Governor brings on 4 new staffers, despite hiring freeze

Dec 2, 2020
Office of the Governor

New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s office has hired four new employees despite a strict hiring freeze.

Karen DeWitt / WBFO Albany Correspondent

The New York State Thruway Board voted Tuesday to raise tolls by nearly a third for drivers who don’t have an electronic E-ZPass, beginning in January. The change has so far drawn little reaction among the public, but two state senators are against parts of the plan.

Mike Groll/Office of Gov. Andrew Cuomo

Gov. Andrew Cuomo is calling on the federal government to make sure COVID-19 vaccines get to Black, Brown and Asian communities, as well as protect the information of undocumented immigrants who get vaccinated.

An appeals court dealt another blow Monday to a lawsuit seeking to nullify a New York law allowing immigrants without legal documents to seek driver's licenses.

Office of the Governor

With New York state’s rate of COVID-19 infection above 4% for the second day in a row, Gov. Andrew Cuomo on Monday announced new emergency hospital rules to prevent the state’s health care system from being overwhelmed.

New York State Thruway Authority

A state senator is objecting to a proposal by the New York State Thruway Authority to raise tolls for drivers who don’t have an E-ZPass.

New York State Senate

Democrats who lead the state Senate announced Monday that they have won enough seats to hold a supermajority. That means they can override vetoes by the governor and potentially change the balance of power at the state capital.

Office of the Governor

As the Thanksgiving holiday week begins, New York State officials are recommending that dinners and other gatherings of family and friends be limited or even cancelled, to prevent a further rise in COVID-19 transmission.

Dan Clark / WMHT

Democrats have all but clinched a supermajority in the State Senate after declaring victory in another seat Friday, bringing the total number of seats controlled by the party in the chamber to at least 41 at the beginning of next year’s legislative session.

National Rifle Association

New York financial regulators say the National Rifle Association is banned from marketing insurance in New York for five years and will pay $2.5 million to settle an investigation into "dangerous" policies that covered gun owners' costs related to self-defense shootings.

Office of the Governor

Gov. Andrew Cuomo has declared more regions as microcluster coronavirus hot zones as the rate of COVID-19 continues to climb in New York.

Now that elections are over, leaders of the New York State Legislature are facing pressure from a wide range of groups to reconvene and deal with pandemic-related economic problems. Legislative leaders say they are not ruling it out.

Gov. Andrew Cuomo, members of the state Legislature and judges in New York will not receive a pay raise next year due to the state’s $14 billion budget shortfall heading into 2021, according to a report issued Monday by a state panel tasked with evaluating those salaries.

Office of the Governor

Gov. Andrew Cuomo, in a speech at a Black church in Manhattan, vowed to sue the administration of President Donald Trump for violating the constitutional rights of African American and Hispanic New Yorkers, if it does not make changes to its COVID-19 vaccination plan.

Daddy Al's General Store

This year, a world-famous holiday sight has its roots in Oneonta, NY.

New York State Senate

State lawmakers have no plans to return to Albany -- either in-person or virtually -- before the start of next year’s legislative session, Senate Majority Leader Andrea Stewart-Cousins said in an interview Thursday.

Karen DeWitt / WBFO Albany Correspondent

Overnight on Friday, the New York State Thruway will make the switch to all cashless tolling. By Saturday morning, cameras mounted on steel gantries above the roadway will extract the tolls from E-ZPass accounts or send bills to motorist without one.

Brett Dahlberg / WXXI News

Gov. Andrew Cuomo is imposing new restrictions on bars and restaurants and limiting the number of people at a home gathering to 10 or fewer, effective on Friday.

New York State Bar Association

A new state law took effect Veterans Day, called the Restoration of Honor Act. Signed in 2019, the law allows for the potential eligibility of state benefits for veterans with general or other-than-honorable discharges, due to post-traumatic stress disorder, military sexual trauma, traumatic brain injury, sexual orientation or gender identification.

Office of Gov. Andrew Cuomo

New York will likely place new COVID-related restrictions on areas of Western New York, the Rochester area, and Onondaga County early next week, Gov. Andrew Cuomo said Friday, as those areas continue to experience relatively high rates of the virus.

File Photo / WBFO News

Proponents of legalizing marijuana for adult use in New York were handed good news Thursday by Gov. Andrew Cuomo, who said the state’s massive budget deficit heading into next year will likely be a catalyst for the drug’s legalization in the coming months.

Gov. Andrew Cuomo said he would wait until after the general election before deciding how to close the state’s multibillion-dollar budget gap, hoping that Democratic wins for president and the U.S. Senate might lead to a larger federal relief package for blue states.

Now that Election Day has come and gone, and with the most likely scenario a President Joe Biden but a Republican-led U.S. Senate, the governor and the State Legislature will have to soon make some big decisions.

State data shows that nearly 3,000 people tested positive for COVID-19 in New York in one day, a milestone that illustrates the steady erosion of the progress the state made to get the virus under control this summer.

Office of the Governor

Gov. Andrew Cuomo claimed Monday that the Trump administration was seeking to use information related to recipients of the COVID-19 vaccine to target undocumented individuals for deportation, but a federal agency says the data wouldn’t be used for that purpose.

New York State Education Department

Discrimination issues haven't gone away, even in these COVID-19 days of remote work and school. That is why the New York State Division of Human Rights held an information session virtually Thursday evening.

The Justice Department is vastly expanding an inquiry that could determine whether New York is undercounting coronavirus deaths among nursing home residents.

Max2 / BigStock

Gov. Andrew Cuomo has been calling, for months, for new accountability measures over utility companies that operate in New York, but finally unveiled details Wednesday on legislation that would claw back their power and place harsher penalties on those operators.

Karen DeWitt / WBFO Albany Correspondent

Most of the attention this election season has been focused on the presidential campaign, but there are also a significant number of New York State Senate races in play. Democrats need just two more seats to gain a supermajority that could potentially override any vetoes of legislation issued by Gov. Andrew Cuomo.

Office of the Governor

Gov. Andrew Cuomo provided a COVID-19 status update Wednesday, saying the highest infection rate in the state is here in the Western New York Region.

Office of the Governor

Hospitalizations in New York due to COVID-19 have more than doubled over the last month, with the state reporting more than 1,000 hospitalizations Friday for the first time in four months.