Andrew Cuomo

Marco Varisco / Flickr

ALBANY, N.Y. (AP) — A presidential pardon won’t be enough to clear someone associated with the commander-in-chief of similar state charges under legislation approved by New York state lawmakers Tuesday.

The bill, which now moves to Democratic Gov. Andrew Cuomo, revises the exceptions to the state’s double jeopardy law in an effort to ensure the state’s ongoing investigations into the Republican president and his associates can’t be derailed by a White House pardon.

Ellen Abbott / WRVO News

Gov. Andrew Cuomo says the recently passed state budget makes an unprecedented commitment to invest $150 billion in infrastructure projects over the next five years, some of which will go to fix upstate's highways, bridges, and tunnels. But many local government leaders, like East Syracuse Mayor Robert Tackman, say that's not enough.

Shinichi Sugiyama / Flickr

The cap on charter schools in New York is unlikely to be raised this year because of changing political dynamics in the Democrat-led New York State Legislature and opposition from the teachers union.

A 2015 law restricts how many new charter schools could open in New York City to 50, and the city reached that cap earlier this year. The limit under that law for the entire state is 460 schools. Proponents of charter schools would like to see the cap lifted, saying there are already long waiting lists of lower-income children who want to attend the schools. 

Gov. Andrew Cuomo's office / Flickr

Gov. Andrew Cuomo continues to hammer the organization that controls water levels on Lake Ontario as water levels continue to rise.

Cuomo was in Oswego Sunday to tour the Oswego harbor, which like other parts of the shoreline, is seeing higher water. The International Joint Commission has increased the amount of water its letting out of the lake and into the St. Lawrence River, but it can't release too much because of flooding downstream across parts of Canada.

Cuomo said it should never get to this point.

stgermh / Flickr

A bill that would create a backdoor method to release President Donald Trump’s taxes is moving through the state Senate and could be voted on as early as next week.

Several congressional committees have been seeking Trump’s tax returns in connection with a number of investigations. The committees say they have the legal right to see the documents.

But Trump has refused to release them, saying he is in the process of being audited. And his Treasury secretary, Steve Mnuchin, has declined to hand over the papers to the committees, setting up a potential court fight.

Payne Horning / WRVO News (file photo)

As New York prepares for potential flooding along the Lake Ontario shoreline, Gov. Andrew Cuomo is encouraging communities to take some long-term steps to prevent flooding in the future. 

Cuomo wants to see some long-term investment into flood prevention that he believes is caused in large part by climate change.

"These changes in climate are going to continue, and I can’t tell you how many times this is a 100 year flood event.  It seems like we have a 100 year flood event twice a year," Cuomo said earlier this week while in Sodus Point.

Ellen Abbott / WRVO News

State officials say they are on alert and ready for potential Lake Ontario flooding in the coming weeks.

In Sodus Point Monday, Gov. Andrew Cuomo announced a series of steps the state is taking to prevent flooding in the event of a rain storm later this week.

"We have the National Guard on call, we are starting to deploy a structure called an Aquadam, which is basically a temporary dam that can be put in place along properties," Cuomo said.

stgermh / Flickr

Public campaign financing could be coming to New York by the end of this year, now that Gov. Andrew Cuomo and the state Legislature have created a commission to come up with a plan.

Supporters say the current system favors a small group of big-money donors at the expense of the average citizen and needs to be changed. But not everyone agrees that is a good idea.

The recently created commission has until Dec. 1 to design a public financing system for all statewide offices. It can spend up to $100 million to set up the program.

governorandrewcuomo / Flickr

As Earth Day was celebrated Monday, Gov. Andrew Cuomo signed legislation that bans single-use plastic bags in grocery stores and other retail shops in New York state.

Cuomo, crumpling a plastic bag in his hand for effect, said the bags "look harmless enough" but are actually dangerous to the environment -- and New Yorkers use 23 billion of them a year. They end up in landfills and on the street. Cuomo, an avid deep-sea fisherman, said they also clog up the waterways.

stgermh / Flickr

ALBANY, N.Y. (AP) — New York state lawmakers who delivered a budget on time this past week are turning their attention to thorny debates over legalizing recreational marijuana and renewing New York City’s rent regulations.

Both issues are complicated and figuring out the details is likely to dominate the remainder of the legislative session, scheduled to end in late June.

Meanwhile, an odd exchange about a grocery store chain during the Senate’s recent budget debate is highlighting the perennial upstate-downstate divide.

Here’s a look at stories making news:

Prison Closure Proposals Concern North Country Officials

Apr 5, 2019


The New York state budget passed first thing Monday includes a proposal to close two or three prison facilities. The idea is not sitting well in the North Country, which has seen facilities shuttered in the past.

The New York Division of the Budget estimates the closure of two or three prisons could save the state nearly $35 million dollars. Gov. Andrew Cuomo, appearing on WAMC Monday, said the inmate population is dropping and 1,200 beds are no longer needed.

Tom Magnarelli / WRVO Public Media

The New York State budget allocates $20 million in funding to reach marginalized communities for the 2020 census. But that’s only half the amount of funding community groups say is needed to achieve a more accurate count of the population.

Karen DeWitt / WRVO News (file photo)

The New York State legislature completed work on the state budget at around 7:30 a.m. Monday, after pulling an all night session to complete  the  budget relatively on time. The spending plan represents a compromise where not everyone is completely happy.

Governor Andrew Cuomo and state legislative leaders have announced an agreement on the new state budget, which is due April 1,

They sent out a statement early Sunday morning saying that the $175 billion budget holds spending growth at two percent.

