Carl Heastie

Karen Dewitt / WBFO Albany Correspondent

Progressive Democrats in the New York State Legislature took a victory lap, after passing a budget that achieves many of the groups’ long-term goals, including a substantial increase in taxes on the wealthy and the fulfillment of a 15-year-old court order to fully fund schools. Meanwhile, Gov. Andrew Cuomo, embroiled in several scandals, put the best face on items that did not go his way.


Six days after it was due, Gov. Andrew Cuomo and New York State’s legislative leaders announced a final agreement on a $212 billion budget deal. It increases taxes on the wealthy and adds funds for schools, renters and small businesses, including restaurants that struggled financially during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Office of the Governor / Hans Pennink / AP

This is the last full week before the New York state budget is due. But with the April 1 deadline looming, two of the “three people in a room” who hash out the spending plan are questioning whether the third should remain in office.

Karen DeWitt / WBFO Albany Correspondent

The New York State Legislature took another step this week in its impeachment investigation of Gov. Andrew Cuomo when the Assembly announced it’s hired a private law firm to assist the Judiciary Committee in its inquiry. But that choice was immediately condemned by a lawyer for one of the alleged victims, who said the firm has ties to Cuomo that could taint the investigation.

New York Now

The state Legislature is close to a deal on legalizing marijuana for recreational, adult use in New York, Assembly Speaker Carl Heastie said Monday, with lawmakers now trying to move on the issue in the next two weeks.

New York Now

Democrats who control the state legislature took another step toward raising tax rates for wealthy New Yorkers Monday, with each chamber presenting its own proposal for this year’s state budget — valued at more than $192 billion.

Karen DeWitt / WBFO Albany Correspondent

Assembly Speaker Carl Heastie said Monday that he expects state budget negotiations to continue as “normal,” despite his decision to authorize an impeachment inquiry of Gov. Andrew Cuomo over several women’s allegations of sexual harassment, as well as a nursing home scandal. 

Office of the Governor

The federal pandemic relief package moving through Congress would go a long way toward filling New York’s multibillion-dollar budget deficit, but Gov. Andrew Cuomo and the state legislature would still need to plug a smaller gap.

file photo/Office of the Governor

The leader of the New York State Senate, Andrea Stewart-Cousins, is calling on Gov. Andrew Cuomo to resign and the Assembly Speaker says the governor should consider voluntarily stepping down, after two new allegations of inappropriate behavior from more women over the weekend.

The New York State Senate and Assembly plan on Friday to strip Gov. Andrew Cuomo of sweeping emergency powers enacted under the COVID-19 pandemic.

file photo/Office of the Governor

Two prominent Democrats within the New York State Legislature announced late Tuesday afternoon that legislation was expected to pass that would pull back emergency powers granted to Gov. Andrew Cuomo at the onset of the COVID pandemic. The state Senate's minority leader, meanwhile, called the legislation a "bogus backroom" deal.

Mike Groll/Office of Gov. Andrew Cuomo

Two former female aides to Gov. Andrew Cuomo are accusing him of bad behavior, with one saying the governor sexually harassed her in incidents that included inappropriate touching and an invitation to play strip poker. Cuomo denies the allegations.

Darren McGee / Office of the Governor

The New York State Senate is poised to strip Gov. Andrew Cuomo of some of his emergency pandemic powers and add an oversight commission to review the decisions the governor makes.

Office of the Governor

Over his long career, New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo has been known as a brutal, even vindictive political opponent, quick to retaliate against people who oppose his agenda or challenge him publicly.

Office of the Governor

In his budget plan, Gov. Andrew Cuomo proposed imposing new higher income taxes on New York’s wealthiest residents if President Joe Biden and Congress don’t come through with enough federal aid to close the state’s budget deficit. But at the same time, he offered a contradictory message, saying it might hurt the state’s competitiveness and cause the rich to flee the state.

Gov. Andrew Cuomo wants to mandate internet service providers in New York to offer high-speed internet to low-income consumers at $15 per month, and is seeking to create a fund for families that can’t afford it at that rate.

The New York State Legislature began the 2021 session with a strengthened Democratic base and intensifying challenges, including the ongoing pandemic and the growing budget deficit. 

Office of the Governor

As the new year begins, New York state leaders face two major challenges. One is the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic as infection rates spike again and a vaccine rollout begins. The second is the state’s related multibillion-dollar budget deficit, which needs to be closed by spring.

Congress, in the relief package approved late Monday, did not include a financial bail out for states hit hard by the pandemic, leaving New York with a multi-billion dollar budget deficit going into the New Year.  The leader of the state Assembly says now is the time to push ahead with new taxes on the wealthiest, to start making up for the loss.


New York Now

Assembly Speaker Carl Heastie said Monday that negotiations are underway with the Senate and Gov. Andrew Cuomo on potential tax increases on the wealthy in New York, and that lawmakers could still return to Albany before the end of the year to act on such a measure.

Office of the Governor

Gov. Andrew Cuomo has written a letter to New York’s congressional delegation, urging them not to settle for a federal stimulus package that does not include aid to states hard hit by the coronavirus. The plea comes as talks between House Democrats and Senate Republicans in Washington are down to the wire.

Many of New York’s cities begin their new fiscal year July 1, and they are struggling to balance their budgets after the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic. Recent protests in some cities are straining budgets even further. Meanwhile, there’s a growing movement in the state legislature to raise taxes on the wealthy to help balance the state’s budget and to help cities.

 

Kevin P. Coughlin / /Office of Gov. Andrew Cuomo

Gov. Andrew Cuomo signed several police reform measures into law Friday, while saying he’ll withhold state funding from local police departments that do not submit proof that they’ve worked with their communities to reconfigure their forces. 

 


 

WBFO file photo

The New York Assembly and Senate has approved the repeal of a measure that’s been used to shield police disciplinary records from the public, although opponents, including police unions and some Republican Senators, says it unfairly singles out officers for scrutiny that other public servants don’t face.

 

 


 

Kyle S. Mackie/WBFO News

The New York State Legislature met in session at the state capital Monday to begin work on a package of bills aimed at reforming the police. Gov. Andrew Cuomo has promised to sign them. If approved, New York would be the first state to act on police reforms since the death of George Floyd, an African American man in Minneapolis during an incident with police two weeks ago.


State lawmakers have just one week until the state budget is due, and despite the coronavirus outbreak, they say they intend to meet the deadline and will use precautions to avoid meeting in large groups.They face a daunting task of putting together a spending plan while a multibillion-dollar deficit grows each day.


New York state lawmakers voted in nearly empty chambers Wednesday on bills, including one to give quarantined New Yorkers paid sick leave, as they adopted new meeting rules to limit spreading the corona virus.  Meanwhile, the chief sponsor of the bill to legalize adult use of recreational marijuana says it likely will not be in the budget plan for now.

Karen DeWitt

A proposal in the State Senate to rollback part of the state’s recently-enacted bail reforms produced an angry backlash from supporters of the law, which  took effect January 1st and ended most forms of cash bail for non-violent crimes in New York.


New York State Senate

Democrats who lead the state Senate approved several measures on Thursday to make it easier to vote. But a newly energized Republican minority wanted to talk about other topics, such as worries about undocumented immigrants voting and whether to repeal recently enacted bail reform measures.


WBFO file photo

Gov. Andrew Cuomo is set to deliver his State of the State message on Wednesday, at a time when New York faces its worst budget deficit in a decade. WBFO will provide live coverage beginning at 1:30 p.m.


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