The legislative session that’s concluding in Albany seems to be more about what’s not getting done that what is getting accomplished. Governor Andrew Cuomo at this time last year was intensely lobbying lawmakers to pass a bill to legalize gay marriage. This year, he has taken a more hands off approach to the end of the current legislative session. The governor introduced a bill on how to make teacher evaluations public, but said he would not push the legislature to approve it. “If the Senate or the Assembly want to pass the bill, great,” Cuomo said.
Governor Cuomo says he no longer thinks settling the issue of making teacher evaluations public is “urgent” and will allow the legislature to leave later this week without an agreement on the matter. Cuomo, speaking on former Governor David Paterson’s radio show on WOR, says the legislature will end its session for the summer without acting on a plan on how to make public teacher evaluations public, saying that the evaluations do not have to be completed by schools until January, anyway.“Nothing that we have left, frankly is that urgent that it can’t take more time,” said Cuomo.
Supporters and opponents of a plan to allow limited hydrofracking in New York’s Southern Tier region confronted each other at the state Capitol .For months, the Cuomo Administration has been signaling that it might permit the gas drilling process known as hydro fracking in a few areas in the Marcellus Shale region where the majority of people in communities want the gas drilling process to begin.
While Governor Cuomo and legislative leaders are downplaying any hope of major agreements on some key issues, a survey of New Yorkers find that voters want action.Lawmakers plan on leaving for the summer on June 21st, but they continue to be gridlocked on the issues of raising the state’s minimum wage from $7.25 an hour to $8.50 an hour, and offering tax breaks to small businesses as an incentive to create more jobs.Assembly Democrats, led by Speaker Sheldon Silver have already approved a minimum wage bill, while Senate Republicans, led by Senator Dean Skelos, have approved the business ta
A lobby group closely associated with Governor Andrew Cuomo was the elephant in the room during a hearing by the state ethics commission on new rules for donor disclosure.
Governor Cuomo’s chosen chair of the ethics commission, Westchester DA Janet DiFiore, presided over the hearing, which took public input on how much lobby groups should be required to disclose about political donations.
One day before the state ethics commission is to hold hearings on new rules for lobbying disclosures, there are more revelations about a multi million dollar advocacy group associated with Governor Andrew Cuomo.
A lobbying group closely allied with the policies of Governor Andrew Cuomo has been in the news a lot in the past couple of days, in articles raising questions about multi million dollar donations to the group known as the Committee to Save New York, and policies later advocated by the governor.
New York Governor Andrew Cuomo is proposing the decriminalization of small amounts of marijuana found during police searches to fix what he says is a “blatant inconsistency” in New York City’s controversial "stop and frisk" policy.
Cuomo says the NYPD procedure has unfairly led to the arrest of thousands of mainly young black and Hispanic men who were caught with possession of small amounts of marijuana. The arrests often led to criminal records with life-long consequences that can prevent the young person from getting college aid or living in public housing.
For weeks, there’s been a stalemate in Albany over the issue of raising the state’s minimum age, with Assembly Democrats backing the idea, Senate Republicans opposing it, and Governor Cuomo remaining neutral in the middle, saying he generally backs the measure, but feels that the GOP can’t be convinced.
The governor and the leaders appeared together at an event in the governor’s ceremonial offices, and were asked if they were doing anything to resolve the impasse. There was a brief pause.
“Who wants to go first, guys?” Cuomo said, with a laugh.
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 11th to Thursday September 13th.
Legislative leaders say firefighter groups and others who plan annual memorials for September 11th requested that the scheduled primary be delayed two days, until Thursday September 13th, and they have agreed.
Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver, whose district includes the World Trade Center site where the planes hit the towers on September 11th 2001, says it was the right thing to do.
A new Siena College poll finds that New Yorkers are starting to feel more positive about the state legislature, but they still don’t want to see Senators and Assemblymembers receive a pay raise.
For the first time in many years, New Yorkers actually view the State Senate favorably, by a 46% to 43% margin, and the State Assembly is close to evenly split, with 42% viewing them positively and 44% negatively.
Governor Cuomo, who won national praise and attention for championing the passage of same sex marriage in New York, calls President Obama’s support of gay marriage a “major advancement for equal rights in this country.”
