Sheldon Silver

Office of Assembly Minority Leader Brain Kolb

The Republican leader of the state Assembly is calling for the legislature to return for a special session to wrap up some unfinished business.

The legislature adjourned at the end of June with no firm plans to meet again before next January, but Assembly Minority Leader Brian Kolb says there’s too much left to do to wait until next year.

“I definitely think we should go back,” Kolb said.  

The Joint Commission on Public Ethics, or JCOPE, met Tuesday and spent most of its time in a private session, as Patrick Bulgaro, a key appointee of Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver, resigned from the board.

Silver was the subject of a recent ethics commission probe, which examined his role in the sexual harassment charges against former Assemblyman Vito Lopez. The report found Silver was not guilty of any wrongdoing, but did criticize his role in a secret $100,000 settlement to two of Lopez’s alleged victims.

The state legislature left Albany last week with some unfinished business. They did not agree on Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s Women’s Equality Act, and Cuomo says at least one house should return to pass some of the bill’s provisions.

In the final days of the session, the numbers nine and 10 became key points of discussion for Cuomo’s Women’s Equality Act. That referred to the debate over whether to pass all 10 or just nine provisions in Cuomo’s proposed legislation.

A new poll finds a slim majority of voters think Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver should step down from his leadership post, following two reports that were critical of his handling of a sexual harassment case.

Assemblyman Vito Lopez has already resigned and is facing record fines for allegedly sexually harassing four women on his staff. Speaker Silver was criticized in an ethics report and a report by the Staten Island District Attorney for initially mishandling the accusations. Silver has apologized.

One day after the state’s powerful Assembly speaker admitted “glaring failures” in his handling of a sexual abuse case, the Albany establishment seemed to be moving on, with the usual round of press conferences, bill passage, and leaders meetings.

Gov. Andrew Cuomo is calling on Assemblyman Vito Lopez, the subject of a scathing ethics commission report on sexual harassment, to resign from office or be expelled.

The Legislative Ethics Commission released its report on the sexual harassment allegations against Assemblyman Vito Lopez.  It’s conclusions have New York City’s National Organization for Women calling for a vote of no confidence against the still-serving assemblyman, and the Republicans calling for Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver to resign.

Columbia City Blog / via Flickr

The state’s attorney general and Assembly speaker have proposed an early voting system for New York that they say can improve voter participation and democracy.

Gov. Andrew Cuomo wants to update New York’s antiquated abortion laws to reflect rights affirmed in the landmark Roe v. Wade decision. But Senate GOP leader Dean Skelos says it goes to far.

Wallyg / via Flickr

At the New York State Capitol, lawmakers are scrambling to put forward plans to react to the recent twin corruption scandals involving bribery charges against a state Senator and Assemblyman. On Tuesday, it was the Assembly Democrats’ turn to weigh in. Gov. Andrew Cuomo also rolled out two more components of his own reform plan.

It's known as the “three men in a room” style of decision making. For decades now, the governor and the two party's legislative leaders meet behind closed doors in the governor’s offices and decide key issues, like the contents of the state budget.

The governor and legislative leaders are talking about amendments to the state’s new gun control laws. Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver raised the possibility that a ban on 10 bullet magazines might be reversed, but Gov. Andrew Cuomo says that’s not the case.

Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver is one of the sponsors of a bill to ban fracking in New York state at least until May of next year.

A government reform group is calling for a state ethics panel report to be made public, one day after the panel investigating charges against Assemblyman Vito Lopez (D-Brooklyn) sent a report to the legislative ethics committee.

Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s pension stabilization plan could face some obstacles in the legislature.  Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver says he wants to know what the state comptroller thinks of the idea first.

Talks on gun control proposals between Governor Andrew Cuomo and the legislature continued Tuesday night, on the eve of the governor’s annual State of the State speech.

Governor Andrew Cuomo and Republicans in the Senate remain at an impasse over gun control legislation -- just days before the governor's State of the State address. Meanwhile, the state comptroller says he’s thinking of divesting the state’s pension fund from investments in gun manufacturers.

New York state’s ethics board is coming under criticism as it launches an investigation that is believed to focus on a sexual harassment scandal in the Assembly. The secrecy rules imposed in the laws governing the commission are causing some unanticipated problems. 

A unanimous state ethics board appears to launch a full investigation into the Assembly’s sexual harassment scandal.  The vote followed an acrimonious meeting, where commissioners appointed by the Assemblys peaker demanded a public discussion of the deliberations, and called the governor’s threats to open his own investigation “coercive.”  

The New York State Republican Party is turning a familiar Democratic Party accusation back against the Assembly Democrats, who are involved in a sexual harassment scandal. 

The state ethics board held a closed door meeting Tuesday. The Joint Commission on Public Ethics, or JCOPE, is believed to be discussing whether to investigate Brooklyn Assemblyman Vito Lopez, and possibly the Assembly Speaker, over a sexual harassment scandal.

The state’s ethics board has called a special meeting immediately after Labor Day. The news comes after Governor Andrew Cuomo and others have called for an investigation of a sexual harassment scandal in the State Assembly.

A rare apology from one of New York’s most powerful Democratic leaders regarding a payout to alleged victims of sexual harassment is raising even more questions at the state Capitol. Meanwhile, Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver says he welcomes an impending ethics probe.  

For weeks, there’s been a stalemate in Albany over the issue of raising the state’s minimum wage, with Assembly Democrats backing the idea, Senate Republicans opposing it, and Governor Andrew Cuomo remaining neutral in the middle.

Cuomo says he generally backs the measure, but feels that the GOP can’t be convinced.   

The state’s September primary is going to be delayed by two days, now that the legislature has agreed to move the date from Tuesday, September 11 to Thursday, September 13.

Democrats in the State Assembly approved a bill to increase the state’s minimum wage.

The Republican leader of the State Senate offered a spirited defense of his position opposing the measure, but did not rule the issue out altogether.

Democrats in the Assembly approved a bill to increase the state’s minimum wage from $7.25 to $8.50 an hour.  Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver, who has championed the measure, calls it a “moral imperative”.

“It is, I keep saying it, a moral issue,” said Silver.

Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver offered his support to lobbyists for more school aid funding, and offered a subtle criticism to Governor Andrew Cuomo.

The New York State legislature, on its first official day of business, acted in a show of bi- partisanship, to divest the state of investments in Iran, but Democrats and Republicans in the Senate continue to argue over redistricting. 

Governor Cuomo and legislative leaders have announced a deal to raise taxes on the rich, and slightly lower taxes for the middle class.

Governor Cuomo’s budget office has delayed releasing its mid-year budget report and future financial forecast, citing uncertainties over the European debt crisis and delays in collection of some business taxes, due to two hurricanes that hit the state in late summer.

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