Karen DeWitt

Albany Reporter

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Local
8:57 am
Wed February 12, 2014

Cuomo, NYC mayor at odds over taxation issue

The debate over universal pre kindergarten shows no signs of slowing down at the Capitol. The Democratic Mayor of New York City is not backing down from his plan to tax the wealthy to pay for pre-K, but that plan is expected to be blocked by Albany.

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Focus on Education
2:53 pm
Tue February 11, 2014

Regents pull teacher protections from Common Core changes in final vote

Kids learning.
Credit USFWS-Southeast

The state Board of Regents at the last minute reversed course and decided not to hold a final vote on some changes to weaken implementation of the Common Core standards in New York. 

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Local
9:00 am
Mon February 10, 2014

Supporters push GMO labeling bill

Green apple.
Credit WBFO News photos by Eileen Buckley

Sponsors of a bill to require the labeling of genetically modified foods, or GMOs, say they hope they have better luck this year advancing the legislation, after it died in committee late last session.

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Local
8:58 am
Mon February 10, 2014

Legislators set to review Cuomo tax proposals

Governor Cuomo’s tax commissioner is set to testify before a legislative budget hearing Monday morning, and he’s expected to get plenty of questions about a plan to freeze property taxes and cut some income taxes.

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Local
5:44 am
Thu February 6, 2014

Cuomo moves forward on medical marijuana

Health Commissioner Dr. Nirav Shah says the Cuomo Administration's plan for medical marijuana will work.
Credit WBFO File Photo

The Cuomo Administration is moving ahead with a bill  to allow limited access to medical marijuana. Cuomo’s health commissioner told lawmakers at a budget hearing that the program could be “up and running” within a year, but his claims were met with some skepticism.

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Focus on Education
5:19 pm
Tue February 4, 2014

Legislative leaders call for delay in Common Core standards

Legislative leaders in Albany are questioning the implementation of Common Core.
Credit File photo

The leaders of the New York State Legislature are urging the State Board of Regents to delay the effects of the new federal Common Core standards for at least another two years.

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Local
8:53 am
Tue February 4, 2014

Few details forthcoming on fracking health review

Heath Commissioner Dr. Nirav Shah provides few details to reporters about his review of the health effects of fracking.
Credit Matt Ryan

Governor Cuomo’s Health Commissioner was questioned by lawmakers at a budget hearing about his on- going review of the health effects of hydro-fracking.  But Dr. Nirav, Shah provided few details.

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Local
6:58 am
Thu January 30, 2014

DEC Commissioner expects more fracking delays

DEC Commissioner addresses legislative budget hearing in Albany.
Credit Photo by Karen DeWitt

One day after President Obama touted the hydrofracking of natural gas as a “bridge fuel,” Governor Cuomo’s environmental commissioner says it’s “extremely unlikely” that permits for drilling wells will be issued in the next year.

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Focus on Education
8:58 am
Wed January 29, 2014

Legislators quiz education chief over Common Core

Credit WBFO File Photo

State Education Commissioner John King testified at a legislative budget hearing, where he once again heard complaints from concerned lawmakers on the fast track adoption of the new national Common Core standards.

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Local
8:00 am
Wed January 22, 2014

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

Governor Cuomo outlined his $137.2 billion spending plan Tuesday.
Credit Twitter

Governor Andrew Cuomo released his 2014-2015 state budget Tuesday. The $137.2 billion 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.

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Local
3:57 pm
Mon January 20, 2014

Cuomo to include public campaign financing in budget proposal

A Cuomo Administration official says the governor will ask for funding in his budget plan for a matching donor public campaign finance system for statewide elections.

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Politics
3:56 pm
Mon January 20, 2014

Cuomo gains in latest poll

Credit File photo

Governor Andrew Cuomo is beginning 2014 with high numbers, according to the latest Siena College poll.

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Politics
3:56 pm
Fri January 17, 2014

Assembly leader calls for special elections to fill vacancies

Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver says he was elections held to fill vacancies in the state Legislature.
Credit File photo

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.

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Local
4:30 am
Fri January 10, 2014

Some call for modification of Cuomo marijuana bill

Governor Cuomo outlined a medical marijuana proposal in his State of the State address.

Governor Cuomo officially called for limited access to medical marijuana in his State of the State address. But sponsors of a bill to allow the illegal drug to be used for some medical treatments say Cuomo’s plan is outdated and won’t work.

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Politics
11:26 am
Wed January 8, 2014

State Assembly session begins with sexual harassment troubles

Credit Photo from Assemblyman Dennis Gabryszak's Facebook page

There is still no sign of State Assemblyman Dennis Garbryszak, democrat, since seven women have accused him of sexual harassment. Some speculate that he will not appear at the Governor's State of the State address in Albany Wednesday.