Cuomo says he “applauds the President’s courage” and believes that Mr. Obama’s support will “boost” efforts to advance marriage equality in many state where it is to legal, or where efforts are underway to ban gay marriage.
And Cuomo believes it will help change minds, saying people will think “if he can revisit an issue, than so can I”.
On May 15th, voters across New York will go to the polls to consider school district budgets and for the first time, schools will be under the constraint of a property tax cap, and school leaders say they’ve had to make “sacrifices” to live within those limits.
The New York State School Boards Association surveyed its members, and found that the majority of schools , 92%, are proposing budgets that are within the limits of the new tax cap.
Earth Day came and went in New York without too much discussion of what many environmentalists believe to be the biggest issue facing the state: when and where the gas drilling process known as hydrofracking will occur.
The future of fracking has been stalled in New York for several months now, as the State Department of Environmental Conservation plows through what Commissioner Joe Martens says is a “mountain” of over 60,000 public comments, collected during an environmental review.
“The focus now is on the comments and its monumental,” Martens said.
Governor Cuomo cast further doubt on issues like campaign finance reform and increasing the state's minimum wage to become law this year and says he’s “shifting” to a new phase of governing instead .
In remarks to his cabinet, Cuomo says he expects a “relatively quiet” end to the legislative session. He says campaign finance reform, including public campaign financing, are measures that he supports, but says that they are “controversial” and “polarizing” issues in the legislature.
Governor Andrew Cuomo for the first time addressed speculation that he might be a candidate for President in 2016, saying it’s “flattering”, but “distracting”.
Governor Cuomo, speaking for the first time about speculation that he might want to seek the presidency in 2016, says he finds the talk “flattering”, but he says overtly political talk can be “distracting” when he’s trying to govern and get along with both parties in the legislature.
“All I’m working is being the best governor I can be, “ said Cuomo.
The State Assembly has introduced a bill to permit for the first time in New York voluntary public financing of some election campaigns.
The Assembly bill would offer an optional public financing system for campaigns for state legislative and statewide offices, giving candidates six dollars for every one dollar in contributions. It would be financed, in part, through a $5 check off option on state income taxes.
Bill Mahoney, with the New York Public Interest Research Group, says it’s a “good first step”.
New York’s Presidential primary is today, but the initial excitement over the vote vanished when Rick Santorum dropped out earlier this month.
State GOP leaders say they are looking ahead to the general election instead.
Earlier this year, it seemed that New York, which has a relatively late primary, might actually be a contested state, as first Newt Gingrich, then Rick Santorum appeared to present a serious challenge to GOP frontrunner Mitt Romney.
Governor Cuomo has issued an executive order to create a state health care exchange, required by the federal health care reform law, after the legislature failed to act.
Cuomo had sought to create the exchanges, required under the federal health care law, as part of the budget, but some Senate Republicans refused, saying they did not want to codify what opponents call Obamacare.
In the end the governor agreed to drop the health exchanges from the budget, and issue an executive order to create the exchanges instead.
Governor Cuomo’s administration is conducting the largest ever on line and in person auction of over 450 used cars and trucks as part of what they call a fleet reduction- to try to save money and cut down on government excess.
There are rows and rows of Crown Victorias, Ford Expeditions and even several Priuses on a large lot on the state office campus just outside the City of Albany, 461 in all.
And they are being offered to the highest bidder on E-Bay, and in person.
Governor Cuomo has vetoed over half a million dollars of legislative member items, saying he’s following through on a promise to ban the funds, which have been used in the past to finance lawmakers’ pet projects.
The Governor’s $640 million in line item vetoes for member items does not include any new money from this year’s budget.
Rather, they are what’s known as re-appropriations for member items that were approved in earlier budgets from two years ago, before Cuomo was in power.
Governor Andrew Cuomo gathered with leaders of the legislature Friday to celebrate an on-time budget for the second year in a row.
Cuomo and majority party legislative leaders praised each other for their efforts in achieving two on time budgets in a row, which they say is considered a feat after decades of late budgets. Then, they took turns posing for pictures as the governor signed the first of several budget bills.
Cuomo said government is once again functioning, and it’s a “very proud day for the entire state”.