New York State Assembly

-JvL- / Flickr

Two bills that challenge President Donald Trump and his policies are advancing in the New York State Assembly.

Assembly Speaker Carl Heastie said Democrats in his house are ready to act on a measure to amend New York’s double jeopardy laws. It would give state prosecutors the right to pursue cases against potential crimes committed in New York, even if the person is pardoned by the president.  

“There’s enough support to pass double jeopardy,” Heastie told reporters Tuesday. “It will be on the agenda next week.”

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.

Jim Bowen / Flickr

The New York State Senate has passed a bill to make the state’s 8-year-old property tax cap permanent. So far, the Assembly has not approved the measure.

Since the legislative session began, Democrats who control both chambers have approved several major measures, including the Reproductive Health Act and early voting, with minority party Republicans voting no.

One rare instance of bipartisan unity – in the Senate, at least – involved making the state’s temporary 2 percent annual property tax cap permanent.

Karen DeWitt / WRVO News (file photo)

Democratic state legislators are beginning the New Year with some resentment towards Democratic Gov. Andrew Cuomo over a deal that gives them a big raise – but comes with several strings attached.

In March 2018, Cuomo and the legislature agreed to set up a pay commission to examine the salaries of Senators, Assemblymembers, and the Governor, who had not seen a raise in 20 years.

The deal permitted the commission to have the final say on whether pay would go up, so lawmakers would not be required to cast a potentially unpopular vote to raise their own salaries.

NPR

The latest results of races in New York state for state Assembly and Senate, as well as results in the races for Onondaga County sheriff and Syracuse Common Council at-large seat. Check back as updates are available.

Brindisi/Tenney campaigns

The rising cost of health care has become a major point of contention in this year's race for the 22nd Congressional District, including how the candidates have voted on the issue in the past.

stgermh / Flickr

 

The 2018 legislative session ended quietly, as Democrats and Republicans in the legislature failed to agree on major issues and exited the Capitol until next January. Although Gov. Cuomo is now leaving the door open to calling them back.

Karen Dewitt / WRVO News

Lawmakers busily passed bills on the final day of the 2018 legislative session, but as the final evening approached they were unable to reach agreement on many major issues.

timlewisnm / Flickr

Teachers wouldn’t be evaluated based on their students’ standardized test scores any longer under a measure approved by the New York State Assembly.

It’s a reversal of a controversial policy that helped lead to a widespread boycott of the third- through eighth-grade tests associated with the former Common Core program.

But the measure faces an uncertain future in the state Senate.

azipaybarah / Flickr

NEW YORK (AP) — New York’s former assembly speaker returns to federal court Monday to listen as prosecutors accuse him for a second time of collecting $4 million in illegal kickbacks from a cancer researcher and real estate developers.

This will be the second criminal trial for Sheldon Silver, 74, a Democrat who was once among the most politically powerful people in the state.

Gov. Andrew Cuomo's office / Flickr

ALBANY, N.Y. (AP) — New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo and state lawmakers struck a $168.3 billion state budget deal late Friday night that includes surcharges on Uber and taxi rides in Manhattan, a tax on opioid makers and a new sexual harassment policy crafted following the launch of the #MeToo movement.

J. Stephen Conn / Flickr

Talks on the state budget were stalled just days before the April 1 deadline, as Gov. Andrew Cuomo and state lawmakers continued negotiations. Groups pressing for additional issues that are in the governor’s budget plan still have not given up hope.

Karen DeWitt / WRVO News (file photo)

It’s just over a week until the state budget is due, and there’s no resolution on an array of proposed new taxes and spending proposals, as well as several unrelated items that are tied to the budget.

-JvL- / Flickr

Things got heated on the New York State Senate floor this week over a debate on bills that majority party Republicans say will improve school safety. Meanwhile, the state Assembly on Tuesday passed its own set of gun control bills.

New York already has some of the strictest gun control measures in the nation, known as the SAFE Act. But since the shootings in Parkland, Florida, lawmakers from both major parties say there’s more to do to prevent school shootings.

NYS Assembly

In the midst of a national debate on immigration, the New York State Assembly this week passed a bill to give children of undocumented immigrants access to financial aid for college.

The measure, which is separate from federal legislation and would apply only to New York state, would allow undocumented students to be eligible for funds from the state’s Tuition Assistance Program if they attended high school in New York state or received a general equivalency diploma and have applied to a college or university within the state.

Matt Ryan / New York Now (file photo)

Monday was the first full day of session in the New York State legislature, and lawmakers have a lot to contend with, including a multi-billion dollar budget deficit.

The state Assembly gaveled in first, with remarks by Assembly Speaker Carl Heastie. The speaker, a Star Trek fan, used one of his favorite quotes from the series as he offered a critique of what he calls “radical policies” by President Trump and the Republican Congress in Washington.

nysassembly.gov

A state Assemblyman has been sanctioned by the Assembly Ethics Committee for allegedly sexually harassing a staff member. Assemblyman Steve McLaughlin denies the charges and has asked for a criminal investigation of the ethics committee itself.

