erie county legislature

Local
9:31 am
Fri April 11, 2014

County leaders reject library district

Erie County Legislators rejected a resolution of support for a new library district.
Credit Mike Desmond/wbfo news

Erie County Executive Mark Poloncarz and eight members of the Erie County Legislature agree on one issue: they don't want the library system turned into a separate taxing district.

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Local
2:30 pm
Thu March 13, 2014

Legislator suggests loans rather than free college for inmates

Legislator Betty Jean Grant is proposing an alternative to free college for prison inmates.
Credit Chris Caya/WBFO News

A local lawmaker is proposing an alternative to Governor Andrew Cuomo's plan to give prison inmates a free college education.

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Dems dysfunction leaves legislative void
5:00 am
Mon March 10, 2014

Press Pass: Marinelli's seat and school board influence

Chris Jamele and Artvoice editor Geoff Kelly
Credit WBFO News file photo / WBFO News

County Legislator Lynn Marinelli stepped down from her post in January, but no progress has been made in filling that seat.

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Local
9:25 am
Wed February 26, 2014

Legislators to go on record against inmate college plan

Credit File photo

WBFO's Chris Caya reports

Governor Andrew Cuomo defended his plan for giving prison inmates a free college education during a stop this week in Amherst. But some local lawmakers aren't buying it.

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Local
1:17 pm
Wed January 15, 2014

Marinelli leaving Legislature for state job

Lynn Marinelli is leaving the Erie County Legislature to take a state job.
Credit erie.gov

WBFO's Chris Caya reports

Governor Andrew Cuomo has appointed Lynn Marinelli, a longtime Erie County legislator, to a post with Empire State Development.

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Environment
4:40 pm
Thu December 12, 2013

Erie County lawmakers vote to ban fracking

A large group of citizens came to County Hall Thursday to encourage legislators to vote for the fracking ban.
Credit Mike Desmond/WBFO News

Erie County legislators voted in a bipartisan manner Thursday to ban natural gas drilling using hydraulic fracturing in the county, commonly known as fracking.

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Environment
9:00 am
Thu December 12, 2013

Erie County Legislature to vote on fracking ban today

Several fracking protests have taken place in the area in recent years, including when President Obama came to visit UB in August.
Credit File photo

Legislation that would ban hydrofracking on county-owned land is expected to be voted on today by the Erie County Legislature.

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Local
1:46 pm
Wed December 4, 2013

Poloncarz defends use of borrowing in newly-passed budget

Erie County Executive Mark Poloncarz and Democratic Legislator Timothy Hogues
Credit Chris Caya/WBFO News

Erie County Executive Mark Poloncarz is praising fellow Democrats in the Legislature majority for approving the 2014 county budget by a 6-5 vote Tuesday.

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Local
11:35 am
Wed November 6, 2013

McCarthy reviews election results

Buffalo News political reporter Bob McCarthy
Credit WBFO News file photo

Now that they've grabbed the majority in the Erie County Legislature, Republicans  are  "going to make life miserable for County Executive (Mark) Poloncarz, I think," said Buffalo News Political Bob McCarthy during a post-election conversation on WBFO's Morning Edition.

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Erie County Legislature
11:34 am
Wed November 6, 2013

Republicans take control of Erie County Legislature

"Majority Maker" Ted Morton, 8th District winner
Credit Photo by Mark Scott

For the first time in 35 years, the Republicans will have outright control of the Erie County Legislature.  It was one of several big victories for the local GOP in Tuesday's elections. 

WBFO'S Mark Scott reports on Tuesday's Republican victories.

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Local
4:24 pm
Tue October 15, 2013

Proposed Erie County budget spends more without raising taxes

Erie County Executive Mark Poloncarz unveiled his budget Tuesday.
Credit Mike Desmond/WBFO News

Erie County Executive Mark Poloncarz says he is submitting a budget for next year with a steady property tax rate that cuts a few jobs, puts more money into the arts and library, and sets up an economic development office in Toronto.

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Erie County Legislature
9:32 pm
Thu September 26, 2013

County Legislature approves hiring of more child protection caseworkers

Social Services Commissioner Carol Dankert-Maurer
Credit Chris Caya/WBFO news

Erie County legislators Thursday cleared the way for seven more caseworkers for the overloaded Child Protective Services division in the wake of the death of a child allegedly killed by his mother's boyfriend.

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Local
8:25 am
Wed September 25, 2013

Legislature hears case for additional Child Protection staff

Erie County Social Services Commissioner Carol Dankert-Maurer makes her case to the Erie County Legislature.
Credit Chris Caya/WBFO news

The push is on to hire more Social Sevice workers in Erie County following the tragic death of 5-year-old Eian Brooks.

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Politics
2:10 pm
Fri May 31, 2013

Legislature leader Mazur won't run for re-election

Legislature Majority Leader Thomas Mazur

Erie County Legislature Majority Leader Thomas Mazur announced his future retirement Friday. Mazur, a Democrat, will step aside from his 7th District seat when his current term expires on December 31.

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Local
12:54 pm
Tue May 28, 2013

Legislators want beer ads removed from NFTA trains

Beer ad on NFTA Metro Rail car

The Niagara Frontier Transportation Authority is being urged to remove alcohol advertising from its public transportation vehicles.

