Politics and Government

9:01am

Tue February 4, 2014
Politics and Government

Hanna seeks re-election, says there's more to be done in Congress

RichardHannaforCongress.com

Rep. Richard Hanna says he's seeking a third term in Congress because there's more work to be done.

The Republican announced his re-election intentions late last week. He was first elected to serve what's now New York's 22nd Congressional District in 2010. Hanna is from Barneveld, just north of Utica, and represents that city as well as Binghamton and areas in between.

He says there's a lot of opportunities in Congress right now.

Read more

7:29am

Tue February 4, 2014
Politics and Government

Few details forthcoming on fracking health review

Anti-fracking protesters from Frack Action attend the Joint Legislative Fiscal Committee's budget hearing on Monday, where Gov. Andrew Cuomo's Health Commissioner Dr. Nirav Shah answered questions.
Matt Ryan NY Now

Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s health commissioner was questioned by lawmakers at a recent budget hearing about his ongoing review of health effects related to hydrofracking, but Dr. Nirav Shah provided few details.

State lawmakers peppered Shah with questions about the ongoing health review on hydrofracking, which critics say has proceeded in near secrecy.

Assemblywoman Linda Rosenthal, from Manhattan’s Upper West Side, asked Shah what he’s been doing since the review was announced a year and a half ago.

Read more

7:17am

Mon February 3, 2014
Politics and Government

Fracking likely to be a topic at budget hearing

Anti-fracking protesters attend an environmental budget hearing in late January.
Karen Dewitt WRVO

The state’s health commissioner is scheduled to testify before the legislative fiscal committees Monday morning, and he’s sure to be asked about a long delayed health study on hydrofracking.

Dr. Nirav Shah, who was appointed by Gov. Andrew Cuomo as the state’s health commissioner, is expected to be asked by state lawmakers about a study he’s conducting on the potential health effects of natural gas drilling. The review has been going on for a year and a half now, and until it’s completed, hydrofracking is on hold in New York.

Read more

7:11am

Mon February 3, 2014
Politics and Government

Is Cuomo's budget surplus for real?

Gov. Andrew Cuomo has been taking credit for a $2 billion budget surplus in his new spending plan. But critics say that claim is not entirely accurate because the windfall does not actually materialize for another two years, and only if certain conditions are met.

Cuomo is fond of comparing the differences in the state’s finances since taking office three years ago.

Read more

7:30am

Fri January 31, 2014
Politics and Government

Village of Bridgewater faces decision whether to dissolve

Gino Geruntino WRVO

Nestled in the rolling hills of southern Oneida County sits the Village of Bridgewater. To the average eye, it looks the part of most upstate villages, but come March, the village and its two centuries of history could dissolve into a thing of the past.

Gary Comstock has been mayor of Bridgewater since the 1990s, but because of financial struggles, he wants to dissolve the village. he says the time has never been better to merge with the surrounding town, especially following Gov. Andrew Cuomo's clarion call for streamlining state and local governments.
 

Read more

5:20pm

Wed January 29, 2014
Politics and Government

Maffei, Hanna positive about State of the Union

Central New York congressmen are generally reacting positively to President Barack Obama's State of the Union address. Fellow democrat and Syracuse-area representative Dan Maffei said he agrees with the president that Washington should focus on creating new jobs and expanding economic opportunities.

Read more

7:10am

Tue January 28, 2014
Politics and Government

Mayors testify at annual Tin Cup Day in Albany

Gov. Andrew Cuomo and New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio talk during a panel discussion.
Office of Gov. Andrew Cuomo Flickr

Mayors from around the state -- including Syracuse Mayor Stephanie Miner -- testified before the state legislative fiscal committees. In what’s traditionally known as Tin Cup Day, many asked for more money, while others asked for authorization to collect more money from their citizens.

First up was New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio, who came armed with a new report that he says shows how he could enact universal access to pre-kindergarten at a “rapid pace,” in an expansion that he calls one of the largest in the nation’s history.