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Politics
9:54 am
Mon January 6, 2014

Cuomo faces challenges from the right and left in 2014

Credit File photo

2014 is an election year for Governor Cuomo as well as all of the 213 seats in the legislature. Cuomo faces the challenge of balancing competing interests as he tries to win another term by a big margin.

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Local
8:48 am
Thu January 2, 2014

Silver calls for quicker boost to minimum wage

Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver is a powerful ally for advocates of a higher minimum wage.
Credit WBFO File Photo

A key lawmaker says the state’s minimum wage, which as of December 31st is $8 an hour, should jump to $9 an hour by next year.

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Politics
10:12 am
Mon December 30, 2013

Will 2014 be a year of reform in Albany?

Could 2014 be a year of change in Albany?
Credit File photo

2013 saw more state lawmakers indicted, jailed, convicted, and even participating in wiretapping some of their colleagues. The continued corruption spurred Governor Cuomo to appoint a commission to look into the legislature. Will 2014 be the year Albany finally sees reform?

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Local
8:58 am
Thu December 26, 2013

Tax battle looms in 2014

Governor Cuomo is looking for an election-year tax cut.

One of the top issues of the 2014 legislative session will be taxes. While Governor Cuomo wants to cut taxes, some, including New York City Mayor elect Bill de Blasio, want to raise them.

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Local
7:36 am
Mon December 23, 2013

Food pantries strained by federal cuts

Pantry officials say $36 worth of food is pictured here. That reflects the proposed $36 in cuts coming to food stamp benefits.
Credit Photo by Karen DeWitt

With winter officially approaching, New York’s food pantries and soup kitchens are feeling the strain of feeding the hungry, especially after two key benefit cuts form the federal government.

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Local
8:54 am
Fri December 20, 2013

Audit reveals 'double dipping' practices among state workers

New York State Comptroller Tom DiNapoli
Credit WBFO File Photo

A new audit by the State Comptroller finds that out of a sample of state workers at state agencies and authorities, more than one fifth were double dipping, being paid for two jobs while doing only one.

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Local
9:02 am
Thu December 19, 2013

Bankrupt company sues Cuomo over fracking delays

A fracked well
Credit File photo

A bankrupt energy company is suing the Cuomo Administration over the long delayed decision on whether to allow hydro-fracking in New York. Their attorney says the action was prompted by remarks made by Governor Cuomo and his Health Commissioner earlier this week. 

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Local
1:11 pm
Mon December 16, 2013

Cuomo says fracking decision may take longer

Credit Joshua Doubek/Wikimedia Commons

Governor Andrew Cuomo says he may not decide whether the state should go ahead with hydrofracking for natural gas until after the November 2014 elections.

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Local
8:17 am
Mon December 16, 2013

Demonstrators favor public campaign financing

A small group of advocates demonstrated in favor of  public campaign financing , following a report by Governor Cuomo’s  anti-corruption commission favoring the idea.

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Local
9:01 am
Thu December 12, 2013

Tax commission report draws mixed response

Public employee unions have criticized tax cut proposals

Divisions are forming in the upcoming debate over tax cuts that’s likely to dominate the new legislative session. 

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Local
8:26 am
Wed December 11, 2013

Commission calls for $2 billion in tax cuts

Governor Cuomo's tax commission is proposing several tax cuts.

Governor Cuomo’s Tax Commission is recommending a $2 billion package that includes a temporary freeze on property taxes, and a cut in corporate taxes to a 40 year low. 

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Local
8:24 am
Tue December 10, 2013

Reformers focus on Board of Elections

Reform groups are focusing attention on Governor Cuomo’s anti corruption commission’s recommendations to beef up the anemic State Board of Elections but say they have not given up hope of public campaign financing for state wide races.

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Local
8:28 am
Thu December 5, 2013

Future of public campaign finance uncertain

One of the most controversial recommendations in Governor Cuomo’s anti-corruption commission report released this week is to enact public financing of campaigns for statewide elections, a proposal that will meet strong opposition.

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Local
5:00 am
Wed December 4, 2013

Moreland Commission report draws reaction

Advocates and lawmakers at the Capitol are reacting to Governor Cuomo’s anti-corruption Moreland Commission report, which offers scathing criticism of what the commission says is a corrupt culture in Albany and recommends numerous reforms.

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Local
8:00 am
Tue December 3, 2013

Moreland Commission recommends public campaign financing, other reforms

Governor Cuomo's Moreland Commission is recommending changes in Albany.
Credit File photo

Governor Cuomo’s anti-corruption commission issued a scathing report Monday evening that criticizes what the commission says is Albany’s culture of corruption and recommends numerous reforms.

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