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Local
9:57 am
Fri May 24, 2013

Erie County taps financial markets for big loan

Erie County Legislature
Credit WBFO News file photo

Erie County's finances are looking a little shaky as it goes into the financial markets for the biggest loan since the fiscally-disastrous days of the "Red-Green" budget. 

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Local
5:00 pm
Tue May 21, 2013

Republican county lawmakers want hearing on unsecured records, deputy county executive responds

Erie County Legislature's Minority Caucus
WBFO News photo by Eileen Buckley

Members of the Erie County Legislature's Minority Caucus are calling for a full investigation into the improper disposal of confidential Social Services documents.

WBFO'S Eileen Buckley reports on mishandled documents.

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Local
1:22 pm
Wed May 8, 2013

Residency requirement proposed for Erie County workers

Credit File photo

A residency requirement is being proposed for employees of Erie County. If approved, new workers would be required to live in the county.

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Local
9:25 am
Fri March 22, 2013

Legislature approves 10-year lease for Bills stadium, includes luxury box for Governor

Deputy County Executive Richard Tobe helped negotiate the new lease deal.
Credit Mike Desmond/WBFO News

The Erie County Legislature unanimously approved a new 10-year lease deal for Ralph Wilson Stadium Thursday afternoon, the last major obstacle to cementing a long-term commitment with the Buffalo Bills.

WBFO'S Mike Desmond reports on Thursday approval for the new Buffalo Bills stadium lease

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Local
3:47 pm
Thu February 21, 2013

Erie County legislators endorse repeal of new gun laws, as Cuomo stands firm

Erie County lawmakers voted 7-4 Thursday afternoon in favor of a resolution calling for repeal of the state's new gun control laws. Meanwhile, Governor Andrew Cuomo, in Buffalo today, said political opposition to the NY SAFE Act is based in "fear."

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Local
9:50 am
Tue November 20, 2012

Most support tax hike at county budget hearing

Erie County Hall
Credit File photo

Again this year, the annual public hearing on the proposed Erie County budget was dominated by cultural agencies and the library system.

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Local
4:51 pm
Wed July 18, 2012

Republican county legislators push control board savings

GOP lawmakers responded Wednesday to County Executive Mark Poloncarz's mid-year budget assessment.
Chris Caya/WBFO News

Members of the Erie County Legislature's Minority Caucus are pushing a plan they claim will save millions of dollars. 

County Executive Mark Poloncarz issued a mid-year budget warning Monday, saying the county faces more than $50 million in unanticipated costs.  GOP lawmakers are calling on Poloncarz to borrow and refinance through the county Control Board. 

Legislator Ed Rath says that will save taxpayers nearly $3 million.  

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Local
9:17 am
Tue June 19, 2012

ECC struggles with budget priorities

ECC staff voiced budget concerns at Monday's legislature hearing.
mike desmond/wbfo

Erie County legislators were told on Monday ECC has to have more money to keep it an effective college.

Student tuition now provides around 52 percent of the proposed $111 million budget, which includes a $300 annual tuition increase. The county's share holds steady just over $17 million and 44 vacant positions are being abolished.

College President Jack Quinn says cuts in state aid and frozen county dollars made the fiscal situation worse. The budget has to go to legislators for a vote.

Dozens of college union members showed up to say the county has to do better.

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Crime
4:14 pm
Tue June 5, 2012

Former legislator admits practicing law while disbarred

Former Erie County Legislator David Dale, a disbarred lawyer from Lancaster, faces possible jail time after pleading guilty to a fraud charge.  

Dale, 49, went before State Supreme Court Justice Christopher Burns Tuesday and pled to one charge of first-degree felony scheme to defraud and one count of practice of law by an attorney who has been disbarred.

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Local
9:55 am
Fri May 4, 2012

Public hearing on proposed animal abuse registry

Public hearing on animal abuse registry
WBFO News photos by Mike Desmond

A computerized animal abuse registry for Erie County is inching closer. Legislators held a public hearing into the matter Thursday night at County Hall in downtown Buffalo.

Legislator Terry McCracken is proposing the registry so data on people with criminal convictions for animal abuse would be online for five years and could be checked by pet stores or animal welfare groups to prevent them from obtaining more animals through purchase or adoption.

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Local
5:47 pm
Thu March 22, 2012

Sheriff explains mistaken inmate release

Sheriff Timothy Howard and Undersheriff Mark Wipperman appeared before county legislators Thursday
Chris Caya/WBFO

The mistaken release of a man charged with attempted murder landed Erie County Sheriff Timothy Howard in the hot seat in County Hall. 

The Legislature's Public Safety Committee questioned Howard for nearly an hour about the wrongful release of 32-year-old Awet Gebreyesus who was ordered held without bail after allegedly stabbing his wife in the entrance of the Amherst Street Wegmans in January. 

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Local
2:47 pm
Mon March 12, 2012

Poloncarz signs cyberbullying law, despite reservations

Legislators Edward Rath (c.) and Raymond Walter (r.) were joined by Assemblywoman Jane Corwin in October in advocating for cyberbullying legislation
WBFO file photo

A local law legislating cyberbullying is now on the books in Erie County.  County Executive Mark Poloncarz signed the measure today after it gained passage in the legislature last month. 

The law makes cyberbullying against a minor or a student a misdemeanor crime punishable by as long as a year in prison and/or a fine of up to $1,000. 

But in signing the law, Poloncarz also expressed "serious doubts" about whether or not it is enforceable in its current form. 

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