The complaint against McLaughlin stems from a June 2016 complaint from a female staffer, who said the Republican from Rensselaer County made lewd comments to her and asked to see nude photos of her. McLaughlin also is accused of releasing the name of the staff member, then lying about it.

-JvL- / Flickr

Testimony at an Assembly hearing Monday grew heated as Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s economic development chair defended some faltering job creation programs.

Empire State Development Chair Howard Zemsky also signaled the state may be backing away from a key program to give tax breaks to startup entrepreneurs.

Karen DeWitt / WRVO News File Photo

New York’s leaders are continuing to struggle with actions in Congress on the federal budget and tax overhaul that could adversely affect the state’s finances. 

Gov. Andrew Cuomo has said it’s possible he’ll call a special session to address potential gaps in the state budget that could total several billion dollars. But he said the uncertainty over what will happen in Washington on health care funding and on major tax changes is making it hard to plan.

azipaybarah / Flickr

The corruption conviction of former New York State Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver was overturned Thursday on a technicality by a federal appeals court.

Silver’s attorneys say they are “grateful” for the decision, but the U.S. Attorney’s office for New York’s Southern District said it will retry the case. Until recently, the office was headed by Preet Bharara. He was fired by President Donald Trump earlier this year.

-JvL- / Flickr

The state Assembly voted in the early hours of Thursday morning on a bill that takes care of some unfinished business in the 2017 legislative session.

Payne Horning / WRVO News

Assemblyman Anthony Brindisi (D-Utica) is running for Congress in the 22nd District, looking to challenge his former colleague in the Assembly, Rep. Claudia Tenney (R-New Hartford).

Brindisi jumps into the race after declining last year to run for the open seat that was vacated by moderate Republican Richard Hanna. He said a lot has changed in that time.

Brindisi says Tenney is far more loyal to Republican Party initiatives, like the effort to repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act. And that, he says, has hurt the district.

governorandrewcuomo / Flickr

Gov. Cuomo says the state legislature fell down on the job by leaving town without passing an extension of mayoral control for the New York City schools, and he has not ruled out calling them back for a special session.

Cuomo says by not voting to extend the Bill de Blasio’s authority over the public schools, they essentially voted for a return to the dysfunction of the old system of multiple community school boards. 

“It is a dereliction of duty,” Cuomo said.

Karen Dewitt / WRVO News (file photo)

The state Assembly and Senate adjourned for the year last night, without any deals on extending control of New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio’s authority over the public school system, or the continuation of sales taxes in upstate and Long Island counties. Assembly Democrats have tied the two issues together in one bill, and Assembly Majority Leader Joe Morelle called it a basic concept.

Payne Horning / WRVO News File Photo

State lawmakers have passed legislation that could provide financial relief for those affected by Lake Ontario flooding. The new bill was approved after weeks of debate between the state Senate and Assembly over how much to spend and whom should be be eligible

Tom Magnarelli / WRVO News

A demonstration of what a supervised injection facility for heroin users would look like has been making its way across cities in New York state. The sites would allow someone to use the drug under medical supervision. To make it a reality, the state would need a new law.

Nuclear Regulatory Commission

The transfer of the FitzPatrick Nuclear Power Plant to its new owner is officially complete. Exelon, which owns and operates the nearby Nine Mile Point Nuclear Facility Exelon, announced Friday that its negotiations with Entergy are done. The company bought the Oswego County plant last summer for $110 million. 

-JvL- / Flickr

State Assembly Speaker Carl Heastie is proposing new income tax brackets on New York’s wealthiest, with a top tax rate of over 10% on those making more than $100 million a year.

The new tax brackets proposed by Assembly Democrats would raise rates on those making more than a million dollars a year, as Gov. Cuomo has outlined in his budget. But new, higher rates would apply to those who make more than $5 million, $10 million or more, with a top bracket of 10.32% for New Yorkers who earn more than $100 million a year.

New York State Senate

The new year for the state legislature has begun in discord, with an absent governor and Republicans in the Senate vowing to take a harder line against Democrat Gov. Andrew Cuomo. 

The year began without Cuomo, who abandoned the tradition of conducting a State of the State speech on the first day of the session in favor of giving a presentation on airport renovations to a group of business leaders in New York City. He’ll do speeches across the state later. 

-JvL- / Flickr

New York lawmakers are returning to Albany this week to begin their work for 2017. This year's agenda includes proposals to modernize the state's voting rules, address government corruption and permit the ride-hailing services Uber and Lyft to expand upstate.

Other prominent proposals include legislation to allow the terminally ill to request life-ending medication from a physician and a bill to end the state's practice of prosecuting 16- and 17-year-olds as adults.

Pages