Susan Lerner

WAMC

A bill to allow automatic voter registration in New York failed in the final days of the legislative session, after a mistake in the language would have inadvertently allowed undocumented immigrants to vote.


The New York legislative session is due to end in three weeks, but some state lawmakers are talking about leaving a week early because they believe they will accomplish so little in that time.


Karen DeWitt

Budget talks are stalled one day before a self-imposed deadline of March 30th by Governor Cuomo and the state legislature. Meanwhile, groups left out of the detail expressed their dismay.


Karen DeWitt

Testimony at the trial of Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s former top aide, Joe Percoco, has highlighted some practices inside the governor’s office that government reform groups say is at the very least questionable, and possibly even illegal.


The state Board of Elections quietly voted this week to turn over some data about New York’s voters to a Trump administration panel looking at whether there was mass voter fraud in the 2016 presidential election.


Karen DeWitt

There are calls for a criminal investigation of some questionable stipend payments to some New York state senators. One of the senators who received those payments is giving it back, while another is calling the controversy a “witch hunt.”


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Reform advocates are taking exception to remarks made by Governor Cuomo, who said there already is enough oversight of potentially corrupt activities in Albany.


An ethics reform measure approved by the legislature at the end of the legislative session still hasn’t been signed by Governor Cuomo. And some good government groups say- it shouldn’t.


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A commission is considering granting as much as a 47 percent pay raise for state lawmakers, and the proposal is generating some backlash, including from Governor Andrew Cuomo.


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The New York State legislature has been on a three week break. In their absences, federal investigations into aides close to Governor Andrew Cuomo and New York City Mayor  Bill deBlasio have intensified, spurring even more calls for reform.


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The legislature returns next Tuesday for the final push in a session that ends in late June. Government reformers say it’s time to focus on ethics fixes.

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Government reform groups say you can add one more item to the long list of reforms that they believe are needed in Albany.


Karen DeWitt

The Assembly and Senate have released budget positions that focus on taxes and spending policies, but very little on ethics reform, even though both former leaders of the legislature face prison sentences over corruption convictions. 


Some lobbyists, as well as government reform groups, say a new rule approved by the state’s ethics commission that would require them to report contact with the news media in some cases, violates First Amendment rights and would have chilling effect.


Reform groups are giving Governor Cuomo an A for effort on his ethics proposals, but they say some of them need to go further, and Cuomo needs to follow through and actually get the plans  enacted into law.


Convictions prompt calls for change in Albany

Dec 14, 2015
thirteen.org

Following the recent convictions of two former legislative leaders, New York Senate Majority Leader Dean Skelos and former Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver, Senator Timothy Kennedy says more needs to be done to protect taxpayers. Meanwhile, the head of a government watchdog group suggests the time has come to curb potential conflicts-of-interest by making state legislators full-time employees.


The New York State legislature is seemingly back to business as usual. But  there has been little public discussion about a corruption crisis that has led to the two most powerful men in the legislature both on trial in federal court this month.


A new proposal by the state ethics commission that could restrict campaign donations is raising some questions.


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The State Board of Elections recently issued its final report on an experimental public campaign finance system that had no participants.


Governor Cuomo has repeatedly threatened to hold up the state budget over ethics reform and other issues, like education policy. Now, a poll finds that voters would rather that the budget be on time.

There's a continuing push for public financing of campaigns, arguing it removes the influence of big money and allows challengers who would have trouble raising money to run. That push made its way to Council Chambers in Buffalo's City Hall Tuesday.

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The state board of elections has approved the language for a ballot amendment that would change the way redistricting  is done in New York. But not everyone is happy with the wording, or the amendment.

Chris Caya/WBFO news

Governor Cuomo confirms that the US Attorney investigating possible interference by Governor Cuomo’s aides in an ethics probe has sent a warning letter to the governor.

Buffalo's Common Council is drawing some praise for looking into public financing of political campaigns.

WBFO News file photo

Updating a 2005 report called "Stacking the Deck," Common Cause New York says gambling interests have raised more than $3 million in less than three years, passing the cash along to elected officials and a series of pro-gambling groups.