Read more

3:22pm

Mon January 27, 2014
Politics and Government

Investigation launched into student debt relief industry

Some rights reserved by Marsmettnn Tallahassee

Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s newly formed Student Protection Unit has launched an investigation into the student debt relief industry.

Led by the state Department of Financial Services (DFS), it’s designed to be a consumer watchdog for New York students. And, one day after being established in the 2014 Executive Budget address, the unit issued subpoenas to 13 companies in its first official action.

Read more

7:51am

Mon January 27, 2014
Politics and Government

Cuomo's budget reads like reelection agenda

Office of Gov. Andrew Cuomo

Gov. Andrew Cuomo faces the voters in November, and his budget plan, with many of the major initiatives phased in over the next few years, can be viewed as a blueprint for the governor’s reelection.

Many of the major components in Cuomo’s budget -- including universal pre-kindergarten and business tax cuts -- take three to four years to be fully phased in. Even the property tax freeze is a multi-year proposal.

Implicit in the plan’s success is that Cuomo remains governor for the next few years to carry out all of the proposals.

Read more

4:03pm

Sun January 26, 2014
Politics and Government

Congressman Dan Maffei on The Campbell Conversations

Cong. Dan Maffei, at left, speaks with Campbell Conversations host Grant Reeher

In 2012, the voters in the 24th Congressional district gave Dan Maffei a second chance when they chose him to replace Ann Marie Buerkle, after she had defeated him just two years before.  Now a year in to his new term in office, Maffei sits down with host Grant Reeher to discuss unemployment benefits, economic inequality, Obamacare, Afghanistan, and whether Congress is becoming more functional.

Read more

8:11am

Thu January 23, 2014
Politics and Government

State groups respond to Cuomo's budget plan

Gov. Andrew Cuomo delivered his annual budget address Tuesday. (File photo)
Office of Gov. Andrew Cuomo

Reactions are pouring in after Gov. Andrew Cuomo announced his 2014 budget plan, ranging from praise to criticism.

Business groups are among the happiest so far with the governor's budget. The Business Council of New York swtate, reacting to Cuomo’s calls for a corporate tax cut, a faster phase out of an energy tax and a reduction in the estate tax and property taxes, say they applaud the governor’s continued commitment to improve the state’s business climate.

Read more

9:13pm

Tue January 21, 2014
Politics and Government

Cuomo's budget phases in pre-K, tax cuts

Gov. Andrew Cuomo delivers his budget speech Tuesday.
Office of Gov. Andrew Cuomo

Gov. Andrew Cuomo released his state budget Tuesday. The $137.2 billion dollar spending plan includes more money for schools, including a phase in of funding for universal pre-kindergarten programs. It would also freeze property taxes for two years -- if local governments cooperate.

The governor’s budget, which includes a 3.1 percent increase in school aid, a two-year property tax freeze and phased-in business tax cuts, offers something for everyone in a year where Cuomo and all 213 members of the legislature are up for reelection.

Read more

8:32am

Tue January 21, 2014
Politics and Government

Siena poll shows Cuomo gaining popularity

Gov. Andrew Cuomo is beginning 2014 with high numbers, according to a recently released Siena College poll.

The governor has regained some lost ground, and now is viewed favorably by 66 percent of New Yorkers. Cuomo would also beat potential GOP opponents, Donald Trump and Westchester County Executive Rob Astorino, by almost 50 points, says Siena’s Steve Greenberg.

“He’s governor is sitting pretty,” said Greenberg. “His numbers, favorability, job performance, reelect, are the best they’ve been in about a year.”

Read more

8:07am

Tue January 21, 2014
Politics and Government

Cuomo expected to cover education, tax cuts and campaign finance reform in state budget

Gov. Andrew Cuomo during the State of the State address on Jan. 8.
Office of Gov. Andrew Cuomo

Gov. Andrew Cuomo releases his state budget proposal Tuesday afternoon, and many will be watching to see what it contains and how the numbers will work.

