senate

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Top Senate Democrat Chuck Schumer has been caught on a hot microphone recounting the advice he is giving to President Donald Trump.

Speaking to a colleague, Schumer said he told Trump, "You're much better off if you can sometimes step right and sometimes step left."

The remarks took place on the Senate floor and were captured by C-SPAN. Schumer said Trump "likes me," but it was unclear from the video to whom Schumer was talking.

Sounding pleased, Schumer predicted, "Oh, it's going to work out and he'll make us more productive, too."

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New York State Senate Majority Leader John Flanagan issued a statement on Sunday, saying that he had recently been treated for an alcohol problem.

The House budget plan would slash spending by $5.4 trillion over 10 years, including more than $4 trillion in cuts to mandatory spending like Medicaid and Medicare, while ramping up defense spending.

One week after the New York State Legislature declared the 2017 session over, Gov. Andrew Cuomo commanded lawmakers to return for a special session, beginning at 1 p.m. Wednesday, to deal with some unfinished business.

The nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office weighed in on the Senate health care bill on Monday, saying that 22 million people would lose health coverage in the next 10 years under the Senate's plan. Of those, 15 million would lose Medicaid coverage. It's projected to lower the deficit by billions over 10 years, and also cut taxes on corporations and the wealthy.

New York State may soon have a new way to prosecute dealers who sell heroin or opioids that result in a lethal overdose.

The New York State legislative session is drawing to a close and Democrats and Republicans are digging in on the remaining issues of 2017. Among them is a measure to extend the New York City mayor’s control of the public schools, which has now been linked to a number of diverse issues affecting people in the rest of the state.

Republicans in both the House and the Senate are considering big cuts to Medicaid. But those cuts endanger addiction treatment, which many people receive through the government health insurance program.

Food & Drug Administration

Lawmakers in New York are debating whether to add electronic cigarettes to the state's ban on smoking in public areas like workplaces, bars and restaurants. The state Assembly already has endorsed the idea.

WBFO Albany Correspondent Karen DeWitt

Federal appeals court judges do not seem eager to embrace the arguments of lawyers seeking a new trial for former New York Senate leader Dean Skelos and his son.

A New York program that allows court-ordered therapy for thousands of seriously mentally ill people will expire next month if the Legislature doesn't renew it.

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A bill that could address corruption in Albany is progressing in the New York State Legislature, but it might not be the measure that Gov. Andrew Cuomo wants to become law.

WBFO Albany Correspondent Karen DeWitt

New York Assembly Speaker Carl Heastie says there is a possible compromise to resolve the ongoing state budget stalemate - but the leader of the Senate says there is no final agreement.

The U.S. Senate could make history this week, but no one is feeling particularly good about it.

"It is depressing; I'm very depressed," said Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz. "We're all arguing against it, but we don't know any other option."

The nomination of Neil Gorsuch to the Supreme Court and the GOP blockade against Merrick Garland before him are forcing another showdown over whether to invoke the "nuclear option" and change the rules of the Senate to make it easier for a president to get all of his nominations approved.

Cuomo asks for extension to keep NYS operating

Apr 3, 2017
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With New York State budget negotiations at an impasse, Gov. Andrew Cuomo has asked legislative leaders to extend last year's budget through the end of May while Democrats and Republicans continue working to settle their differences.

Karen Dewitt

The New York State Senate and Assembly are in agreement on a plan to increase funding for the care of the developmentally disabled.

The words were those of Coretta Scott King, widow of the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr.

But they resulted in a rarely invoked Senate rule being used to formally silence Sen. Elizabeth Warren, D-Mass.

The State Assembly has passed legislation that would strip taxpayer-funded pensions from public officers convicted of corruption, as well as a resolution aimed at preventing conflicts of interest with regard to legislators' outside income.

New York lawmakers will soon begin several weeks of hearings on Governor Cuomo's $152 billion state budget proposal.

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Gov. Andrew Cuomo is pressuring state lawmakers to come back in December for a special session that includes a number of reform items to address recent corruption scandals. In exchange, he said, they could potentially be rewarded with a pay raise.

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Things are heating up both figuratively and literally for the Erie County Board of Elections.

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The U.S. Senate will hold a hearing Wednesday on a bipartisan bill to reform campus sexual assault policies across the nation. Studies show one in five women on college campuses will experience some form of unwanted sexual contact by the time they graduate.

Senate Republicans say they will break a long standing tradition of boycotting the election of new Regents. They now say they will attend a joint legislative session and that many will vote 'no' over dissatisfaction with the Common Core. It is uncertain whether all four of the incumbent Regents members will be reelected. 

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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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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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Women’s groups are putting pressure on the State Senate’s ruling coalition to take up Governor Cuomo’s Women’s Equality Act, which includes  an abortion rights provision.

Wendy Long, the Republican candidate looking to unseat U.S. Senator Kirsten Gillibrand, met briefly with reporters in Buffalo Tuesday.  
    
Siena Research Institute's Greenberg says Long gained no momentum from last month's GOP primary. Greenberg says Gillibrand has a commanding 62-to-25-percent lead over her challenger.

"Wendy Long has a very steep, uphill climb," Greenberg said.   

After a campaign swing across New York, Long spoke to reporters at the Buffalo Airport before flying back to New York City.  

Mike Desmond/WBFO

Many voters don't know there is a political primary on Tuesday, but three Republican candidates will be running for the chance to challenge Senator Kirsten Gillibrand.

Representative Bob Turner was in Washington because the House was in session but Wendy Long and George Maragos were in Clarence for a debate.

The debate in the sweltering Town Park Clubhouse was sponsored by the Erie County Federation of Republican Women and drew a fairly large crowd.

Long will be on the ballot in November on the Conservative line whether or not she wins the GOP line.

Chris Caya / WBFO/AM 970 News

Campaign contributions appear to be flowing to Albany from opponents of increasing the minimum wage.  According to Fair Elections for New York, $399,436.87 in contributions have been made to the campaigns of state senators and party committees since January 2010. 

Meanwhile, the proposed hike in the minimum wage remains stalled. At a press conference Monday, outside Lincoln United Methodist Church, Director of Community Organizing for PUSH Buffalo, Jennifer Meccozi said, there's strength in numbers, and people can send a message to politicians.