fill out their oath of office cards on time will likely not have to run for their seats again this fall. A bill forgiving their mistake passed both chambers of the New York State Legislature and is awaiting the governor's signature or veto.

stgermh / Flickr

State lawmakers wrapped up the 2016 legislative session at around 5 a.m. Saturday morning, agreeing to take steps to cancel the pensions of convicted lawmakers in the future, legalizing daily fantasy sports and extending New York City’s mayoral control law for another year.

Jason Smith / WRVO News (file photo)

The House of Representatives Committee on Natural Resources has approved a bill that would launch a study to determine if Fort Ontario and the Safe Haven Holocaust Refugee Museum in Oswego should be elevated to national park status.

The legislation, which was authored by central New York Rep. John Katko, passed unanimously out of the committee and now heads to the full House. The 260-year-old Fort Ontario has been involved in several major American wars and the Safe Haven museum commemorates the 986 Jewish refugees who were granted shelter at the fort during world war two.

Karen Dewitt / WRVO News

The state legislature was closing in on an end-of-session deal that would strip convicted lawmakers of their pensions, extend mayoral control of New York City schools for one more year, and legalize daily fantasy sports gambling.

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