Read more

3:47pm

Mon January 20, 2014
Politics and Government

Rep. Maffei calls for investigation into electronic monitoring devices

To help prevent future electronic monitoring device failures, Rep. Dan Maffei (D-Syracuse) is calling on the federal Government Accountability Office to investigate ways to improve the system.

During the Congressman's "Discuss it with Dan" meeting in Oswego last Friday, Maffei explained why he thinks it's necessary to look for more ways to improve the system.

Read more

4:40pm

Sun January 19, 2014
Politics and Government

Rosalind Barnett on The Campbell Conversations

Rosalind Barnett
Brandeis University

In a recently published book, Brandeis University researcher Rosalind Barnett argues that there is a new “soft war” on women, which is reinforcing gender inequality and harming not only women, but also men and the general economy.  This war is being fueled in part by a growing “myth” that women have largely accomplished their historic struggle for equality.  In this edition of the Campbell Conversations, Grant Reeher explores those arguments with Barnett, the co-author of 

Read more

2:43pm

Fri January 17, 2014
Politics and Government

Assembly leader now calling for special elections to fill vacancies

Wallyg Flickr

Some top state lawmakers seem to be changing their minds over whether to call special elections for a growing number of vacancies in the legislature.

Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver now says he wants voters to pick new legislators to fill 11 vacancies. And Gov. Cuomo now says he is looking at the issue.

Silver had said special elections to fill the nine vacancies in the Assembly and two in the Senate might be pointless, since new members could not be seated before the budget is done, and that he did not expect the legislature to do much work after late March.

Read more

9:00am

Fri January 17, 2014
Politics and Government

Live coverage: Obama announces results of intelligence gathering review

The Department of Justice, Washington D.C.
Matt Churchill Flickr

On Friday, Jan. 17, President Barack Obama will give a major speech announcing the results of the administration's review of US electronic intelligence gathering. The president will speak at 11 a.m. from the Department of Justice. The White House says the president will address the balance between national security, foreign policy and civil liberties, as well as maintaining public trust.

NPR is providing live coverage of the event, with analysis, from 11 a.m. until 1 p.m. You can listen to the coverage, when it begins, using the NPR module below.

7:17am

Fri January 17, 2014
Politics and Government

State lawmakers differ over Common Core fix

New York State Education Commissioner John King testifies to a state Senate committee during an early October meeting in Syracuse. (File photo)
Ryan Delaney WRVO/file photo

There’s continued dissatisfaction over the state’s implementation of the new Common Core standards, which parents, students and teachers have complained has led to too much testing. But there’s disagreement in the state legislature over how to fix it.

Read more

7:00am

Fri January 17, 2014
Politics and Government

Reform groups urge Cuomo to include public campaign funding in budget

Thirty reform groups have written to Gov. Andrew Cuomo, asking that his new state budget plan include funds for campaign finance reform.

The groups are asking the governor to essentially put his money where his mouth is when it comes to campaign donation reform ideas like public financing and a new agency to police violations.

Read more

7:56am

Thu January 16, 2014
Politics and Government

Growing number of vacancies in legislature likely to remain until 2015

A view of the New York state Assembly chambers.
-JvL- Flickr

The New York state legislature now has 11 unfilled seats, after one Assemblyman resigned over a sexual harassment scandal and another was expelled after being convicted of a felony. But it could be another year before those seats are filled.

In recent days, Assemblyman Eric Stevenson of the Bronx was automatically ousted from the Assembly when he was convicted on felony bribery charges. Assemblyman Dennis Gabryszak, of Cheektowaga, resigned under pressure after seven women accused him of sexual harassment.

Read more

7:48am

Wed January 15, 2014
Politics and Government

Pro-school funding rally draws hundreds to state Capitol

knittymarie/flickr

Hundreds of school children, parents and union members held a rally and sit-in at the state Capitol to build momentum for more spending on schools in the state budget.

