Politics

Political news

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.

REUTERS/Shannon Stapleton / AP/PBS NewsHour Edit | Remove

The state Assembly narrowly approved a measure to remove the religious exemption for vaccinations in the wake of a severe measles outbreak that began in communities with a high percentage of unvaccinated children in New York and is steadily spreading to other states.


Mike Desmond / WBFO News

The New York State Assembly has passed and sent on to the State Senate a bill to allow driver's licenses for people in the country illegally. Supporters of Green Light New York are excited - and showed it at a rally in front of Lafayette High School in Buffalo.

Following a spirited debate, the New York State Assembly approved a bill to allow undocumented immigrants to obtain driver's licenses. It’s not a done deal though, and it faces resistance in the State Senate.


Legislative leaders in Albany agreed Tuesday to tighten tenant protections for millions of New York City apartment dwellers and authorized cities around the state to craft their own restrictions on rents.

Mike Desmond / WBFO News

There is a new man in what will soon be Buffalo City Hall's toughest job: commissioner of assessment and taxation.

Karen DeWitt

The New York State Senate passed a bill Tuesday to legalize paid gestational surrogacy for couples who are unable to have their own children. But it faces an uncertain future in the Assembly, and opponents range from feminist icon Gloria Steinem to the Catholic Church.


Buffalo Mayor Byron Brown, Comptroller Barbara Miller-Williams and Common Council President Darius Pridgen have nominated Jason Shell to be the new city Commissioner of Assessment and Taxation.

File photo

New York state lawmakers had the day off Monday before they return to the Capitol on Tuesday to tackle a number of end-of-session issues, including renewing rent control laws and possibly legalizing marijuana for adults. A poll finds support among New Yorkers for many of the issues on the table.


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.

Lucas Willard / WAMC News

The New York Senate has approved new safety regulations for limousines following an upstate crash that killed 20 people last fall.

Karen DeWitt / WXXI News

State senators and Assembly members are pushing for action to combat climate change before the legislative session ends later this month. However, Gov. Andrew Cuomo said the plan is too ambitious and unrealistic.

Margot Schulman / Ford's Theatre Photo

Modestly, Buffalo-born political satirist Mark Russell is not boasting over his Lincoln Medal, given this weekend at a gala at Ford's Theatre with Washington's elite in attendence including President Donald Trump  and First Lady Melania Trump.

Russell, a Canisius High School graduate who still returns to town for reunions, brushed off the honor saying it was really just due to " body of work, time in the saddle,"

The honor was presented to Russell, and Retired Gen. Colin Powell and his wife, Alma this past Saturday at Ford's theatre.

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.

New York lawmakers have voted to ban the declawing of cats, and the state will be the first in the country to prohibit the controversial practice if the governor signs the measure.

The bill sailed through both houses of the Legislature on Animal Advocacy Day, though it has been several years in the making with previous efforts falling short.

"Cat declawing is a horrific, yet often practiced surgery that leads to a lifetime of pain and discomfort for thousands of cats," Democratic Assemblywoman Linda Rosenthal of Manhattan, who sponsored the bill, told NPR.

Mel Evans / Associated Press File Photo

New York would be the first state to ban the declawing of cats under legislation heading to a vote in the state Legislature. The Senate and Assembly are both expected to take up the bill on Tuesday.

Governor's Office

With 11 working days left in the legislative session, the atmosphere is intensifying at the State Capitol. Democrats who lead the Legislature are facing pressure from all sides to deliver on legislation that they campaigned on.

Natasha Haverty / NCPR File Photo

New legislation has been introduced in Congress that would help dairy farmers find workers. The Helping Labor Personnel Farms Act, better known as the HELP Act, would give agriculture workers legal work status for two years. Congressman Chris Collins (R-Clarence) showed public support for the bill last week. WBFO's Nick Lippa spoke with New York Farm Bureau Public Affairs Manager Steve Ammerman on how this bill would impact AG labor.

Legislative leaders have announced an agreement in principle on nine bills that they say will extend and strengthen New York City’s rent laws. It’s part of an effort to get a number of bills passed before adjournment later in June.


Karen Dewitt / WBFO Albany Correspondent

The state Senate held a hearing on how New York can join 15 other states and implement automatic voter registration.


KnifeCenter.com

Gov. Andrew Cuomo has signed legislation that ends the legal ban on so-called gravity knives.

Michael Mroziak, WBFO

Erie County lawmakers sitting on the Legislature's Public Safety Committee heard input Thursday from three guests as they weigh a proposed local law which would establish what they're calling the Erie County Corrections Specialist Advisory Board.

Karen DeWitt

A leading business group has come out in favor of granting driver’s licenses to undocumented immigrants, increasing the chances of the bill’s passage in the state Legislature this year.


Karen DeWitt

The New York State Legislature held a daylong hearing Tuesday on a proposal to enact single-payer health care in New York.


Eileen Elibol / WNED | WBFO

The state’s Democratic Party leaders have voted to greatly shorten the lead time before voters can register to cast a ballot in the 2020 Presidential primaries.

New York State Joint Commission on Public Ethics

A national report finds that New York State’s ethics panel is among the worst in the nation. Reform groups say that’s not news to them, and have called for an overhaul of the commission.


Albright-Knox Art Gallery

The Erie County Legislature agreed to put up the $5 million promised to the Albright-Knox Art Gallery by County Executive Mark Poloncarz, but it was along fight.

National attention is turning to issues that have been central to Kirsten Gillibrand's years of public service: equality and reproductive rights.

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.


Defense Distributed / National Public Radio

The Democrat-controlled New York State Legislature has approved a measure that would ban the manufacture, sale and possession of 3D-printed guns and other undetectable firearms.

Pages