State

Updated 4:35 a.m. ET Monday

A man accused of stabbing and wounding five people at a rabbi's home in an Orthodox Jewish community in Rockland County, New York, just as they were lighting candles for Hanukkah, pleaded not guilty on Sunday to five counts of attempted murder.

Police have identified the alleged attacker as Grafton E. Thomas, 37, of Greenwood Lake, N.Y. He is currently in custody on attempted murder charges and one count of burglary.

New York State Unified Court System

New York State Supreme Court Justice Matthew Rosenbaum will be relieved of his judicial duties, less than two months after he was re-elected to a 2nd term in the 7th Judicial District, which includes Cayuga, Livingston, Monroe, Ontario, Seneca, Steuben, Wayne and Yates counties.

File Photo / WBFO News

Beginning Jan. 1, some criminal justice law changes take effect in New York that have divided defendants' rights advocates and law enforcement groups.


Gov. Andrew Cuomo is looking at running higher-speed passenger trains across New York by re-imagining designs.

New York's governor has vetoed a bill to allow electric scooters and bikes statewide, his office said Thursday.

New York State Senate

Churches, youth groups, and schools were hit by a tsunami of lawsuits in 2019 after New York gave survivors of childhood sexual abuse a one-year window to sue over allegations ordinarily barred by statutes of limitation. Now, some lawmakers want to open the same window for people abused as adults, a move that could lay a pathway for people to file additional lawsuits against some high-profile men targeted in the #MeToo movement.

File photo

With support from Gov. Andrew Cuomo and many members of the state legislature, 2020 could be the year when New York legalizes the adult use of recreational marijuana. But the issue has become complicated by a widespread lung ailment linked to vaping.


New York State Bar Exam

Lawyers, law schools and law students are fighting to remove a question of people who are trying to be admitted as lawyers, after they successfully pass the bar exam.

Office of the Governor

There is still some some uncertainty about how nurse practitioners and midwives are affected by a law that was supposed to expand the number of New York health care providers who can perform abortions.

Bebeto Matthews / AP

New York's governor says convicted sex offenders should be required to disclose their social media screen names to prevent them from using apps to exploit children.

New York State

New York's governor wants to eliminate the so-called "pink tax." Gov. Andrew Cuomo said Sunday he will push legislation banning gender-based price disparities for similar goods and services.

NY State Thruway Authority

On Thursday, the New York State Thruway Board of Directors announced a proposal to increase tolls for non-E-Z Pass users in about a year's time. WBFO's Mark Wozniak spoke with Thruway Authority CFO Matthew Howard about the toll hikes.

File Photo / WBFO News

The New York State Thruway Authority's Board of Directors has approved a proposal that would raise tolls on the superhighway effective January 2021.

Government Justice Center

A conservative good government group is suing to block a pay hike that would place Gov. Andrew Cuomo among the nation's highest paid governors.

Daniel M. Vasta / RIT

The Green Light Law allowing undocumented immigrants to obtain driver’s licenses took effect Monday across New York state. It's the first time in 18 years, since a similar law was revoked in 2001.

In Orleans County, three people applied under the new law on its first day in effect. Farmworker Eladio Beltran was one of them.

Beltran came to the U.S. in 2001, when he was 14 years old. He says that he learned how to drive by himself, out in the fields with a tractor, and by watching movies.

“You kind of got pushed to learn the difficult way,” Beltran says.

Gov. Andrew Cuomo wants to close a loophole in New York law that prevents prosecutors from bringing rape charges in certain cases when victims become drunk voluntarily. He also has proposed prohibiting the use of styrofoam, or expanded polystyrene, single-use food containers.

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.


The declining New York State Senate Republican conference could get even smaller after three Senators announced that they are not running for reelection in 2020. More exits are expected in the coming weeks.


The state’s public campaign finance commission voted on a package of bills that would enact a public matching donor program, and put strict new limits on the abilities of minor parties to qualify to be on the ballot. The meeting was at times interrupted by protesters, who compared the commission’s actions to that of President Donald Trump, and some government reform groups say they can’t support the final product. 

Karen Dewitt / WBFO Albany Correspondent

A commission designing a public campaign finance system for the state’s political races is poised to limit fusion voting, or the ability for candidates to run on multiple party lines. Now the leader of the State Senate is saying that it would be better if the commission leaves it alone.


Elise Amendola / AP

A new poll finds Democrat Joe Biden is in the lead in New York among challengers to President Donald Trump. Meanwhile, support for the president among independents is up slightly, while Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s popularity has slipped.


Image by tomkohhantsuk from Pixabay

New York’s Attorney General is suing Juul, the nation’s largest manufacturer of electronic cigarettes, saying the “deceptive and misleading marketing of its e-cigarettes” has contributed to the youth vaping epidemic in New York State.


New York is facing a looming budget deficit because of rising costs and spending on health care in the state’s Medicaid program. It’s increasingly likely that the state will resort to what critics say is a fiscal “gimmick” to keep the rest of this year's and next year’s spending plans in balance.


Some members of a commission that’s creating the rules for a public campaign finance system for state elected offices are concerned that the plans being developed would be too favorable to incumbent politicians.


Governor Cuomo Twitter Account

New York Governor Andrew Cuomo marched in the Veterans Day parade in New York City. He mostly avoided President Donald Trump, who  also spoke at the event.


District Attorneys Association of New York State

A new law that takes effect in New York in January will give people accused of crimes more tools to mount a defense in court. But the state’s District Attorneys say changes to what’s known as the discovery laws will be costly and hard to implement.

Sweeping reforms that will end cash bail for all misdemeanor and nonviolent felony charges in New York state take effect in January. But some law enforcement groups are objecting, saying the changes go too far and could jeopardize public safety.

There were mixed reactions Wednesday from New York's politicians and political parties on this year's election results.

Carla K. Johnson / AP

The USDA released long-awaited regulations on CBD this week that will provide more federal regulation of the growing of hemp plants, where CBD comes from. Meanwhile, in New York, a bill that would regulate CBD is in limbo. The State Legislature has approved it, but Gov. Andrew Cuomo hasn’t acted on it yet.

Eileen Koteras Elibol/WBFO News

New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo said “good riddance” to the news that President Donald Trump is changing his official residence from New York to Florida.

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