state legislature

Governor Andrew Cuomo and state legislative leaders have agreed on a new state budget that will take effect Monday.

The New York State Legislature has been more active during the first few days of the session than it has in many years.

National Public Radio

Pet stores in New York State would be prohibited from buying dogs or cats from puppy mills and other large commercial breeding facilities under a new proposal in the state legislature.

File Photo / National Public Radio

Both houses of the New York State Legislature have approved a proposal to make significant changes to New York's medical malpractice law, by allowing patients to sue years after an alleged misdiagnosis or mistreatment for cancer.

Gov. Andrew Cuomo has signed into law new penalties for those who make bomb threats.

The New York State legislative session is drawing to a close and Democrats and Republicans are digging in on the remaining issues of 2017. Among them is a measure to extend the New York City mayor’s control of the public schools, which has now been linked to a number of diverse issues affecting people in the rest of the state.

WBFO File Photo / WBFO News

The state budget struggle in Albany is high political theater, with the legendary "three men in a room" fighting over where the money goes and what it all means to the future of New York. How was the experience for two new local lawmakers?


New York lawmakers could soon get their first pay increase in nearly two decades. 

Environmentalists in New York are giving state legislators mixed grades when it came to passage of environmentally-friendly legislation during the just concluded session.

WBFO News File Photo

Catholic bishops from across New York are gathering in Albany today, for meetings with the governor and legislative leaders. 


Karen DeWitt

Senate Republicans say their version of the state budget will include a 9-year phase-in of tax cuts that would eventually total a 25 percent reduction for middle class taxpayers.


Now that the state budget is done, the focus at the Capitol shifts to some other priorities, including whether to allow medical marijuana.  Advocates came to the Capitol to lobby lawmakers,  but the bill is getting bogged down over political skirmishes.

File photo

Supporters of Dream Act legislation say they were “set up” when a hastily arranged vote on the bill in the Senate chamber late Monday led to the measure’s failure by just one vote. The focus is now shifting to Governor Cuomo. Backers say they will try to get the governor to put the measure into the state budget.

The legislature has finished it’s hearings on Governor Cuomo’s budget proposal, and will be ready to start crafting a spending plan once they return from the President’s Day break.

File photo

The leaders of the New York State Legislature are urging the State Board of Regents to delay the effects of the new federal Common Core standards for at least another two years.

File photo

Some top state lawmakers seem to be changing their minds over whether to call special elections for a growing number of vacancies in the legislature. Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver now says he wants voters to pick new legislators to fill 11 vacancies.

Most New Yorkers don't realize four of the most powerful people in state government have their terms expiring early next year and only a small group will be allowed to decide what happens next.

A coalition of women’s groups is relaunching the Women’s Equality Act, which failed in the legislature earlier this year, with a new strategy that they say could help them win passage in 2014.

File photo.

The legislature left Albany last week with some unfinished business. They did not agree on Governor Cuomo’s Women’s Equality Act, and Cuomo says at least one house should return to pass some of the bill’s provisions.

File photo

A movement is underway in Albany for a constitutional amendment to allow for recall elections of disgraced politicians.

An environmental group, out with its annual voters’ guide, is grading state lawmakers harshly this year.

Environmental Advocate’s Rob Moore says the 2012 legislative session was a disappointment for environmental and other issues.

“This was one of the least productive legislative sessions generally, in history,” said Moore. “That unproductive nature extended to the environment, as well.”

The state legislature ended their 2012 session Thursday evening as lawmakers had promised, but they did not manage to finish everything on their list before they left. Governor Cuomo calls the 2012 legislative session the most successful in “modern political history”, and a “magnificent accomplishment.” “We did what we said we would do,” Cuomo said. Lawmakers in the final hours agreed to approve the governor’s bill to publicly disclose teacher evaluations,  but Cuomo failed to persuade the Republican led Senate to decriminalize small amounts of marijuana.  “We’re ending the session with a b

Governor Cuomo is telling the legislature to ‘take it or leave it’ over a new bill he’s released new bill outlining how to make teacher evaluations public.

Governor Cuomo says he introduced  legislation on the publication of teacher evaluations just before his own self imposed deadline of midnight Monday in order  to clarify his position on the issue.  

He says it’s up the Assembly and Senate whether they want to pass it, exactly as is, or not.

“That’s the bill, the bill is not going to change,” said Cuomo.

Chris Caya/WBFO

Several local members of the state delegation are pushing for swift passage of the cyber-bullying law currently pending in Albany. 

Senator Michael Ranzenhofer says the bill came about after bullying victim Jamie Rodemeyer, a Williamsville teenager, committed suicide last September. 

Ranzenhofer says the issue pervades the entire state and he is challenging Governor Cuomo to "get on board."   The Amherst Republican says the updated bill defines the law and aids police how to handle alleged cases of cyber-bullying.

A new Siena College poll finds that New Yorkers are starting to feel more positive about the state legislature, but they still don’t want to see Senators and Assemblymembers receive a pay raise.

For the first time in many years, New Yorkers actually view the State Senate favorably, by a 46% to 43% margin,  and the State Assembly is close to evenly split, with 42% viewing them positively and 44% negatively.

The state legislature, meeting for the first time since deals were struck on pension reform and new district lines, tried to focus on their new task, agreeing on a budget.

But they found that the old issues continue to have repercussions, as a major union suspended all endorsements and contributions over the pension vote.

The week began with Governor Andrew Cuomo signing into law a bill to expand the state’s DNA data base.

Cuomo says the law will make the state “safer”.

The DNA bill was passed in all night session that ended last Thursday morning.

The New York Senate and Assembly were poised to vote on new district lines, as Governor Cuomo and legislative leaders announced agreement on a number of other unrelated issues, including expansion of the state’s DNA data base, pension reform, and an amendment to allow more gambling in New York.

After months of hearings, debate, and closely guarded private negotiations, the state Senate and Assembly task force on restricting, known as LATFOR, finally moved to adopt new district lines and send them to floor for a vote.

Senate, Assembly budgets bypass Cuomo pension reforms

Mar 13, 2012

The state Assembly and Senate have released one house versions of a state budget that do not include Governor Cuomo’s plan for a new benefit tier to limit the pensions of future public workers.

The budgets plans are designed to stake out the positions of Assembly Democrats and Senate Republicans- and are often changed in the final deal with the governor.

Neither house has included Cuomo’s plan to offer a new Tier 6 benefit package with smaller pensions for new workers.

Down to the wire on redistricting

Mar 9, 2012

It’s coming down to the wire on redistricting in New York.

A federal court has already usurped a gridlocked state legislature and drawn new congressional lines, and is now on track to redraw state legislative lines, too, if the Assembly and Senate do not agree on a bill by March 15th.

Talks between the Senate and Assembly on a comprehensive redistricting package bogged down over arguments about how to reconfigure congressional maps.

New York will lose two seats and go from 29 to 27 representatives based on the 2010 census data.