A plan by Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s administration to require motorists to pay a $25 fee to replace aging license plates is getting some resistance. But the governor said it’s needed to comply with new cashless scanners being set up on toll roads and bridges all over the state.
A ceremony to award economic development grants to regions of the state was overshadowed by developments on the federal tax overhaul plan in Washington, as the House and Senate announced agreement on a final plan to be voted on as early as next week.
A fiscal watchdog group is questioning the state’s century-old prevailing wage law for construction workers, saying it unnecessarily costs taxpayers billions of dollars a year in added expenses for big road, bridge and other projects.
A residency requirement for college students seeking free tuition at New York’s public colleges is drawing criticism. Gov. Andrew Cuomo defended the late addition to the plan, approved as part of the state budget earlier this month.
The scandal over Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s economic development programs has led to more scrutiny of whether the projects are the best way to improve the state’s economy, and some watchdog groups are asking questions.
Gov. Andrew Cuomo is making some changes to prevent any future bid-rigging in some of his major economic development projects. But critics on both the left and the right say Cuomo is failing to address the bigger picture — whether the $8.6 billion worth of programs are an effective use of public money.
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.
Political and private sector leaders from around the state are spending three days at the Capitol, making their best case to win a share of $1.5 billion in economic development monies for their region.
When Governor Cuomo and legislative leaders announced a new rebate check for property taxpayers, they touted it as a significant “real” benefit to average homeowners. But fiscal watchdog groups say the program is severely flawed, and the money could be better used on something else.
Leaders of all of the state’s local governments, as well as unions representing teachers and public workers, are warning state lawmakers not to simply renew the state’s property tax cap without some changes.
A near record number of school budgets were approved around the state in Tuesday’s vote. Many are attributing the relative lack of controversy to the three year old property tax cap that limits tax levy increases, as well as an increase in state aid.