Read more

4:59pm

Tue January 14, 2014
Politics and Government

Owens will not seek reelection to Congress

Congressman Bill Owens

North Country Rep. Bill Owens (D-Plattsburgh) announced Tuesday that he will not seek reelection in November -- surprising the political establishment and putting the seat for the 21st Congressional District up for grabs.

Read more

7:59am

Tue January 14, 2014
Politics and Government

Assemblyman convicted on bribery charges

An Assemblyman from the Bronx has been convicted of corruption charges, meanwhile an Assemblyman from the Buffalo area resigned over accusations of sexual harassment.

On the first formal day of the legislative session, Assemblyman Eric Stevenson was convicted of bribery by a federal jury after he took $20,000 from adult day care developers in exchange for promising favorable legislation. Under state law, Stevenson is automatically removed from office.

Read more

7:45am

Tue January 14, 2014
Politics and Government

Patients urge New York to pass bill allowing better access to medical marijuana

Kate Hinz with her daughter, Morgan, and Wanda Hernandez, a patient advocate who has HIV, are urging the state to pass a bill allowing better access to medical marijuana in New York.
Karen Dewitt WRVO

Patients with serious health conditions, including children with a severe seizure disorder, came to the state Capitol to urge passage of a bill to better allow access to medical marijuana in New York.

Kate Hinz is one of dozens of people who came to the Capitol on the first formal day of session to lobby for the bill to allow medical marijuana in New York as a treatment for a variety of medical conditions. Her daughter Morgan has Dravet’s syndrome, a rare form of epilepsy that is incurable and very difficult to treat with conventional drugs.

Read more

8:23am

Mon January 13, 2014
Politics and Government

Gillibrand wants crack down on military sexual assaults

Ryan Delaney WRVO file photo

U.S. Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand is continuing her fight to crack down on sexual assaults in the military in 2014.

The junior senator from New York has been a vocal critic of the way the military deals with sexual assault cases. She points to statistics that showed instances of unwanted sexual contact in the military in 2012 went up by 7,000 compared to two years earlier.

Read more

7:28am

Mon January 13, 2014
Politics and Government

Cuomo trying again for anti-corruption reform

Gov. Andrew Cuomo during his 2014 State of the State address in Albany.
Office of Gov. Andrew Cuomo

In his State of the State speech, Gov. Andrew Cuomo once again called for a reform package to address corruption in the legislature. Last year, bills to crack down on bribery and enact public campaign financing were never passed.  

The legislature failed in 2013 to act on any of the governor’s reform proposals, despite several arrests, indictments and imprisonment of lawmakers.

Read more

4:07pm

Sun January 12, 2014
Politics and Government

Robert McChesney on The Campbell Conversations

Robert McChesney
University of Illinois

  Robert McChesney is a well-known communications professor at the University of Illinois.  His most recent book, co-authored with John Nichols, is Dollarocracy:  How the Money and Media Election Complex is Destroying America

Read more

5:07pm

Fri January 10, 2014
Politics and Government

Gillibrand proposes paid family leave legislation

Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand (D-NY) announces her family leave proposal in Utica
Ellen Abbott/WRVO

Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand is proposing new federal legislation that would create paid family and medical leave. She says the idea is to establish a national paid family and medical leave insurance program, that would allow anyone who needs time off for a family emergency, to be able to take this time off while still getting paid.

Read more

7:35am

Fri January 10, 2014
Politics and Government

Speaker Silver says latest assemblyman accused of sexual harassment should leave

The legislative session begins with the New York State Assembly still plagued by sexual harassment scandals.  Seven women have now accused a Buffalo-area assemblyman of sexual harassment.

Assemblyman Dennis Gabryszak , of Cheektowaga, has now been accused of sexual harassment  by a seventh woman. Another assemblyman, Micah Kellner, of Manhattan , has been censured by the Assembly Ethics Committee for alleged sexual harassment.

Read more

Pages