Carl Heastie

WBFO File Photo

The New York State Senate and Assembly will release their one-house budgets early next week, as the March 31 deadline for a new spending plan draws near. They have already given some hints as to what the plans will include.


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.

Hans Pennink/AP

One of the chief arguments over the state budget will be whether to renew an income tax surcharge on New York’s wealthiest. The debate stands next to Governor Cuomo's push to create new initiatives, such as free tuition at state colleges and universities.


Karen Dewitt

Some state lawmakers are rejecting Governor Cuomo’s proposal to extend a tax on millionaires. Cuomo spent Tuesday rolling out his spending plan to individual groups of lawmakers in private briefings, then at night, released details to the public.

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Discussions over a December special session has turned to finger pointing, as Governor Cuomo and Senate Republicans blame each other over lack of progress.

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Talks between Gov. Andrew Cuomo and legislative leaders are still continuing over whether to hold a special session before the holidays — and the clock is ticking.


Governor Cuomo and state lawmakers are still trying to put together a special session before the end of the year that could include a pay raise.

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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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It’s looking less likely that state lawmakers will be getting a long-awaited pay raise next year. A commission designed to take politics out of the issue is now coming under political pressure to not grant the salary increase.


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Governor Andrew Cuomo has not been getting along with other Democrats in the state this summer. For some time, Cuomo has appeared to have a feud with the Democratic mayor of New York City, but in recent weeks, the governor has directed scathing comments toward state Assembly Democrats.


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A commission is considering granting as much as a 47 percent pay raise for state lawmakers, and the proposal is generating some backlash, including from Governor Andrew Cuomo.


Karen DeWitt

As part of the push to end the legislative session by Thursday, state lawmakers representing the PFOA contaminated village of Hoosick Falls want to extend the statute of limitations to bring lawsuits against polluters.


New legislation supports breast cancer screenings

Jun 12, 2016

New York State has taken measures to help women  overcome hurdles that prevent them from getting breast cancer screenings.

Karen DeWitt

Expectations for major ethics reform in the state legislature are low, even though both former leaders of the legislature are facing prison time for corruption. With just over a week to go before the session ends, only one measure — to take back the pensions of lawmakers who are convicted felons — seems to be in play.


Two separate bills to legalize and regulate daily fantasy sports and some other forms of gambling are moving through the legislature, but anti-gambling groups say they should be stopped.


Every day for the past two weeks, news reports have focused on a federal probe of Governor Cuomo’s Administration. Despite that, Cuomo and legislative leaders say they are trying to achieve some agenda items in the closing weeks of the legislative session.


Public domain

Former Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver was  sentenced to 12 years in prison Tuesday and told by a federal judge that he must give back $5 million that he stole from the public, as well a pay another $1.75 million in fines.


Karen DeWitt

Prior to holding a rally at the Cohoes high school, Democratic Presidential candidate Hillary Clinton held an event in New York City with Governor Cuomo. The former New York Senator is scheduled to appear in Buffalo this Friday.


The newly approved state budget includes a minimum wage increase that is the result of several compromises.


When the state budget is approved next week it will likely not include a discount for frequent users of the New York State Thruway. The legislature has rejected Governor Cuomo’s plan to use some of the state’s surplus to subsidize tolls.


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Governor Cuomo concedes that ethics reform is unlikely to be a part of the New York State budget, despite the conviction of the two legislative leaders on major corruption charges. Cuomo blames the legislature for lack of will to enact changes.


Karen DeWitt

Senate Republicans say their version of the state budget will include a 9-year phase-in of tax cuts that would eventually total a 25 percent reduction for middle class taxpayers.


Karen DeWitt

The issue of whether to tax the wealthiest New Yorkers at a higher rate is once again a topic at the State Capitol.


Karen DeWitt

The State Assembly approved a one-house bill to establish partial paid family leave in New York, as Governor Cuomo signaled he will amend his proposal to provide more money to those who take the leave.


2016 could be the year in which upstate cities get an economic boost from mixed martial arts. Legislation to legalize the sport passed the State Senate’s Cultural Affairs, Tourism, Parks and Recreation Committee Tuesday morning.

The opening day of the legislative session featured talk of ethics reform, but Governor Cuomo chose to be elsewhere, putting off his traditional State of the State message for another week, and giving speeches in Syracuse and New York City instead.


The New York State legislature is seemingly back to business as usual. But  there has been little public discussion about a corruption crisis that has led to the two most powerful men in the legislature both on trial in federal court this month.


State lawmakers said a few years ago that they would  no longer permit the controversial member item program to continue, but  critics say the old system, which gave taxpayer money to legislators’ pet projects, is being revived in a new form.


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There has been an unusual focus on upstate New York among top state politicians from the downstate area in recent weeks. 


Photo from Karen Dewitt

The state’s Assembly Speaker Carl Heastie, a Bronx native, has spent a portion of the summer touring upstate New York. Heastie has been to several cities, including Buffalo, Binghamton and Utica.

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