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New State Senate Majority Leader John Flanagan may be from Long Island but two local senators say he has been a frequent visitor to Western New York.


Karen DeWitt

Senate Leader Dean Skelos has resigned his post over a corruption scandal and Republicans have elected Senator John Flanagan, currently chair of the Education Committee, to be his successor.

WBFO File Photo

The question in Albany is, will Dean Skelos still be Senate majority leader by noon Monday? Republicans are meeting at 11 a.m. to decide his fate.


Embattled State Senate Majority Leader Dean Skelos is resorting to a threat to keep his leadership post.

Term limits hearing draws minimal response

May 8, 2015
Photo by Michael Mroziak/WBFO News

What if you hosted a public hearing on proposed term limits... and only two people showed up to speak? That's what happened in the Erie County Legislature's chambers.

Auto bureau revenue proposal draws mixed reviews

May 7, 2015
Michael Mroziak, WBFO

One day after promoting the financial benefits to Erie County of completing vehicle registration renewals through local auto bureaus, Erie County Clerk Chris Jacobs was before the County Legislature's Economic Development Committee on Thursday to support a proposed law that would designate how those revenues would be spent.

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State Senator Robert Ortt says he will support efforts to replace Majority GOP Leader Dean Skelos when lawmakers return to Albany.

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Governor Andrew Cuomo, in his first public comments since the leader of the State Senate was charged in an extortion and bribery scheme, says if true, he finds the accusations “disturbing.”

nysenate.gov

The leader of the State Senate, Dean Skelos, surrendered to federal authorities Monday morning and was charged with six counts of corruption, including bribery and extortion, in connection with an alleged scheme that used his political position to enrich himself and his son.

WBFO News File Photo

The annual state report on lobbying is out, and it finds that $226 million dollars was spent on influencing government leaders, with the largest amount from education groups.


WBFO Photo

The state legislature’s Black, Hispanic and Asians Caucus is reacting events in Baltimore and is calling for swift action on a package of criminal justice reforms that have been stalled in the State Senate.

Mike Desmond/wbfo news

With a packed house of Democrats in the hall in County Executive Mark Poloncarz' home city of Lackawanna, the incumbent made his re-election candidacy official with a rousing call for another term Tuesday evening.

Mike Desmond/WBFO News

With the top of party tickets set, the political campaign for 2015 is underway. Democratic incumbent Erie County Executive Mark Poloncarz will face off against Republican state Assemblyman Ray Walter.

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Erie County legislator Edward Rath III is the latest Republican to announce he will not challenge Democratic incumbent Mark Poloncarz in this year's county executive race.

WBFO News File Photo

Top officials from Erie County's Republican Party are in the market for someone to run against the Democratic incumbent, Mark Poloncarz. Earlier this week, County Clerk Chris Jacobs announced he would not run. County Comptroller Stefan Mychajliw previously made his intentions clear also not run.  So who will it be and why is no one eager to run for the office?

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Another top Erie County Republican official has decided not to run against Democratic County Executive Mark Poloncarz.

Cuomo lifts ban on state-sponsored travel to Indiana

Apr 4, 2015
File Photo / WBFO News

The ban against travel to Indiana for trips funded or sponsored by New York State has been lifted.

File Photo / WBFO News

Responding to Wednesday’s early-morning passing of the New York State Budget, Governor Andrew Cuomo said reforming the state’s education system is arguably the most important responsibility of his position.

Erie County Clerk's Office / WBFO News

Funding for road repair and snow plowing in Erie County could receive its own dedicated funding source.

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Erie County Comptroller Stefan Mychajliw says he will not be running for the position of County Executive.

WBFO News file photo

U.S. Congressman Tom Reed said new regulations for hydraulic fracturing on federal lands should be more than enough reason for Governor Andrew Cuomo to reconsider his ban on the drilling practice.

NPR / WBFO News

In a Twitter post, just after midnight on Monday, Republican Senator Ted Cruz of Texas announced his intention to run for president in the 2016 race.

WBFO News file photo

Research on a proposal for universal healthcare in New York says the benefits of a single-payer insurance system would reach beyond the economy. Advocates and opponents of the bill agree on that that note, but in very different ways.

WBFO News file photo

In his first encounter with New York's arcane budget process, new State Senator Marc Panepinto of Buffalo isn't sure the entire spending plan can fall into place over the next three-weeks to be on-time. WBFO's Mike Desmond talked with the Senator.

NYS Assembly / WBFO News

Friday marked the start of the 44th annual Lawmakers Legislative Weekend for the Association of Black, Puerto Rican, and Asian members of the state assembly.

Five Erie County legislators are introducing a term limit proposal they hope will be on the ballot for the November election. The lawmakers claim the proposal is in response to the recent rash of unethical behavior amongst public officials in Albany.

Avery Schneider / WBFO News

Lieutenant Governor Kathy Hochul says there is no tolerance for anyone who doesn’t follow Governor Andrew Cuomo’s high code of ethics, and that includes officials at the State Thruway Authority.

Heastie elected new Assembly speaker

Feb 3, 2015
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The New York state Assembly has elected Bronx Assemblyman Carl Heastie as its speaker, making him the first African-American to lead the body. 

assembly.state.ny.us/

The race to replace the disgraced Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver seems all but over, with the Assembly’s Majority Leader Joe Morelle ending his bid for the job and throwing his support to Bronx Assemblyman Carl Heastie. A vote could be held as early as next week.

New York State Assembly / WBFO News

Dumping Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver as a result of public corruption charges could open the way for more democracy in the Legislature, according to Buffalo Assemblyman Sean Ryan.

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