John Flanagan

File photo

Western New York Sen. Robert Ortt is the New York State Senate's new minority leader.

 

New York State Senate

For the first time since Earl Brydges left the job as Republican leader in the State Senate at the end of 1972, a Western New Yorker might step back into the position However, Brydges had a majority and the new leader won't.

Karen Dewitt / WBFO Albany Correspondent

From Albany comes word that New York State Senate Republican Leader John Flanagan will not be seeking reelection this year.

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.

Senate Republicans on Tuesday planned to offer an amendment to repeal New York’s Green Light law, which permits undocumented immigrants to apply for driver's licenses.


Karen Dewitt / WBFO Albany Correspondent

The fight over recently enacted bail reform heated up at the Capitol on Tuesday, with dueling events by police and activists that at times centered on charges of racism surrounding a Facebook page that calls for the law to be repealed.


The backlash to New York’s new law that ends most forms of cash bail continues at the Capitol, but the Senate leader said she does not want to rush to change the reforms until they are given a chance to work. The law went into effect on Jan. 1.


NYSenate.Gov

State Sen. Rich Funke of the Rochester area is the latest Republican lawmaker to announce he will not seek re-election. Funke joins seven other minority-party senators who say they are moving on to other things after less than a year under Democratic rule in the Senate.


Karen DeWitt

The leader of the state Senate Republicans, who are in the minority in that chamber, said he’s not giving up on winning back seats, even though seven GOP members have announced they are leaving or seeking another office. Senate Minority Leader John Flanagan, who ruled as the majority leader for several years until Republicans lost several seats in 2018, said he knows his party faces a big challenge.


Republican leaders in the New York Legislature are speaking out against a commission that is creating a public campaign financing system for state elected offices, saying the panel is fatally flawed.


Governor's Office

The head of the state’s Republican Party said there is no need to require New Yorkers to buy new license plates beginning in 2020, if their current plates are still readable and in good condition.

The New York State Legislature took final action on measures that could be used against President Donald Trump and his associates, including a backdoor way for Congress to view the president’s tax returns.


Democratic state legislators are beginning the new year with some resentment toward Democratic Gov. Andrew Cuomo over a deal that gives them a big raise — but comes with several strings attached.

Hans Pennink / Associated Press

A government reform group has filed a lawsuit to stop a pay raise granted to state lawmakers by a compensation commission.

Karen Dewitt / WBFO Albany Correspondent

The New York State Senate made history on two fronts Monday, as it elected Andrea Stewart-Cousins to be the first woman and the first African-American woman to head the chamber in January.

Sen. John Flanagan was re-elected as the leader of the Republicans in the chamber on Friday afternoon, surviving a challenge to his leadership from upstate Sen. Cathy Young of Olean. But come January, he will be in charge of the minority party, after Democrats took control of the Senate for only the third time in the last century.


Karen Dewitt / WBFO Albany Correspondent

The state’s largest teachers union brought bagpipe players and a brass band to New York's Capitol to push for a bill to decouple teacher evaluations from the results of standardized tests.

WBFO file photo

Talks on the state budget were stalled just days before the March 30 deadline, as Gov. Andrew Cuomo and state lawmakers continued negotiations. Groups pressing for additional issues that are in the governor’s budget plan still have not given up hope.


Sen. Catharine Young

There is a new proposal to overhaul government sexual harassment policies in New York State. The Senate's Republican majority Tuesday announced the measure, sponsored by Olean Republican Catharine Young.

National Public Radio

Gov. Andrew Cuomo, in his State of the State speech, floated the idea of converting the state income tax to a payroll tax to help reverse the new federal law that limits deductibility for state and local taxes. Many support the concept, but businesses say it is not so easy to make the change and it could bring unforeseen complications.

WBFO Albany Correspondent Karen Dewitt

There is growing pressure on a group of breakaway Democrats in the New York State Senate to reunite with the mainstream Democrats and form a majority to rule the Senate.

WBFO File Photo

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

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 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.


WBFO File Photo

In Albany’s own version of Groundhog Day, Gov. Andrew Cuomo and legislative leaders are still keeping open the possibility of a special session before the year ends that could include legalizing ride-sharing services statewide and a pay raise for lawmakers.


WBFO File Photo

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

WBFO File Photo

Democrats in New York are trying to keep the heat on Republicans running for office over the coarse remarks made by GOP presidential candidate Donald Trump in a leaked video.


Karen DeWitt

Now that the Republican National Convention is over, the next step for Republicans, after the Democrats are done with their gathering, is to begin the Presidential election campaign.  Carl Paladino, the head of Trump’s New York campaign, expects the state to be in play.

Karen DeWitt

With the legislative session down to the wire, groups for and against bills including expansion of Uber ride services and ethics reform came to the Capitol to make their voices heard.


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