New York State Legislature

In what supporters called a "watershed moment," the New York Legislature on Friday approved and Gov. Andrew Cuomo signed what Democratic lawmakers and tenant groups say are the strongest tenant protections in a generation.

The annual end-of-session crush has started in Albany, with far more legislation pending than there is time or desire to pass. One bill that may make it out of the morass and pass is legislation to legalize adult use of pot, according to one of its most visible supporters.

With the New York State Legislature session winding down, lots of issues are still on the table and others are surfacing. That is particularly true of nine interlinked bills that would change the rental housing system across the state - a lot.

Karen Dewitt / WBFO Albany Correspondent

Hundreds of tenants’ rights protesters at the New York State Capitol on Tuesday blocked the entrances to the Senate and Assembly chambers and Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s office, as they demanded the 2019 session not end until there is reform of the rent laws.

The groups achieved some results: Senate Democrats announced they have agreed to the measures pushed by the groups.

Sexual Harassment Working Group

The second hearing on sexual harassment in New York state government will be held Friday in New York City. Ahead of the hearing, a group of former legislative staffers who say they have been victims of harassment joined lawmakers to introduce bills to strengthen New York’s laws.


Karen Dewitt / WBFO Albany Correspondent

With less than a week to go to the state budget deadline, interest groups have converged on Albany, lobbying to get their measures included in the budget plan - and in some cases, to keep items out.

Sands

Gambling casino companies are pressing Gov. Andrew Cuomo and the state legislature to allow them to open gaming centers in New York City as part of the new state budget. There are a number of obstacles to overcome, but the proposal may seem tempting to lawmakers, who are strapped for cash this year.

Flora Buffalo

The legalization of recreational marijuana is up in the air in Albany. Advocates and opponents in the state legislature are running out of time to hash out a deal before the March 31st budget deadline. But as WBFO's Chris Caya reports - plans for building a high-tech cannabis campus on the Buffalo waterfront are still moving forward.


Legislation has passed in the New York State Legislature that would make revenge porn a crime. All that’s left before it becomes law is Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s signature.

The New York State Legislature has announced it will hold hearings on Feb. 13 about sexual harassment in state government.

Buffalo Stories

Mediators for the Buffalo Catholic Diocese have decided an award of $650,000 to a survivor of priest sexual abuse, which his attorney said is the largest sum made public to settle such a case.

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.

Interest in moving the Buffalo School Board elections to November is suddenly heating up, as the New York State Legislature session enters its final weeks.

Michael Mroziak, WBFO

The push is being renewed to pass legislation in Albany that would allow childhood sexual abuse victims to file lawsuits for incidents that happened decades ago. A  Western New York man who says he was molested by a local priest while he was 14 years old went public with his story for the first time Tuesday.

WBFO file photo

Governor Andrew Cuomo will soon officially announce that special elections to fill 11 vacant seats in the new York State Legislature will take place April 24, a source within state government confirmed Wednesday.

Nick Lippa

It’s not just consumers. Recycling plastic bags for many retailers has proven difficult. To help with this problem, the New York Plastic Bag Task Force has identified eight possible solutions and sent the report to Governor Andrew Cuomo and the New York State Legislature for consideration.

WBFO's Chris Caya

Gov. Andrew Cuomo should veto a bill passed by the New York State Legislature that blocks local governments from billing pharmaceutical companies to dispose of unused prescription drugs. That is the position of Erie County Legislator Patrick Burke, who is sponsoring legislation to hold drug companies accountable.

WBFO file photo

With less than two weeks remaining before New York State's April 1 budget deadline, state lawmakers are busy in Albany working towards an agreement. WBFO spoke with two local representatives to find out what's still unresolved.


WBFO file photo

Students from across the state are gathering in Albany today to encourage elected officials to commit more resources to student financial aid programs.

Chris Caya / WBFO News

Ahead of Gov. Andrew Cuomo's Regional State of the State Address in Buffalo Monday, there is a new push to make ridesharing a priority this session. A diverse group turned out at the Buffalo Niagara Convention Center Thursday to voice their support. 


Chris Caya WBFO News

Labatt USA is teaming up with other local businesses to urge Albany to pass legislation that would allow ride-hailing in Western New York.


WBFO file photo

State lawmakers, who have not had a pay raise since 1999, are no closer to getting one in the new year. The state commission assembled to recommend a possible raise instead rejected the measure on Tuesday. But not everyone eligible for the raise is upset.

It is summer vacation for school children, but leaders of New York’s rural schools are worrying about the new school year and say they are squeezed by a tax cap and other factors.


Business leaders, particularly those in upstate New York, say the recently concluded 2016 legislative session was the worst for small businesses in quite some time.

npr.org

The news from Albany of an opioid abuse legislation agreement is being hailed in Western New York by many who are on the front lines in the fight against opioid addiction. If there are any disappointments to local advocates, it's that agreement on the measures within the package didn't happen years ago.


WBFO file photo

During his Thursday stops in Western New York, Governor Andrew Cuomo fielded questions about issues still pending in the State Legislature, which is scheduled to conclude its current session next week. Cuomo has his wish list of items but questions whether lawmakers are sincerely interested in tackling them.


The state legislature ends its session for the year on June 16, and expectations are low for any major pieces of legislation to be resolved before the adjournment, as Governor Andrew Cuomo’s administration faces increasing scrutiny from the U.S. attorney over economic development projects.


MMA supporters hail Assembly move to legalize the sport

Mar 23, 2016
Bad Intentionz, Wikimedia Common

Supporters of legalized professional mixed martial arts in New York State say the controversial yet popular sport will generate millions of dollars in economic activity, while making the sport safer in a state where it's already been hosted on a strictly amateur - and unregulated - basis.


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.


WBFO News file photo

In the legislative session that recently ended, Governor Cuomo saw the state legislature reject a number of agenda items he’d been pushing. The governor, perhaps taking a cue from President Obama, has used his executive powers  to  advance some of the proposals anyway.

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