It includes:

-a permanent 2% property tax cap.

-an additional $1 billion for school aid for aid that will total $27.9 billion.

-criminal justice reforms, including reforming the cash bail system.

governorandrewcuomo / flickr

Two days before the due date, the New York state budget is starting to take shape, as lawmakers planned to return to the Capitol for a rare Sunday session to begin voting to meet the April 1 deadline.

governorandrewcuomo / Flickr

Gov. Andrew Cuomo continued to defend his choice to hold a $25,000-a-plate fundraiser attended by key lobbyists two weeks before the budget is due, saying he supports public campaign financing.

In a radio interview with WCNY’s “The Capitol Pressroom,” Cuomo said he was not influenced by the money he received from donors.

“If anyone suggests that any position I take is linked to a contributor,” they would be wrong, Cuomo said.

Karen DeWitt / WRVO News

The push for a public campaign finance system for New York’s politicians heated up as a feud erupted between three young female lawmakers and Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s top aides.

They were arguing over a private, $25,000-a-plate fundraiser held by the governor just two weeks before the state budget is due.

A plan to create a matching small-donor public campaign finance system for statewide elections is included in Cuomo’s budget and has some support in the Democrat-led state Senate.

Karen DeWitt / WRVO News

Two freshman state senators and one recently elected Assemblywoman say they are incensed by a New York Times article documenting a recent fundraiser held by Gov. Andrew Cuomo that charged up to $25,000 per person.

Cuomo says he’s for a public campaign finance system, but Sen. Alessandra Biaggi says the governor is disingenuous to hold a major fundraiser just before the budget is due.

Brett Levin / Flickr

Supporters of legalizing recreational marijuana plan to hold rallies each day at the State Capitol this week, urging Gov. Andrew Cuomo and state lawmakers to include the measure in the state budget.  

Kassandra Frederique with the Drug Policy Alliance said supporters worry that if the issue lingers until later in the session, its chances of passage will diminish.

“Kicking the can down the road more is not a good sign for us as community members,” Frederique said. “The urgency on what legalization can do for our communities is important.”

Karen DeWitt / WRVO News

With less than a week to go to the budget deadline, interest groups converged on the state Capitol, lobbying to get their measures included in the budget plan, and in some cases, to keep items out.

Karen DeWitt / WRVO News (file photo)

The new state budget, due April 1, will be first one decided by an all-Democratic state legislature in a decade, after Republicans ruled the Senate for most of the past century. And while the leadership of the Senate and Assembly have been newly reasserting their governing powers, when it comes to the spending plan, there’s only so far that they can go in their disagreements with Gov. Andrew Cuomo. 

governorandrewcuomo / Flickr

With less than a week to go to the budget deadline, Gov. Andrew Cuomo said talks are proceeding in "good faith" with the legislature, but he said many differences still remain. And he indicated that lingering resentments over the failed Amazon deal might be coloring the discussions.

Southern Arkansas University / Flickr

Gambling casino companies are pressing Gov. Andrew Cuomo and the legislature to allow them to open gaming centers in New York City as part of the new state budget. There are a number of obstacles to overcome, but the proposal may seem tempting to lawmakers, who are strapped for cash this year.

Brett Levin / Flickr

The chance to include the legalization of adult recreational marijuana in the state budget is fading, now that Gov. Andrew Cuomo seems to be backing away from the proposal.

Legislative leaders have already said it might be better to create a plan for adult use of recreational cannabis outside of the time pressures of the state budget, which is due at the end of the month. There are still many unanswered questions about who would be permitted to grow marijuana, distribute it and sell it.

J. Stephen Conn / Flickr

A push to enact a statewide system of public campaign finance for political races appears to be floundering in New York. But advocates have not given up on a proposal that they say would change the culture of a state Capitol where many lawmakers have grown dependent on donations from special interest groups.

Karen DeWitt / WRVO News

With just a little over two weeks to go before the state budget is due, Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s top budget officials say they have to revise their spending proposal, now that President Donald Trump has released a budget plan that they say could devastate New York’s health care system.

They’re pressuring the Legislature to rein in their spending proposals as well.

J. Stephen Conn / Flickr

Budget talks are intensifying in Albany as the deadline nears, and they are revealing tensions and divides between Democratic Gov. Andrew Cuomo and the all-Democratic State Legislature.

Cuomo began the week with a list of items that he said he needs in the state budget in order for him to agree to it.

They include a property tax cap, criminal justice reforms and a congestion pricing plan for parts of Manhattan to help pay for fixing public transit.

governorandrewcuomo / Flickr


With three weeks to go until the April 1 budget deadline, Gov. Andrew Cuomo is drawing some lines in the sand on items that he said must be in the spending plan, like a permanent property tax cap.

But Cuomo said a proposal to legalize the adult use of marijuana likely will not be finished in time.

Jim Bowen / Flickr

The state Senate and Assembly are due to release their own versions of the state budget this week. They come as Gov. Andrew Cuomo is demanding that a number of unrelated provisions be included in the spending plan. Without them, he threatens, the budget could be late.

The governor’s budget director, Robert Mujica, listed in a statement the items that he said must be in the budget in order for Cuomo to agree to it. They include a congestion pricing plan in Manhattan to help pay to fix the subway system, and making the temporary property tax cap permanent.

Matt Ryan / New York Now (file photo)

The state comptroller has come out with revenue projections that will limit the ability to spend more money in the state budget. Under law, the governor and Legislature have to abide by those numbers — but that hasn’t stopped interest groups and some lawmakers from saying that they will increase spending.